Archive Administration

Key Facts

Course Code P192D2
  • Qualification


  • Typical Course Length

    2 Year

Apply Now

This MA course is identical to the 5 year version (P194D) but the pace of progress is more intense to satisfy the regulations of the UK Postgraduate Master's Loan. If you do not intend to take out such loan to fund your studies we recommend applying for P194D which can be undertaken flexibly over 2-5 years and allows more time for a work / life balance.

Archival material is unique and irreplaceable; its range infinite and inexhaustible. Often described as the 'documentary heritage' or the 'raw material of history', it has a significant dual role: on the one hand it offers a wealth of source material in the context of culture and heritage, supporting popular interest in family and local history and many areas of academic study; on the other it has a significant legal function in providing evidence of past decisions, practices and policies.

By studying archive administration at postgraduate level, you will learn professional principles and techniques and acquire the core skills which will enable you to play a part in the preservation, management and exploitation of an invaluable informational and historical resource.

This course is designed to provide individuals already working in an archive or records management environment, with the training that will equip them with the skills, knowledge and professional qualification to further their career at a professional level.

This professional course is accredited at Diploma and Masters level by the Archives and Records Association (formerly Society of Archivists).

Key Facts


Two years by distance learning. April and September intakes annually.

On average you should expect to spend 15-20 hours a week studying.

Contact Time:

Students on all courses are required to attend Study Schools in Aberystwyth. For most students this means attending three schools of approximately 4-5 days duration during the course of your studies. For the rest of the time you will work through specially designed self-study module packs supported by online learning materials.


The progamme is assssed on the basis of coursework in part One and the dissertation in Part Two. A variety of assignments in Part One, including reports, essays, presebtations and case studies enable you to relate theoretical knowledge to your own workplace.

Entry Requirements:

The minimum basic entry requirement for a Masters degree is normally a good  Honours Degree or equivalent.

You must:

  • have at least three months practical experience of working with archives prior to beginning the course;
  • be employed in an archive service, or be working with archives within an organisation which has substantial archival holdings;
  • be employed on a permanent contract (full-time, or possibly part-time), or a short-term contract that can reasonably be supposed to last for the duration of the course (a minimum of 2 years) OR be prepared to undertake voluntary work in an archive repository for the duration of the course;
  • have pre-defined Information and Communication Technology skills and access to a computer linked to the Internet.

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.


Information Management, Libraries and Archives (iMLA)  at Aberystwyth is the leading provider of distance learning degrees in this subject area.  We pursue a student centred, flexible, open learning approach which has proved not only popular with our students, but very successful in managing to make studying at a distance as rewarding and enjoyable as possible.

Our distance learning students participate in residential study schools and are supported by web-based conferencing facilities which enable them to communicate with each other – whether consulting about a particular assignment in one of the module conferencing areas, or just enjoying a light hearted exchange at the electronic students café - and with staff, easing the feeling of isolation that can sometimes be felt by distance learners.

The Diploma/MA in Archive Administration is divided into two parts: The first 120 credits is the taught course, successful completion of which reaches Diploma-level. The second part (60 credits) involves writing a dissertation, to be submitted for the Master’s-level qualification.

Tuition is provided through printed study packs containing the core learning material, supplemented by a resource pack and a conference area on Blackboard (the computer conferencing facility), which provides information updates relevant to the course, and a directory of websites referred to in the study packs.  Assessment is by means of a variety of written assignments including essays and reports.  You can progress at your own pace, taking between two and five years to complete the course. On average, you should expect to spend 15 to 20 hours a week studying.

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.


Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Dissertation DSM1460 60

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


This Degree will suit you:

  • If you wish to receive first-rate training in Archive Administration
  • If you wish to gain the knowledge and skills needed to enter professional work in Archive Administration
  • If you wish to nurture an interest in palaeography and diplomatic.
  • If you wish to enter the emerging marketing of Archive Administration and Digital Information Management.


Every course at Aberystwyth University is designed to enhance your vocational and general employability.  This Masters will place you in the jobs market as a highly-trained archive administrator with knowledge and skills in archive management and record and information governance. By balancing the theory and practice you will be provided the professional training which is required for entering the professional archive and records management environment. This course will also equip you with a wide range of general work skills such as research, analysis, writing, presentation and management, ensuring your employability is improved across all areas.  

Study Skills

You will develop skills in quickly and accurately assimilating and interpreting data – which you will find invaluable in archive administration and future use. You will develop productive strategies for planning and problem-solving that can be applied beyond your chosen area of study, making you a versatile academic as well as a productive professional. You will also enhance your research skills which you will draw on in both your dissertation and future career.

Study in a Practical Context

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.

Self-Motivation and Discipline

Studying at a Postgraduate level requires high levels of discipline and self-motivation. You will have access to the expertise and helpful guidance of departmental staff but you will be ultimately responsible for devising and completing a sustained programme of scholarly research in pursuit of your masters’ degree. This process of independent study at an extremely high level will strengthen your skills as an independent and self-sufficient worker, a trait prized by most employers.

Transferable Skills

This Masters programme is designed to equip you with a range of transferable skills that you can apply to a variety of employment contexts. Upon graduation, you will have proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently, writing for and speaking to a range of audiences, evaluating and organizing information, working effectively with others and working within time frames and to specific deadlines. Whether you pursue a career in an archive administration pathway or not, the prestige of your Masters will open doors into workplaces in every industry.