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Information Science  MSc

Overview

This course, taught at City since 1967, is especially suitable for those interested in information provision in particular subject domains, such as healthcare, law or business and in the use of technology to handle information within these areas.

The course focuses on information; its origins, organisation, flows and use and its changing nature and impact on society.


Scholarships and bursaries

The School offers a range of generous scholarships and bursaries to applicants for this course:



The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

Entry Requirements:

Applicants should hold a lower second class honours degree, the equivalent from an international institution or an equivalent professional qualification. Previous relevant professional
experience is also considered. More...

Course Fees:

  • Full-time EU: £8,000 (2014/15 fee; 2015/16 TBC)
  • Full-time Non EU: £4,000 per year (2014/15 fee; 2015/16 TBC)
More...

Start Date:

Autumn 2015

How to Apply

Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold a lower second class honours degree, the equivalent from an international institution or an equivalent professional qualification. Previous relevant professional
experience is also considered.

Other Suitable Qualifications

INTO Postgraduate preparation Programmes

If you do not qualify for direct entry, our partner INTO City University London offers academic preparation programmes which focus on the skills you need. Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma in Science and Engineering at INTO City University London means guaranteed progression to this degree.

English Requirements

For those students whose first language is not English, one of the following qualifications is also required:
  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum of 6.0 in all four components)

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

INTO English Language Programmes

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner, INTO City University London offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information.

English for Postgraduate Study

Pre-sessional English

Visa Requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.  

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course at City, there are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than 6 months
  • Students on courses of less than 6 months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English Language course

Please note: If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake this part-time course.

For more information see our main Visa page.

Course Content

Information science studies the information communication chain in its entirety, from authorship, through publication and dissemination, organisation, indexing and retrieval to use.

The information chain is examined using the techniques of domain analysis, which underpin both vocational practice and academic research. Our course focuses on the foundations of Library and Information Science, information history, information organisation, information resources, information technologies and architecture, information retrieval and information behaviour.

The course combines knowledge of subject resources with technological solutions for information storage, access and retrieval; elective modules include web applications and data visualisation.

The course involves study of 7 core modules and 1 elective module, plus a dissertation. 

Course Structure

Core modules are:

Library and information science foundation

Gives a thorough introduction to the principles and concepts of the information sciences, and shows that these foundations underpin the practice of information science, librarianship, and other information disciplines. Emphasis is places on a historical perspective, and on current and future developments, showing how basic principles can be used to make sense of complicated and changing issues.

Information resources and organisation

Gives an understanding of the principles and practice of the organization of information and knowledge. Topics covered include metadata, cataloguing and resource description, classification and taxonomy, subject headings and thesauri, indexing and abstracting, and construction of controlled vocabularies.

Information management and policy

Introduces the principles of the management of information resources of diverse kinds in a variety of environments, and the strategies and policies which make this possible. Emphasis is on the specific issues of the disciplines which manage information and documents: information resource management, knowledge management, records management and archiving, collection management, etc.

Digital information technologies and architecture

Provides the technical background required to store, structure, manage and share information effectively. Topics include: introduction to computing, internet and web, database systems and searching, Web 2.0 technologies (blogs, wikis, etc.), semantic web, information architecture

Research, evaluation and communication skills

Provides knowledge and skills which are relevant in the academic environment, in the workplace and for lifelong learning. Topics covered include: nature of research and evaluation; research methods, including surveys, system and service evaluation, system design, and desk research; data analysis; literature analysis; written and oral communication; ethical issues; project management.

Information retrieval

Provides a broad introduction to documentary information retrieval, and to the evaluation of information retrieval systems. Topics covered include information retrieval models, search strategy and tactics, bibliographic retrieval, OPACs, web search, mobile information retrieval, image and sound retrieval, implementation and evaluation of retrieval systems.

Information domains

Provides an understanding of information provision in a variety of domains, including academic subjects, professional disciplines and everyday and leisure topics; gives an insight into subject-specific information work. Topics include information in law, business, healthcare, and the arts, in academic subject areas such as history, mathematics, chemistry and languages, for everyday and general reference.

The elective module is chosen from a range which typically includes:

Libraries and publishing in the information society

Gives a broad understanding of the ways in which the publication of recorded information is changing, and the impact which this will have on publishers, libraries, other information providers and society in general. These issues are related within a framework of forces for changes: technical, economic, social and political.

Information law and policy

Independent study

Allows students to undertake individual in-depth study of a topic which is not fully covered by other modules, and which is appropriate for independent literature-based research. Topics are chosen by agreement between student and supervisor. 

Web applications development

Introduces the principles and practice of building dynamic web applications. Topics covered include web applications architecture, markup languages, web servers and protocols, connectivity with database systems, client side processing, integration of components in a functional application

Data visualisation

Read the full 2014 programme specification

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching involves a mix of formal lectures, seminar discussions, practical exercises, and private study, depending on the nature of the material. Face-to-face contact is supported by e-learning materials and social media. Assessment on all components is usually by individual coursework assignment.

Read the full 2014 programme specification

Recommended Reading

You may wish to undertake some preparatory reading.

  • Bawden D and Robinson L (2012). Introduction to Information Science. Facet: London.
  • Briggs A and Burke P (2009). A Social History of the Media: from Gutenberg to the Internet. 3rd Edition. Polity: Cambridge.
  • Chowdhury G G et al. (2008). Librarianship: an introduction. Facet: London.
  • Floridi L (2010). Information: a very short introduction. OUP:Oxford.
  • Ince D (2011). The Computer: a very short introduction. OUP:Oxford.

Note: module leaders may choose to use different or additional texts to the ones listed above.

Fees

  • Full-time EU: £8,000 (2014/15 fee; 2015/16 TBC)
  • Full-time Non EU: £4,000 per year (2014/15 fee; 2015/16 TBC)
Further details about the payment of fees.

Funding

For up-to-date information about tuition fees, living costs and financial support, visit Postgraduate Fees and Finance.

Scholarships and bursaries

The School offers a range of generous scholarships and bursaries to applicants for this course:


Scholarships


The Alex McVitty Memorial Award

The Memorial Award provides financial assistance of £1,500 towards living expenses. One award each year is offered to a full time home or overseas applicant on the following programmes of study who wishes to develop a career in law librarianship and can demonstrate financial need. All prospective students for the two programmes of study below are interviewed by Admissions Tutors, and applications for the award can be discussed at that point.

Eligible courses

History of the award: Alex McVitty studied for an MSc in Information Science at City University London in 1997-98. Tragically Alex died in a road accident whilst cycling to her work as a law librarian. As Alex had to fund herself through the course, combining study with part-time library jobs, her family and friends chose to establish a memorial fund to provide an annual award to help a student wishing to pursue a career in law librarianship. The memorial award fund is administered by The British and Irish Association of Law Librarians.

We provide a comprehensive list of other funding sources, such as Career Development Loans, Research Council Studentships, Access to Learning Funds, and Charities and Trusts. here. There are no mandatory awards (direct government grants to students) for postgraduate study. Applicants should consider carefully the cost of fees and maintenance at an early stage in the application process.

Please contact our Programmes Office for more information.

Placements

Internships are not a part of these courses but students who wish to are usually able to obtain work experience (paid or voluntary) or to work with external organisations in completing assignments or carrying out a dissertation project.

Career Prospects

Information Science graduates have an excellent record of finding suitable jobs and going on to successful careers, most commonly in academic and special libraries, in scientific, healthcare and business information services, and in content and records management. The course is also an excellent preparation for further study and research.

This course will enable you to...

After the successful completion of the course candidates may consider a PhD degree, towards an academic/research career.

MSc in Information Science

We invite all suitable applicants living within a 200-mile radius of London to an open and/or interview session; these are held monthly between March and July. Overseas and more distant applicants are sent a questionnaire, which may be supplemented by a telephone interview or email discussion. Such students are welcome to visit the Department if they are in or near London at some stage.

Guidance on Personal Statements for Postgraduate study

You should submit your application by one of the following two methods:

1. Completing the online form; or

2. Completing a hard copy of the application form and sending this to the address below.

Please ensure you include your supporting documentation with your application. If you are applying online you should note that confidential references are only acceptable as originals sent in signed and sealed envelopes by post to the address below. References attached as supporting documentation to an online application cannot be considered.

International students: it is important you submit your application to us in sufficient time for you to arrange your visa before the start of the course.

Online applications

Apply online for an MSc (full-time, part-time)

You will be able to attach electronic copies of your supporting documents. However, you will be required to submit your confidential references in hard copy (in signed and sealed envelopes) to the address below, together with any supporting documents you do not attach when applying online.

Postal applications

You can download and print off the paper application form here.

Alternatively, to receive an application pack in the post please contact the Programmes Office:

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7040 0248
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7040 0233
Email: compsci-pg@city.ac.uk

Please send your completed paper application form, together with supporting documents, to:

Programmes Office
School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering
City University London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB