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Course Content

Course content

Who is it for?

This course is for students with a first degree or equivalent in any discipline, who would like to work in a library, or similar collection-orientated organisation. It is also suitable for anyone wishing to update their knowledge and skills, in order to progress a career based around collections and services within galleries, libraries, museums and archives.

Library Science is a broad, interdisciplinary subject, the principles and practice of which underpin today’s information society. It appeals to students with an eye for detail, an interest in the organisation, technologies, and communication of information, and in understanding the organisational and wider social impacts of information policy, access and provision.

Accreditation

City’s Library Science course is approved by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). CILIP accredited courses are recognised by the American Library Association (ALA) and The Australian Library and Information Association, which means that our graduates are qualified to apply for posts requiring professional level qualifications in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Teaching and learning

The teaching and learning methods we use are designed to allow your specialist knowledge and autonomy to develop as you progress through the course.

Teaching at CityLIS takes place on Mondays and Fridays, during each of the two, 10 week teaching terms. Full-time students attend on both days. Part-time students attend on Mondays in year one, and Fridays in year two. Classes may be scheduled anytime between 09.00 and 18.00, although we usually try to work between 10.00 and 17.00.

Taught modules are usually 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

City’s online learning environment, Moodle, contains resources to support face-to-face lectures, including lecture notes, further reading, web-based media resources and an interactive discussion forum.

In addition to lectures, you will have the opportunity to attend course-related workshops and seminars. You also will have access to a personal tutor, an academic member of staff from whom you can gain learning support throughout your degree.

Assessment

We expect you to study independently and complete coursework for each module. This will amount to approximately 120 hours of study per module, in addition to class attendance. Each of the modules run by CityLIS 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. Elective modules may be assessed by examination.

On successful completion of the course’s eight taught modules, you will undertake your dissertation. This is an original piece of research conducted with academic supervision, but largely independently. The 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, solutions and recommendations 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 where you can apply what you have learnt to a real-world problem or to develop further, contemporary conceptual theory in library science.

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

Modules

The MA/MSc in Library Science is offered as a one year full-time course, or two year part-time course. On successful completion of the course, you can choose between the award of MA or of MSc. This is usually based on the arts or science content of the work undertaken for the degree, and/or your career aspirations. The course structure and modules are the same for either award. The difference occurs in the focus of the assignments and the dissertation.

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. While we aim to run all of our advertised electives, we reserve the right to cancel an elective should this be necessary. For example, if very few students choose it. Some electives are offered by other departments, who may need to restrict access to very popular electives (though this has not happened in recent years). Please note that as some electives run on different days, students who can only attend on one day per week may be restricted in their choice of elective module.

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 lectures, seminars, group work, discussion or practical work), and 120 hours are self-directed study.

On successful completion of eight taught modules, students 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 MA/MSc in Library Science covers:

  • library history
  • social-cultural impact of libraries and library services
  • information resources
  • collection management
  • cataloguing and classification
  • metadata
  • information law and ethics
  • digital libraries
  • information technologies
  • information literacy
  • libraries and publishing
  • research methods

Visit the Library Science (MSc) page on the City, University of London website for more details!

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