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Information Science MSc

This recently revised programme is designed for computationally and mathematically literate graduates wishing to pursue an in-depth study of modern approaches to information science. Emphasis is placed both on current industry practice and theory, and on data science methods and likely future trends in artificial intelligence, thus equipping graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary for a wide range of career paths in information-related fields.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

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

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£10,550 (FT)
£5,255 (PT)
Overseas:
£22,740 (FT)
£11,470 (PT)


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 Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

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

Entry requirements

Normal requirements for admission are a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with appropriate professional qualifications or experience in relevant disciplines will also be considered. We welcome applications from those with science, engineering or humanities backgrounds. However, applicants are expected to demonstrate some technical and/or mathematical aptitude.

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:

About this degree

Students will learn a variety of topics related to information science theory and practice with emphasis on computational methods, data science and artificial intelligence. The programme is a roughly even mix of optional and core modules, followed by a term-three dissertation designed to train students in the research skills necessary for careers in academia and the higher echelons of industry.

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, consisting of 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.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Information Science. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Information Science. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Information Science.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

  • Fundamentals of Information Science
  • Introduction to Programming and Scripting
  • Logic and Knowledge Representation
  • Database Systems Analysis and Design
  • Systems Management

Optional modules (indicative list):

  • Digital Curation
  • Digital Resources in the Humanities
  • Electronic Publishing
  • Foundations of Machine Learning and Data Science
  • Graph Databases and Semantic Technologies
  • Individual Approved Study
  • Information Governance
  • Internet Technologies
  • Introduction to Digitisation
  • Legal and Social Aspects of Electronic Publishing
  • Managing Information Organisations
  • Organising Knowledge
  • Server Programming and Structured Data
  • XML

The list above only indicates commonly chosen options. In principle, students may apply to take any module offered within the department, or in other departments, subject to availability and with the tutors' permission.

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study.  We have included these updates below:   Compulsory modules changes: Introduction to Programming and Scripting (INST0019) will be replaced by Statistical Methods (INST0063). Systems Management (INST0031) will be replaced by Data Visualization and GIS (INST0065). These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.  

Dissertation/report

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

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials, individual supervision, computer laboratory practicals and classroom practicals, with an emphasis on both theoretical principles and practical skills. Assessment is through a mixture of essays, reports, examination, and practical work in terms 1 and 2 and a dissertation in term 3.

In the taught (pre-dissertation) phase of the programme students spend roughly 20-25% of their time in the classroom/lab with the remainder of their time taken up with groupwork and independent study. For the dissertation, the mode of delivery is independent study punctuated by regular one-to-one meetings with their supervisor.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 practical component updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to the availability of the practical components for your chosen programme. Any updates relate only to the 20/21 academic year and may not apply to all students across the programme depending on your year of study.  Your department will keep you updated if the practical component of your programme is able to occur and/or any alternative options available.   There may need to be additional updates or changes to the practical component during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and/or Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available. 
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Funding

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

Careers

The MSc in Information Science prepares students for technical and management roles in the information and information technology industries, as well as for research careers in academia. Recent graduates have subsequently followed careers in a wide variety of roles in the information sector, including information systems management, web management, information architecture, knowledge-based systems, information security and governance, e-commerce, finance/fintech, data analytics and data science. Others have gone on to undertake PhDs in topics and subject areas encountered on the programme.

Employability

This programme equips students with the technical, theoretical and research skills to adapt to a rapidly changing information-based society, and also challenges students to think deeply about the implications of modern information technologies on individuals, society and industry. Specific skills acquired include data analysis, knowledge engineering, data modelling, knowledge representation, database design, management and implementation, ontology and linked data design, and web-based programming.   

Why study this degree at UCL?

Students benefit from a very broad range of expertise among the academic staff of the department, which also offers postgraduate study and undertakes research in library studies, digital humanities, archives and record management, and publishing. Students are thus exposed not only to the technical aspects of information science but also to related broad societal and ethical issues, for example surrounding information governance and the wider information society, and are equipped with complementary critical skills, which assist them when applying the tools of information science in real-world practice.

Additionally, students benefit from UCL's central London location, which provides diverse opportunities for information-related research and collaboration with various London institutions.

Department: Information Studies

Application and next steps

Applications

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme is particularly suitable for computationally and mathematically literate graduates wishing to pursue an in-depth study of modern approaches to information science. Typically, graduates will have the ambition to either enter information and data science related professions, or to continue into academic research in these areas.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

Applications for the MSc, PG Diploma, and PG Certificate 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 towards the end of July. Selected candidates will be invited to an informal interview.


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

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Page last modified on 13 August 2020