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Library Science (MA / MSc)

Course Description

This full time or part time Library Science MSc/MA course focuses on library services of all kind, and on the migration of such services towards digital collections and environments. It is intended primarily for those working in or planning to work in, collection orientated professions.

Collection management includes the identification and acquisition of resources and their publication and dissemination; organisational policies and digital library systems; knowledge organisation; indexing and retrieval and social media and human information behaviour.

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

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

Course Content

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

Course Structure

On successful completion of eight modules, students progress to the dissertation.

The core modules are:

• Library and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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.

• Digital libraries
Introduces and exemplifies the principles of digital libraries, in terms of functions, services and characteristics, creation and management, digitization and preservation, access and interfaces, search, and evaluation.

• Libraries and 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.

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

• 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.

• Information law and policy
The information law and 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, mark-up languages, web servers and protocols, connectivity with database systems, client side processing, integration of components in a functional application

Read the full programme specification - http://www.city.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/178683/PSLSCI-MSc-Library-Science.pdf

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching on the Library Science programme 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.

Our main teaching days are Monday and Friday. Some electives may be offered on Thursday.


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

Library 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. You can learn more about further study and research in the LIS field by visiting the Department of Library and Information Science page.

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

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Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirement is a good second class Honours degree from a UK university, a recognized equivalent from an accredited international institution or an equivalent professional qualification. Previous relevant professional experience will also be considered. Applicants should also have good professional English.

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