From the first web site in 1992 the World Wide Web has grown to become the largest human information system in history, integrated into the everyday lives of billions of people across the planet, shaping how we do business, conduct our social lives and organize politically. A powerful combination of technical innovation and social participation, the Web is transforming the world in ways that were never imagined at the start and continues to evolve in inventive and unexpected ways that will shape the future of the world.
"What's exciting about the Web is that people are building new social systems, new systems of review, new systems of governance. My hope is that those will produce new ways of working together effectively and fairly, which we can use globally to manage ourselves as a planet."
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Professor of Computer Science, University of Southampton.
The University of Southampton is pioneering the development of Web Science, a new discipline that aims to provide a thorough understanding of the Web as a social and technical phenomenon. This demands now ways of working, across traditional academic disciplines, to build skills and expertise in the technical underpinnings of the Web as well as the social processes that have shaped its evolution and the impact of the Web on society.
"Web Science represents a pretty big next step in the evolution of information. This ...is likely to have a lot of influence on the next generation of researchers, scientists and ... the next generation of entrepreneurs who will build new companies from this."
Eric Schmdt, CEO, Google Inc.
Our programme in Web Science allows students to choose between two 'pathways': Web Science (Computer Science) and Web Science (Social Sciences). Students on both pathways will take a shared core curriculum, which enables development of the knowledge and skills required to develop critical understanding of the Web, its history and current trajectories of development. These core modules will draw on a range of disciplines to offer a common grounding in Web Science.
BSc Web Science (Computer Science)
This pathway offers specialisation in computational understanding and analysis of the Web. Students will take additional modules in programming and scripting, data management and the technical underpinnings of the Web.
BSc Web Science (Social Science)
This pathway offers the theoretical and methodological expertise for specialisation in the social scientific understanding and analysis of the Web. Building on the core curriculum, students will take additional core modules in sociology and political science, and may choose from a range or optional choices across anthropology, demography, economics, humanities, geography and law.
Web Science will equip students with unique cross-cutting knowledge and skills, marketable to a broad range of employers and employment sectors. We have strong relationships with employers, and our graduates are particularly in demand for their understanding of organisations and their practical abilities in the workplace.
The Web Science Doctoral Training Centre at the University of Southampton is part of a £250 million investment in the future of UK science and technology by the RCUK Digital Economy Programme, providing fully funded studentships for 4 year PhD training in Web Science. The DTC also runs courses MSc and PhDs in Web Science and Web Technology.