EC228-Economics of Big Social Data

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: EC204 Introductory Econometrics or EC207 Empirical Methods for Economics and Social Sciences
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Tho Pham


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module introduces students to the economics of social media, and the big data that it produces. What economic insights can be generated from this?


This module aims to introduce students to the world of social media, and the related phenomena of big data. Big datasets are often associated with social media due to the mass usage of social media, and the desire to understand more about social interactions. It is here where the economics enters: what are the economics of such social interactions, and the information transmission that takes place?

Assessable learning outcomes:

At the end of the module, students should have an understanding of the nature of the data available through social media and the economic insights that can be gained from analysing this data.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

  1. Introduction to Big Social Data

  2. Open data: Google trends

  3. Real time data part 1: Betting data

  4. Real time data part 2: Social media and labour market

  5. Real time data part 3: Social media and stock market

  6. Real time data part 4: Social media and political events

  7. Real time data part 5: Online prices

  8. Administrative data: Bias in MOT tests

  9. Using micro data to ans wer macroeconomic questions

  10. How to measure value of big social data? 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module will be delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 5
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 50
    Wider reading (directed) 25
    Preparation for seminars 10
    Revision and preparation 15 30
    Essay preparation 30
    Reflection 15
Total hours by term 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 20
Class test administered by School 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One three-hour unseen examination in the summer term, worth 60% of the final module mark.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One written assignment and one in-class test, during the term in which the module is taught.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A minimum overall mark of 40%.

Reassessment arrangements:

Re-assessment is by examination only; coursework is not included at the second attempt.

Re-examination for all modules takes place in August/September of the same year.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 4 September 2020


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