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With our Library Science MA/MSc you can develop the skills and understanding to initiate, work with and develop modern collection based information services.

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.

Objectives

City’s MSc/MA Library Science aims to provide you with a deep understanding of collection-orientated institutions and services, and their relevance and impact within different layers of society.

The course examines the processes of information organisation, communication, access and provision, in order to understand how these activities can be designed and implemented to work towards individual development, organisational goals, and to support a fair and prosperous society.

The course considers the contemporary questions of library infrastructures and services, from both historical and philosophical perspectives. Our focus is divided equally between theory and its application to practice. You will benefit from a high level of engagement with practitioners, and we are pleased to welcome many leaders in the profession as guest speakers throughout the course.

Content covers fundamental concepts associated with libraries and library services, including: resources, collections, management, governance, publishing and information literacy. There is an emphasis on the use of new and emergent technologies; methods of investigation and analysis; ethical, legal and socio-political implications, and policy formulation.

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.

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

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.

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.

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
  • library and information services for children and young adults

Career prospects

MSc/MA Library Science graduates have an excellent record of finding suitable jobs and going on to successful careers, most commonly in publicacademic or school librariesconsultanciesspecial/heritage librariesinformation services and publishing. The Library Science postgraduate course is also an excellent preparation for further study and research. You can learn more about further study and research in the LIS field by visiting the Department of Library and Information Science page and our CityLIS blog.


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

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