The Archives and Records Management MA provides the skills and knowledge that are needed by new entrants to the profession in the United Kingdom and abroad. Students learn to manage and preserve records created in the present and those inherited from the past for use in the present and future.
The programme focuses on the management of records and archives in a variety of digital and hard copy formats. Students learn to manage, organise, interpret and provide access to a wide range of records and archives, focusing on both the management of records for ongoing purposes, and their selection, preservation and accessibility for future uses including historical research.
MA students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma, five core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), full-time nine months or flexible study up to five years, is offered.
A Postgraduate Certificate, four optional modules (60 credits), full-time 15 weeks or flexible study over a period of up to two years, is offered.
Optional modules include
All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, computer laboratory sessions and class-based practical exercises, with a strong emphasis on group and peer learning and the acquisition of practical skills underpinned by archival theory and knowledge. Assessment is through a mixture of essays, reports, and practical assignments.
The work placement gives students taking the MA/Dip experience of how the techniques they have learned may be applied in practice. Placements last for two weeks, and are undertaken as part of the INSTG060 Curation and Capturecore module just after the beginning of the third term (May). We arrange placements individually for each student and do our best to match the placement with their interests and experience.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Archives and Records Management MA
Past graduates have taken up professional roles at prestigious organisations and institutions including national societies, university libraries and the House of Commons.
Recent career destinations for this degree
This programme prepares students to work in a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional archives and information management roles in both the private and public sectors, in the UK and internationally.
Students benefit from the department's excellent links with employers in the information professions which provide them with 'real life' experience through guest lectures, visits and a placement. Students also receive specific careers advice, including how to construct CVs. In the longer term the programme equips students with the skills and knowledge to have long and successful careers in their chosen field and become leaders in their profession.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL boasts one of the longest-established archive education programmes in the UK. It is taught by leading experts in the field, drawing on their innovative research as well as extensive practical experience of archives and records work.
Students benefit from UCL's location close to many records management services, and the broadest grouping of historical archives in any city in the English-speaking world.
The programme hosts an impressive range of visiting speakers, organises frequent field visits to a wide variety of working environments and a two-week placement, all of which provide unique occasions to network and create professional links with key players in the sector.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Information Studies
68% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
The programme provides you with an understanding of contemporary information and records management issues. It pays special attention to the management of digital records and electronic resources, and how to manage these alongside analogue resources.
You will develop skills in the core competencies of archives, records, and information management, creating and managing digital records, digital curation and preservation issues, archival theory, user needs, and description,
cataloguing, and navigation.
The programme consists of six courses spread over two semesters. You will take courses in:
Optional courses include:
To graduate with the MSc you will also need to complete a course in research methods and professional studies, and produce a dissertation.
As a graduate, you will be well placed for a career as an archivist, records manager or digital curator within a variety of public and private organisations.
Positions held by recent graduates include Assistant Archivist and Records Manager.
This CILIP-accredited course focuses on the theoretical and practical skills you need for a career in information management. The aim is to make you into the kind of person employers are looking for: information literate with the technical know-how to develop, design and manage information systems.
You’ll acquire valuable transferable skills such as presentation and report writing. We can help develop your skills as an information leader.
If you’re an experienced professional, you could consider taking the Professional Enhancement Programme.
Effective use of information improves the world and makes a positive difference to our lives. It is also central to economic development. The rapid pace of technological change and the globalisation of markets means that organisations in all sectors must realise the value of information systems.
The world needs graduates who are information literate.
Our graduates work for all kinds of organisations, in the public and private sectors. Employers include:
Adidas; BBC; British Red Cross; Cambridge University; The Department of Health; Ernst and Young; GCHQ; Goldman Sachs; Hewlett-Packard CDS; House of Commons Library; Imperial College London; IBM; Kings College London; NHS; Pepsico; Pricewaterhouse Coopers; Stanford University
If you’re already an experienced professional, you can develop new skills and advance your career with one of our Professional Enhancement Programmes.
Our courses are research-led, which means you’ll learn about the latest concepts from academics who work with organisations to drive developments in this field. Alongside the theory and technical skills, you’ll develop some valuable attributes including effective communication, application of research methods and creative problem solving.
All our courses (except our distance learning courses) include lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical laboratory classes, group work, online discussion, case studies and lectures by visiting speakers. Our MA Librarianship course also includes visits to library and information service organisations. You’ll be assessed using a wide variety of methods including essays, reports, small projects, in-class tests, presentations, posters, group work and a research-based dissertation.
Our dedicated departmental teaching suite contains two networked laboratories with 60 computers and a 30-seat lecture room. Our state of the art iLab includes a Usability Lab and Digital Media Lab designed to collect research data into human–computer interaction.
The iSpace is an open plan, social learning area for students. It has display facilities, open-access PCs and bookable partitioned group work areas. There is Wi-Fi coverage throughout the department, and you can connect your own laptop to our network. Mobile devices and tables are available for you to borrow for project work.
We’re right in the middle of the campus and close to the Information Commons and the new Diamond building so you’ll be able to access the University’s many resources.
You can expect a mix of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical laboratory classes, group work, online discussion, case studies and lectures by visiting speakers.
You'll be assessed using a wide variety of methods including essays, reports, small projects, in-class tests, presentations, posters, group work and a research-based dissertation.
Become an expert in managing information in a world driven by big data. Government departments, businesses, libraries, museums and archives all need people who can identify relevant information, retrieve it, organise it and make sure people can access it.
Get the professional skills you need to understand and manage information in today's fast-changing world. Learn about information storage and retrieval, while gaining skills in management and communication, information technology and research methods.
You'll gain a thorough, technology-focused and research-based education in information organisation, oriented to the needs of New Zealand information professionals.
You can study online from anywhere in New Zealand. Some courses are also available on campus in Wellington and Auckland.
Study full time and complete your Master's in two years, or study part time over three or four years so you can continue working.
You can choose to specialise in either Library Science (LIBS) or in Archives and Records Management (ARCR) and this will be stated on your qualification. You don't have to specialise, or you can choose to specialise in both areas, which will take a little longer.
You'll benefit from the School of Information Management's membership of the WISE (Web-based Information Science) Consortium. This links top schools of library and information studies from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Online courses are made available to other members and you can choose to do up to two of these in your qualification.
Depending on your goals, you can opt for a shorter postgraduate Information Studies qualification by doing the Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma. These are valuable programmes in themselves, or you can use them as stepping stones towards the Master's degree.
You can also study most courses in the MIS programme individually. This is useful for targeted professional development and you will receive a certificate of proficiency in that one subject area.
Develop your awareness of the Treaty of Waitangi and biculturalism during your studies. You'll gain an understanding of Māori culture and language and a knowledge of Māori taonga, or artefacts, in libraries, archives and museums.
The MIS will give you the broad skills and knowledge you need to work in many information professions. Your studies will include:
For the diploma programme, you need to do five core courses and three more courses of your choice. Certificate students do two core courses and choose a further two.
Information Studies courses are available in a variety of formats. All classes are available online and some are available in person. Some classes require you attend via internet conferencing (iConferencing) or seminar and some can be downloaded and viewed at a time convenient to you.
Classes are held on weekday evenings or on Saturdays. Some classes for core courses or large courses are held in Wellington or Auckland and you can attend on campus or online.
Study materials are delivered through Blackboard—Victoria's web-based learning environment.
You can study full time or part time. If you are studying full-time you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year. Part-time students doing two courses per trimester will need to do around 20–23 hours of work a week. Make sure you take this into account if you are working full-time.
You can estimate your workload by adding up the number of points you'll be doing. One point is roughly equal to 10–12 hours work.
Many employers in the information field are now looking for graduates with Master's-level education. Go on to work as a records manager, librarian, web content manager, archivist, knowledge manager or information manager.
The Master of Information Studies is recognised by these local and international professional bodies:
Our established MA Librarianship degree includes guest lectures from industry professionals and field visits. Through group work, you’ll hone your organisational and teamworking skills. We can also help you to develop leadership and management capabilities.
This CILIP-accredited course prepares you for a library career in a variety of sectors. Most applicants have around 12 months’ work experience but there is flexibility around this.
Please contact us if you have queries about your work experience. If you’re more experienced, you should take the Professional Enhancement Programme.
Graduates work for all kinds of organisations, in the public and private sectors. Some of them are independent consultants. In the information age, good information management is at the top of everyone’s agenda.