Digital Preservation

Key Facts

Course Code P123D
  • Qualification


  • Typical Course Length

    2 Year

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The Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Preservation is designed to enhance existing skills in information, library or archive management by training you in the additional skills required for collecting and curating digital information and preparing it for use by individuals and organisations. This Certificate will train you in the complexities of digital asset management: the policies, procedures and governance required to ensure the integrity of digital material over time and ensure you develop the skills and experience to manage digital information for any size of organisation, be it national, governmental or international.

This will prepare you for managerial and strategic roles handing digital information in both academic and professional contexts. In addition to subject-specific skills and knowledge, you will have the opportunity to further develop a set of widely-applicable professional skills to help you in any workplace – digital information-related or otherwise. On completion of this course your general employability will be greatly enhanced to give you the best possible chance of successfully continuing in your chosen career path.

Key Facts

Information Studies 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 Certificate in Digital Preservation consists of 60 taught  credits and tuition is provided through printed or digital study packs containing the core learning material, supplemented by a resource pack and a conference area on Blackboard (the Virtual Learning Environment), 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 up to two years to complete the course. On average, you should expect to spend 10 to 15 hours a week studying.


  • One to two years by distance learning. April and September intakes annually.
  • On average you should expect to spend 10-15 hours a week studying.

Contact Time:

  • Students on all courses are required to attend Study Schools of 4-5 days duration in Aberystwyth. For this course there are two study schools – a compulsory one at the start of your studies and an optional one after you have made some progress. For the rest of the time you will work through specially designed self-study module packs supported by online learning materials.


  • The programme is assessed on the basis of coursework. A variety of assignments are included in the taught modules including reports, essays, presentations and case studies which enable you to relate theoretical knowledge to your own workplace. 

Entry Requirements:  

  • The minimum basic entry requirement for a Master’s degree is normally a good Honours Degree or equivalent.

You must:

  • Have a minimum of six weeks practical experience of working with digital information prior to beginning the course;
  • Be employed in a relevant post (full-time, or possibly part-time), or a short-term contract that can reasonably be supposed to last for the duration of the course (2 years) OR be prepared to undertake voluntary work in a suitable organisational environment 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.


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.


  • This Certificate in Digital Preservation is designed to give you a thorough understanding of the workflow, policies, procedures and governance for managing digital information over the long-term. You will go beyond this to identify efficient and productive ways of operating through a thorough understanding of the technical and organisational standards underpinning the management of digital information and the appropriate application of ICT technologies.
  • By the end of your course of study, you will be able to demonstrate a mastery of the technological processes for information governance and digital preservation. You will achieve this by applying your specialist skills to real-life situations throughout the course and, by making the most of this experiential learning, you will graduate with valuable hands-on experience of this increasingly important subject.
  • In addition to this first-rate training in digital preservation, you will also nurture a skill set perfect for almost any role in any business or postgraduate workplace. You will be confident in research, analysis and planning, as well as writing, reporting and argument formation to justify your decisions in managing an organisation's most precious commodity: information. These are just some of the skills you will gain which will make you a desirable employee for a wide range of public and private sector organisations and businesses.


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.

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


This Certificate will suit you:

  • If you wish to receive first-rate training in digital preservation
  • If you want to become an authority on the digital information ecology in which business and government now operates
  • If you are, or intend to be, a gatekeeper for digital information resources
  • If you desire skills highly sought-after by any postgraduate employer


  • Every course at Aberystwyth University is designed to enhance your vocational and general employability. This Certificate will equip you with latest developments in digital preservation, both in terms of technological and theoretical approaches. By balancing the theory with the practice, you will be strongly placed to succeed in the jobs marketplace, particularly in organisations that prize well-trained managers of digital information. The course of study will also equip you with a wide range of more general work skills – in research, analysis, writing, presentation and management – ensuring your employability is improved across the board.

Study Skills

  • You will develop skills in quickly and accurately assimilating and interpreting data – which you will find invaluable in preserving information for storage 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.

Self-Motivation and discipline

  • Studying at Master’s level requires discipline and self-motivation from every candidate. You will have access to the expertise and helpful guidance of departmental staff, but you are ultimately responsible for devising and completing a sustained programme of scholarly research in pursuit of your Postgraduate Certificate. 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

  • The Certificate programme is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of employment contexts. Upon completion, 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.