The University of Southampton

University of Southampton pioneers massive open online course (MOOC) in Web Science

Published: 18 September 2013

Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), Social Sciences, Management and the Centre for Innovation in Technologies and Education (CITE) is launching its pioneering first free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) today (September 18th) on Web Science.

The course is a free online study programme that will give people the opportunity to get a taste of Web Science – an innovative, multi-disciplinary area of research that explores the technical and social sides of the Web.

They can then decide if they would like to embark on a full undergraduate Bsc in Web Science or postgraduate study programme at the University of Southampton’s Web Science Doctoral Training Centre.

The MOOC is run in partnership with FutureLearn – part of the Open University – and students will explore topics such as what is web science, security and cyber crime, the digital economy and networks.

The University of Southampton is a world leader in Web Science. It offers the subject at undergraduate, postgraduate and research level; is home to the Web Science Doctoral Training Centre; and has created the Web and Internet Science Research Group (WAIS) that is carrying out research to better understand the origin, evolution and growth of the Web and how it is transforming society.

Many of ECS’s academics were involved in developing the Web including Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt. All are still very influential and key players in the continued research and development of the Web and Web Science.

This new MOOC is just one of a number being launched by the University in partnership with FutureLearn- part of the Open University. They are designed to be studied online anywhere in the world by large numbers of people. As well as traditional course materials including online video lectures, reading material, coursework and tests, MOOCs also provide interactive forums that help students and tutors build an online community.

FutureLearn Homepage

No prior knowledge of the subject is required, but students should have enthusiasm, a willingness to learn more and develop their skills, and be able to study for two to three hours a week. They can either complete the whole programme or dip into particular topics of interest as and when time allows.

To find out more about MOOCS at the University of Southampton visit

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