Semantic Web

Module code: CO4216

The Web, as it exists today, primarily supports human understanding and the interpretation of the vast information space it encompasses. However the Web was originally designed with a goal to support not only human-human communication but also as one that would enable automated machine processing of data with minimal human intervention. The Semantic Web is Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of a machine understandable and unambiguously computer interpretable Web. The rationale behind such a system is that most of the data currently posted on the web is buried in HTML files suitable for human reading and not for computers to manipulate meaningfully. The semantic Web, an extension of the current web, can be thought of as a globally linked database where information is given well-defined meaning using metadata for better enabling computers and humans to work in close co-operation. The realisation of a Semantic Web will thus make machine reasoning more ubiquitous and devastatingly powerful, creating an environment where intelligent software agents can roam, carrying out sophisticated tasks for their users.

This course is about investigating the next generation of the Web whose key distinguishing characteristics will be the support for and use of semantics in new, more effective, more intelligent ways of managing information and supporting applications.


  • 24 hours of lectures
  • 8 hours of seminars
  • 10 hours of tutorials
  • 108 hours of guided independent study


  • Coursework (40%)
  • Exam, 2 hours (60%)