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The University of Southampton
Web Science Institute

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Web Science at the University of Southampton is part of a £250 million investment in the future of UK science and technology by the RCUK Digital Economy Programme, providing fully funded studentships for 4 year PhD training in Web Science.

Web Science is the interdisciplinary study of the Web as a global socio-technical system that concerns the technologies, policies and practices of the interchange of data, information and knowledge, including the exchange of digital forms of intellectual property and the online trading of physical economic goods. It analyses the Web at a systems level, on the one hand investigating the technical capabilities of its distributed information infrastructure whilst also examining the public policy and social practices that elevate it from a laboratory curiosity to a transformative global phenomenon.

The aim of the centre is to train students in a thorough understanding of how to innovate and create new kinds of value through the web, to become agents of change in the digital economy and to train them with sufficient expertise and leadership capacity to be able to apply Web Science principles to UK businesses producing a significant impact on the UK economy.

The centre is a cross-faculty and a cross- & multi-disciplinary initiative. Our current students have degrees in many different disciplines: Law, Computer Science, Sociology, Psychology, Education, Graphic Design, Archaeology, Management, Politics, International Relations, Economics, Geography, Natural Sciences, Physics, Marketing, Criminology, Theology, English, Film and Languages, Mathematics, to name a few. The academics supervisors involved in the centre come from across the University.

The centre’s academic team is drawn from the highest performing research groupings at the University, bringing outstanding track records in their respective disciplines and an emergent distinction in collaborative Web Science.

In the 2008 RAE Computer Science was ranked joint #2. Social Sciences has world-­leading expertise in social policy & sociology (ranked #3 in the 2008 RAE) and is home to three ESRC Research Centres and numerous ESRC funded projects. Together, they have an outstanding track record in multidisciplinary education and research, with accumulated experience and expertise in meeting the challenges of cross-­disciplinary collaboration.

The centre is part of the newly launched Web Science Institute based at the University of Southampton. Within the University structure, we are situated in the Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) department within the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering. ECS is one of the best places in the world to study electronics and electrical engineering, computer science and IT. The Guardian University Guide 2013 league tables show the University of Southampton top in the UK for Electronics and Electrical Engineering and third in the UK for Computer Science and IT.

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