Information and Library Studies MSc

Masters in Information and Library Studies

1. Overview

The course will enable you to obtain a professional qualification accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and recognised by the profession worldwide.

Our Librarianship and Information Management courses are rated highly within The Complete University Guide subject tables.

This course brings together a mixture of theory and practice that replicates activities found in the workplace. It attaches strong importance to producing creative and reflective practitioners and prepares students for a wide range of employment opportunities, ranging from traditional librarianship to information management and research. A variety of research methods and techniques are taught and our students are equipped with a broad range of managerial, professional and technological knowledge and skills.

The MSc Library and Information Studies is available to study full-time or by distance learning. It also offers a four-week placement opportunity for full-time students.

The Department of Information Management is an iSchool -  the world's leading group of Information Science departments. 

2. What you will study

On-campus - Full-time or Part-time
Full-time study on campus is completed in 12 months or part-time over 3 years. The course consists of the taught (Diploma) element and the Dissertation element. The taught part is composed of eight modules (each worth 15 credits) and once you have passed all of them you will be eligible for the Postgraduate Diploma. You can then proceed to the dissertation stage (worth 60 credits). Once it is successfully completed you are eligible for the MSc (a total of 180 credits).

Distance learning - Part-time
Study is online through the University's virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle, which offers the opportunity to interact with tutors and fellow students from around the world.  All the modules can be also taken on a free-standing basis through the Postgraduate Professional Studies Programme and may contribute to your own Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Stage 1

Exit Award: PgCert Information and Library Studies

Stage 2

Exit Award: PgDip Information and Library Studies

Stage 3

Award: MSc Information and Library Studies

Dissertation In Semester 2, you will present a written research proposal for submission. This will normally form the basis for the Masters level dissertation. You will work independently but under tutorial supervision, to undertake the research and prepare the dissertation.

Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes.

The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course disclaimer for more information.

3. How you will learn

Full-time Study
In full time mode, you will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshop sessions. These comprise of a mix of group study, discussion, simulation and presentations of findings by teams and individuals. You will work as an individual and also as part of a team on case studies, team activities, presentations and discussions. 

Access to our virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle, is also provided giving you access from home to learning materials (including videos, e-books and journals).

Part-time Study
Our part-time delivery mode combines aspects of distance learning and on-campus delivery. You will benefit from the support of the virtual learning environment but also face-to-face interaction with tutors and classmates.

Distance Learning
Our supported distance learning mode of delivery allows you to study online from any location and is designed to fit in around your work commitments. You will be taught and supported by experienced industry professionals who will recreate the same challenging interactive format of the on-campus courses for those studying at a distance.

Our virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle offers students flexibility of where and when they can study, offering full and open access to tutors and other class members. Students have the benefit of being part of a group of learners with the invaluable opportunity to participate in active, group-related learning within a supportive online community setting. The online campus provides students with lectures and course materials and it also includes:

  • Virtual tutorials
  • Live chat
  • Discussion forums - student and tutor led
  • Up-to-date web technology for delivery methods
  • User friendly material
  • Access to our online library

As online learners, students are part of a 'virtual cohort' and the communication and interaction amongst members of the cohort is a significant aspect of the learning process.

Details on the distance learning are also available from our Distance Learning Guide.

4. Entry requirements

The course is ideal for students who possess an undergraduate Honours degree in any discipline. Other qualifications and experience will be considered with entry being subject to the University's judgement that the person has reasonable expectation of being able to fulfil the requirements of the award. In certain circumstances, students with ordinary degrees who have extensive appropriate work-experience within the sector can be admitted to a particular course.

All international students, for whom English is not their first language, must provide evidence of linguistic ability, by gaining either IELTS 6.5 or its equivalent in TOEFL prior to receiving an unconditional offer of a place on the course.

English Language Requirements

In the case that an applicant does not fulfil the entry requirements an access route to the course is the Graduate Certificate Information Studies (Access Foundation pre-masters course).  The course starts in September and January and it is studied online over 9 months.

Students who hold a Postgraduate Diploma in the same or similar subject area from another academic institution can be accepted for the MSc on the basis of completing two taught modules: The Fieldwork Placement and Research Methods. Credit transfers based on previous study will require a detailed syllabus and exemptions can be given for up to half the taught part of the course except Fieldwork Placement and Research Methods. For other credit transfers a clear match must be demonstrated between the previous studies completed and the subjects covered in our degree.

5. Placements and accreditations

Fieldwork Placement

The Fieldwork Placement is a mandatory part of the course and takes place in Semester 2. It constitutes one of the eight modules at the diploma stage and is an assessed module that is worth 15 credits. For full-time students the placement lasts four weeks (20 working days) and it takes place in April (after the end of teaching the other seven modules). The department has strong established links with professional organisations and the Aberdeen Business School Placement Office consistently finds suitable placements for our students.

The placement is an opportunity to apply the theories of the taught course to the professional work environment and is found to be enormously beneficial to students and is particularly valuable in informing and developing ideas and theories for the Dissertation stage. In some cases the placement has also helped students to secure a full-time professional post in the same organisation after the completion of their degree.

Over the last few years we have had people at the National Library of Scotland, Dublin City Libraries, the National Art Library at the V&A, Edinburgh University Library, the MCC Cricket Library at Lords, York University Library, Highland Public Libraries, the Sound Archive at the British Library. We have had people go to London, Shetland, the Isle of Man, Donegal, Oxford, Benbecula and just about everywhere in between.

Placements for Distance Learners

Few distance-learners can consider a normal placement because they are usually in full-time employment and because a placement can be organised via the placement office only if the students can commit themselves to twenty working days or an equivalent. In these cases, the department organises (internal or external) virtual placement projects, which can be completed remotely. Examples of recent projects have included:

  • the ‘Improvement and Promotion of a library website to a Wider Audience Using Web 2.0', an e-learning project where the student acted as an eLearning ‘champion' encouraging peer participation and facilitating the flow of information between staff and students
  • the creation of a lesson on study skills on effective search strategies for students beginning A2 level courses and the compilation of a literature review in order to understand the key linkages between organisational learning and organisational change.

For distance learners already employed in the sector the approach is more flexible. These students are able to complete the coursework assignment for the module based on their own relevant employment and using their current (or recent) professional experience, but only if it is directly relevant to the subject discipline. This offers the student the opportunity to examine critically the day-to-day workings of their organisation and identify the different functions in the service relevant to their course of study. It also encourages them to identify and consider any practical problems that may arise in the execution of practical tasks and reflect/assess critically the value of their own contribution to the work of their organisation.

CILIP Accreditation

By completing the Masters degree, students attain a qualification that is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, an accreditation recognised by professional bodies around the world, including the American Library Association, the Canadian Library Association and the Australian Library and Information Association. Professional accreditation means that at the end of the Diploma or Masters stages you are a professionally qualified librarian and can apply for professional posts. It also means that you can then embark on the process of Chartership. For more information see CILIP's website

6. Student Funding

Merit Scholarship
Aberdeen Business School offers a number of merit scholarships to outstanding students. 

Find out more information on the Merit Scholarships.

Carnegie-Cameron Scholarship
This scholarship is open to Scottish or Scottish domiciled students on taught postgraduate courses at Robert Gordon University. More information can be found under Carnegie-Cameron Bursaries

Postgraduate Funding
Applicants (Scottish domiciled and EU) to this course may be eligible for a Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan (PTFL). Full-time students can apply for a PTFL up to £3400. Part-time students can apply for up to £1700. The tuition fee loan is only available to part-time students who are undertaking at least 50% of a full-time course, and therefore, complete their qualification in 2 years.

Information on funding for postgraduate students can be seen under Postgraduate Student Finance.

Alumni Discount

Robert Gordon University is delighted to offer a 15% loyalty discount on course fees for all alumni who have graduated from RGU, further information available via the Alumni page.

7. Course Fees

For Academic Year 2015/2016

All Students

Distance Learning Part-time

  • £3,060 Stage 1
  • £3,060 Stage 2
  • £2,040 MSc Dissertation Stage

Scottish/EU Students


  • £3,400 entire course

Rest of UK Students


  • £5,000 entire course

International Students


  • £11,000 entire course

For Academic Year 2014/2015

All Students

Distance Learning Part-time

  • £2,780 Stage 1
  • £2,780 Stage 2
  • £2,340 MSc Dissertation Stage

UK/EU Students


  • £3,400 entire course

International Students


  • £10,500 entire course

For Academic Year 2013/2014

All Students

Distance Learning Part-time

  • £2,695 Stage 1
  • £2,695 Stage 2
  • £2,270 MSc Dissertation Stage

Scottish/EU Students


  • £3400 entire course

Rest of UK Students


  • £5,000 entire course

International Students


  • £10,500 entire course

For Academic Year 2012/2013

All Students

Distance Learning Part-time

  • £2,619 Stage 1
  • £2,619 Stage 2
  • £2,192 MSc Dissertation Stage

Scottish/EU Students


  • £3,400 entire course

Rest of UK Students


  • £5,000 entire course

International Students


  • £9,600 entire course

For Academic Year 2011/2012

All Students

  • Part-time or Distance Learning - £2,556 Stage 1
  • Part-time or Distance Learning - £2,556 Stage 2
  • Part-time or Distance Learning - £2,136 MSc Dissertation Stage

UK/EU Students

  • Full-time - £3,400 entire course

International Students

  • Full-time - £8,900 entire course

All course fees are reviewed annually and subject to change. Published fees apply to the course's mode of delivery. You will also be liable to pay a graduation fee of £40 before receiving a University award.

For further information see Student Finance pages


8. How to apply

All students can apply online by visiting Apply Online.

If you have any queries, please contact our Admissions Office: 

If you are an International Student and would like further information and application advice:

Further details are also available from Course Leader Dr Konstantina Martzoukou

9. Prospects

The information industry continues to expand, providing a wide range of opportunities for graduates equipped with a broad range of managerial, professional and technological knowledge and skills.  This course prepares the student to work in or enhance their career in all aspects of the information sector. Our graduates now work in all parts of the information and library sectors, ranging from traditional librarianship to information management and research.

The job market is changing too, with fluctuations in the demand for librarians in public and academic libraries paralleled by a continual expansion in the number of librarians and information scientists in specialised information services in both the public and privately funded sectors. There are also many opportunities arising from developments in networking and multimedia information services within commercial and educational establishments. Here is what some of our recent graduates are doing now:

  • Systems Librarian, Athlone Institute of Technology, Ireland
  • Online Information Relationships Manager, Thomson Reuters, London
  • Library Media Centre Specialist, International School of Aberdeen
  • Head librarian, Western International School, Shanghai
  • Senior Information Researcher, U.S. Embassy to Italy, Rome
  • School librarian, The Wordsley School, West Midlands
  • Group Information & Research Analyst, Acergy Group, Houston Texas
  • East Asian Studies Librarian, University of Edinburgh

“I would certainly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in Information & Library Services.”

Catherine Jeromson Information and Library Studies MSc

Postgraduate Guide

  1. Information Management Postgraduate Guide

    PG Information Management teaser

    View online or download a PDF

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Start date

Full-time - September / Online Learning - January or September

Course length

Full-time 45 weeks / Online Learning - 3 years

Mode of Attendance

Full-time / Online Learning

Academic school
Information Management Department
More information:
Dr Konstantina Martzoukou Course Leader
01224 263838
Accredited By
Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals
  • iSchool


    The Department of Information Management is an iSchool - the world's leading group of Information Science departments.


  1. Ian Golightly

    Ian Golightly

    "I presented a paper at the Grampian Information conference - a networking opportunity that you don't usually get when you're a student, it was a big bonus." Watch his video

    Ian Golightly Information and Library Studies MSc

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