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Course content

Are you looking for a distance learning course that gives you the flexibility to combine your existing job, or other commitments, with a Masters-level qualification in the field of library management? This course combines core modules in information science with specialised modules in Information and Digital Literacy as well as Library Management, Leadership and Outreach.

This course is designed equally for those who are already information professionals in libraries and those who are looking to break into the sector for the first time. To suit those who have existing work commitments, the course is taught via a flexible distance learning mode and it has a slightly extended duration of 16 months. If you would prefer to study full-time on campus, please see MSc Information Science.

All of Northumbria’s information science postgraduate courses are accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. This accreditation makes our courses stand out and enhances their credibility and currency among employers, and is also crucial for progressing to Chartership status once qualified.


Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) to assure students that programmes provide an excellent preparation for professional practice.

Learn From The Best

Our teaching staff include cutting-edge researchers whose specialisms overlap with the content of this course, helping ensure that teaching is right up-to-date. Specialisms include big data, data mining, decision-making, digital literacy, information behaviour, information retrieval systems, recommender systems, and the link between information science and cognitive psychology.

Our eminent academics have written books that regularly appear on reading lists for information science courses at universities all over the world. They also work as external examiners and reviewers of courses at other UK and non-UK universities.

Our course is delivered through the Northumbria iSchool, which is one of only six iSchools in the UK. A hallmark of an iSchool is an understanding that expertise in all forms of information is required for progress in science, business, education and culture. This expertise must cover the uses and users of information, the nature of information itself, as well as information technologies and their applications.

Information Science at Northumbria was established over 70 years ago and has developed in close collaboration with the profession. That dynamic working relationship has allowed us to not only reflect professional requirements, but also to be instrumental in understanding and shaping those requirements.

Teaching And Assessment

Our teaching is linked to what you want to learn and also to what you need to learn in order to achieve greater success in information science. Our long established relationship with employers ensures that you receive the most relevant and up-to-date knowledge to bring innovation, relevance, ethical sensitivity and currency to all you do. There is an emphasis on learning by doing; coursework will include projects, portfolios of work, reports and presentations as well as essays. All this helps you to make sense of the subject, getting a clear understanding of important concepts and theories.

While some assessments contribute to your final grade, there are other assessments that are provided purely to guide your progress and reinforce your learning. You can expect both your tutors and your peers to provide useful comments and feedback throughout the course.

Module Overview
Year One
KC7020 - Information Organisation and Access (Core, 20 Credits)
KC7022 - Information Systems and Technologies (Core, 20 Credits)
KC7023 - Research Methods and Professional Practice (Core, 20 Credits)
KC7025 - The library professional: management, leadership and outreach (Core, 20 Credits)

Year Two
KC7024 - User Behaviour and Interaction Design (Core, 20 Credits)
KC7026 - Masters Dissertation (Core, 60 Credits)
KC7027 - Information and digital literacy (Core, 20 Credits)

Learning Environment

Northumbria uses a range of technologies to enhance your learning, with tools including web-based self-guided exercises, online tests with feedback, videos and tutorials. These tools support and extend the material that is delivered during lectures, and are available anywhere anytime. Group work and peer interaction feature prominently in our learning and teaching, this reflects the practices you’re likely to encounter within the working environment.

You will have 24/7 term-time access to Northumbria’s library, which has over half a million print books as well as half a million electronic books available online. Our library was ranked #2 in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey for 2015 and, since 2010, it has been accredited by the UK Government for Customer Service Excellence.

The University has advanced search software and database tools, including NORA Power Search that allows you to use a single search box to get fast results from across a wide and reliable range of academic resources. The use of such software and tools is an important aspect of our information science courses.

Research-Rich Learning

In fast-moving fields like information science it’s particularly important for teaching to take account of the latest research. Northumbria is helping to push out the frontier of knowledge in a range of areas including:
-Digital consumers, behaviours and literacy
-Digital socio-technical design
-Digital libraries, archives and records

As a student, you will be heavily engaged in analysing recent insights from the field of information science. You will undertake a major individual study that will require you to evaluate relevant literature as well as to develop your ideas within the context of existing research. Your study will be tailored to your particular interests but the underlying theme will be the relationships between information, people and technology. Many of our students publish their own research and present at professional and academic conferences, before or soon after graduating.

Give Your Career An Edge

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals as well as the Archives and Records Association. This reflects the relevance of the curriculum, which is informed by contact with the employers and close professional links. The accreditation vital if you want to move on to Chartership status once qualified.

The topics and activities in the course have a strong emphasis on employability. For example you will develop practical skills in leadership and strategy within the context of library management. You will also learn how to evaluate and use a range of appropriate technologies for solving problems and delivering seamless services in libraries. Your knowledge and practical skills will help you take a lead on research-informed approaches that will give your employers a valuable advantage.

Your Future

Libraries are being transformed due to the spreading of digital literacy and the changing needs and expectations of users. More than ever before, the delivery of high-quality services relies on library and information professionals who have a strong grasp of the principles and practices of modern library management.

On graduation, you will be well placed to play a role in this new world of libraries. Employers are looking for information professionals who can develop fresh insights through mastery of their subject and critical scholarship. With your Masters qualification, you will be equipped to make a difference, advance your practice and make well-balanced judgements. You could work for a wide range of employers in the public, private and third sector, or you could progress in a career that you have already started. Your Masters qualification can also form the basis for further postgraduate studies at a higher level.

Visit the Information Science (Library Management) - MSc page on the Northumbria University website for more details!




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