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MScInformation & Library Studies

Why this course?

You'll receive the highest quality teaching from the leading information science school in Scotland and one of the top three in the UK.* You'll also receive unmatched professional engagement via our partnership with one of the largest cultural consortiums in Europe.

It's the only course in the UK that, from week one, provides students with a placement in one of the largest networks of public libraries and museums in Europe, including the world-famous Mitchell Library in Glasgow. You'll have access to special collections, the latest digital projects, receive guest lectures from leading library professionals, and the option to undertake your MSc thesis research in the professional context.

We're a member of the iSchools group, a partnership of the world's leading information schools, and our courses are professionally accredited by CILIP, incorporating international reciprocal agreements.

We're members of the two national Doctoral Training Consortiums, the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities and the Scottish Graduate School for Social Sciences.

Our staff are regular contributors to the leading international Information Science Index (ISI) ranked library and information science journals.

We have been a leading school of library and information science teaching and research for 70 years.

You’ll study

Working across a vast spectrum of information resources, spanning special collections and digital services, you'll learn up-to-date theory and practice in:

  • strategic planning
  • information law and ethics
  • information seeking behaviour
  • information literacy
  • organisation and classification of information
  • information retrieval

You'll also be provided with a thorough understanding of the various information and library sectors, including public, academic, law, health, and government libraries through a range of leading guest speakers drawn from the wider profession.

Compulsory classes

These classes are as follows:

  • Organisation of Knowledge
  • Information Retrieval & Access
  • Information Law
  • Library Technology & Systems
  • Managing Information Services
  • Libraries, Information & Society
  • Research Methods


This is an individual research project of up to 20,000 words on an approved topic. It allows you to pursue an area of specific interest, providing scope for original thought, research and presentation.

Work placement

There's an optional placement at the end of the second semester. The department helps to arrange this. Previous participating organisations include:

  • NHS Scotland
  • Scottish Television
  • IDOX
  • various national and local libraries
  • Government agencies

Accreditation & engagement

Our postgraduate courses are internationally recognised, accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP), incorporating international reciprocal agreements with other professional bodies, including:

  • ALA (United States)
  • ALIA (Australia)
  • LIANZA (New Zealand)

CILIP accreditation also allows graduates the eligibility to become Chartered members of the body after following an approved professional development programme.

Our faculty are engaged with the work of professional bodies and are closely linked with the profession generally in terms of cutting edge research with professional partners. The department are regular presenters at professional conference worldwide, including:

  • IFLA (2014, 2015)
  • ASIST (2015)
  • CoLIS (2014)
  • ISIC (2014)
  • CILIP Cymru (2015)
  • CILIPS (2015)

Placement opportunities

All students on the MSc Information & Library Studies will be embedded in a thriving public library service from the first week of the course. In a unique partnership with Europe’s largest cultural and leisure trust, students will spend half-a-day-a-week working in some of Scotland’s largest and busiest libraries, including Glasgow's Mitchell Library and the Library at GoMA. 

Students will gain the opportunity to work with professional librarians on the front line of modern library services, and also work behind the scenes building collections and developing services.

*based upon research income and quality of output.

Course content

Diploma and MSc students follow the same instructional course for the first two semesters.

If you meet the standard required to proceed to MSc, you’ll undertake a dissertation in the following three months.

Compulsory classes

Organisation of Knowledge
This class provides you with an understanding of the theory involved in analysing, representing and organising knowledge. It also provides practical skills in the application of this theory to domains of knowledge.
Information Retrieval & Access

Students will learn how to:

  • demonstrate the ability to critically examine a number of influential information seeking models
  • demonstrate an understanding of research methodologies for studying human information behaviour
  • demonstrate an advanced understanding of important concepts, such as relevance, in the context of information seeking and retrieval
  • demonstrate the ability to show how findings from information seeking theory and practice can inform the design of information access systems
  • demonstrate an advanced understanding of the theory and technology used to construct modern Information Retrieval and Information Access systems
  • demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate the assumptions behind the evaluation of Information Retrieval systems
  • be familiar with a wide range of free and commercial information services and how to use them professionally for the benefit of users
  • understand the role of the information professional in selecting and acquiring appropriate information sources for user queries
  • understand how the internet impacts on the role of the information professional
Information Law

The aims of this class are to help students:

  • understand the laws relating to the delivery of information services
  • be aware of the implications for society of the various legal issues related to information and computing work
  • understand the legal framework in which criminal investigations involving digital evidence are carried out
Library Technology & Systems

The objectives of this class are to:

  • introduce you to the functionality of the LMS and MARC/BIBFRAME usage
  • introduce you to the concept of digital libraries
  • provide understanding of the systems and standards which underpin libraries
Managing Information Services

This class provides you with:

  • an understanding of best practice library and information service strategic planning
  • system-level analytical skills to allow you to contribute to the holistic analysis and design of information services and associated information systems
  • a functional understanding of the individual components of an information systems architecture, and the relationship between components
  • an understanding of the challenges and critical success factors of information service development
Libraries, Information & Society

From this class, you'll gain knowledge of:

  • various library models and sectors
  • the range of management challenges and services offered across the various library and information sectors
  • the role of libraries and information services within society
Research Methods

This class will enable students to:

  • appreciate the nature and application of selected statistical methods
  • appreciate the range of qualitative research methods
  • write a research proposal
  • develop a research methodology for a given research problem

MSc students only


MSc students prepare a dissertation of up to 20,000 words on an approved topic.

This takes the form of an individual project on an approved topic, which allows you to pursue an area of specific interest, providing scope for original thought, research and presentation.

Learning & teaching

Teaching methods include lectures, tutorials and practical laboratories. Dissertation is by supervision.


Coursework assignments involve:

  • individual work
  • group projects
  • exams
  • practical work in computer laboratories

For the award of the MSc, you’ll be required to complete an individual project under supervision. This should contain an element of original research.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements: UK Bachelor’s degree at 2:1 or higher, or its equivalent if outside the UK.

Applicants whose first language is not English are normally required to possess an IELTS score of 6.5.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.


  • 2017/18 - £5,000

Rest of UK

  • 2017/18 - £6,000


  • 2017/18 - £16,000

How can I fund my course?

A number of scholarships are available for outstanding UK, EU and international applicants. For details, please visit our scholarship search.

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students starting in 2017 can apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England can apply for Postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Wales

Postgraduate students starting in 2017 who are ordinarily resident in Wales can apply for support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. We are waiting on further information being released about this support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students starting in 2017 who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland can apply for support from Student Finance NI. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. We are waiting on further information being released about this support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

International students

We have a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.


Information Science is one of the Top Degrees in Demand by employers (Forbes, 2015; NACE, 2015).

Graduates of our MSc Information & Library Studies have a wide range of career options open to them, spanning across a range of sectors, including public, academic, school and health libraries, as well as government information services, law libraries, media libraries and corporate information services.  Our graduates have professional careers in a range of roles including:

Information analysts

You may be in involved in developing taxonomies for delivering high quality retrieval systems on information systems.

Since developing taxonomic structures and understanding of metadata are such crucial elements in the design of efficient databased and web systems, our graduates find their skills in information organisation to be highly sought after in both traditional and non-traditional settings.

Information governance

You may be in charge of the organisations information governance responsibilities, such as ensuring employees adhere to laws such as data protection, copyright, and freedom of information.

Increasingly as legislation in the areas becomes more robust, organisations are looking for graduates with a thorough understanding of the laws that impact information use.

Knowledge manager (government departments)

Graduates work across the range of government departments, from answering queries for Members of Parliament and their researchers in libraries such as the Scottish Parliament or House of Commons, to working in knowledge management roles within government departments and the security services.

Librarian (academic)

You could be responsible for an area of service related to university/college functions. This can vary from subject specialisms, such as arts and humanities librarian, or science librarian or health librarian, to responsibility for the library’s digital services.

Increasingly, as education libraries converge library systems with virtual learning environments, the opportunities for library and information professionals in the sector to move into roles supporting teaching also increase.

Many of our graduates are now senior managers in academic libraries.

Librarian (health information)

In the health sector, a range of roles are available, from working on public health projects that communicate high quality and trustworthy information to the general public, as well as assistant librarian roles within hospitals and other medical facilities, supporting the work of the clinicians.

A growing area of health information work is also in the third sector, with charities that support patients and relatives with information on specific conditions.

Knowledge managers (corporate sector)

In knowledge management roles in the corporate sector, you'll be directly supporting the mission of the company, be that in law, media or other sectors.

Knowledge managers in the corporate sector work in a fast-paced environment ensuring that their colleagues have access to the information they need to be at their best every day.

Librarian (public & school)

Graduates work in a range of areas supporting the public in their use of information, from school or young people’s librarians promoting books and reading to young children, to adult services librarian, ensuring adults have access to the range of material they need to go about their daily lives.  

University Careers Service

The University of Strathclyde's Careers Service has been ranked in the UK top four in a UK-wide survey of higher education institutions.

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Information and Library Studies

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Information and Library Studies

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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