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Course content

This course has multiple study modes and will develop your critical, analytical thinking and practice oriented skills. It has been designed to replicate the environment found in the workplace by bringing together a mixture of theoretical and practical teaching methods.

You will explore the value of information to societies, how it is effectively organised, structured, managed and disseminated and the variety of sources and services.

Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to hear from industry professionals and practice your skills within real-life scenarios

You will learn a variety of research methods and techniques and you will be equipped with a broad range of managerial, professional and technological knowledge and skills.

Ranked 2nd in Librarianship and Information Management

The Complete University Guide 2018.

What you will study


You will develop the knowledge and skills to be able to perform professional tasks involved in information enquiry and reference work. You will gain an understanding of techniques of representation and organisation of recorded knowledge, cataloguing and classification


You will develop the capabilities of performing professional tasks in the management of modern library and information services within an information environment centre or library. You will be able to identify and conduct independent topical investigations and critically reflect (via a fieldwork placement) on relevant work related skills.


You will design and execute research and conduct a project of professional concern in the field of information and library studies. You will be able to analyse the results of such investigations and apply your communication and presentation skills at an advanced level.

Teaching and assessment

On Campus

You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshop sessions which compromise of a mix of group study, computer-based learning activities, case studies and presentations.

Part Time On Campus

Our part-time delivery mode combines aspects of distance learning and on-campus delivery. You will benefit from the support of our online virtual learning environment, Campus Moodle but also face-to-face interaction with tutors and classmates.


You will learn via our online virtual learning environment, Campus Moodle which provides you with lectures and course materials and allows you to study from any location. You will participate in active, group-related learning within a supportive online community setting.

All modes of study will have access to ProQuest® Graduate Education Program online databases for training in online information retrieval.


  • Lectures (Full time) - 20-25 students per group, 4 hours per week
  • Lectures (Part time, on campus) - 20-25 students per group, 2 hours per week
  • Lectures (Online) - 40+ students per group, 2 hours per week
  • Webinar (Online) - 2-3 hours per semester
  • Tutorial (Full time) - 20-25 students per group, 4-6 hours per week
  • Tutorial (Part time, on campus) - 20-25 students per group, 2-4 hours per week
  • Tutorial (Online) - 40+ students per group, 2 hours - online learning activities
  • Independent Study (Online) -15 hours per week
  • External Visits (Full time/Part time, on campus) - 20-25 students per group, 5 hours per semester
  • Placement / Work Based Learning (Full time/Part time, on campus) - 160 hours per academic year
  • Placement / Work Based Learning (Online) - 7 hours for 1 semester in year 2


The course requires you to become independent 'open learners' and take responsibility for when, where and how your learning occurs. You will spend approximately 15 hours per week in the ODL mode of study working on your own, undertaking prescribed reading, preparing for group activities and researching and writing course reports.


Typically students are assessed each year:

Year 1

  • 3 written assignments, including essays (Full time)
  • 4 reports
  • 1 dissertation (Full time)
  • 1 portfolio (Full time)
  • 2 set exercises (Full time)
  • 1 project output (Full time - if students opt for project and not dissertation)
  • 2 oral assessment (Full time)
  • 1 oral assessment (Part time, on campus / Online)
  • 1 group critique

Year 2

  • 3 written assignments, including essays (Part time, on campus / Online)
  • 1 report (Part time, on campus / Online)
  • 1 portfolio (Part time, on campus / Online)
  • 2 set exercises (Part time, on campus / Online)
  • 1 oral assessment (Part time, on campus / Online)

Year 3

  • 1 dissertation (Part time, on campus / Online) if students opt for dissertation and not project
  • 1 project output (Part time, on campus / Online) if students opt for project and not dissertation


If studying on campus will have the opportunity to undertake a 4 week unpaid fieldwork placement in Semester 2 of Year 2. You will have access to our Placement Office, who will support you in sourcing and validating a suitable placement position.

If you are studying via ODL, internal or external virtual placement projects, which can be undertaken remotely, can be organised for students.

If you are already employed in the sector, you can carry out the placement within your organisation to allow you to critically examine other day-to-day working activities and identify different functions in the service relevant to your course of study.

Past students have completed their placement at the National Library of Scotland, Dublin City Libraries, The National Art Library at the V&A and the MCC Cricket Library at Lords.

Job prospects 

The information industry continues to expand, providing a wide range of opportunities for graduates equipped with a broad range of managerial, professional and technological knowledge and skills. This course prepares you to work in or enhance your career in all aspects of the information sector. There are many opportunities arising from developments in networking and multimedia information services within commercial and educational establishments. Our graduates now work in all parts of the sector, ranging from traditional librarianship to information management and research.

Roles held by our graduates include Knowledge Manager, Acquisitions Librarian, Curate of Church of England, Information Assistant (within the Health sector), Development Officer with the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and Programme Assistant (UN International Criminal Tribunals).

How to apply

Please visit the website to find out how to apply.

Visit the Information and Library Studies (MSc) page on the Robert Gordon University website for more details!




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