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Library and Information Studies MA

The Library and Information Studies MA provides the ideal foundation for career progression in library or information work. The one year programme is accredited by the professional association Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), and offers students a wide range of up-to-date learning opportunities while helping to develop strong networks designed to enhance their employability.

Key Information

Modes and duration

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

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£9,020 (FT)
£18,670 (FT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 June 2016
Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Normally a year of full-time employment or its equivalent in a recognised library or information service.

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 prepares students for professional practice in the field of library and information studies. It equips them with the practical skills required for the identification, location, management and organisation of information and information stores, and fosters an understanding of the processes by which information is produced, disseminated, controlled and recorded.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), full-time nine months or flexible study 2-5 years, is offered.

Core Modules

  • Cataloguing and Classification 1
  • Collection Management and Preservation
  • Information Sources and Retrieval
  • Introduction to Management
  • Principles of Computing and Information Technology
  • Professional Awareness


  • Students choose two of the following:
  • Advanced Preservation
  • Cataloguing and Classification 2
  • Digital Resources in the Humanities
  • Electronic Publishing
  • Historical Bibliography
  • Individual Approved Study
  • Information Governance
  • Knowledge Representation and Semantic Technologies
  • Manuscript Studies
  • Publishing Today
  • Records Management
  • Web Publishing


All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, computer laboratory and classroom practicals, with a strong emphasis on active learning and the acquisition of practical skills. Assessment is through a mixture of essays, reports, examination and practical assignments such as website design and the creation of indexing tools.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Library and Information Studies MA


The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers offers a scholarship (fees) for a full-time Library and Information Studies MA student under the age of 25 years.

Scottish applicants may be eligible for an award from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

David Tebbutt Scholarship

Full tuition fees plus a work placement with Faber and Faber (1 year)
UK, EU students
Based on academic merit

Sir Hilary Jenkinson Scholarship in Archive Studies

£1,000 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

Wiley Scholarship

UK/EU tuition fees plus internship (1 year)
UK, EU students
Based on academic merit

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website


This programme provides a professional qualification in librarianship, recognised by CILIP as a qualification for entry to the professions.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Librarian, Stanford University
  • IS Resources Executive, Pinsent Masons LLP
  • Librarian, Halcyon London International School
  • Assistant Librarian (Systems and Electronic Information), University of the Arts, London
  • News Reference Specialist, British Library


As a vocational Master's, this programme prepares students for employment in the sector, and, in most cases, for promotion from their pre-library school role as a library assistant to a qualified librarian role, such as senior library assistant, assistant librarian, librarian and library manager. Students occasionally choose careers in information provision, such as taxonomists and web designers. There are specialist employment agencies that place students in both short-term and permanent positions, so if students do not find their ideal post straight away, they usually find suitable employment while continuing to seek their ideal post.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This well-established programme is accredited by CILIP (to 2019). It attracts an outstanding team of researchers, teachers, students, practitioners and information industry leaders. It combines an appreciation of the traditional library with the latest developments in internet and digital technologies to develop an understanding of the ever-evolving information environment.

Networking opportunities include a two-week work placement, regular journal club and speaker events, guest lectures by professionals and career seminars sponsored by industry professionals.

Students benefit from UCL's proximity to major libraries and repositories, including the British Library and the Senate House LIbrary of the University of London.

Student / staff ratios › 21 staff › 220 taught students › 28 research students

Department: Information Studies

Degree reviews

Staff review

"It is a very exciting time in the library and information landscape. As a lecturer I particularly enjoy the engagement with students, who are bringing their own experience of the workplace into the classes. It's really important to develop opportunities for students to share with their peers because that helps learning happen."

Charles Inskip

Library and Information Studies
UCL Information Studies
Alumni review

"UCL offers the best programme for librarianship, as it includes cataloguing and classification modules. The subject indexing and cataloguing I learnt at UCL, in addition to volunteering at UCL Special Collections to gain experience in handling and repairing rare books, enabled me to achieve my current work position."

Sarah Charles

Library and Information Studies MA (2014)
Student review

"I applied to UCL because I was impressed by the core modules that covered the important concepts I needed to learn, and the lecturers who have good reputations and publish a lot in the field, which also appealed. Studying in London provides the chance to visit lots of different libraries; having access to the British Library and Senate House has made getting material for my work much easier. "

Emily Delahaye

Library and Information Studies

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 MA is a broad-based programme, and the skills that graduates learn are intended to apply to a wide range of jobs within the field of library and information studies. The general framework of the programme allows plenty of scope for students to follow their particular subject interests.

Application deadlines

All applicants
29 June 2016
Applications may be considered until 1 August 2016, but at this stage fewer places are likely to be available and places cannot be guaranteed. Where practicable, all suitably qualified applicants are interviewed.

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 Library and Information Studies at graduate level
  • why you want to study Library and Information Studies 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


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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