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.


Scholarships and bursaries

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

Last year, over 80% of UK/EU postgraduate students received one of our scholarships, bursaries or prizes and over one third of international (non-EU) students received financial support from the School.


Postgraduate Open Evenings

Come and talk to course directors at one of our postgraduate open evenings.

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

Course Fees:

  • Full-time EU: £8,000 (2014 fees)
  • Part-time EU: £4,000 (per year) (2014 fees)
  • Full-time Non EU: £13,500 (2014 fees)
  • Part-time Non EU: £6,750 (per year) (2014 fees)
More...

Start Date:

22nd September 2014

How to Apply

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirement is a good second class Honours degree from a UK university, a recognized equivalent from an accredited international institution or an equivalent professional qualification. Previous relevant professional experience will also be considered. Applicants should also have good professional English.

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)
  • TOEFL (internet based): 90

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

City University London retains Highly Trusted Status from UKBA, enabling us to sponsor international students to study in the UK.

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

For more information see our main Visa page.

Course Content

The Information Science MSc is a part of the Information Studies Scheme (ISS) and has several modules in common with MA/MSc Library Science and MA/MSc Information Management in the Cultural Sector. Students may be able to transfer between these courses during their first term.

Key features of all ISS courses include:

  • Balance between academic rigour and professional relevance
  • Focus on conceptual, philosophical and historical aspects, as a basis for Reflective practice and life-long learning
  • Research-based teaching, emphasising the relevance of research and critical evaluation for professional success
  • Use of practitioner lecturers to complement academic staff
  • Balance between face-to-face teaching, taking advantage of our central London location, and e-learning support
  • International outlook, with a possibility of study abroad
  • Collaboration with the main information-sector recruitment
    agencies, to ensure course relevance and assist in
    graduate employment.

Please see the ISS FAQs for further details.

Course Structure

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

Open source systems

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 fees)
  • Part-time EU: £4,000 (per year) (2014 fees)
  • Full-time Non EU: £13,500 (2014 fees)
  • Part-time Non EU: £6,750 (per year) (2014 fees)

How to pay

The University has introduced an instalment payment scheme which is available to certain categories of students, including taught postgraduate students. For students following the normal academic year, the annual fee may be paid in two equal instalments: the first on registering, the second on 31 January. If you wish to pay your fees by instalment you must pay the first instalment at or before registration, by cheque or credit/debit card. You must also supply your bank details or credit card details for payment of your second instalment which will be deducted automatically from your bank or credit card account on 31st January.

Further details about the payment of fees

Please Note - Applicants who already hold a HE qualification and are applying for another HE course at an Equal or Lower Level Qualification (ELQ).

UK/EU students who already hold a Higher Education qualification and are applying to start another Higher Education course at an equivalent or lower level (ELQ) should note that they will have to pay higher fees for their course from 2009/10 onwards. The exact fee will vary by course. You are advised to contact your admissions officer to discuss the fees.

The new rules and regulations have been introduced by the Government and not City University London. The Government instructed the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to withdraw institutional funding for ELQ students (both Home and EU) - those studying for an equivalent or lower level qualification. This means that UK Universities will no longer receive any government funding to support Home/EU ELQ students. The additional fee for students has been introduced by City University London to help recover some (but not all) of the withdrawn funding. If you already hold an MA qualification, this means that you are classed as an ELQ student.

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:

Last year, over 80% of UK/EU postgraduate students received one of our scholarships, bursaries or prizes and over one third of international (non-EU) students received financial support from the School.

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.

 

Please read through the application guidance notes before you apply.

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

(The application pack includes the application form, application guidance notes and the School's postgraduate prospectus)