Information and Library Studies

You are viewing this course for September start 2024

This MA course is identical to the 5-year version (P194D) but is for those students in receipt of the UK Government Loan only. The pace of progress is more intense to satisfy the regulations of the UK Government Loan. If you are not planning to fund your studies through such a loan we recommend applying for P194D, which can be undertaken flexibly over 2-5 years and allows more time for a better work/life balance.

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 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.

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 in new ways and to promote the best current practice in your workplace.

Typical Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements 2:2 Bachelors (Honours) degree in any subject, or equivalent. Distance learners must demonstrate 3 months (around 400 hours) work experience and be in continued employment or have regular volunteer work 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, and current position held, at the point of application and include an up-to-date CV.

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Course Overview

Why study Information and Library Studies by distance learning at Aberystwyth University?

  • Expertise from one of the UK’s leading providers
  • Flexible degree scheme, enabling continual professional development without having to take a break from work 
  • Study in a practical context, relate theoretical knowledge to your workplace, and develop skills that will place you in an enviable position in the jobs market
  • Graduates of this MA will have a CILIP accredited qualification that is recognised for admission to the Register of Chartered Librarians (subject to the Institute’s chartership regulations)
  • Undertake one of the best courses for professional practice
  • Aberystwyth University boasts library resources amongst the best in Europe
  • Access to Information Studies’ specialist library collection, a leading library for our discipline, at 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
  • 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


2 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 (120 credits) and the dissertation (60 credits). Successful completion of the course work allows the award of a Diploma. The subsequent successful submission of your research dissertation leads to the award of an MA.

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.

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
Dissertation DSM1460 60
Collection Management DSM8010 10
Information Organisation and Retrieval DSM7820 20
Information Services: Planning for Delivery DSM5420 20
Information and Society DSM7620 20
Research in the Profession DSM1810 10
Studies in Management DSM7720 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Archive Management: Principles & Techniques DSM2820 20
Digital Information : Discovery to Delivery DSM7510 10
Digital Information Literacy DSM3220 20
Digital Presence: Content and Creation DSM0520 20
Digital Preservation DSM6010 10
Focus on the Child : Reading and Libraries DSM8810 10
Knowledge and Information Architecture DSM6820 20
Rare Books Librarianship i DSM1610 10
Rare Books Librarianship ii DSM1710 10
Records and Information Governance DSM0820 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


Qualification: MA 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.

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

·         Computer Systems Officers

Companies 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.


Throughout this course, you will develop:

·         Subject specific expertise, including a thorough understanding of factors affecting the flow of information 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

·         Study skills and research methods

·         Mastery of the practical applications of Information and Library Studies 

Teaching & Learning

How will I learn?

This programme is offered via distance learning and is eligible for a UK Post-graduate Student Loan. Students are required to complete the course in two years. Students complete 120 credits of taught modules, at which point they are eligible for a CILIP accredited Diploma. Students can then complete a 60 credit Masters dissertation, and thus gain a CILIP accredited MA qualification (180 credits).

Attendance at two study schools is required and these provide the main contact. For the rest of the time you will work through specially designed self-study module packs supported by online learning materials. Contact time can be arranged remotely with your tutor who will also help you plan your studies.

What will I learn?

Students will study a number of crucial core modules whilst directing their study by choosing specialist modules. Information on the 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 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 modules are assessed by coursework. Successful submission of the 60 credit Masters dissertation leads to the award of an MA.