Masters by coursework

The Social Science of the Internet specialisation in the Master of Social Research at the Australian National University was established in 2008. This is a unique program which provides students with a thorough understanding of the relevant theory and methods for empirical social science internet research. In particular, students learn about:

  • the fundamental changes to society, politics and the economy brought about by the Web
  • social science concepts and methods for understanding life in the Digital Age
  • online research methods for collecting and analysing internet data

At present, the compulsory courses are:

The course convenor is Robert Ackland, and his book Web Social Science: Concepts, Data and Tools for Social Scientists in the Digital Age (SAGE) was published in 2013.

Undergraduate courses

The following undergraduate course will be taught from 2017:


If you are interested in PhD studies in this area please contact Robert Ackland (please first look at the research on this site and Robert's homepage to see the current research projects).

Short courses

We regularly run short courses on network and text analysis, with specific focus on data collected from the web.  We currently offer the following 5-day course as part of the ACSPRI Winter/Summer Program:

  • Big Data Analysis for Social Scientists - This course introduces students to the collection and analysis of socially-generated 'big data' using the R statistical software, VOSON software for hyperlink network construction and Gephi network visualisation software. The next course is running at the University of Melbourne, 6-10 February 2017.  Book here!