About This Masters Degree
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 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 in libraries, galleries, archives or museums. It is also suitable for professionals wishing to update their knowledge and skills within the discipline.
Library Science is a broad discipline, and it appeals to students prepared to challenge inequalities in information access and use, who enjoy communicating and sharing information, and who like working with information technologies.
ObjectivesHumanity 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 MA/MSc Library 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, collection management, information organisation, access, information literacy, use of new and emergent technologies, methods of investigation and analysis, socio-political implications and policy formulation.
The course equips you with a deep understanding of collection-orientated institutions and services, and their relevance and impact within society. There is a strong focus on 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.
Academic facilitiesCity has recently undergone a significant level of refurbishment, so that course participants can enjoy state of the art classrooms and facilities.
We work in close connection with our colleagues at City Library, who offer excellent support and advice to our students, in addition to contributing to our courses. Follow @cityunilibrary and @cityunilibresearchers on Twitter. You will have access to our state-of-the-art mentoring service.
PlacementsInternships 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 learningThe 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 your 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 your 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.
ModulesThe 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. 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 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.
-Library and Information Science Foundation (15 credits)
-Digital Information Technologies and Architecture (15 credits)
-Information Organisation (15 credits)
-Digital Libraries (15 credits)
-Information Management and Policy (15 credits)
-Research Methods and Communication (15 credits)
-Libraries and Publishing in the Information Society (15 credits)
Elective modules - you can choose one module from the following.
-Information Resources and Documentation (15 credits)
-Information law and policy (15 credits)
-Independent study (15 credits)
-Web applications development (15 credits)
Career prospectsLibrary Science MSc/MA graduates have an excellent record of finding suitable jobs and going on to successful careers, most commonly in public, academic and school libraries, consultancies, special libraries and information services and publishing. The Library Science postgraduate course is also an excellent preparation for further study and research.
Library Science - MA/MSc
page on the City, University of London website for more details!
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.