Information is an all-pervasive commodity. The aims of the programme are to establish the significance of the dynamic role of information and library work in the 'information society and knowledge-based economy' and to develop the knowledge and skills needed to handle effectively the storage, retrieval, analysis and communication of information.
This distance learning programme is aimed at people working within an information environment, who wish to professionally qualify at Masters level, and is designed to produce information professionals able to take leading roles in the rapidly developing world of information and library management. Specifically, students will be able to:
Identify, analyse and evaluate issues in information and library management in order to produce relevant solutions.
Create, acquire, organise, retrieve, evaluate and disseminate information effectively.
Undertake research with a proper concern for scholarship and rigour.
The programme has been accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).
Managing in the Information Environment - This core module is designed to explore managerial concepts, which enable organisations to set and achieve their aims and objectives. The module will include the knowledge environment, organisational theory, strategy formulation and implementation, communication in the organisation, resource management, marketing, quality and performance measures, and management of change and risk analysis.
Collection Management - This module examines the management and organisation of the collections within a range of information environments. The information needs of the user will be examined along with aspects of social inclusion, information rich and poor etc., before studying aspects of collection development (e.g. selection policies and practices, acquisition policies) and collection management (e.g.weeding programmes, binding and preservation, security, etc) using various case exercises to support the learning experience.
Organising Knowledge - This core module explores in depth the principles and current practice of organising, storing and retrieving information and knowledge efficiently and effectively so that it can be accessed and retrieved by users to meet their needs.
Research Methods - Introduces the wide range of research techniques applied in information work as preparation for the Masters dissertation.
Data Law and Ethics - This module examines and critically analyses the concepts underpinning the 'information age', and explores the historical development of information in society. The role of information and communication technologies is investigated, including their impact on the changing role of the information professional. The legal framework in which the regulation of information systems occurs will be explored, and key ethical considerations discussed. Students will be encouraged to develop an appreciation of the range and complexity of ethical argument and reflect further on their own learning and professional development.
Hypermedia for the Information Professional - This module aims to familiarise students with some of the principles of effective web site design and with some of the tools required to create and develop hypermedia documents for integration into web pages. Current industry standard page mark-up scripting languages will also be introduced.
Cataloguing and Classification - This module will develop knowledge of theory and current practice in descriptive cataloguing and classification, and the industry standards, practice and issues that are relevant. Practical abilities in cataloguing (utilising the Anglo-American Cataloguing rules and MARC formats) and in classification (Dewey Decimal).
The dissertation, which is carried out over the summer, will enable students to explore a topic of interest in greater depth as a piece of master's research.
Year 1 Modules
LI0725 Research Methods for Information Professionals (CORE, 10 Credits)
LI0775 Cataloguing and Classification (CORE, 20 Credits)
LI0796 Organising Knowledge (CORE, 20 Credits)
LI0797 Managing in the Information environment (CORE, 20 Credits)
LI0798 Collection Management (CORE, 20 Credits)
LI0800 Hypermedia for the Information Professional (CORE, 20 Credits)
LI0810 Data, Law and Ethics (CORE, 10 Credits)
COURSEWORK AND ASSESSMENT
A variety of assessment methods is used, including essays, portfolios, reports and group exercises.
The degree is approved by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, CILIP, whose professional qualifications are awarded after appropriate work experience has been completed and professional development attained.
Among the career opportunities available following this programme are positions in travel and tourist information, Citizens Advice Bureaux, bookshops, publishing, personnel departments, patent agencies and banks, and in the emerging information areas of database production, careers advice, systems analysis, law, accountancy and information consultancy - as well as in traditional libraries and information units. Those students who complete the MA/MSc will be in a better position to exploit employment opportunities at home and abroad.