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Information and Library Studies (Distance Learning) - MA

The skills for library and information professionals are in high demand as employers need to manage their most valuable assets in our global ‘information economy’. Information Studies at Aberystwyth has an impressive track record, having produced some of the UK's, and indeed the world's, leading librarians and information professionals. This MA or Diploma, accredited by the UK’s Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), will equip you to fulfil the essential role that companies and professional bodies need to compete effectively in a fast-moving national and international business environment.

As a Distance Learner in employment, you should find that your work experience enhances your studies, while your studies enable you to reflect on your work in new ways and to promote the best current practice in your workplace.

Why study Information and Library Studies by distance learning at Aberystwyth University?

  • Expertise from one of the UK’s leading providers
  • Flexible degree scheme, enabling continual professional development without having to take a break from work 
  • Study in a practical context, relate theoretical knowledge to your workplace, and develop skills that will place you in an enviable position in the jobs market
  • Graduates of this MA/Diploma will have a CILIP accredited qualification that is recognised for admission to the Register of Chartered Librarians (subject to the Institute’s chartership regulations)
  • Undertake one of the best courses for professional practice
  • Aberystwyth University boasts library resources amongst the best in Europe
  • Access to Information Studies’ specialist Thomas Parry Library, a leading library for our discipline, and the university’s Hugh Owen Library, which houses more than 700,000 volumes and subscribes to more than 3,500 current periodicals
  • Situated next to the university campus is the National Library of Wales, one of the UK’s five copyright libraries, which houses more than 6,000,000 volumes 
  • Aberystwyth University is a top 50 university for research power and intensity – REF 2014
  • More of our postgraduate students entered employment at a graduate level than the national average, and our postgraduates earned more on average than postgraduates in other subject fields (2010/2011)



  • Collection Management (10 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)
  • Information Organisation and Retrieval (20 credits)
  • Information Services: Planning for Delivery (20 credits)
  • Information and Society (20 credits)
  • Research in the Profession (10 credits)
  • Studies in Management (20 credits)


  • Archive Management: Principles & Techniques (20 credits)
  • Digital Information : Discovery to Delivery (10 credits)
  • Digital Preservation (10 credits)
  • Focus on the Child : Reading and Libraries (10 credits)
  • Knowledge and Information Architecture (20 credits)
  • Music Librarianship (10 credits)
  • Publishing and the Web:Exploring New Technologies (20 credits)
  • Rare Books Librarianship i (10 credits)
  • Rare Books Librarianship ii (10 credits)
  • Records and Information Governance (20 credits)

How will I learn?

This programme is offered via flexible distance learning and students may take between two and five years to complete their studies. Students complete 120 credits of taught modules, at which point they are eligible for a CILIP accredited Diploma. Students can then complete a 60 credit Masters dissertation, and thus gain a CILIP accredited MA qualification (180 credits).

Attendance at two study schools for the MA and one for the Diploma is required and these provide the main contact. For the rest of the time you will work through specially designed self-study module packs supported by online learning materials. Contact time can be arranged remotely with your tutor.

What will I learn?

Students will study a number of crucial core modules whilst directing their study by choosing specialist modules. Information on the modules available can be found in the Modules tab. 

Students wishing to complete the MA will then go on to complete an individual dissertation, whereas those who do not wish to complete this can obtain the Diploma.

The 15,000 word dissertation allows students to research an approved topic within the information and library field, engage with central concepts, methods and techniques in the main streams of information and library research, and in doing so aim to contribute to the national understanding of data handling and information flow.

How will I be assessed?

The taught modules are assessed by coursework. Successful submission of the 60 credit Masters dissertation leads to the award of an MA. 


The range of posts to which our graduates progress widens all the time. In addition to the traditional library and information service sector, our graduates also go on to work as:

  • Information Officers
  • Information Managers
  • Information Systems Officers
  • Information Analysts
  • Computer Systems Officers

Companies benefit from our graduates’ information skills when applied to the areas of management, sales, production or marketing.

Likewise, the wide array of transferable skills that are gained from this course can be used to pursue a diverse range of related careers, including media management and book publishing.


Throughout this course, you will develop:

  • Subject specific expertise, including a thorough understanding of factors affecting the flow of information and the challenges of organising, storing, and retrieving information
  • Confidence in the use of systems and their tools to order, store, and retrieve information
  • Key information handling skills, including the ability to analyse and control how information is transmitted to users, access to information, and measurement of its use
  • ICT, management, and interpersonal skills
  • Study skills and research methods
  • Mastery of the practical applications of Information and Library Studies 

Visit the Information and Library Studies (Distance Learning) - MA page on the Aberystwyth University website for more details!





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