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Thu 29 Feb 2024
11:00 - 18:00

Provided by: Cambridge Research Methods


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Web Scraping and Digital Power

Thu 29 Feb 2024


Web scraping has great potential as a research tool that can be applied across various fields of research including social science and humanities, and allows us to reach beyond the ‘quantitative and qualitative divide’. The programming and code-reading/analysing skills used in web scraping can enhance our understanding of digital power beyond the traditional limits of computing techniques.

This two-hour training module (plus 1-hour online Q&A session) introduces researchers to how to use Python software for web scraping. You will learn what web scraping means, the principles behind it, and ethical considerations, and importantly how to use Python to achieve web scraping. The module provides a good opportunity to learn how to enhance your coding and code-reading skills, from which you can reflect on how digital power especially web scraping and coding is shaping contemporary research. The training is programming beginner friendly.

Target audience
  • Postgraduate students and staff
  • Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available here

Number of sessions: 2

# Date Time Venue Trainer
1 Thu 29 Feb   11:00 - 13:00 11:00 - 13:00 SSRMP Zoom Chen Qu
2 Thu 29 Feb   17:00 - 18:00 * 17:00 - 18:00 * Taught Online Chen Qu
* Optional session.

The module will explore:

  • What web scraping is and how it can be used in social science and other fields
  • The principles and basic knowledge to perform web scraping
  • Ethical considerations of conducting web scraping
  • Using Python web scraping in effective and ethical ways
  • Facilitation of effective coding performance and approaches
  • How web scraping can enhance digital power in research

On completion of the training the trainees will:

  • Understand and use principles and knowledge for web scraping on Python ethically and legally
  • Gain confidence in programming and code reading on Python and similar software
  • Improve insight into using ‘programming thinking’ and be encouraged to learn further digital techniques

The training consists of a two-hour online live Zoom session consisting of a 30min lecture, 80min lab session and a 10min reflective conclusion. Post-class and in-class exercises are set and learners can use open-sourced software without license, extra fee and other pressure. There is also an optional 60 minute online surgery session where participants can meet the instructor and raise questions and discuss any web scraping problems they may be experiencing.

How to book

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Moodle is the 'Virtual Learning Environment' (VLE) that the SSRMP uses to deliver online courses.

SSRMP lecturers use Moodle to make teaching resources available before, during, and/or after classes, and to make announcements and answer questions.

For this reason, it is vital that all SSRMP students enrol onto and explore their course Moodle pages once booking their SSRMP modules via the UTBS, and that they do so before their module begins. Moodle pages for modules should go live around a week before the module commences, but some may be made visible to students, earlier.

For more information, and links to specific Moodle module pages, please visit our website

Elements of Social Science Research

Booking / availability