Research Methods for the Online World

Module code: MS7042 
Module co-ordinator: Dr Yimei Zhu

Module Outline

The module aims at providing an understanding of the main research methods that are specific to online media data and to analyse social and communication processes. This module offers a unique overview of research methods developed to analyse media and online data with an emphasis to 'big data' sources such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.

The module presents an overview of current cutting edge methodology in both qualitative and quantitative methods related to online social research. Starting from qualitative methods of analysing texts, you will also explore mixed methods and the new frontier of quantitative online methods. Web surveys, online experiments, opinion mining techniques and social network analysis will be discussed as means to use of the web to analyse cultural, social and political phenomena. Such techniques have a wide range of applications in social scientific research as well as marketing and consumer research.


  • 22 hours of lectures
  • 1 hour of tutorials
  • 127 hours of guided independent study


  • Research proposal, 2,000-3,000 (50%)
  • Multiple choice test (50%)
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