A multidisciplinary research and teaching department of the University of Oxford, dedicated to the social science of the Internet.

Education, Digital Life and Wellbeing

The Internet plays an important part in our daily lives, and our research addresses the psychological, social and educational implications of the Internet across the full lifespan, with a particular focus on children and young people. We employ theoretically diverse approaches and an array of methods (including experiments, interviews and national surveys) to investigate the benefits and risks associated with the Internet in everyday life.

People: Rebecca Eynon, Bernie Hogan, Eric MeyerVicki Nash, Gina NeffAndy Przybylski, Huw Davies, Matt Willis


We’re particularly interested in those young people who have stopped using the Internet despite its obvious value, and are unpacking the complex interaction between Internet access and use, and education, home life, disability, bullying, and employment; work that is informing the UK’s digital inclusion strategy. We provide an empirical alternative to media-fuelled fears of the supposed dangers to children of the Internet, looking at the relation between perceived risks and actual danger, and also the rights of the child in this area. We also investigate (violent) video games in an experimental setting to examine how an individual’s psychological state (such as motivation, engagement, and cognition) impacts aggression and self-regulation in adolescence. Digital inclusion and well-being is a strong focus of our work with adults, explored through studies of self-realization and the role of (e.g.) MOOCs in lifelong learning.


  • The Home Internet Access Initiative

    Exploring a two year initiative that provides all year 10 students with a laptop and Internet connection if they require one at home in three secondary schools.

  • Social implications of big data in education

    This project explores the ethical and social implications of the growing use of data in education via a systematic review of policy and practice in the UK, USA and Singapore.

  • Internet use and social mobility

    Exploring if and how individuals from less well-off backgrounds can use the Internet to influence their social mobility.

  • Conceptualising Interaction and Learning in MOOCs

    Investigating the nature of learner interactions in MOOCs, to develop our understanding of how learning takes place in these settings.

Selected Publications

The below are a few publications in this area: for complete lists of outputs, please refer to individual faculty biographies.

Our research is organised in eight broad themes, where the Internet is having a significant effect on social, economic and political activity worldwide.

  • Digital Economies
  • Digital Knowledge and Culture
  • Digital Politics and Government
  • Education, Digital Life and Wellbeing
  • Ethics and Philosophy of Information
  • Information Geography and Inequality
  • Information Governance and Security
  • Social Data Science