New MA Approved: Internet and Society

Mobile internet users, China
Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 00:00

A new MA in Sociology: Internet and Society will be offered from September, 2015 at Maynooth University. 

Developed by the Department of Sociology in collaboration with the Departments of Law and Media Studies, this innovative new interdisciplinary programme aims to provide a learning environment in which students can critically engage with the opportunities and challenges of social life online, and develop an analytical skill set that focuses on the application of both established qualitative and quantitative research methods, and new digital research methods, to this domain. 

This one-year programme offers:  

  1. critical examination of the latest trends in the political economy and cultures of the internet;
  2. knowledge of the latest research that engages with the social, ethical and legal aspects of internet use;
  3. advanced social and digital research skills that will prepare graduates for researching online and using user data appropriately.  

While the Department of Sociology has teaching and research strengths in social studies of technology and work, the political economy of digital media, data infrastructures and research methods, the Department of Law (Dr Maria Murphy) brings expertise in the areas of Technology, Privacy and Internet Law. Meanwhile the Department of Media Studies (Dr. Kylie Jarrett) has an established track record in the textual and cultural significance of digital media​.

Why Do it?
The M.A. aims to prepare students not only to work in academic and non-academic research positions, but also in emergent roles which require knowledge of social behaviour online, including on social media and in large transnational online communities. Ireland is the European headquarters for many multinational digital media companies, and with the development of big data and data warehousing we also see the emergence of a range of data ‘savvy’ roles (Expert Group on Future Skills and Forfás, 2014). Some of these roles are suitable for social science and humanities graduates.

The proposed M.A. seeks to equip social science and humanities graduates with the intellectual and practical research skills to understand social behaviour and the performance of identity online. It might also be of interest to students from other disciplinary backgrounds who seek to explore and understand social life online.

Graduates of this course will be able to interface with programmers and designers and with those working on the deep statistical analysis of user data. They will be able to develop, execute and report on internet based research projects.  There is a demand for digitally literate graduates who understand the social, cultural, political, legal and business aspects of transnational online users.

For more information

This MA was approved in late 2014 and will be starting in September 2015. We are now developing a range of print and electronic resources to promote the new MA. Keep an eye on our postgraduate pages for updates. 

For informal additional information please contact

You can also follow the Department of Sociology on twitter @MU_Sociology

For details on being a Maynooth postgraduate student see the Graduate pages.