DIGI210-18SU2 (C) Summer Nov 2018 start

Big Data and society: Navigating Concepts, Methods and Critical Perspectives

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 November 2018
End Date: Sunday, 23 December 2018
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 23 November 2018
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 7 December 2018


Big Data has gained significant attention within the last decade. But what really is Big Data? This course will look at the epistemology and central methods of Big Data. The focus is both theoretical and practical, first delving into the concept of Big Data, including how to conceive data-driven approaches and potential solutions, and then exploring simple ways to use the abundance of digital data sources to analyze, visualize and tell stories with data. Part of the course also involves knowing the limitations of Big Data and learning to critically assess data-driven methods.

Big Data permeates many aspects of everyday life, from making online searches to choosing a restaurant and shopping for groceries. It has had implications for science, technology, business and even the humanities and social sciences. But what really is Big Data? Does it just mean, “having a lot of data”? Or can we reach a more precise definition to help us understand the uses of Big Data, the implications it has and its relation to the great data controversies of the century.

The target audience includes anyone who is interested in an introduction to Big Data both as a concept and a research method. No prior technical skills are required, though an interest in working with data, software and simple statistics is an advantage.

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of this course, students will have:
  • Familiarity with the latest theories about Big Data, which includes how Big Data methods are different from traditional methods, and be able to see the possibilities in a variety of data sources and think in data-driven solutions.
  • Knowledge to critically assess the employment of Big Data methods and what implications they may have for society in general.
  • The ability to practically handle different digital data sources and tell stories with data visualizations.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Any 60 points at 100 level.

Course Coordinator

Christopher Thomson


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Quiz 10%
Group Presentation 20%
In-class Test 30%
Essay 40% Approximately 2000 words

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $746.00

International fee $3,038.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All DIGI210 Occurrences

  • DIGI210-18SU2 (C) Summer Nov 2018 start