• Offered by Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Social Research
  • Areas of interest Political Communication, Political Sciences, Population Studies, Social Research, Sociology More...
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Robert Ackland
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

The World Wide Web is only around 20 years old, but it has transformed the way we work, collaborate, engage in commerce, participate in politics and interact socially.  This course focuses on the contribution of social science to understanding life in the "Age of the Network".  While attention is paid to relevant insights or approaches from other disciplines, for example applied physics and computer science, the primary focus is on theoretical and empirical contributions from economics, political science and sociology.  There is particular emphasis on the role of quantitative analysis of surveys of individuals and statistical network analysis of digital trace data (e.g. blog/social network service/web/email data) in understanding the social science of the Internet.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Critically assess the social, political and economic impact of the World Wide Web.
  2. Understand how digital trace data from the Web can help answer long-standing social science research questions.
  3. Conduct basic social network analysis.
  4. Locate relevant data, tools and research methods for conducting research using web data.
  5. Compare social scientific approaches to studying the Web with those from other disciplines.

Indicative Assessment

Participation in online forum (15%, 750 words approx.) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 4, 5]

Social network analysis problem set (15%, 750 words equiv.) [Learning Outcome 3]

Online test (15%, 750 words equiv.) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 5]

Critical review of journal article - paper and podcast presentation (20%, 750 words) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 4, 5]

Final paper (35%, 3000 words) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 4, 5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Total workload is approximately 10 hours per week including working through online activities, participation in online forum and private study.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a Graduate Certificate in Social Research or Master of Social Research. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Preliminary Reading

Course notes and additional readings will be available via the learning management system (Wattle).

Areas of Interest

  • Political Communication
  • Political Sciences
  • Population Studies
  • Social Research
  • Sociology
  • Marketing
  • Science Communication



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3054
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4368
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
On Campus
3979 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A
4839 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 Online N/A

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