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MSc/PgDip Information & Library Studies

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Accreditation: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP)
  • Study mode and duration: MSc: 12 months, full-time
    PgDip: 9 months full-time
  • MSc conversion: Suitable for undergraduate degree holders from any discipline

  • Places: capped at 60

Study with us

  • incorporates international reciprocal agreements with the professional bodies in the US (American Library Association), Canada, Australia (Australian Library and Information Association) and New Zealand (Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa)
  • benefit from practical experience of a placement
  • Ranked 5th in the UK and 31st in the world for Information & Library Studies by QS 2021, our graduates go on to work in a variety of roles

How could the Covid-19 pandemic affect my studies?

Covid-19: information & FAQs
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Why this course?

Our MSc/PgDip Information & Library Studies is a conversion degree, designed specifically for graduates from any discipline. Previous students have joined us from a variety of backgrounds, including: History, English Literature, Forensic science, Psychology, Chemistry and Linguistics.

This internationally-recognised, professionally-accredited conversion degree will provide you with a pathway into a continuously-evolving and exciting profession which supports and underpins the economic fabric of society.

For international applicants, this CILIP-accredited degree offers reciprocal accreditation in countries including the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and others. This means you can come to Scotland to study and work back home as a qualified information professional, or go abroad to work if you are from the UK.

Meeting the information needs of society is at the core of the work of the information professional. According to recent research from the learning company Pearson, the information profession will be one of the top in-demand careers in the UK and the USA through 2030.

This programme will provide you with a range of skills in high demand from employers. These include the ability to organise, synthesise, and make use of information for the advancement of society. Suitable for those holding an undergraduate degree from any discipline, the degree will prepare you for a wide range of positions in the information field. 

Watch our video to find out about our students' experience on the course

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

Chat to a student ambassador

If you want to know more about what it’s like to be a Science student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!

Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.

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What you'll study

The course is professionally accredited. It provides you with relevant work experience and required technological skills in the context of many information settings, resources, and services. You'll learn how to organise, retrieve, store, protect, and help people access information. You'll also develop skills that are highly sought after in digital work settings.

The course explores and discusses key concepts for the information society:

  • fundamental issues such as copyright, freedom of information, and data protection requirements in the modern era; related to this, you explore ethical and moral principles of the profession such as freedom of access to information and freedom of expression
  • you'll explore how and why people search for information, with an emphasis on understanding information behaviours and how they differ throughout society;
  • research skills across both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, including instruction in the use of industry-leading software such as NVivo and Qualtrics
  • digital skills around preservation and access to information objects, incorporating skills such as web design, and digital imaging, as well as information retrieval systems
  • how to organise, classify, describe, and catalogue information for efficient access and retrieval including taxonomies, thesauri, metadata schemas including Dublin Core, and current library cataloguing standards such as MARC21 and RDA

Dissertation

After completing two semesters of taught modules, you'll complete an individual dissertation research project under the supervision of one of our experienced academics. The dissertation enables you to pursue an area of specific interest, providing scope for original thought, research, presentation and depth of your chosen area. Our students are encouraged to, and regularly publish their dissertation results in top-tier conferences and journals. Recent examples include:

  • Alan Kerr (with Dr Diane Pennington): Public library mobile apps in Scotland: Views from the authority and the public, Library Hi Tech, 2018
  • Dilyana Ducheva (with Dr Diane Pennington): “Resource Description and Access in Europe: Implementations and perceptions”, Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 2017
  • Katherine Loudon (with Dr Steven Buchanan) The Everyday Life Information Seeking Behaviours of First Time Mothers, Journal of Documentation 2016
  • Fiona Tinto (with Prof Ian Ruthven): “Sharing ‘happy’ information”, Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology 2015
  • Christine Gallagher (with David McMenemy and Alan Poulter) Management of acceptable use of computing facilities in the public library: avoiding a panoptic gaze?  Journal of Documentation 2015
  • Walker, Iain, and Martin Halvey: "On designing an oral history search system." Journal of Documentation 2017

 

The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.

We're shortlisted for University of the Year 2021 by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide

Professional work experience

You'll obtain professional work experience via a one-day per week (one semester) work placement that is an essential integral part of the course.

On work placements, you'll see fundamental theories and practices gained through classroom and laboratory learning put into practical application. Work placements are available across many sectors. Past work placements have included key information service providers such as:

  • The Scottish Government Library & Information Service
  • City of Glasgow College
  • CILIPS
  • NHS
  • Solicitors Legal Information Centre (SLIC), Scottish Government
  • WOSDEC (West of Scotland Development Education Centre)
  • University of Liverpool
  • Renfrewshire Libraries
  • University of Stirling
  • Edinburgh University
  • Prestwick Academy
  • Kinloch Historical Society
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service
  • Glasgow Women's Library

A leading school of information and library studies

QS 2021 ranked Strathclyde as 5th in the UK and 31st in the world for Information & Library Studies. We've been a leading school of information and library science in the UK for over 70 years. We're a member of the prestigious iSchools organisation, and the Strathclyde iSchool Research Group is one of the leading information science research groups in the UK.

What our employers and students think of work experience

The student placements over the course of the UOSH project have been a tremendous success. They have offered students the opportunity to gain some varied but useful cataloguing experience, further discuss the impact and application of cataloguing standards, and gain an understanding of some of the challenges that can be encountered. The contributions made by the students on placement have been significant and we hope the students found their time working with us just as rewarding.

Jeni Park, National Library of Scotland

National Library of Scotland

It was simply fantastic to have a placement student as part of our team. They helped us with a variety of different projects including benchmarking subscriptions, critical review of learning modules and compiling recommended readings and resources. The student also conducted analysis of freetext feedback and contributed substantively to an internal UoE conference presentation on the findings where they were listed as a co-author. I really hope it's proved as valuable for the student to be with us as it has been for us to have them working with us.

Marshall Dozier, Medicine & Veterinary Medicine Library & University Collections, University of Edinburgh

Richard James
During the two months of the placement, I’ve learned a lot of useful and practical information regarding how to catalogue audio recordings. More than anything else, however, I’ve learned how rich and interesting our sound heritage can be.
Richard James
‘Unlocking Our Sound Heritage’ Volunteer, National Library of Scotland
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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.

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
Human Information Behaviour

On this module students will learn to:

  • develop an understanding of models and theories of human information behaviour
  • develop an understanding of the factors influencing human information behaviour
  • develop an understanding of information need in context
  • develop an understanding of appropriate research approaches and methodologies
Information Analysis

This class will introduce students to the concept of information analysis, covering major techniques in information analysis including sentiment analysis, content analysis, information visualisation, systematic reviews and summarisation.

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
Dissertation

MSc students prepare a dissertation of up to 15,000 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.

Assessment

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.

Aerial view of students sitting around coffee tables

Robin Dunlop, MSc Information & Library Studies
Another highlight of mine was that I was lucky enough to get a placement within the university on a project where I actually used the skills I learned on the course.
Robin Dunlop
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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Minimum second-class Honours degree or international equivalent.

English language requirements

You must have an English language minimum score of IELTS 6.0 (with no component below 5.5).

We offer comprehensive English language courses for students whose IELTS scores are below 6.0. Please see ELTD for full details.

As a university, we now accept many more English language tests in addition to IELTS for overseas applicants, for example, TOEFL and PTE Cambridge. View the full list of accepted English language tests here.

Pre-Masters preparation course

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

Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

Map of the world.

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Fees & funding

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

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Scotland

£8,500

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£8,500

International

£18,950

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish postgraduate students

Scottish postgraduate students may be able to 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.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to 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.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate 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. 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.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. 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.

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International students

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

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Careers

The information profession will be one of the top in-demand careers in the UK and the USA through 2030. Our graduates work across a range of sectors including:

  • government information services
  • legal libraries and court services
  • television and other media centres
  • corporate knowledge management
  • third sector/charities
  • health and social care organisations
  • university, college, public, special, and school libraries

Much more than libraries, a Masters in Information and Library Studies offers a diverse range of opportunities for graduates in a myriad of sectors. Information is the lifeblood of modern society, and graduates who can organise, synthesise, and utilise information are invaluable across the workforce.

Graduate roles

Typical roles for our graduates include:

  • media managers working in television, newspaper, or other digital media organisations, harnessing the value of intellectual property, supporting colleagues in their use of digital materials, and efficiently organising materials for retrieval.   
  • taxonomy developers working in e-commerce to organise the information objects and make them as visible and accessible as possible, enhancing the customer and user experience.  
  • medical knowledge managers helping medical professionals access the highest quality research to enable the best possible outcomes for patients.
  • academic librarians working in a college or university to enable faculty and students to meet their research and teaching goals.
  • information governance officers ensuring organisations and their employees adhere to laws involving data protection, copyright, and freedom of information. Increasingly, as legislation in the information governance becomes more robust, organisations are looking for graduates with a thorough understanding of the laws that influence information use and access.
  • public librarians supporting their local communities through access to the highest quality information resources, as well as providing information instruction in how to use services such as the Internet.
  • school librarians working in schools to support the educational attainment goals of teachers and students, helping students maximise their intellectual potential.

National award for Strathclyde Information Science alumna

Elizabeth Carney, who gained a Masters in Information and Library Studies (ILS) from Strathclyde in 2019, is the joint winner of the 2020 CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) Student Prize.

The prize is awarded for exceptional achievement in the field of library and information science studies, either in academic achievement, professional potential or support and development of other students.

Studying ILS at Strathclyde was a fantastic experience where I learned a lot about the information profession that I will be able to take forward into my career.

More about Elizabeth's win

Elizabeth Carney

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow
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Apply

There is currently no deadline for submitting applications. However, we encourage you to apply early as we consider applications on a first come, first served basis, and may introduce an application deadline due to high demand.

Start date: Sep 2022

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Contact us

PGT Admissions Team

Telephone: +44 (0)141 548 3623

Email: science-masters@strath.ac.uk