Library and Information Studies MA

London, Bloomsbury

The Library and Information Studies MA provides the ideal foundation for career progression in library or information work. The 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.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£11,800
£5,900
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£29,000
£14,500
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 30 Jun 2023

Applications open

Notification

Application closes at 17:00 (UK time).

Entry requirements

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. Paid or voluntary experience in a library or information service, or with information work.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

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

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The programme prepares students for professional practice in the field of library and information studies. It strengthens traditional principles with cutting-edge approaches and helps students understand how information is produced, disseminated, controlled and recorded. It provides students with the practical skills required to identify, locate, manage and organise information.

Who this course is for

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.

What this course will give you

UCL has been the home of professional library training and education since 1919. The current programme continues to attract 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 and career seminars led by industry professionals.

The MA Library and Information Studies has also been granted candidacy status by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Library Association.

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

The foundation of your career

This programme prepares students for employment in the library and information sector, including promotion to a qualified librarian role, such as senior library assistant, assistant librarian, librarian and library manager, as well as careers in information provision, such as taxonomists and web designers.

Employability

The programme aims to be broad-based, enabling graduates to succeed in careers across multiple library or information services. The skills and competences we aim to develop are intended to apply in a wide range of different sectors.

Accreditation

The Library and Information Studies MA/PG Diploma has had its accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) as professional level qualifications extended to 2026.

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, and practical assignments such as digital library design and the creation of indexing tools.

Students can expect to spend around 1,800 hours completing the MA programme, and 1,200 hours on completing the PG Dip programme. On each taught module, students can expect to spend 150 hours, of which 20-25 hours are in-person contact hours. The remaining hours are spent on self-directed study such as private reading, research and preparation for assessment.

MA students can expect to spend around 600 hours completing their dissertation, of which around six hours are spent in contact time, another six hours in tutorials, and the remaining hours are spent on independent research, private reading and writing up.

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.

Modules

You will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. You will undertake eight taught modules and the research dissertation. Six of the modules are compulsory and cover the themes of:

  • Cataloguing and Classification
  • Managing Collections
  • Supporting Information Users
  • Managing Information Organisations
  • Using Technology in Information Organisations
  • The Library and Information Professional

To complete the eight modules, you will choose two optional modules that individually cover a broad range of subjects, such as:

  • Academic and Journals Publishing
  • Collections Care
  • Database Theory and Practice
  • Digital Resources in the Humanities
  • Graph Databases and Semantic Technologies
  • Historical Bibliography
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Governance
  • Individual Approved Study
  • Manuscript Studies
  • Knowledge Organisation
  • Health Librarianship (designed in conjunction with Health Education England)
  • Introduction to Digitisation

Full-time structure:

Terms 1 and 2:

You will take six compulsory modules, and two optional modules.

Term 3:

The dissertation research and writing commences in Term 3 and continues over the summer, although some initial planning, including choosing a dissertation topic, takes place at the end of Term 1 and during Term 2. You may also undertake a two-week work placement at the beginning of Term 3.

You will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. You will undertake eight taught modules and the research dissertation. You will take two years to complete the 180 credits. Six of the modules are compulsory and cover the themes of:

  • Cataloguing and Classification
  • Managing Collections
  • Supporting Information Users
  • Managing Information Organisations
  • Using Technology in Information Organisations
  • The Library and Information Professional

To complete the eight modules, you will choose two optional modules that individually cover a broad range of subjects, such as:

  • Academic and Journals Publishing
  • Collections Care
  • Database Theory and Practice
  • Digital Resources in the Humanities
  • Graph Databases and Semantic Technologies
  • Historical Bibliography
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Governance
  • Individual Approved Study
  • Manuscript Studies
  • Knowledge Organisation
  • Health Librarianship (designed in conjunction with Health Education England)
  • Introduction to Digitisation

Part-time structure:

Year 1:

In Terms 1 and 2, you will take four modules. These will be a mix of compulsory and optional modules timetabled to run on Tuesdays.

In Term 3 of Year 1, students concentrate on self-directed study, although you may undertake a two-week work placement if you have elected to take the module that explores the topic of the library and information professional.

Year 2

In Terms 1 and 2 you will take four modules. These will be a mix of compulsory and optional modules, depending on your choices the previous year, timetabled to run on Mondays.

Term 3:

You will commence the dissertation research and writing in Term 3 and continue over the summer of Year 2, although some initial planning, including choosing a dissertation topic, takes place at the end of Term 1 and during Term 2, Year 2. You may undertake a two-week work placement if you have elected to take the module that explores the topic of the library and information professional.

You will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. You will undertake eight taught modules and the research dissertation. Six of the modules are compulsory and cover the themes of:

  • Cataloguing and Classification
  • Managing Collections
  • Supporting Information Users
  • Managing Information Organisations
  • Using Technology in Information Organisations
  • The Library and Information Professional

To complete the eight modules, you will choose two optional modules that individually cover a broad range of subjects, such as:

  • Academic and Journals Publishing
  • Collections Care
  • Database Theory and Practice
  • Digital Resources in the Humanities
  • Graph Databases and Semantic Technologies
  • Historical Bibliography
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Governance
  • Individual Approved Study
  • Manuscript Studies
  • Knowledge Organisation
  • Health Librarianship (designed in conjunction with Health Education England)digital curation
  • Introduction to Digitisation

Modular structure:

You will have a maximum of five years in which to complete the programme. Modules taught by the Library and Information Studies (LIS) team are timetabled to run on Mondays and Tuesdays. You choose how many and which modules you take in any given year of study.

 

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Library and Information Studies. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Library and Information Studies.

Placement

The work placement is open to full-time (compulsory) and part-time (optional) students and forms part of The Library and Information Professional module. The work placement gives students the 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 Term 3. We arrange placements individually for each student and do our best to match the placement with their interests and experience.

Accessibility

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

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Library and Information Studies - part 1

Interested in studying for an MA or PG Diploma in Library and Information Studies at UCL? Please join us online to meet module tutors and hear how our award-winning programme provides the ideal foundation for career progression in library or information work. There are also discussions about the various modes of attendance we offer including full-time, part-time and modular study.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £11,800 £5,900
Tuition fees (2023/24) £29,000 £14,500

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

The department strives to keep additional costs low. Books and journal articles are usually available via the UCL library as hard copies or via e-journal subscriptions.

While students are not expected or required to attend any professional or academic conferences for the programme, should students wish to undertake these enrichment activities during their course, the department is unfortunately unable to assist with the associated costs of such conferences.

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

Funding your studies

The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers offers a tuition fees scholarship annually for a full-time or part-time Library and Information Studies MA student, normally under the age of 25 years. There is flexibility on the age limit. This is an external scholarship to UCL and is usually announced in January/February.

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

ARLIS Global Majority Art Librarianship Scholarship

Deadline: 26 February 2023
Value: Tuition fees (1yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK

The Stationers' Foundation Bursary Scheme

Deadline: 26 May 2023
Value: Up to £9,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.