The Library and Information Science PhD/MPhil allows you to develop advanced research skills, working as part of our Centre for Information Science, an internationally recognised leader in the field.
Research centres and groups
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Library and Information Science (LIS) is about the processes connected to the communication of recorded information.
Here at City, University of London, we have been active in LIS related research since 1961. Today our Centre for Information Science is well known for producing internationally pioneering research. You will be central to our research activity and supported with a structured programme of supervision and training.
Our research interests include:
- History and philosophy of information
- information behaviour
- information literacy
- documents and documentation
- knowledge organisation
- information ethics.
We expect you to build and maintain a professional social media presence and actively engage in open digital scholarship. You will also be encouraged to participate in and contribute to wider departmental activities.
We offer the following types of award:
- PhD by Major Thesis
- PhD by Prior Publication
Research students are initially registered for the degree of MPhil. Promotion to PhD registration is contingent upon the satisfactory outcome of a review process. This normally takes place towards the end of the first year of registration for full-time candidates. Part-time students will have their review process towards the end of the second year.
The PhD programme concludes with the candidate submitting their research in the form of a PhD thesis. You will also and attend a viva voce examination in front of at least two examiners. At least one of these will be external to City.
For full details about the City PhD programme structure, please see the Guide for Research Students.
Applicants should have a record of high academic achievement and will generally have attained, as a minimum, a good undergraduate degree (first or upper second class honours) from a UK university, or a recognised equivalent from an overseas institution.
In exceptional cases, we will consider applications from individuals with alternative qualifications. Particularly if accompanied by relevant professional experience.
Proof of English language proficiency will be required for applicants whose first language is not English. We require a minimum IELTS score of 7.5, with a minimum of 7 for writing.
For more information see our main entry requirements page.
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 six months
- Students on courses of less than six months
- Students on a pre-sessional English language course.
For more information see our main Visa page.
Fees and funding
Full-time UK:£6,120 per year
Part-time UK:£3,060 per year
Full-time Overseas/EU:£15,300 per year
Part-time Overseas/EU:£7,650 per year
External candidate study of this course costs £2,080 (UK) or £6,500 (Overseas/EU) for full time study and £1,040 (UK) or £3,250 (Overseas/EU) for part-time study.
Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase limited by the All Items Retail Prices Index. We will confirm any change to annual tuition fees in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).
The writing-up fee for all candidates is £500 per year (maximum 1 year).
PhD by Prior Publication
- EU Year 1: £7,500
- EU Year 2: £3,750
- Non-EU Year 1: £24,000
- Non-EU Year 2: £12,000
Fees for doctoral candidates are charged annually and cover registration, supervision and examination. Fees are subject to review each year and are likely to increase by approximately 3% annually.
Support for PhD study
Prospective students are encouraged to explore doctoral Grants and funding opportunities such as:
- Commonwealth Scholarships
- School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering Doctoral Studentships
- Research Council studentship awards, if available.
Our bursaries are non-repayable sums of money granted by the University, usually based on need.
Our loans are repayable sums of money granted by the University or other body.
Our scholarships are when the University pays towards your Study fees. You may also be eligible for further funding.
Postgraduate Doctoral Loans
The Government has introduced a new Postgraduate Doctoral Loans scheme which can provide a loan of up to £25,000.
This will be over three years to support study for a doctoral degree.
A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study. It can be used alongside any other forms of support you may be able to receive.
For more information, please see our Postgraduate Doctoral Loans page.
Some of our degrees may involve additional expenses which are not covered by your tuition fees. Find out more about additional expenses.
City has a well-established structure and processes to support your research.
All research students are appointed a supervisory team consisting of at least two supervisors. One of these will be designated as the first point of contact with personal responsibility for ensuring that effective supervision is provided.
The supervisory team will discuss training requirements with the candidate when study is commenced. We may recommend that a candidate takes a number of taught modules. These are taken from the Masters courses in the Department of Library and Information Science, or from courses offered within the institutes of the University of London.
Research students are provided with a desk, PC and bookshelves in a shared office space, as well as to general City facilities. All research students are strongly encouraged to contribute to our research culture and to attend regular research seminars and meetings.
The City Doctoral College can provide more information about graduate degrees.
How to apply
Before submitting your application, it is essential that you contact a member of staff that you are interested in within the Department. Here you can discuss your ideas for research (research proposal). Unfortunately, we will not be able to consider your application without this pre-requisite.
You are advised to submit your application at least 12 weeks before your proposed start date. We can then consider and process your application. Once you have identified a supervisor who will accept to guide through your research.
To apply online, an applicant will need to submit the following supporting documents:
- Research proposal. The Research Proposal should be a maximum of 3 sides A4. See guidance on writing your research proposal
- Copies of degree certificates and transcripts – original will be requested before an offer is made
- Official work e-mail addresses (not private ones) for two referees (one of which must be an academic)
- Proof of English language proficiency (if applicable)
- Evidence of sponsorship (if applicable).
Professor David Bawden
Professor of Information Science
Department of Library and Information Science
Dr Joseph Dunne-Howrie
Lecturer in Library Science
Department of Computer Science
Dr Lyn Robinson
Reader in Library and Information Science and Head of the Department of Library and Information Science
Department of Library and Information Science