Web Science: How the Web is Changing the World

Explore how the web has changed our world in the past 25 years and what might happen next.

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About the course

You may be an avid user of the Web but this introductory course in Web Science will help you to understand the Web as a both social system and a technical system: a global information infrastructure built from the interactions of people and technologies.

The course is based on our experience of trying to understand how the Web has grown and changed through technical innovation, economics, politics and everyday use.

We will examine the origins and evolution of the Web, and consider key questions of Security, Democracy, Networks and Economy from both computational and social science perspectives.

By following this course, you will have a greater understanding of the Web and begin to develop skills for the digital era - skills that are useful for everyday life and widely sought by the technology driven employers of today.

The course is called Web Science because it will provide you with an understanding of the way that the technology of the Web interacts with our economy, society and culture rather than just explaining ‘how the Internet works’ or ‘how to build websites in HTML’.

This is the start of a journey that could help you shape the future of the World Wide Web.

This course will give you the opportunity to purchase a Statement of Participation and you also have the option of paying to take an exam to qualify for a Statement of Attainment.


This course is aimed at anyone who wishes to further their understanding of the way that the technology of the Web interacts with our economy, society and culture.

Get a personalised, printed certificate

You can show that you’ve taken part in this course by buying a Statement of Participation. Or take an optional exam at a test centre near you, to prove what you’ve learnt and earn a Statement of Attainment.