Information Studies


MRes in Information Studies

The MRes is a cross-domain qualification for librarians, archivists, publishers, digital humanities and other information and culture professionals who wish to develop their professional skills while pursuing a research project. It is also a research skills qualification for information and cultural professionals preparing for a higher research degree (MPhil or PhD).

Students are offered a flexible but guided programme of study to develop their academic understanding, leadership, management, information technology and professional skills.

The programme can be tailored to individual development needs and is often related to students' current or future employment.
The programme also offers the opportunity to develop research and academic writing skills, either towards a higher research degree (MPhil or PhD) or for career development.

Students can choose from a wide range of taught courses, and will research and write a dissertation of 25,000 words. UCL:DIS is responsible for the administration of the programme, but students may take courses in other UCL departments by arrangement.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Students discuss and agree their selection of taught modules with their director of studies and / or research supervisor at the start of the programme.

The taught programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical activities or lab sessions and group-work. Coursework assessment is through a mixture of essays, reports, and practical assignments such as website design or the creation of indexing tools. The exact balance will depend on the combination of options chosen.

The research element is delivered through research skills sessions within the Department of Information Studies and participation in courses offered by the Graduate School. Students are supported in their research project by an assigned supervisor.
Assessment is by the final dissertation and viva.

To obtain the degree of MRes, students are expected to complete:

a Foundation Week, including an introduction to

- the context of the information world within the UCL Department of Information
- UCL resources
- UCL Graduate School
- self-management and transferable skills

Four taught courses chosen, in conjunction with their director of studies, from the range of postgraduate modules offered across the Department of Information Studies.

These include modules in the areas of:

* Management of services, resources or systems
* information and communication systems and technologies
* adult learning and professional development.

and modules in the theory and practice of information and culture, chosen from one or more of the following fields:

* archives and records management

* digital humanities

* information sources, organisation and retrieval

* information services for specialist media or users, including services for children and schools

* publishing

* cultural heritage

a research project dissertation of 25,000 words in an applied or theoretical area of information work.

* Work on the research element of the degree includes engagement with research skills development, through a combination of sessions within the Department of Information Studies and provided by the Graduate School.

Credit balance of MRes

Taught modules are worth 15 credits each. The total taught element of the degree is therefore worth 60 credits, representing one-third of the degree.

The research dissertation is worth 120 credits, representing two-thirds of the degree.

The programme is delivered in collaboration with the Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching at UCL.

Why should I choose to study at UCL:DIS?

UCL:DIS is the only academic department in the UK with programmes which span the areas of library and information studies, archives and records management, electronic publishing, information management and information science so we can offer unparalleled opportunities for cross-domain work to students on the MRes programme.

Students will have the opportunity to work with other research students within DIS, contributing to and drawing on the research activity and seminars within the Department.

MRes students are encouraged to make use of the UCL Graduate School resources and research community.

When the School of Librarianship was established at UCL in 1919, it was the first of its kind in Britain; in another pioneering move, the study of Archive Administration was added in 1947. Since then the Department of Information Studies, as it now is, encompasses teaching and research across the full range of the information cycle, from knowledge creation and dissemination, through information structuring and management, to its retention and preservation.

UCL:DIS is a leading centre for research in information science,knowledge organisation and management, digital information seeking, digital technologies for the humanities, electronic records and publishing, information literacy, preservation management and the history of the book, research and service evaluation, scholarly communication, user studies and web log analysis.

UCL is one of the foremost teaching and research institutions in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1826 to provide higher education for all who could benefit from it, regardless of religion, race or class, and is both the oldest and the largest of the various colleges and institutes that make up the University of London. UCL was the first to admit women to higher education on equal terms with men, and also pioneered the teaching of many subjects at university level. UCL currently has over 18,900 students, of whom approximately one third are graduate students, and 70 academic departments.

As a metropolis, London hosts not only a large number of records management services, but also the broadest and finest grouping of historical archives in any city in the English-speaking world. A significant range of premier library and information institutions, including the British Library, are within easy reach. London is also at the centre of the global publishing industry.

With its base in the heart of London, the UCL programmes are able to call on an impressive range of visiting speakers, as well as giving students opportunities for professional networking and structured field visits.

UCL's central location also provides easy access to the many other social and cultural attractions which London can offer.

What are the admission requirements?

Candidates should normally have a first or second-class Honours degree. and a first professional qualification and several years of relevant work experience in an archives, records, library, publishing, museum or other
cultural or information service. In exceptional circumstances, candidates with other qualifications and experience may be admitted.

Applications from any country in the world are welcomed, but please note that we require an English language level of IELTS 7.0 (or equivalent) for this programme, and ideally would prefer 7.5.

How much time commitment is required?

Full-time study for the MRes requires a calendar year (September-September).

The MRes is not offered in a distance learning mode, but part-time study (normally attending one or two days per week) is available for students who do not wish to attend on a full-time basis. Studying part-time, the MRes may be completed over two years.

Classes are normally held on UCL's main site in Gower Street, London WC1; field visits and practical sessions may involve travel to other central London locations.

Where would I live?

Students must live within easy travelling distance of UCL. The majority of our students live within London, but some do travel in from surrounding cities such as Brighton, Cambridge or Oxford. Applicants should allow for the time and cost of travel, if considering living outside London.

For those seeking accommodation in London, UCL offers a choice of halls of residence, student houses and intercollegiate halls. Information about applying for accommodation is available on the website of the UCL student residence office.

How much does it cost?

Details of course fees can be found on the UCL Registry website.

You should note that these fees do not include accommodation, travel and living costs.

Are grants, scholarships or loans available?

UCL:DIS regrets that it is unable to offer financial support to students.

Information about sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on the UCL Department of Educational Liaison

UCL does not offer any further grants, scholarships or loans to meet living or studying costs, although in some cases students who have begun a programme of study may be eligible to apply for UCL hardship funds if they meet unexpected financial difficulties during the year.

Where can I get more information?

Information about all the postgraduate programmes at UCL:DIS, and about methods of learning and assessment, can be found in the postgraduate prospectus.

If having consulted these pages you have any additional questions, please email the Research Administrator ian.evans@ucl.ac.uk who will be happy to answer any queries you may have.

How do I apply?

Please visit the UCL applications website, which explains the procedures and supporting documents required, as well as links to the online or downloadable application form.

In addition to the personal statement within the application pack, applicants are requested to supply a short outline proposal for their research interest. This should be between 600 - 1000 words and should indicate the proposed area of study, possible methodology and a short bibliography.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:
• why you want to engage in research in the library, archive, publishing or other information sectors
• why you want to study within the library, archive, publishing and information disciplines at UCL
• what particularly attracts you to the MRes programme
• which of our taught modules you think will be of most use or interest to you and why
• what ideas you have at this stage about your research area
• 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

Please check that you have provided all the information and documentation requested, including qualification transcripts, referee details and English language test scores if applicable. Failure to include this information seriously holds up your chance of being considered for the MRes.

What happens after I have applied?

All applications are acknowledged by the College Admissions Office. Provided that your application is complete, it will then be considered by the Programme Director.

Is there a deadline for applications?

For entry in September each year the deadlines are:

15th December (AHRC, UCL and British Council Scholarships)

15th June (other applicants)