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

  • Top 25 in the world for Library & Information Management (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024)

Study with us

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.

  • accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals
  • incorporates international reciprocal agreements with professional bodies in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand
  • benefit from the practical experience of a placement
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Why this course?

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. 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

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 (60 credits)

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.

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
  • 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

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


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

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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.

Both semesters

Organisation of Knowledge (20 credits)

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.

Semester 1

Information Law (10 credits)

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

Information Retrieval & Access (20 credits)

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 Analysis (10 credits)

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.

Human Information Behaviour (10 credits)

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

Semester 2

Research Methods (10 credits)

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

Library Technology & Systems (20 credits)

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

Libraries, Information & Society (20 credits)

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

Dissertation (60 credits)

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.


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.

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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-UK/Ireland) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde.

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

Please note: Previous Maths & English qualifications and your undergraduate degree must meet GTCS minimum entry requirements as well as the pre-Masters course and an interview will be conducted before an offer can be made.

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Fees & funding

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

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year (or studying standalone modules) should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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England, Wales & Northern Ireland




Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Additional costs

If you are an international student, you may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

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.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 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

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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.
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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 2024

Information and Library Studies

Start date: Sep 2024

Start date: Sep 2024

Information and Library Studies

PG Diploma
Start date: Sep 2024

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Contact us

PGT Admissions Team

Telephone: +44 (0)141 553 6023


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