Module code: MAN3153

Module Overview

You are familiar with popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. But have you ever considered that social media is more than social networking? Or that it exists in some form across a wide range of digital platforms in almost all industries? In this module we will explore social media platforms as a distinct organizational form that plays an increasingly prominent role in the digital economy because of its orchestration of user participation to produce valuable big data. We will examine how social media platforms have emerged, how they are architected, how they operate to produce and capture value, and their ethical, privacy, and risk implications. The module draws on current research by combining theory with case examples from a variety of contexts (i.e. retailing, music, movies, travel). You will also collaborate with peers on a practical exercise on social media platform design.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader

CHO Daniel (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: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Captured Content: 11

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 GROUP POSTER 50
Examination Online ONLINE MCQ EXAM 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment of the module will take place in two parts. A group project (50%) and an individual MCQ exam (50%). Students will receive individual feedback from the tutor.

Module aims

  • Explore the organizational form of social media, its evolution and architecture, as well as its role in shaping what has become known as the ‘digital economy’
  • Establish an understanding of various digital business models pursued by social media platforms and how these transform existing practices and value
  • Develop an appreciation and sensitivity to the ethical, privacy, risk, and other critical issues associated with social media platforms in the digital economy

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain social media as an organizational form and its role in the data production underpinning the digital economy KC
002 Recognize and outline the various technological, social, and economic developments that have shaped the emergence of social media platforms as an organizational form KC
003 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the design and architectural principles underlying social media platforms KCT
004 Design effective user participation strategies to produce big data and effective business models KCPT
005 Critically reflect on the ethical, privacy, risk, and other challenges associated with social media platforms and the potential role of various stakeholders 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 (Business Analytics) BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management (Entrepreneurship) 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

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 2023/4 academic year.