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Information Science MSc

The MSc in Information Science is an ideal career development programme for librarians, archivists and other information professionals who wish to update their management skills and experience in the use of information technology, the internet and digital media, or for those from a computer-oriented background who wish to specialise in information fields.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: up to 5 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£9,290 (FT) N/A (PT)
£20,005 (FT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. An appropriate professional qualification is preferred. Applicants with relevant experience in an information or computing discipline may also be considered.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree information

The programme includes both practical and theoretical work through which students develop a deeper understanding of not just the technologies themselves but also the implications of applying and managing these technologies in varied information environments. The wide range of optional modules allows students to tailor the programme to fit their individual career specialisms and needs.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), full-time nine months or flexible study over 2-5 years, is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate, any four of the modules available (60 credits), full-time 15 weeks or flexible study over a period of up to two years is offered but does not carry CILIP accreditation.

Core modules

  • Systems Management
  • Internet Technologies
  • Database Systems Analysis and Design
  • Introduction to Programming and Scripting
  • Fundamentals of Information Science

Optional modules (indicative list):

  • Server Programming and Structured Data
  • XML
  • Digital Resources in the Humanities
  • Legal and Social Aspects
  • Management
  • Electronic Publishing
  • Encoded Archival Description and Digitisation of Archives
  • Individual Approved Study
  • Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities
  • Introduction to Digitisation
  • Knowledge Representation and Semantic Technologies
  • Introduction to Digital Curation


All MSc students undertake an independent research project on a specific aspect of information technology and its application, which culminates in a dissertation of c. 12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, computer laboratory practicals and classroom practicals, with a strong emphasis on informal teaching, discussion, and the acquisition of practical skills. Assessment is through a mixture of essays, reports, examination, and practical projects such as website design and data modelling.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Information Science MSc


For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


The MSc in Information Science prepares students for management roles in the information industries with an emphasis on technology, for example: information systems manager, systems librarian, web manager, information architect, knowledge manager, data manager, or indeed any information management role. Our graduates find work all over the world with electronic systems for managing, retrieving, distributing and archiving vast quantities of information. The programme is recognised and accredited by CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, for professional qualifications purposes.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Salesperson, ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China)
  • Database Manager, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Product Manager, Nokia
  • Operations Manager, MHRA (Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency)


This programme challenges students to think more deeply about the implications of using information technology of all kinds in the workplace, and to consider better ways of designing, specifying, implementing and managing systems in order to promote organisational success. Understanding these issues and having the skills to develop and manage practical solutions equips our students to succeed individually and to help their organisations succeed. Our students achieve a high employability rate on graduating, and rise in organisations as their skills are recognised. Many past students now occupy senior positions in the information world in government, commerce, industry and academia.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Information Studies combines the best of traditional library and archive studies with the latest developments in internet technologies and electronic communication and publishing.

It brings together an outstanding team of researchers, teachers, students, practitioners and information industry leaders to help you understand, develop and shape the emerging information environment while elucidating and building on the historical developments that have created this environment.

Students benefit from UCL's central London location, close to many major libraries and repositories and information centres, including the British Library and many specialist collections, giving ready access to an unsurpassed range of materials.


The Information Science MSc and PG Diploma are both CILIP accredited programmes providing recognised qualifications. They are assessed using the Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB) which identifies the core knowledge and skills of the profession. CILIP’s levels of professional recognition are accepted all round the world and CILIP has reciprocal agreements with certain national professional assocations.

Department: Information Studies

Student / staff numbers › 23 staff › 218 taught students › 26 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Information Studies
78% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Student view

"I work in librarianship and have some experience in programming, so I was keen to learn more about the possible connection between the two. I have really enjoyed my course at UCL, and cannot recommend UCL Information Studies highly enough: the teaching standards are very high, and the tutors are extremely dedicated. I am proud to have done my library Master's with UCL."

Katherine Steiner

Information Science MSc

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is particularly suitable for those who wish to develop their computer-related management skills with a view to improving their employment opportunities in all areas of information management, library, records and archives work. It will also appeal to students interested in applying and managing technology effectively within any information environments.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

Applications for the MSc or PG Diploma programmes must be submitted by 1 July in the year of entry, although late applications may be considered up to UCL's general application deadline usually in early August. Selected candidates will be invited to an informal interview, usually held between March and July.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Information Science at graduate level
  • why you want to study Information Science at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally and/or academically with your degree

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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