Information and Library Studies

Key Facts

Course Code P194D
  • Qualification


  • Typical Course Length

    5 Years

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Aberystwyth University’s MA/Diploma in Information and Library Studies by distance learning will equip you with the highly desirable skills employers need to manage their most valuable assets in our global ‘information economy’.  You will be able to identify, organise, retrieve and make accessible information across paper, electronic and multimedia formats.  This MA or Diploma will equip you to fulfil the essential role that companies and professional bodies need to compete effectively in a fast-moving national and international business environment.

The MA and Diploma are accredited by both CILIP and the Institute of Information Scientists making it one of the best courses for professional practice.

The Department of Information Studies at Aberystwyth has an impressive track record.  In the department’s forty years of teaching, we have produced some of the UK's, and indeed the world's, leading librarians and information professionals.  Our alumni include two national librarians (Scotland and former Wales), the first black national librarian in South Africa, and the Director of the Bureau for Library and Information Services at the United Nations.

This course features an extensive list of optional modules which allow you to direct your studies into areas which particularly fascinate you. 

As a Distance Learner in employment, you should find that your work experience enhances your studies, while your studies enable you to reflect on your work experience in new ways. Your studies can also help you to promote the best current practice in your workplace.

Although this postgraduate programme is primarily designed to meet the needs of those who wish to work in various types of information and library services, you can exploit the transferable skills mastered during the programme to pursue careers in related professions (e.g. media management and book publishing), or continue your studies to a more advanced level through undertaking further postgraduate level research.

  • Key Facts
  • Overview
  • Modules
  • Employability

Key Facts


Of flexible duration, generally taking between two and five years.

Contact Time:

Contact time can be arranged remotely with your tutor.  Attendance at at least two study schools is required and these provide the main contact.


The programme is assessed on the basis of coursework in Part One and the dissertation in Part Two.  Successful completion of Part One allows the award of a Diploma. The subsequent successful submission of your research dissertation (Part Two) leads to the award of an MA.

Entry Requirements:

A strong honours degree at undergraduate level plus a minimum of 6 months experience in a relevant information resource environment.  Candidates with equivalent experience and qualifications will be considered.

English Language Requirements:

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.

Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.


Funding opportunities may be available, please check our funding calculator for details.


The course accepts two intakes every year, one in April and another in September. Applications are welcomed throughout the year.

The skills of information and library professionals are in demand as employers recognise the necessity for staff to identify, organise, retrieve and make accessible information as it exists in paper, electronic and multimedia formats.

On this course you will be introduced to the key information handling skills as well as the opportunity to develop your ICT, management and interpersonal skills. You will be equipped with the knowledge and skills for professional work. In addition, as the programme is studied at a distance, you should be able to feedback your newly acquired knowledge into your workplace as you progress.

The university has a proud tradition of research excellence, as demonstrated in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment. It placed the university in the top 50 institutions for research power and intensity. It submitted 77% of eligible staff and 95% of the university's research was of an internationally recognised standard.

Our Staff

Department of Information Studies lecturers are either qualified to PhD level or work in areas of the subject where professional practices are the focus. Many of the staff engage in research relevant to the theoretical and practical development of the discipline and the associated professions.



Qualification: MA/Diploma in Information and Library Studies


The Masters degree is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and the Institute of Information Scientists. Graduates will have a qualification which is recognised for admission to the Register of Chartered Librarians (subject to the Institute's chartership regulations). Please note that the Diploma qualification is recognised as an accredited course.

This degree will suit you:

  • If you wish to obtain a Masters degree or Diploma from one of the UK’s leading departments;
  • If you wish to gain the knowledge and skills for professional work within Information and Library fields;
  • If you wish to work in various types of information and library services or gain transferable skills for the pursuit of related careers such as media management and book publishing;
  • If you wish to continue your studies to a more advanced level through undertaking further postgraduate level research.


Every aspect of the Aberystwyth University’s Masters in Information and Library Studies programme is designed to enhance your employability.  Successful completion of this degree is in itself certain to do so by building your CV; but more significant is the hugely enhanced array of knowledge, abilities and skills with which you will graduate. 

As a graduate, you will possess a wealth of subject-specific expertise, such as a thorough understanding of how ethical, legal, and social factors affect the flow of information; information literacy and the effect of 'information deprivation'; and the ongoing challenges of organising, storing, and retrieving information.  You will also be confident in the use of system and their tools which you will use to order, store and retrieve information.  These skills, which are fundamental to the subject, are applicable across a diverse array of workplaces.  Likewise, the study skills, research methods and interpersonal awareness that you will learn within the context of study can be applied in any place of work where people and systems meet.  In such situations, you will be at a tremendous advantage over your competitors.

As information is increasingly recognised as a core resource for organisations of all kinds, the range of posts to which our graduates progress widens all the time. In addition to the traditional library and information service sector, our graduates also go on to work as Information Officers, Information Managers, Information Systems Officers, Information Analysts and Computer Systems Officers. The most prestigious of our alumni include two national librarians (Scotland and former Wales), the first black national librarian in South Africa, and the Director of the Bureau for Library and Information Services at the United Nations.  In addition, companies which acknowledge the value of information also benefit from our graduates’ information skills when applied to the areas of management, sales, production or marketing.   Your personal adaptability, coupled with the critical information and library skills, will make you a strong candidate for any post where excellence in organisations and systems management is prized.

Study in a Practical Context

The content of this MA/Diploma is weighted in favour of mastering the practical applications of Information and Library Studies.  The University of Aberystwyth boasts library resources which are amongst the best in Europe.  The Department’s specialist Thomas Parry Library is one of the leading libraries for Information Studies.  As a student, you will have access to this exceptional resource where you can apply your learning in activities which will convert the purely academic theory into the proven know-how of experience.

In addition to this, you will also have access to the University's Hugh Owen Library which houses more than 700,000 volumes and subscribes to more than 3,500 current periodicals. Also, the National Library for Wales next to the campus is one of the UK's five copyright libraries housing more than 6,000,000 volumes. In addition to the University's computing facilities, you will also have access to the Department's own extensive computer workstation rooms, all housed in a purpose built Department on the attractive Llanbadarn campus.

Skills in Management of Systems and Stakeholders

The MA/Diploma is designed to give you a broad knowledge of a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of research interests, particularly in your Master’s dissertation.  A significant proportion of postgraduate jobs demand management abilities; this course aims to support your progression into professional employment beyond by including such training. 

You will become well versed in contemporary management theory and practice of relevance to the management of the relationship between information and organisations.  You will learn to analyse and control how information is transmitted to users, including access to information and measurement of use.  The monitoring an analysis of data is crucial to the success of business organisations and initiatives.  Mastering it will enable you to manage within a changing and turbulent environment and provide you with an understanding of the inter-relationship of the organization with its customers and stakeholders. 

As business relies on meeting needs, this training will be a significant advantage to you when you enter the jobs market.