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Information Science - MSc

Course Description

With our Information Science MSc you can develop the skills and understanding to initiate, work with and develop modern information and data services.

Who is it for?

This programme is for students with a first degree or equivalent in any discipline, who have an interest in information communication, and who would like to start or develop a career in information management. It is also suitable for professionals wishing to update their knowledge and skills within the discipline.

Information Science is a broad discipline, and it appeals to curious students who enjoy analysing, understanding, communicating and sharing information, and who like working with information architecture and technologies.


Humanity has now entered the age of the zettabyte (1000 exabytes), with enough information being generated daily to fill US libraries several times over [Floridi L, 2014. The 4th Revolution. Oxford. p 38]. The demand for knowledge organisation, access, and understanding has never been greater.

City’s MSc Information Science examines contemporary questions of information communication from a framework of information history and philosophy. Our focus is divided equally between theory and its application to practice. The course spans the fundamental concepts of documentation: data, information, metadata, database structure, analysis, data visualisation, access, information literacy, use of new and emergent technologies, methods of investigation, socio-political implications and policy formulation.

The course equips yous with a deep understanding of information and documentation, and its relevance and impact within society. There is a strong focus on technology, ethics, professional communication and networking. You will benefit from a high level of engagement with practitioners, and we are pleased to welcome many leaders in the profession as speakers on our modules.


Internships are not a part of this course, but students who wish to are usually able to obtain work experience (paid or voluntary), or to work with external organisations in completing assignments or carrying out a dissertation project. Details of opportunities are posted on our Moodle forum.

Teaching and learning

The teaching and learning methods we use mean that your specialist knowledge and autonomy develop as you progress through the course.

Taught modules are normally delivered through a series of 30 hours of lectures.

Lectures are normally used to:
-Present and exemplify the concepts underpinning a particular subject.
-Highlight the most significant aspects of the syllabus.
-Indicate additional topics and resources for private study.

In addition to lectures and tutorial support, you also have access to a personal tutor. This is an academic member of staff from whom you can gain learning support throughout your degree. In addition, City’s online learning environment Moodle contains resources for each of the modules including lecture notes, further reading, web-based media resources and an interactive discussion forum.


We expect you to study independently and complete coursework for each module. This should amount to approximately 120 hours per module if you are studying full time. Each module is assessed through coursework, where you will need to answer a variety of assignments to show that you are able to apply your theoretical learning to practical situations.

Communication and networking via social media is an integral part of our Library Science masters course, and in preparation for professional practice, you are expected to engage with blogs, Twitter and other relevant communication media as part of their studies. Face-to-face participation in student and new professional forums including research seminars, workshops and conferences is actively promoted. You are encouraged to present their work (assignments, dissertation) to the wider LIS community for discussion and development.

The course culminates with an individual project. This is an original piece of research conducted with academic supervision, but largely independently. The individual project (dissertation) allows you to demonstrate your ability to think and work independently, to be aware of and to comprehend current issues within the discipline and practice, to initiate ways of investigating and solving current problems or questions, and to deliver results and solutions on time.

The individual project is a substantial task. It is your opportunity to develop a research-related topic under the supervision of an academic member of staff. This is the moment when you can apply what you have learnt to solve a real-world problem or to develop further, contemporary conceptual theory in library science.


The MSc in Information Science is offered as a one year full-time course, or two year part-time course. You can expect to study for approximately 40 hours per week full-time, and 20 hours per week part-time. The actual time required will vary according to the individual, and with existing experience and prior study.

The course comprises seven core modules and one elective module. These taught modules run during the first and second terms, whilst the third, summer term is reserved for the dissertation.

Each of the modules counts for 15 credits, and requires approximately 150 hours work, of which 30 hours are face-to-face instruction (this may be as lectures, seminars, group work, discussion, practical work), and 120 hours are self-directed study.

On successful completion of 8 taught modules, you can progress to the dissertation. The dissertation is worth 60 credits, and takes around 400 hours. This is an original piece of research conducted with academic supervision, but largely independently.

The goal of library and information science is to enable access to, use of, and consequent understanding of information. To do this, the discipline is concerned with the processes of the information communication chain: the creation, dissemination, management, organisation, preservation, analysis and use of information, instantiated as documents.

Core modules
-Library and Information Science Foundation (15 credits)
-Digital Information Technologies and Architecture (15 credits)
-Information Organisation (15 credits)
-Information Retrieval (15 credits)
-Information Management and Policy (15 credits)
-Research Methods and Communication (15 credits)
-Information Resources and Documentation (15 credits)

Career prospects

MSc Information Science graduates have an excellent record of establishing successful careers in:
-Academic and special libraries
-Research data management
-Data analysis
-Scientific,healthcare, business or media information services;
-Content and records management
-Social media management
-Information architecture
-Information literacy training.

The course is also an excellent preparation for further study and research.

Visit the Information Science - MSc page on the City, University of London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Jackie Bryant

In today's climate, this course at City plays a vital part in enabling students to look at & deal with information in its widest possible sense. Being creative with the tools you have & using them better is a fundamental part of being in any business at this time, whether in a library or corporate environment. This course underlined why I love what I do & gave me the possibility & confidence to grow in my knowledge of the information world.

(Student Profile)

Emily Allbon

Since completing my MSC Information Science in August 2000 I have had a pretty eventful career. By some weird twist of fate the job for Law Librarian at City came up as I was finishing the MSc and with my year's experience at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies it seemed the perfect role. Some might think work as an information professional within an academic library is a bit dull, but I love my job. My creation of the legal portal www.lawbore.net to meet the needs of students at City University has lead to many great opportunities; writing articles for journals, giving papers at conferences both in the UK and the US and perhaps the greatest honour, being named Best Legal Information Professional in an Academic Envrionment at the inaugral Biall/LexisNexis Awards for Excellence in Oct 2005. I have a dual role at City, also being responsible for leading the team of Learning and Research Co-ordinators as Head of Information Literacy. This is extremely challenging work; tailoring our services to the demands of each very individual School at the University. The course at City opened my eyes to how we could use our skills in new and exciting ways, and that hasn't faded. This is a great time for those beginning a career in the field of information and anyone considering this pathway would be sure to be inspired by the courses run by the School of Informatics at City.

(Student Profile)

Susan Dyke

The year I spent at City was not only enjoyable (intellectually as well as socially), but has also turned out to be my best investment of time and effort to date - and I'm still reaping the benefit. I simply can't recommend the course or the department highly enough.

(Student Profile)

Debbie Pledge

I took the MSc in Information Science at City University in 2002-03. There is no doubt that I would not be where I am in my career without taking this course. The course confirmed to me that information science was the area that I wanted to work in, and it gave me a solid grounding in theories and practices which I have utilized in every job since I graduated. I am now line managing a team of Information Scientists and contributing to the strategic development of my organisation by placing informatics at the heart of what we do and promoting our ideas for improving how we work. Successfully completing the course was an important factor in giving me the confidence and skills to take my career to the next level.


Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally hold a second-class honours degree or the equivalent from an international institution in any discipline, or have LIS related work experience.

Last Updated

18 October 2016

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