The University of Southampton

UOSM2012 Online Social Networks

Module Overview

This module aims to develop understanding of the emergent interdisciplinary area of online social network analysis by drawing upon technological, social, network science and organisational perspectives.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • online social networks in a holistic manner, including the technological, social, network science, web science and organisational dimensions
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse the impact of online social networks on your own lives, society and business
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Evaluate key technological and social mechanisms of online social networking and network structures


Data storage, network structures, network analysis, graph theory, game theory, network dynamics, power and influence, trust, privacy, personal branding, business development, social semantics, digital literacy. Network concepts: what is a network, real-world examples (e.g. Arab spring, Facebook) Face to face VS online social interaction Social themes: clique communities, fads, affiliations with organisations and brands A multi-disciplinary history: social network analysis (the strength of weak ties, Ego-networks (one person and his direct social context), Social physics (small-worlds, preferential attachment and other models) Software for data mining and analysis. Visualisation algorithms. Intuitive structural interpretation.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, online peer interaction, online collaboration and project management How is this module innovative in delivery? A blended approach is taken with face to face sessions interspersed by tutor-supported online groupwork, tutor and peer feedback to encourage and formalise critical reflection on progress through the module.

Follow-up work25
Completion of assessment task25
Preparation for scheduled sessions25
Wider reading or practice25
Practical classes and workshops6
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Mayfield, A. (2010). Me and my Web Shadow: How to manage your reputation online. 

Newman, M.E.J. (2010). Networks: an introduction. 

Rainie, L.R. and B. Wellman (2012). Networked: the new social operating system. 

Lin, N. (2002). Social capital: a theory of social structure and action. 

Godin, S. (2010). Linchpin: Are you indispensable?. 

Easley, D., and Kleinberg, J. (2010). Networks, crowds and markets: reasoning about a highly connected world. 

Scott, J., & Carrington, P.J. (2011). The SAGE handbook of social network analysis. 

Burt, R.S. (2007). Brokerage and closure: an introduction to social capital. 



Combined assessment methods


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (1 hours) 60%
Group project with supporting report  (500 words) 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Report  ( words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (1 hours) 100%
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