Module code: MAN3153

Module Overview

This module is about social media platforms in the broader context of the digital economy. The module looks at social media as platforms, covering their management and architectural principles. The module provides an analysis of the specific ways social media platforms operate; how they engineer user platform participation to produce social data, how they personalise content and how they produce new data-based services. The module looks at several social media business models and discusses how some of these platforms are gaining influence in the digital economy. The module is research-led and offers a critical and creative perspective on social media platforms and the digital economy, combining theory, case study examples from a variety of contexts (i.e. retailing, music, movies, travel) and a social media platform design challenge.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader

BRABON Benjamin (SBS)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 117

Lecture Hours: 33

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Overview of the module

History and development of social media platforms

Social media as digital platforms: management and architecture

The structure of platform participation and the production of data

Principles of data aggregation

Big (social) data and data infrastructures


Algorithmic governance

Social media business models and innovation

Future directions

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Report (2500 words) 30
Examination 2 Hour Exam 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment of the module will take place in two parts; a group project (30% of the final mark) and an individual exam (70% of the final mark).

Formative assessment and feedback
•Students will receive individual feedback during the module from the tutor.

Module aims

  • To prepare students to understand the role of social media in the making of the contemporary digital 'data-based' economy
  • To introduce students to the value of user platform participation and the ways social media platforms transform it into a revenue-generating good
  • To brief students on the role of technical design and information architecture in the making of social media platforms
  • To look at the new types of data-services social media platforms develop for platform users and stakeholders
  • To describe the business models pioneered by social media platforms and the ways these models change business practices
  • To be aware of the relevance and risks of personalisation for the digital economy
  • To brief students with some of the key technical and organisational principles of programmatic -the automated method of buying and selling advertising online

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate knowledge on the technological, social and economic principles that govern social media platforms KCT
002 Think critically about the role of online user participation for the production of data CT
003 Demonstrate knowledge on the different kinds of data produced, used and exchanged on social media platforms KPT
004 Appreciate the mechanisms, roles and effects of personalisation strategies KCT
005 Recognise and acknowledge the critical role social media platforms play in the big data economy KCT
006 Think critically and creatively about social media management and its actual and alternative course of actions CPT
007 Demonstrate some knowledge of platform design principles, organise and communicate a platform design project KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The teaching and learning strategy is designed to encourage a critical understanding of the role played by social media in the digital economy. The course aims at developing student’s knowledge of the socio-technical aspects of social media. The course is research-led and offers a mix of theoretical insights and case study material. In addition to this, the course is structured to provide students with a variety of teaching and learning methods including; practical platform design workshops, individual and group presentations and group exercises.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MAN3153

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Business Management (Entrepreneurship) BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management (Marketing) BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management (Dual degree with SII-DUFE) BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management MBus 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management (Marketing) MBus 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.