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The University of Southampton

COMP6250 Social Media and Network Science

Module Overview

The second generation of web sites that came along in the mid 2000's included many of the social media sites that are now household names (YouTube, Flickr, Wikipedia, Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, etc.) These sites (known at the time as Web 2.0) focused on content that was generated by users, rather than the site's owners, and thus shifted the balance of power on the Web from a technical few to the masses. We now live in a world where social media is a powerful influence. In this course we will look at the science that is attempting to analyse its use, see how conceptualising social media as networks allows us to use techniques from network science as part of that analysis, and explore some of the personal and social issues that have arisen and the technologies that might address them. This is a course that empowers you to meaningfully engage with the many issues that we see everyday in the news and media, and we hope that it will capture the excitement and concern that exists around Social Media. This is our Guttenberg, let's make it work for us.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • Methodologies for social network analysis
  • Ways in which social network can influence developments in domains such as e-learning, enterprise and media
  • Critical consideration of the social and personal consequences of social media
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Establish the potential of social networking technologies in specific contexts and domains
  • Articulate appropriate frameworks for the analysis of particular social networks
  • Communicate current societal challenges and anticipate emerging challenges
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critique existing software systems and infrastructures
  • Reflect on the broader social and personal implications of a technology
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify and analyse social network characteristics


The topics covered will reflect the latest research and development activities in social networking. Including: - History of Social Networking Technologies and the Web - Digital Literacy - Online social networks and business - Graph theory and social networks - Game theory and social networks - Network dynamics - Linked Data and the Social Semantic Web (FOAF, SKOS, etc.) - Privacy and identity in online social networks - Power and trust in online social networks

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods


Follow-up work18
Wider reading or practice10
Completion of assessment task44
Preparation for scheduled sessions18
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

This module will be assessed 60% by exam and 40% by coursework.


MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 40%
Final Assessment  60%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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