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.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2017/18)
- £9,290 (FT)
- £20,005 (FT)
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.
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Normally a substantial amount (usually equivalent to about 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.
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:
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.
- 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
- Information Literacy
- Academic and Journals 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.
The work placement is only open to full-time students and forms part of the G030 Professional Awareness module. The work placement gives students experience of how the techniques they have learned may be applied in practice. Placements last for two weeks, and are undertaken at the beginning of the third term. We arrange placements individually for each student and do our best to match the placement with their interests and experience.
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.
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 programme aims to be broad-based: we are not trying to produce graduates who can work in only one kind of library or information service. The skills we try to impart are, therefore intended to apply in a wide range of different jobs.
Top career destinations for this degree
- Information Officer, Trowers and Hamlins
- News Reference Specialist, British Library
- Cataloguer, Eton College
- Librarian, BSix
- Knowledge and Information Specialist, CRU Group
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.
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?
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.
The Library and Information Studies MA/PG Diploma have been accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) as professional level qualifications for a period of five years from the 2014 student cohort intake.
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
"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 InskipLibrary and Information Studies
UCL Information Studies
"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 DelahayeLibrary 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.
- All applicants
- 28 July 2017
The initial deadline for applications is 12 January 2017. Applications received by 12 January 2017 will be considered for interview in the spring and the majority of the places on the programme will be filled following these interviews. Later applications (especially from overseas applicants) may be considered until 31 July in the year for which entry is sought, but at this stage fewer places are likely to be available.
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