Attend an Open Evening

Library Science  MSc / MA


This full time or part time Library Science MSc/MA course focuses on library services of all kind, and on the migration of such services towards digital collections and environments. It is intended primarily for those working in or planning to work in, collection orientated professions.

Collection management includes the identification and acquisition of resources and their publication and dissemination; organisational policies and digital library systems; knowledge organisation; indexing and retrieval and social media and human information behaviour.

Scholarships, bursaries and prizes

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

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

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

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.


Course Fees:

  • Full-time EU: £9,000
  • Part-time EU: £4,500 per year
  • Full-time Non EU: £15,000
  • Part-time Non EU: £7,500 per year

Start Date:

Autumn 2016

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)

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; 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 any City University London courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

Course Content

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

Course Structure

On successful completion of eight modules, students progress to the dissertation.

The 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.
  • Digital libraries
    Introduces and exemplifies the principles of digital libraries, in terms of functions, services and characteristics, creation and management, digitization and preservation, access and interfaces, search, and evaluation.
  • 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.

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

  • 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 every day and general reference.
  • Information law and policy
    The information law and policy module covers a wide range of legal issues relevant to the information profession – such as intellectual property, data protection & privacy, cybercrime and computer misuse, freedom of information, libel, and the re-use of public sector information.
  • 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, mark-up languages, web servers and protocols, connectivity with database systems, client side processing, integration of components in a functional application

Read the full programme specification

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching on the Library Science programme 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.

Our main teaching days are Monday and Friday. Some electives may be offered on Thursday.

The timetable below is a guide only, and is subject to change.

FULL-TIME study timetable:PART-TIME study timetable:
Semester 1YEAR 1, Semester 1
Digital Information Technologies and ArchitecturesMonday morningDigital Information Technologies and ArchitecturesMonday morning
Library and Information Science FoundationMonday afternoonLibrary and Information Science FoundationMonday afternoon
Information Management and PolicyFriday morningYEAR 1, Semester 2
Research, Evaluation and Communication SkillsFriday afternoonDigital LibrariesMonday morning
  Information Resources and OrganisationMonday afternoon
Semester 2YEAR 2, Semester 1
Digital LibrariesMonday morningInformation Management and PolicyFriday morning
Information Resources and OrganisationMonday afternoonResearch, Evaluation and Communication SkillsFriday afternoon
Libraries and Publishing in an Information SocietyFriday morningYEAR 2, Semester 2
Elective module Libraries and Publishing in an Information SocietyFriday morning
  Elective module 

Read the full 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
  • Calhoun K (2013). Exploring Digital Libraries - Foundations, practice, prospects. 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.


  • Full-time EU: £9,000
  • Part-time EU: £4,500 per year
  • Full-time Non EU: £15,000
  • Part-time Non EU: £7,500 per year


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

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.


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, for either Library Science or Information Science, who wishes to develop a career in law librarianship and can demonstrate financial need.

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.

Applications for the award should be made at the same time as an application for a place on the course.


Scholarships, bursaries and prizes

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


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

Library Science MSc/MA graduates have an excellent record of finding suitable jobs and going on to successful careers, most commonly in public, academic and school libraries, consultancies, special libraries and information services and publishing. The Library Science postgraduate course is also an excellent preparation for further study and research. You can learn more about further study and research in the LIS field by visiting the Department of Library and Information Science page.

Apply for MSc Library Science

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.

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 and supporting documents

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

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7040 0248