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University of Oxford: Social Science of the Internet + Information, Communication and the Social Sciences

Institution University of Oxford
Department Engineering Science
Telephone 01865 270059
Study type Research


The information provided on this page was correct at the time of publication (October 2020). For complete and up-to-date information about this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via

The combined MSc Social Science of the Internet and DPhil Information, Communication and the Social Sciences programmes provide an opportunity for highly qualified students to develop the theoretical and methodological toolkit needed to undertake multidisciplinary Internet-related research.

The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) trains social scientists to undertake rigorous theoretical and empirical research in the study of the Internet and technology.

During your MSc you will be equipped with essential theoretical tools and methodological skills to undertake cutting-edge research in this domain. You are introduced to the empirical evidence necessary for an in-depth understanding of the role of the Internet in society, including the changing nature of governance and the theoretical, practical and ethical questions surrounding Internet use.

During the three- to four-year DPhil component, students are expected to produce an important and original piece of scholarship that will make a significant contribution to the dynamic area of Internet research. On completion, you will have the qualities and transferable skills necessary to excel in teaching, research, policymaking or business. The multidisciplinary research OII students undertake ranges across the social sciences, with most projects falling into the following broad themes: - digital knowledge and culture

  • digital politics and government

  • education, wellbeing and digital life

  • ethics and philosophy of information

  • information geography and inequality

  • information governance and security

  • Internet economics

  • social data science.

OII faculty work on cutting-edge research in their fields. This innovative research is fully reflected in their teaching and supervision. As a doctoral student at the OII, you will address research questions from across the spectrum of disciplines. You will draw both on the multidisciplinary faculty and on the complementary strengths of your cohort of peers, who are building on literature from different disciplines to answer their research questions. This system allows doctoral students to dig deeply into disciplinary questions in, for instance, politics or sociology, while also being able to place these questions into a broader picture of how the Internet can be theorised and researched.

Please note that the MSc component is offered separately as the MSc in Social Science of the Internet.


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