MC413      Half Unit
Information, Communication and Knowledge Systems

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Paolo Dini


This course is available on the MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and Fudan), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and USC), MSc in Media and Communications, MSc in Media and Communications (Data and Society), MSc in Media and Communications (Media and Communications Governance), MSc in Media and Communications (Research), MSc in Media, Communication and Development and MSc in Politics and Communication. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

In order to accommodate academic staff research leave and sabbaticals, and in order to maintain smaller seminar group sizes, this course is capped, meaning that there is a limit to the number of students who can be accepted. Whist we do our best to accommodate all requests, we cannot guarantee you a place on this course.

Course content

The aim of this course is to examine how innovation influences the development of digital technologies and the information, communication and knowledge systems they support. The focus is on the social, political and economic implications of changes in the digitally mediated environment in the information society. Digital technologies are developed, used, and sometimes resisted within a complex socio-technical system. Students are encouraged to critically appraise the way this system is influencing people's lives in ways that are both empowering and disempowering. Policy choices with respect to governing the Internet and social media are discussed in relation to the values that inform different perspectives.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to complete advance reading, prepare seminar presentations, and submit one essay of 1,500 words.

Indicative reading

Brown, I. and Marsden, C. (2013)  Regulating Code: Good Governance and Better Regulation in the Information Age,  MIT Press;

Dutton, W. H. (ed) (2013) The Oxford Handbook of Internet Studies, Oxford University Press;

Fuchs, C. and Sandoval, M. (eds) (2014) Critique, Social Media and Information Society, Routledge;

Mansell, R. (2012) Imagining the Internet: Communication, Innovation and Governance, Oxford University Press;

Mosco, V. (2014) To the Cloud: Big Data in a Turbulent World, Paradigm Publishers;                                                      

United Nations (2015) Implementing WSIS Outcomes: A Ten-Year Review, Geneva: UN Commission for Science Technology and Development;

Webster, F. (2014) Theories of the Information Society, Fourth Edition, Routledge.


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 19.4
Merit 54.1
Pass 20.4
Fail 6.1

Teachers' comment

This course examines the opportunities and risks accompanying innovations in Internet services, why they matter, and how individuals, governments, and companies are shaping the future of the online world.

Students' comments

"Interesting topic, really communicates a critical view of our everyday way of life - very valuable."

Key facts

Department: Media & Communications

Total students 2015/16: 15

Average class size 2015/16: 8

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Lecture capture used 2015/16: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Specialist skills