Professional course Social Media and Web Science

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
Computer Science and Creative Technologies
Twelve two-hour sessions, scheduled over twelve continuous Wednesdays
Through weekly lectures
Programme leader
Dr Paul Matthews

Page last updated 2 April 2020


This course can count towards one of our postgraduate qualifications within our Information Management and Information Technology Awards.

A scientific approach is crucial to the planning, implementation and evaluation of social media and web campaigns. At the same time, social media and web-based evidence can shed light on a range of sociological and societal phenomena. This module will focus on developing strategic and technical competencies in using social media tools and data.

Entry requirements

Participants are expected to have a first degree at 2.2 level or above (or equivalent), or alternatively have industrial experience.

Overseas students need to have, in advance of application, either a valid student visa or evidence of residency status in the UK.

We strongly recommend that you speak to the course tutor prior to the course if you are unsure about your suitability to complete the assessment.

Careers / Further study

This module can be taken as a standalone module, or used to build up credit towards a named postgraduate qualification (PG Certificate, PG Diploma or Masters) within our Information Management and Information Technology awards



This module will cover the following topic areas:

  • History, trends and global patterns in social media and the web.
  • The current range of social media tools and their relative strengths; social UI patterns and practice.
  • Best practice in social media usage; cultural and ethical dimensions of social media and social media research.
  • Theoretical models of engagement, persuasion and social behaviour online.
  • Social media metrics and impact; use of social media in the workplace; social media strategies and their evaluation; case studies.
  • Web science principles; relevant socio-technical, philosophical, psychological and sociological models/theory.
  • Social media, the web and society: politics, disaster management and governance; diversity, bias and the diffusion of information; privacy, security and trust.
  • Collective intelligence and online communities; crowd sourcing and social machines
  • Tools and methods of social media and web-based research: Archiving; data mining; algorithms and inference; social network analysis; visualisation.

Learning and Teaching

The module is delivered through weekly lectures and workshops, which take place on consecutive weeks.

Teaching will focus on the assignment tasks and aim to equip students with the resources and tools needed to complete group and individual components. Along with practice of tools and techniques, in-class time will be allocated for idea generation, iteration and feedback on project work.

Independent learning includes hours engaged with essential reading, data gathering and analysis, assignment preparation and completion etc.

Study time

This module will involve 2 hours direct contact time per week for one semester.

Each 15 credit course (module) is expected to take 150 hours to complete:

  • 24 hrs contact time trough lectures and face to face discussion
  • 30 hrs coursework preparation
  • 86 hrs assimilation and development of knowledge
  • 10 hrs exam preparation


Assessment will be through a group-based social media campaign project and an individual research project on a theme of interest.

For more details, see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Study facilities

The University has excellent facilities, accessible to all students, as required; however, it is expected that much of the work will be carried within the work environment.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

This course runs once a year. The next module run is programmed for January 2021 and likely to follow the same delivery pattern: 12 two-hour sessions, scheduled over 12 continuous Wednesdays (daytime).

As an indication, the cost of this course was £625 UK/EU and £1083 for International participants in the last academic year, so there might be a small increase for January 2021.

Exact course dates, updated fees and online booking forms will be published here in September 2020. Please complete our online enquiry form below to be notified once dates are available.

Course Location

UWE Bristol, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY

How to apply

How to apply

As this module carries university accreditation, please note that once you have submitted your booking form, you will be required to provide the following supporting information to the administration team for the module tutor to be able to review and formally accept your application as required by the university:

  • An up-to-date copy of your Curriculum Vitae (including contact details of a work or academic reference)
  • A brief personal statement to support your application
  • A copy of your highest qualification certificate and transcript of modules studied
  • A copy of photographic proof of ID (i.e. driver's licence/passport). For non UK students, this must be a copy of your passport

Overseas participants will be required to provide evidence of visa status once accepted onto the course, before they can be fully registered and attend.

January 2021Enquire Now

For further information

  • Email: For any questions in relation to the course, i.e. content, suitability, assessments, etc. please contact the Programme Leader, Dr Paul Matthews ( For queries regarding administration aspects of registration, i.e. dates, fees, etc. please contact us using the online enquiry form link or telephone number below.
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 86927