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Information Science (MSc)

Course Description

This course, taught at City since 1967, is especially suitable for those interested in information provision in particular subject domains, such as healthcare, law or business and in the use of technology to handle information within these areas.

The course focuses on information; its origins, organisation, flows and use and its changing nature and impact on society.

The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

See the website http://www.city.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/information-science

Course Content

Information science studies the information communication chain in its entirety, from authorship, through publication and dissemination, organisation, indexing and retrieval to use.

The information chain is examined using the techniques of domain analysis, which underpin both vocational practice and academic research. Our course focuses on the foundations of Library and Information Science, information history, information organisation, information resources, information technologies and architecture, information retrieval and information behaviour.

The course combines knowledge of subject resources with technological solutions for information storage, access and retrieval; elective modules include web applications and data visualisation.

The course involves study of 7 core modules and 1 elective module, plus a dissertation.

Course Structure

Core modules are:

Library & information science foundation

Gives a thorough introduction to the principles and concepts of the information sciences, and shows that these foundations underpin the practice of information science, librarianship, and other information disciplines. Emphasis is places on a historical perspective, and on current and future developments, showing how basic principles can be used to make sense of complicated and changing issues.

Information resources organisation

Gives an understanding of the principles and practice of the organization of information and knowledge. Topics covered include metadata, cataloguing and resource description, classification and taxonomy, subject headings and thesauri, indexing and abstracting, and construction of controlled vocabularies.

Information management & policy

Introduces the principles of the management of information resources of diverse kinds in a variety of environments, and the strategies and policies which make this possible. Emphasis is on the specific issues of the disciplines which manage information and documents: information resource management, knowledge management, records management and archiving, collection management, etc.

Digital information technologies & architecture

Provides the technical background required to store, structure, manage and share information effectively. Topics include: introduction to computing, internet and web, database systems and searching, Web 2.0 technologies (blogs, wikis, etc.), semantic web, information architecture

Research, evaluation & communication skills

Provides knowledge and skills which are relevant in the academic environment, in the workplace and for lifelong learning. Topics covered include: nature of research and evaluation; research methods, including surveys, system and service evaluation, system design, and desk research; data analysis; literature analysis; written and oral communication; ethical issues; project management.

Information retrieval

Provides a broad introduction to documentary information retrieval, and to the evaluation of information retrieval systems. Topics covered include information retrieval models, search strategy and tactics, bibliographic retrieval, OPACs, web search, mobile information retrieval, image and sound retrieval, implementation and evaluation of retrieval systems.

Information domains

Provides an understanding of information provision in a variety of domains, including academic subjects, professional disciplines and everyday and leisure topics; gives an insight into subject-specific information work. Topics include information in law, business, healthcare, and the arts, in academic subject areas such as history, mathematics, chemistry and languages, for everyday and general reference.

The elective module is chosen from a range which typically includes:

Libraries & publishing in the information society

Gives a broad understanding of the ways in which the publication of recorded information is changing, and the impact which this will have on publishers, libraries, other information providers and society in general. These issues are related within a framework of forces for changes: technical, economic, social and political.

Information law & policy

The Information law & policy module covers a wide range of legal issues relevant to the information profession – such as intellectual property, data protection & privacy, cybercrime and computer misuse, freedom of information, libel, and the re-use of public sector information.

Independent study

Allows students to undertake individual in-depth study of a topic which is not fully covered by other modules, and which is appropriate for independent literature-based research. Topics are chosen by agreement between student and supervisor.

Web applications development

Introduces the principles and practice of building dynamic web applications. Topics covered include web applications architecture, markup languages, web servers and protocols, connectivity with database systems, client side processing, integration of components in a functional application

Data visualization

The aims of this module are to teach you how design and create graphics to represent data. It will teach you to allow you to build your own data visualization applications, identify principles of good information visualization design and provide structured guidelines for the data visualization workflow.

Read the full programme specification - http://www.city.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/178678/PSISCI-MSc-Information-Science.pdf

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching involves a mix of formal lectures, seminar discussions, practical exercises, and private study, depending on the nature of the material. Face-to-face contact is supported by e-learning materials and social media. Assessment on all components is usually by individual coursework assignment.


Internships are not a part of these courses 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.

Career Prospects

Information Science graduates have an excellent record of finding suitable jobs and going on to successful careers, most commonly in academic and special libraries, in scientific, healthcare and business information services, and in content and records management. The course is also an excellent preparation for further study and research.

This course will enable you to...
After the successful completion of the course candidates may consider a PhD degree, towards an academic/research career.

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 hold a lower second class honours degree, the equivalent from an international institution or an equivalent professional qualification. Previous relevant professional experience is also considered.

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