MSc Course Structure

The MSc consists of four main components: two core courses; six methods core and option courses; two option papers; and the thesis.

Michaelmas Term: Core Courses Hilary Term: Option Courses Trinity Term: Thesis
Social Dynamics of the Internet Option Paper [1] Thesis
Internet Technologies & Regulation Option Paper [2] MSc Research Seminars
DSR: Methods Core DSR: Methods Option Paper [1] (Group A)
DSR: Statistics Core DSR: Methods Option Paper [2] (Group A)
DSR: Methods Option Paper [3] (Group B)
DSR: Methods Option Paper [4] (Group B)

The MSc course runs from October to August. Oxford University terms are referred to as Michaelmas Term (MT), Hilary Term (HT) and Trinity Term (TT) and normally last eight weeks. Please note that this information is provisional, and may be subject to change.

Core Courses

Social Dynamics of the Internet provides an overview of the major findings to date regarding the social implications of the Internet, drawing material from several social science disciplines, including communication studies, sociology, and political science.

Internet Technologies and Regulation is designed to give students from across a range of disciplines a basic understanding of the interplay between the social and technological shaping of the Internet, and the associated policy implications. It outlines the Internet’s origins and technical architecture and its embeddedness in a long history of communication technologies.

Digital Social Research (Methods)

The Digital Social Research (DSR) components of the course are designed to provide students with the core skills, methods, theories and concepts required to undertake the remainder of the degree. All students must take DSR Methods Core and DSR Statistics Core in Michaelmas term. In Hilary term students choose four four-week DSR option papers – two from Group A (weeks 1-4) and two from Group B (weeks 6-9). Students with a law and policy focus can take some classes in Legal Research Methods provided by the Faculty of Law in place of two of these option papers upon approval by the MSc Course Convener.

Option Papers

In Hilary term, students are required to take two option papers which enable them to pursue issues of particular interest in greater depth, whilst developing their specialist skills and applying them to the Internet and its evolving technologies. The 2014-15 option papers are are follows:

Students can also take any option from a relevant paper from another University of Oxford Social Sciences Division Masters programme (with the permission of the MSc Course Convenor and the other department).


In addition to the taught courses, students will be required to complete a 10,000-15,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choosing after discussion with their supervisor. This provides students with the opportunity to apply the methods and approaches they have covered in the other parts of the course and carry out a substantive piece of academic research on a specialist topic of their choosing.