The University of Southampton

WEBS2001 Cybernetics, Societies and the Web

Module Overview

This module builds on the learning outcomes of Introduction to Information, technology and social change to provide a deeper into an understanding of how a number of disciplinary perspectives can illuminate our understanding of the Web. Where the previous module is broad in its scope, this module is narrower and more focused but provides an opportunity for deeper engagement with the topics.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This module, with your participation and assistance, aims to develop your understanding of: - The nature of Web Science as an emerging area of research - The breadth of the disciplines that contribute to Web Science research - Selected arguments and case studies in some detail - Interdisciplinary research

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the nature and history of Web Science as an emerging research area and the breadth of disciplines that contribute to Web Science research.
  • Collect and critically review literature from different disciplinary perspectives to support an argument
  • A detailed understanding of a number of areas of Web Science
  • Knowledge and understanding of approaches to interdisciplinary research
  • Appreciate the specific difficulties of working across multiple disciplines
  • Deliver a presentation to a general audience
  • Gain additional understanding of a research problem through acknowledging different perspectives
  • Develop more sophisticated analysis of the web
  • Develop deeper understanding of web architecture and agency
  • Writing and presenting arguments for different audiences


Topics to be covered will vary depending on the particular research area chosen by individual students and the guest lecturers chosen for each cohort. Specific directed reading will be updated to reflect ongoing developments in this rapidly moving field. Topics likely to be included will be: - Science and technology studies - The cybernetic imagination - The emerging web (environments, applications) - Understanding social machines - Agents, actors and agency and the web

Learning and Teaching

Independent Study114
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

On-line resources. Module resources, including directed reading, will be maintained on the module web site and the Wiki.



MethodPercentage contribution
Critical article and verbal presentation 40%
Exam  (2 hours) 60%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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