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Web Science, Ph.D.

  • Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #96 (QS) ,
Web Science Training at the University of Southampton offers 4 year fully funded PhD studentships in web science. Each cohort of doctoral students are trained by a dedicated doctoral training centre sponsored by the EPSRC, the University of Southampton and Industry. At the PhD training centre, doctoral students are part of the Web Science Institute.


The University of Southampton’s Web Science Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) is part of a £250m investment in the future of UK science and technology by the Research Council’s UK Digital Economy Programme.

Bringing together world-leading research and postgraduate education, the DTC is an interdisciplinary centre with an ambitious agenda to explore the social and organisational behaviour of the Web as well as the underpinning technology.

Many of Southampton’s academics were influential in creating the Web – Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt – and remain at its forefront today.
Their expertise and the pioneering research by Southampton’s Web and Internet Science (WAIS) group, puts the University at the forefront of the development of Web Science.
The DTC provides fully-funded studentships for four-year PhD training in Web Science and runs MSc and PhDs in Web Science and Web Technology.

Their research focuses on the World Wide Web as the world’s largest and most complex engineered environments, the impact it has on human society, and the changes necessary to ensure its continuing creative use.

The research programmes will expand students’ understanding of the architectural principles of the Web, its development and growth, as well as its capacity for furthering global communication and inherent values of trustworthiness, privacy and respect for social boundaries.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure


Semester 1
  • Foundations of Web Science
  • Independent Disciplinary Review
  • Hypertext and Web Technologies for Masters
  • Computational Thinking
  • Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methods
  • MSc Project and Dissertation Web Science
Semester 2
  • Research Methods Group Project
  • Further Web Science
  • Interdisciplinary Thinking
  • Semantic Web for Web Scientists
  • Social Networking Technologies for Web Science

The Web Science taught component is structured as follows:

  • Foundations of Web Science: in the first semester a 20 credit module provides the opportunity to explore the web and the issues it creates from the perspective of sociology, psychology, economics, law, linguistics and other disciplines. In the second semester, a followup 20 credit module introduces the relevant disciplinary research that provides the models and analytical techniques to address these issues.
  • Web Technologies: a set of modules that provide a technical understanding of the infrastructure of the Web, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 (the original, social and semantic webs).
  • Multidisciplinarity
    • ICT & Computational Thinking: a module that introduces non-computer-scientists to the topics that computer science deals with and to some useful tools that computer science provides for problem solving
    • Social Sciences & Humanities Thinking: the opportunity for students to obtain the background knowledge required from two unfamiliar disciplines
    • Interdisciplinary Thinking: a guided project that models an interdisciplinary approach to research to inform their own project research and management
  • Research Methods: two modules that provide a grounding in the quantitative, experimental, qualitative and survey-based methods relevant to the practice of Web Science
  • Project & Dissertation: an individual three-month project that starts the path towards the student developing their own future research questions and goals

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

Academic Requirements

To be eligible for PhD study you would need to hold or expect to gain a 2.I honours degree from a UK University or the equivalent from an overseas University. If you wish to apply, the first step is for you to formally apply with us here in the School of Electronics and Computer Science.

In addition to the requirements of the online application, you also need to submit a document (one side of A4) that defines What is Web Science? and outline what research you would like to undertake at the DTC. The online system enables you to see when we have received your application in our School and shows a checklist which states the supporting documents we require from you. Please keep an eye on your checklist if any requirements i.e. references, are showing as pending, your application will not be forwarded from the admissions department to the DTC for review. It is your responsibility to ensure that everything is complete.

With regards to funding, should the School be in a position to make you an offer of a research place then we shall automatically consider you for any available funding.For note, decisions on funding will be made in May/June. Please indicate on your application form that you wish to be considered for scholarship funding.

We do advise that funding is very competitive due to the limited number of awards which we have to offer and the high calibre of the many students which apply for PhD study. We strongly suggest that you also try to seek funding from other sources outside of the University which may be available to you.

For the Web Science DTC, we must adhere to the following conditions of our grant when awarding a scholarship to a student:The essence of the eligibility requirements is that research students must demonstrate a relevant connection with the UK, usually through being ordinarily resident for a period of 3 years immediately prior to the date of application for an award. For UK and EU students, this period may include any period of residence wholly or mainly for the purposes of full-time education. For non-EU students, the period of 3 years must not be wholly or mainly for the purposes of full-time education.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    19570 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 19570 GBP per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    9000 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 9000 GBP per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Southampton

  • 697 - 1100 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Four Year PhD Studentship in Web Science at the University of Southampton

The University of Southampton Web Science Doctoral Training Centre is offering fully funded studentships for 4-year PhD training. The combined masters and PhD degree has no fees to pay and a £13,590 a year stipend to study the World Wide Web.

Any student from any discipline can study Web Science. You can apply now for one of 10 fully funded studentships.

This four-year PhD in Web Science will equip students to become leaders in the emerging Digital Economy. The course begins with a one-year taught Masters to give a broad basis for understanding the technology of the Web and the social context in which the technology operates. The remaining three year research programme is jointly supervised by two faculties and may combine a wide range of disciplines ranging from Computer Science, Information Technology, Law, Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Humanities, Management, Education or Geography. as appropriate to the interdisciplinary research interests of the individual student.

Web Science at Southampton is directed by; Professor Dame Wendy Hall , Dr Les Carr, Professor Catherine Pope and Professor Nigel Shadbolt with Visiting Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee. The Web Science Doctoral Training Centre is part of an international network of Web Science research centres, offering summer schools, workshops and opportunities for international collaboration.

Are you eligible for a full studentship?

To be eligible for a full studentship a student must have:

  • Settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay


  • Been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the grant. This means they must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences)


  • Not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. (This does not apply to UK or EU nationals).

All EU nationals are eligible for fees-only awards if they do not have settled status in the UK.

These are the EPSRC general rules for eligibility of students supported through EPSRC funding.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.