MA PG Certificate PG Diploma
2021 start September 

Librarianship

Information School, Faculty of Social Sciences

Aimed at resourceful people with excellent communication and organisational skills, this course is ideal for those with ambitions to work in library and information roles across a wide variety of sectors. The MA and PG Diploma awards are CILIP accredited.
Image of postgraduate Information School student in the Diamond

Course description

You'll be introduced to the best current thinking and practice needed to enter this fast developing sector. You'll learn core competencies in IT, management and information handling, together with a wide range of specialisms.

Library and information professionals need strong information handling, managerial and interpersonal skills, plus an understanding of the power of technology to transform information services provision. They must also have the imagination, commitment and enthusiasm to play a part in the exciting changes taking place in the fast-developing information world.

The skills of librarians and information specialists are essential to identify, control, organise and make accessible the ever-increasing amounts of information available in paper, digital and multimedia formats. This course prepares you for a professional role in areas ranging from public service to business.

There are a number of opportunities made available to students to gain experience of the workplace. These include part-time paid roles reserved for our students at the University of Sheffield Library, internships organised as part of the University internship scheme, and volunteering opportunities in various community-based projects. We support students in gaining places on these various schemes (taking particular care to ensure that student volunteers do not replace paid roles in any organisation), and those that choose to take advantage of them always find them very useful.

If you have two or more years' relevant work experience in the information sector and wish to study for a higher degree, you may be interested in our Professional Enhancement programme. The programme is designed for people already in work who want to further their careers, and allows greater freedom in module choice in recognition of your existing expertise.

Apply now

Accreditation

CILIP accredited for the MA and PG Diploma awards

Modules

You’ll need 180 credits to get a masters degree, with 75 credits from core modules, 45 credits from optional modules and a dissertation (including dissertation preparation) worth 60 credits.

Core modules:

Information Organisation

This core module explores the organisational principles to facilitate the effective storage, search and retrieval of information and knowledge to meet users¿ needs and domain requirements. Beginning with the challenges faced by those tasked with organising, the module considers the fundamental concepts, processes and issues that relate to the identification, organisation, maintenance and disposal of information and knowledge within various domains including galleries, libraries, archives, museums, businesses and online. A critical, evaluative and theoretical approach is adopted to ensure the module¿s learning outcomes transfer to students¿ future studies and careers.

15 credits
Information and Knowledge Management (Distance Learning)

This module will examine principles and practices of information and knowledge management in the health sector. It will identify the different types of information and knowledge resources typically found in healthcare organisations and investigate methods used to generate, organise and exploit these assets. Real-world case studies will be used to illustrate and critique contemporary approaches to the design and implementation of information and knowledge audits, policies, strategies, products and services.

15 credits
Information Literacy

The module aims to enable students to understand the concepts of information literacy and information behaviour from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Students will develop their own information literacy and understanding of its application to their future lives. They will learn through lectures, practical exercises and activities carried out for the assessed coursework and in formative exercises which are an integral part of the class.

15 credits
Libraries, Information and Society I

This module provides an overview of the role of library and information services (LIS) in contemporary society and introduces students to public policy issues and their implications for the provision of LIS. Students are introduced to current practices and contemporary concerns in academic, national, public and special/workplace libraries and encouraged to develop an awareness of the social, economic, political and cultural environment in which LIS operate. It examines the importance of users in the design and management of LIS, explores ethical issues and aims to develop a critical awareness of the role of LIS in contemporary society.

15 credits
Leadership, Strategy and Change

This module aims to support students in the development of a range of leadership skills. Students will develop an understanding of different leadership and wider management theories and techniques, and will be able to evaluate their application and usefulness in a library and information services management context, in a variety of organisational settings. Topics will include leadership, strategic management and change management.

15 credits
Dissertation

This module enables students to carry out an extended piece of work on an approved information management topic, so that they can explore an area of specialist interest to them in greater depth. Students will be supported through tutorials with a project supervisor, will apply research methods appropriate to their topic, and implement their work-plan to produce an individual project report. Students will already have identified a suitable topic and designed a project plan in the pre-requisite unit Research Methods and Dissertation Preparation.

45 credits
Research Methods and Dissertation Preparation

This module assists students in the identification of, and preparation of a dissertation proposal. Students will: learn about: on-going research in the School; identify and prepare a dissertation proposal; carry out a preliminary literature search in the area of the dissertation research topic; and be introduced to the use of social research methods and statistics for information management.

15 credits

Optional modules - one or two from:

Public and School Library Services

This module will enable students to understand and critically evaluate key elements of the principles, functions, practice, value and impact of school and public library services. The course will present the roles of these services, and the extent to which they support the educational, recreational, information and social needs of all members of society. There will be an exploration of key issues affecting school, public and prison library services today, and the extent to which they work independently and together to support the educational, recreational and social needs of the users. Recent and ongoing research will underpin the entire unit.

15 credits
Academic and Workplace Library, Information and Knowledge Services

This module introduces students to the purposes, functions and practices of a range of academic research and other specialist library and information/knowledge services in the public and private sectors. It considers the challenges of delivering and developing services in a demanding, fast-moving and complex environment. Lectures are combined with sector-based case studies presented by visiting speakers drawn from diverse backgrounds giving extensive opportunities for interaction with specialist practitioners.

15 credits
Researching Social Media

The module will examine the key theoretical frameworks and methods used in social media studies. Students will explore the following questions: 1) What can be learnt about society by studying social media? 2) How should researchers construct ethical stances for researching sites such as Facebook and Twitter? 3) What are the traditional and digital research methods and tools that can be applied to conduct research on social media? 4) What are the strengths and weaknesses of these methods?

15 credits
Information Governance and Ethics

The purpose of this module is to investigate topics related to the handling and governance of digital information and data in organizational and networked contexts. This will include an exploration of a) substantive issues and concerns e.g. accountability, decision-making, freedom, identity, intellectual property, openness, privacy, risk, security, and surveillance b) the design and use of relevant technologies e.g. Internet, DPI, digital rights, open source, P2P, social media c) systematic approaches and frameworks used in the regulation, governance and use of information in organizational and networked contexts e.g. copyright/left, data protection, freedom of information etc. Examples from business, government, health, law, and technology illustrate the topics investigated

15 credits
Digital Advocacy

This module will examine how digital media are used to facilitate and promote the campaigns of contemporary advocacy groups and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Theoretical perspectives such as connective action and the clicktivist critique of online activism are introduced in order to explore the effectiveness of online campaigns. Students will also consider the criteria by which such campaigns can be considered successful, drawing on a range of case studies including the Occupy Wall Street movement and the so-called `Arab Spring' in North Africa and the Middle East in 2011.

15 credits
Business Intelligence

The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the way in which business people use information and why they use information. Students will study the key channels and sources that may be used, and key issues concerning the value of information and library services within business. The module will concentrate primarily on external information resources. Students will learn through a combination of lectures and practical exercises, with opportunities to use business-focused electronic information services.

15 credits
Database Design

Effective data management is key to any organisation, particularly with the increasing availability of large and heterogeneous datasets (e.g. transactional, multimedia and geo-spatial data). A database is an organised collection of data, typically describing the activities of one or more organisations and a core component of modern information systems. A Database Management System (DBMS) is software designed to assist in maintaining and utilising large collections of data and becoming a necessity for all organisations. This module provides an introduction to the area of databases and database management, relational database design and a flavour of some advanced topics in current database research that deal with different kinds of data often found within an organisational context. Lectures are structured into three main areas:¿An introduction to databases¿The process of designing relational databases¿Advanced topics (e.g. data warehouses and non-relational databases)The course includes a series of online tasks with supporting `drop in¿ laboratories aimed at providing you with the skills required to implement a database in Oracle and extract information using the Structured Query Language (SQL).

15 credits

Other courses:

Postgraduate Certificate requires a total of 60 credits
Postgraduate Diploma requires a total of 120 credits

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Teaching

The Information School has an international reputation for teaching and research in library management, and the latest ideas are fed directly into the Librarianship MA programme.

A variety of teaching methods are used, combining lectures from academic staff and professional practitioners with seminars, tutorials, small-group work and computer laboratory sessions, as well as visits to library and information services. There is strong emphasis on problem-solving and individual aspects of learning, with the expectation that you'll engage in independent study, reading and research in support of your coursework.

Teaching consists of two 15-week semesters. After this you will write your dissertation.

Assessment

Assessments vary depending on the modules you choose but may include essays, in-class tests, briefing papers and literature reviews, and creation of a website or database, or production of a library design, plus presentations.

There is also a dissertation of 10–15,000 words, which provides the opportunity, under one-to-one supervision, to focus in depth on a topic of your choice. You may choose to carry out your dissertation with an external organisation, for instance if you are a Professional Enhancement student, your project could be directly related to your own work situation. In the past, students who have carried out such dissertations have welcomed the opportunity to tackle real-life problems.

Duration

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time
  • 3 years part-time

Your career

A postgraduate qualification in library and information management is essential for many roles in the library and information profession. Our Librarianship MA programme has been designed for people who want to enter the profession or who are preparing to take the next step up in their careers.

Modern library and information services require professionals who can manage large volumes of information in both digital and traditional forms. You'll be equipped with the skills that are needed for the developing role of the library and information professional in organisations today.

Student profiles

Image of postgraduate Information School students sitting around table

I chose to study at the Information School because of its academic reputation and because it allowed me to specialise in the topics of interest that will help me in my career. The facilities are excellent and the lecturers are very experienced and committed. There are also many different opportunities provided by the School and University to enhance your knowledge.

Itzelle Medina
MA Librarianship

Entry requirements

Main course

You’ll need at least a good 2:2 in any subject and work experience would be helpful, but it is not a necessity.

Please contact us if you have any queries about your work experience.

Professional enhancement programme

To apply for the the professional enhancement programme you will need either:

  • an undergraduate degree in any subject discipline and at least 2 years' relevant work experience
  • an undergraduate degree in any subject together with an acceptable relevant professional qualification and at least 2 years' relevant work experience
  • an undergraduate degree in any subject area, and at least 5 years' relevant work experience.

If you do not have an undergraduate degree but have other qualifications and substantial relevant work experience you may be considered for entry onto the Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma courses.


Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Apply

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Our student protection plan

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

Explore this course:

    INFT03 Off