MSc Course Information

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. Note, however, that the MSc in Social Sciences of the Internet has an extended Hilary term which lasts 10 weeks. Also, students should note that the dates of term do not take into account examination dates. Examination details are included in the individual course documents.

The MSc consists of four components: 2 core courses (Social Dynamics of the Internet, Internet Technologies and Regulation); 2 Methods courses (Digital Social Research: Methods Core, Digital Social Research: Statistics Core) plus 4 Methods options (Digital Social Research: Methods Options 1-4); 2 option papers; and the thesis accompanied by the Trinity term MSc Research Seminars.

Michaelmas Term (MT) 2014Hilary Term (HT) 2015Trinity Term (TT) 2015
Social Dynamics of the InternetOption Paper 1 (weeks 1-9)Thesis
Internet Technologies & RegulationOption Paper 2 (weeks 1-9)MSc Research Seminars
Digital Social Research: Methods CoreDSR: Methods Option Paper 1 Group A (weeks 1-4) 
Digital Social Research: Statistics CoreDSR: Methods Option Paper 2 Group A (weeks 1-4) 
 DSR: Methods Option Paper 3 Group B (weeks 5-9) 
 DSR: Methods Option Paper 4 Group B (weeks 5-9) 

Please note that this information is provisional, and may be subject to change.

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.

The Digital Social Research 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. Digital Social Research consists of six elements. All students must take DSR: Methods Core and DSR: Statistics Core in Michaelmas term. In Hilary term all students choose four 4-week DSR: Methods Option papers - two from Group A (weeks 1-4) and two from Group B (weeks 6-9).

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 now available.

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 DSR: Methods Option papers upon approval by the MSc Course Convener.

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. The dissertation 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.

The deadline for submission of the thesis will normally be 1 August, or the next working day if this falls on the weekend.

MSc 2014-15 Reference Documents