Archive Administration

Key Facts

Course Code P192
  • Qualification


  • Typical Course Length

    1 Year

Apply Now

By studying the MA in 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 prepare you for work in any archive or records management environment. It provides the professional training which is required for entry into these professional areas and is accredited at Diploma and Masters level by the Archives and Records Association.

Key Facts


One year full-time. The academic year (September to September) is divided into three semesters: September to January; January to June; June to September.

Contact Time:

6 - 10 hours a week in the first two semesters.  During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.


The taught part of the course (Part 1) is delivered and assessed through lectures, student seminars, practical exercises, case studies, course work and formal examinations. Successful completion allows the award of a Diploma.  The subsequent successful submission of your research dissertation (Part 2) leads to the award of an MA.

Entry Requirements:

A good honours degree (in any discipline) at undergraduate level plus a minimum of 6 weeks experience in an 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.

Study Tour:

You will have the opportunity to visit several organisations and services during your studies, including a supervised tour to London. This gives you the chance to observe a wide variety of archives and records management operations in both public and private sectors – and meet the professional staff involved. Please note: You should budget carefully to ensure that you have sufficient funds to cover these extra expenses, which may include accommodation and travel. The Department regrets that it is unable to offer any assistance to cover these costs.

London tour:

  • Attendance at the London tour is compulsory
  • It is usually held in the third week in January
  • The London tour provides valuable opportunities for gaining an insight onto the important practical aspects of providing archives and records management services”


The course is divided into two parts: Part I (120 credits) is the taught course, successful completion of which reaches Diploma-level. Part II (60 credits) involves writing a dissertation, to be submitted for the Master’s-level qualification.

The course is available full-time or part-time (part-time students must be generally able to attend classes for half of each week in term time, over two years). Exit points exist at Diploma (9 months) and Master's level (12 months).

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars and practical workshops. Lectures and seminars are intended to provide a clear framework for further reading, questioning and thought. We aim to provide a supportive learning environment: help and guidance are always available.

A significant proportion of your learning takes place in study visits and fieldwork, where you will need to observe and relate what you have learnt to the practice in a number of record keeping environments. Practical experience gained before embarking on the course provides a very important foundation for the training experience of the course itself.

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 ILM1460 60


Module Name Module Code Credit Value

* 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.