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    2024 start September 

    Information Management

    Information School, Faculty of Social Sciences

    Prepare for your future career with the world’s number one school for Library and Information Management (QS Rankings 2024). Learn the core concepts and principles related to the systematic design and implementation of information, knowledge and data environments in organisational and networked contexts. The MSc award is CILIP accredited.
    Students and lecturer

    Course description

    Ready yourself for a wide variety of organisational and consultancy roles that demand expertise in information and knowledge management. The emphasis of the programme is on developing your knowledge, skills and experience of design, implementation, management and governance effective information environments. This includes examining their purposes, functions and processes and mediating between information users, resources and systems in both organisational and networked contexts.

    You'll also acquire practical experience in the use of new information and communications technologies and develop personal awareness and skills relevant to information management in a variety of workplace roles.

    You'll learn basic foundations of information management concerning the systematic acquisition, storage, retrieval, processing and use of data, information and knowledge, in support of decision-making, sense-making and organisational goals.

    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.


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


    A selection of modules is available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

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

    Core modules:

    Information and Knowledge Management

    This module addresses both the theoretical and practical aspects of managing information and knowledge in organisations, enabling students to engage critically with a number of current issues and debates in this field. It is designed around case studies of well known organisations and involves the development of skills in analysis and formulation of strategies for organisational development. Assessed work focuses also on skills in reviewing the domain and on the development of conceptual models for information and knowledge management.

    15 credits
    Information Retrieval: Search Engines and Information Seeking Behaviour

    Information volumes are growing exponentially within organisations and more generally online. We use search systems all the time to find the information we need for work, study and leisure. If we cannot find relevant information easily then we may make ill-informed and incorrect decisions. The science behind search is information retrieval, which can trace its origins back to the mid-1950s. Information retrieval research is of great importance to software developers as they seek to enhance the performance of a search application and its usability. This module provides an introduction to information seeking behaviour and to the science and technology of information retrieval. The module also outlines the way in which commercial search systems make use of the fundamental principles of information retrieval, and illustrates the very wide range of search-based applications that are now having a very significant impact on society and business. Particular attention is paid to evaluation, as the principles of search system evaluation require a good understanding of how search works and how it can be improved, for example through the use of search analytics.

    15 credits
    Information Systems in Organisations

    This module integrates topics of organisation, management, and information systems, with an aim to offer the students an integrated set of concepts and tools for understanding information systems in organisations. During this module students will explore basic management and organisational theories and examine the impact of information systems on organisations. This course introduces key concepts which will be explored further in other modules on the information Management and Information Systems programmes.

    15 credits
    Information Governance and Ethics

    This module explores a) the emergence of information and data as an economic resource; b) the governance challenges and ethical issues arising from organisations' systematic capture, processing, and use of information and data for organisational goals, e.g. value, risk, accountability, ownership, privacy etc; c) governance, ethical, legal and other frameworks relevant to the capture, processing and use of information and data within organisational and networked contexts; and d) technologies and techniques used in the governing and governance of information and data. Case examples from a number of domains, e.g. business, government, health, law, and social media illustrate the topics investigated.

    15 credits
    Research Methods and Dissertation Preparation

    This module assists students in the identification of, and preparation of a dissertation proposal. Students will: familiarise themselves with 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

    This module enables students to carry out an extended piece of work on an Information School approved 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

    Optional modules - one from:

    Introduction to Programming

    This module introduces students to computer programming. Aimed at students who have not studied programming before, it covers how to write effective, efficient and maintainable code. The competencies learnt are valued by many employers and provide an essential background to many information systems and information management-related roles. Indeed, after further study, students would be able to pursue a computer programming career

    15 credits
    Website Design and Search Engine Optimisation

    This module aims to teach the key principles of search engine optimised (SEO) and user-centred website design; including areas of search optimised and accessible design, content strategy, requirements analysis, user experience, and Web standards compliance. Students will have opportunities to apply this knowledge to authentic design problems and develop web authoring skills valued by employers. In particular, students will be introduced to the latest web mark-up languages (currently HTML5 and CSS3) and issues surrounding long-term search ranking, globalisation, internationalisation and localisation - with a business focussed context.

    15 credits
    Information Systems Modelling

    To consider the role of information modelling within the organisation and provide an appreciation of the rigorous methods that are needed to analyse, design, develop and maintain computer-based information systems. The course is intended to provide an introduction to information modelling techniques. Students gain experience in applying the wide range of systems analysis methods. Students cover topics including: soft systems analysis; structured systems analysis methodologies; business process modelling; data flow modelling and object-oriented approaches (e.g. RUP/UML).

    15 credits

    Optional modules - three from:

    Information Visualisation for Decision-Making

    Organisations are nowadays challenged by the volume, variety, and speed of data collected from systems in internal and external environments. This module will focus on i) theoretical and methodological frameworks for developing visualisations; ii) how visualisations can be used to explore and analyse different types of data; iii) how visualisations can turn data into information that can be used to offer critical insights and to aid in decision-making by managers and others. Its module content includes: how to design visualisations, how to create and critique different visualisations, as well as good practices in information visualisation and dashboard design.

    15 credits
    Information Systems Project Management

    This module aims to provide a broad understanding of the fundamentals of project management as they apply to the development of Information Systems (IS). The module uses a flexible approach combining face-to-face seminars with web-based learning material. The module will begin with an overview of the principles involved in IS project management; followed by a discussion of IS development methodologies and their different characteristics and specialisms. The rest of the module will discuss the requirements for various project control activities, including estimating development resources, risk management, guidelines for system quality assurance, and various project control techniques that have been developed in recent years. The module will culminate with a review of human resource management issues.

    15 credits
    AI in Organisations

    Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to benefit organisations, however, its potential can only be harnessed if used responsibly. Therefore, organisations will need to know what AI does and how to use it strategically or govern their data effectively. Organisations will also need to understand how the use of AI affects their ways of working and culture, as well as the professional roles of their employees.  The impact of AI on privacy, security, equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), as well as on the environment, must also be considered in organisational decisions. This module examines AI in organisations and their interplay with human, technical, and environmental factors. The module includes face-to-face lectures/workshops with in-class activities. There are three thematic blocks: 1) Understanding AI, which focuses on exploring key concepts, different types of AI, and all the elements needed to make AI 'work'(e.g. labour, mining sites, data collection); 2) Opportunities and challenges of AI, which explores how different forms of AI are used in different industries and their organisational, societal and environmental impact; and 3) Responsible AI within organisations, which focuses on influencing successful organisational decision-making around AI adoption and practice.

    Aims: 1. Provide a holistic and responsible approach to studying and understanding AI  in organisations, and what it means for an organisation to responsibly adopt and implement AI.

    2. Enable students to develop an understanding of how different forms of AI are used in a variety of organisational contexts, and learn to identify the use cases that respond to an organisation's mission.

    3. Build confidence and competence in supporting organisational AI end-users and to understand the benefits, risks and limitations of different AI applications.

    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?

    The primary focus of the module is on designing social media research projects rather than conducting them. Nevertheless, there will be opportunities to learn and practice relevant analysis skills. It is not a programming module but some of the topics involve the use of software and there will be the chance to write small programs for related tasks.

    15 credits
    ICTs, Innovation and Change

    This module aims at examining and exploring how organisations and human activity systems cope with change due to the new implementation or updating of Information Systems and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This change occurs in complex social environments and has cultural, political, structural and ethical impacts that need to be carefully managed. The module will examine and explore how both managers and Information Systems practitioners can be better prepared for the unpredictability, unintended outcomes and possible harmful consequences of change caused by the introduction or update of Information Systems and ICTs. Therefore, the module aims at providing an understanding of both approaches and techniques for the management of this change.

    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
    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, information and knowledge services in educational, public, charitable, 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 various backgrounds, giving extensive opportunities for interaction with specialist practitioners.

    15 credits
    User-Centred Design and Human-Computer Interaction

    Interface design and usability are central to the experience of interacting with computers. The module introduces usability principles and the design process for interactive systems exploring four major themes. Firstly, user psychology and cognitive principles underlying interface design. Secondly, user interface architectures, modes of interaction, metaphors, navigational structures. Thirdly, the user interface design process including task analysis, modelling constructs and prototyping techniques. Fourthly, the evaluation of user interfaces covering concepts of usability, goals and types of evaluation. The module focus is on the underlying principles of HCI and user-centred design approach with practical sessions to demonstrate these principles.

    15 credits
    Archives and Records Management

    This module prepares students for roles within archives and records management, with emphasis on archives.  Students will develop knowledge and awareness of key theories and practices in archives and records management. The module introduces students to some of the principal issues surrounding the provision of archives and records management services and the challenges of meeting user needs within an organisational context. In addition to presenting the fundamental principles the second part of the module focuses on specific topics of interest, such as: community archiving, digital preservation, web archiving and oral history collecting.

    15 credits
    Business Intelligence

    Every modern business has access to large pools of data from various internal and external sources. Internally, businesses hold data about their products and services, workforce, customers and suppliers, to name a few. Externally, social media data, such as customer comments on products/services, is increasingly becoming vital as businesses endeavour to retain their customers and design or redesign new products or services to meet customer expectations. Data is now universally recognised as the most critical resource in managing businesses. However, businesses will struggle to use data for competitive and strategic advantage unless it is transformed into intelligence. Business Intelligence has become one of the essential assets in 21st-century organisations as it turns raw data into actionable insights. This module, therefore, presents an introduction to Business Intelligence and its diverse applications across various fields, including human resources, customer retention, and enhancing business competitiveness. Additionally, it offers practical experience opportunities by utilising a robust, user-friendly BI platform commonly used in the industry.

    20 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.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses.

    You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours


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


    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.

    There's a 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 which you’ll write your dissertation.


    Assessments vary depending on the modules you choose but may include essays, report writing, oral presentations, in-class tests and group projects.

    There's also a dissertation of 10–15,000 words, which provides the opportunity, under one-to-one supervision, to focus 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 work situation. In the past, students who have carried out such dissertations have welcomed the opportunity to tackle real-life problems.

    Your career

    We're the leading school of our kind in the UK and have a global reputation for excellence. Our MSc develops the skills you need to work in the fast-paced and evolving field of information management. After completing the course, you'll be equipped for a career in industry or research.

    Examples of organisations that have employed our graduates include:

    • Google
    • Amazon
    • Nongfu Spring 
    • Miniso
    • EY (Ernst & Young Global Limited)
    • Tesla C.N.
    • Financial institutions in the UK and overseas

    Graduates are employed in roles such as:

    • Product Manager
    • Project Manager
    • Information Manager
    • Intelligent Supply Chain Product Manager
    • Investment Manager
    • Program Manager

    Career pathways

    Our modules prepare you for a range of career pathways, including the following. If you're interested in one of these career pathways, your tutors will recommend the most suitable module choices.

    Digital Business

    This involves managing and delivering products and services. Possible job titles include:

    • e-commerce manager
    • digital product/service delivery manager
    • digital marketer
    • digital product owner

    Information Technology

    This involves working with organisations to make improvements using information technologies. Possible job titles include:

    • business analyst
    • systems analyst
    • IT project manager
    • database administrator
    • operational researcher

    Information Science

    Information scientists manage an organisation's information resources and make sure they're readily available. Possible job titles include:

    • information manager
    • information officer
    • knowledge manager
    • management information analyst
    • information governance officer
    • business intelligence officer
    • reporting analyst
    • information analyst
    • data privacy analyst

    Careers in information


    Information School

    The University of Sheffield Information School is ranked number one in the world for library and information management in the QS World University Rankings by subject 2024. These rankings are based upon academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact.

    The school has been at the forefront of developments in the information field for more than fifty years. The subject is characterised by its distinctive, interdisciplinary focus on the interactions between people, information and digital technologies. It has the ultimate goal of enhancing information access, and the management, sharing and use of information, to benefit society.

    When you come to study with us you'll be an integral part of our research culture. The school is your home and we pride ourselves on the friendliness and helpfulness of our staff.

    We offer an outstanding academic education through a wide range of taught postgraduate degrees which embed the principles of research-led teaching.

    When you join any of our degree programmes you'll develop a critical understanding of current issues in library and information management. You'll benefit from being taught by staff who are undertaking leading-edge research and who have many links with industry.

    As part of our mission to provide world-quality university education in information, we aim to inspire and help you pursue your highest ambitions for your academic and professional careers.

    Ali Mroweh

    As a student who lived and experienced the calm yet vibrant Sheffield, I would say it is the ideal place for a student to study and live

    Ali Mroweh MSc Information Management

    Lebanese student Ali came to the Information School with a background in enviromental engineering and enjoyed the practical modules on the Information Management course, as well as the green spaces Sheffield has to offer.

    Entry requirements

    Main course

    Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree.

    Professional Enhancement

    This is a different route to the main course. It's aimed at those who already have relevant work experience. To apply for this route you need either:

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

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

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

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

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


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

    Apply now

    This course has a date of equal consideration of 14 January 2024. This date has now passed, but we are currently still welcoming applications.

    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.