Information and Library Studies

You are viewing this course for September start 2024

The skills for library and information professionals are in high demand as employers need to manage their most valuable assets in our global ‘information economy’. Information Studies at Aberystwyth has an impressive track record, having produced some of the UK's, and indeed the world's, leading librarians and information professionals. This MA or Diploma, accredited by the UK’s Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), 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.

Typical Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements 2:2 Bachelors (Honours) degree in any subject, or equivalent, with 6 weeks (around 200 hours) work experience in a relevant sector.  Non-graduates will be considered individually based on relevant work experience.

English Language Requirements IELTS 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent

Other Requirements Applicants should provide details of previous relevant work/volunteer experience at the point of application and include an up-to-date CV.

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Course Overview


Why study Information and Library Studies at Aberystwyth University?

·         Expertise from one of the UK’s leading providers

·         This course was one of the first qualifications in this important area and is still one of the market’s most well regarded

·         Aberystwyth University boasts library resources amongst the best in Europe

·         Access to Information Studies’ specialist Thomas Parry Library, a leading library for our discipline, and the university’s Hugh  Owen Library, which houses more than 700,000 volumes and subscribes to more than 3,500 current periodicals

·         Situated next to the university campus is the National Library of Wales, one of the UK’s five copyright libraries, which houses more than 6,000,000 volumes

·         Aberystwyth University is a top 50 university for research power and intensity – REF 2014

·         Develop theoretical knowledge that is applicable to the workplace, and develop skills that will place you in an enviable position in the jobs market

·         Undertake one of the best courses for professional practice

·         Graduates of this MA/Diploma will have a CILIP accredited qualification that is recognised for admission to the Register of Chartered Librarians (subject to the Institute’s chartership regulations)

·         More of our postgraduate students entered employment at a graduate level than the national average, and our postgraduates earned more on average than postgraduates in other subject fields (2010/2011)

About this course


One year full-time or two years part-time. The academic year (September to September) is divided into three semesters: September to January; January to June; June to September. The first two semesters are taught and the third semester is devoted to individual work on your dissertation.

Contact Time:

Contact time is 6-10 hours a week during the first two semesters. In semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned dissertation supervisor.


The taught part of the course, which is 120 credits, is delivered and assessed through lectures, student seminars, practical exercises, case studies and course work. Successful completion of 60 credits of taught modules makes you eligible for a Postgraduate Certificate, 120 credits gives eligibility for a CILIP accredited Postgraduate Diploma, or successful completion of your postgraduate dissertation leads to an accredited Master’s degree.

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”

Modules September start - 2024

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
Collection Management ILM8220 20
Information Organisation and Retrieval ILM5320 20
Information Services: Planning for Delivery ILM5420 20
Information and Society ILM5120 20
Studies in Management ILM5220 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Collections Care ILM2120 20
Digital Collection Development ILM2220 20
Digital Information Literacy ILM3220 20
Rare Books and Special Collections ILM8120 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Dissertation ILM1460 60

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


Qualification: MA/Diploma in Information and Library Studies

Our alumni include a number of current and former national librarians (Scotland, Wales, Malta and Malaysia), the first black national librarian in South Africa, and the former Director of the Bureau for Library and Information Services at the United Nations.

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

·         Computer Systems Officers

Companies also benefit from our graduates’ information skills when applied to the areas of management, sales, production or marketing.

Likewise, the wide array of transferable skills that are gained from this course can be used to pursue a diverse range of related careers, including media management and book publishing. Many of our graduates also undertake further postgraduate level research.


Throughout this course, you will develop:

·         Subject specific expertise, including a thorough understanding of factors affecting the flow of information in a range of important societal contexts and the challenges of organising, storing, and retrieving information

·         Confidence in the use of systems and their tools to order, store, and retrieve information

·         Key information handling skills, including the ability to analyse and control how information is transmitted to users, access to information, and measurement of its use

·         ICT, management, and interpersonal skills

·         be confident in the use of system and their tools which you will use to order, store and retrieve information be confident in the use of system and their tools which you will use to order, store and retrieve information be confident in the use of system and their tools which you will use to order, store and retrieve informationStudy skills and research methods

·         MaMastery Mastery of the practical applications of Information and Library Studies 

Teaching & Learning

How will I learn?

This course is a one year full-time course and is divided into three semesters. The first two semesters (September – May) consist of a taught element, whereby students complete 120 credits, and at which point they are eligible for a CILIP accredited Diploma. The final semester (June – September) allows the student to complete a Masters dissertation (60 credits), and thus to gain a CILIP accredited MA (180 credits).

During the first two semesters, the course is delivered via a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops and contact time is approximately 10 hours a week. In the final semester you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned dissertation supervisor.

In addition to teaching input from Information Studies staff, students will be exposed to guest lectures, visits to services local to the university, and will attend a four day London study tour.

Study tour

The four day London Study Tour gives you the chance to observe a wide variety of libraries and information organisations in both public and private sectors and to meet the practicing professional staff involved. Attendance at the London study tour (usually held in the third week of January) is compulsory, and students are advised to budget carefully to ensure they have sufficient funds to cover these extra expenses, which may include accommodation and travel.

What will I learn?

Students will study a number of crucial core modules whilst directing their study by choosing specialist modules. Information on modules available can be found in the Modules tab.  

Students wishing to complete the MA will then go on to complete an individual dissertation, whereas those who do not wish to complete this can obtain the CILIP accredited Diploma.

The 15,000 word dissertation allows students to research an approved topic within the information and library field, engage with central concepts, methods and techniques in the main streams of information and library research, and in doing so aim to contribute to the national understanding of data handling and information flow.

How will I be assessed?

The taught part of the course is assessed through a mix of reports, essays, group work, presentations and case studies. Successful submission of the 60 credit Masters dissertation leads to the award of an MA.