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The Library and Information Studies MA provides the ideal foundation for career progression in library or information work. The one-year programme is accredited by the professional association, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), and offers students a wide range of up-to-date learning opportunities while helping to develop strong networks designed to enhance their employability.

About this degree

The programme prepares students for professional practice in the field of library and information studies. It strengthens traditional principles with cutting-edge approaches and helps students understand how information is produced, disseminated, controlled and recorded. It provides students with the practical skills required to identify, locate, manage and organise information.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), full-time nine months or flexible study 2-5 years, is offered.

Compulsory modules

  • Cataloguing and Classification
  • Managing Collections
  • Supporting Information Users
  • Managing Information Organisations
  • Using Technology in Information Organisations
  • The Library and Information Professional

Optional modules

  • Students choose two of the following:
  • Academic and Journals Publishing
  • Collections Care
  • Database Systems Analysis and Design
  • Digital Resources in the Humanities
  • Electronic Publishing
  • Historical Bibliography
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Governance
  • Individual Approved Study
  • Knowledge Representation and Semantic Technologies
  • Manuscript Studies
  • Organising Knowledge
  • Web Publishing

Dissertation/report

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 and classroom practicals, with a strong emphasis on active learning and the acquisition of practical skills. Assessment is through a mixture of essays, reports, and practical assignments such as website design and the creation of indexing tools.

Placement

The work placement is open to full-time (compulsory) and part-time (optional) students and forms part of The Library and Information Professional module. The work placement gives students experience of how the techniques they have learned may be applied in practice. Placements last for two weeks, and are undertaken at the beginning of the third term.

Funding

The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers offers a scholarship for a full-time Library and Information Studies MA student under 25 years old.

Scottish applicants may be eligible for an award from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Employability

As a vocational Master's, this programme prepares students for employment in the library and information sector, and, in most cases, for promotion from their pre-library school role as a library assistant to a qualified librarian role, such as senior library assistant, assistant librarian, librarian and library manager. Students also choose careers in information provision, such as taxonomists and web designers. There are specialist employment agencies that place students in both short-term and permanent positions, so if students do not find their ideal post straight away, they usually find suitable employment while continuing to seek their ideal post.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL has been the home of professional library training and education since 1919. The current programme continues to attract an outstanding team of researchers, teachers, students, practitioners and information industry leaders. It combines an appreciation of the traditional library with the latest developments in internet and digital technologies to develop an understanding of the ever-evolving information environment.

Networking opportunities include a two-week work placement, regular journal club and speaker events, guest lectures by professionals and career seminars led by industry professionals. Additionally, in terms of expanding its international connections, the programme has been granted precandidacy status by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Library Association (ALA). Precandidacy status is an indication that the programme has voluntarily committed to participate in the ALA accreditation process and is actively seeking accreditation. 

Students benefit from UCL's proximity to major libraries and repositories, including the British Library, UCL Special Collections and the Senate House Library of the University of London. 

Accreditation:

The Library and Information Studies MA/PG Diploma has been accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) as professional level qualifications for a period of five years from the 2014 student cohort intake. The programme will be will seeking accreditation for a further five years once the current accreditation has expired.

Department: Information Studies

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The MA is a broad-based programme, and the skills that graduates learn are intended to apply to a wide range of jobs within the field of library and information studies. The general framework of the programme allows plenty of scope for students to follow their particular subject interests.

Application deadlines

4 July 2019

Applications received by 11 January 2019 will be considered for interview in the spring and the majority of the places on the programme will be filled following these interviews. Later applications (especially from overseas applicants) may be considered until 28 June 2019 in the year for which entry is sought, but at this stage fewer places are likely to be available.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Library and Information Studies at graduate level
  • why you want to study Library and Information Studies at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally and/or academically with your degree

Visit the Library and Information Studies MA/PG Dip page on the University College London website for more details!

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