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Free Online Course on Anthropology of Social Media

UCL (University College London) is offering a free online course on Anthropology of Social Media. Over five weeks applicants will explore the impact of social media on a wide range of topics including politics, education, gender, commerce, privacy, and equality.

In this course, applicants will discover the varying uses of social media around the world and its consequences for politics, relationships and everyday life.


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Course At A Glance

Length: 5 weeks
Effort: 3 hours per week
Subject: Social Media
Institution: UCL (University College London) and Future Learn
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes
Starting Session: Date to be announced

Providers’ Details

UCL was founded in 1826. It was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture, and medicine.

About This Course

This free online course is based on the work of nine anthropologists who each spent 15 months in field sites in Brazil, Chile, industrial and rural China, England, India, Italy, Trinidad, and Turkey.

The course offers a new definition of social media which concentrates on the content posted, not just the capabilities of platforms. It examines the increasing importance of images in communication and the reasons why people post memes, selfies, and photographs.

Why Take This Course?

This is a free online course. Applicants can pursue a verified certificate. This MOOC will be offered with Video Transcripts.

Learning Outcomes

Over five weeks you will explore the impact of social media on a wide range of topics including politics, education, gender, commerce, privacy, and equality. You will come to understand how the consequences of social media vary from region to region.


The only requirement is an interest in social media and people.


Daniel Miller

Daniel Miller is Professor of Anthropology at University College London. He developed the Digital Anthropology program at UCL.

Elisabetta Costa

Elisabetta Costa is a postdoctoral research fellow at the British Institute at Ankara. She is an anthropologist specialized in the study of media and digital media in Turkey and the Middle-East.

Jolynn Sinanan

Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow at the Digital Ethnography Research Centre and the School of Media and Communications at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.

Juliano Spyer

He currently finishing my Ph.D. in anthropology, studying social media.

Laura Haapio-Kirk

She is a research assistant at UCL Anthropology, managing the Global Social Media Impact Study (Why We Post). She is also an illustrator.

Nell Haynes

She is a postdoctoral researcher in anthropology

Razvan Nicolescu

He is an Honorary Research Associate at the Department of Anthropology, UCL.

Shriram Venkatraman

Ph.D. scholar at the Dept. of Anthropology, University College London. Anthropologist/Statistician. Research Interests: Technologies in Workplace, Org Culture & Entrepreneurship.

Tom McDonald

She is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, The University of Hong Kong.

Xinyuan Wang

Ph.D. candidate at the Dept. of Anthropology at UCL. An artist in Chinese traditional painting and calligraphy

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course link.
  • Sign Up At FutureLearn
  • Select a course and Join
  • Once a course has started, the applicant will be able to access the course material
  • After the start date, the student will be able to access the course by following the Go To Course link on My Courses page.
  • Applicants can buy, to show that they have completed a FutureLearn course.
  • On some FutureLearn courses, learners will be able to pay to take an exam to qualify for a Statement of Attainment. (These are university-branded, printed certificates that provide proof of learning on the course topic(s)).

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