Bachelor of library studies

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Programme Specification


Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if full advantage is taken of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each module can be found in Module Specifications and other programme documentation and online at

The accuracy of the information in this document is reviewed by the University and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.

Awarding body/institution:

Loughborough University

Teaching institution (if different):

Details of accreditation by a professional/statutory body:

Name of the final award:


Programme title:

Library Studies

UCAS code:

Date at which the programme specification was written or revised:

May 2003

1. Aims of the programme:

  • to produce students with an understanding of the professional, managerial and technical dimensions of work in the library profession;

  • to provide a supportive environment in which international students can augment their existing library/information qualifications;

  • to introduce students to basic ideas of information science theory;

  • to deepen knowledge and understanding of the nature of information in all its forms, whether in printed, electronic, graphic or other form, including its generation, recording, communication, acquisition, storage, preservation, organisation, retrieval, management, dissemination, value and use;

  • to enhance awareness of working environments, whether public, academic, industrial and commercial;

  • to provide a knowledge of systems and technologies by which information is handled to enable students to use technology with confidence;

  • to raise awareness of legal, ethical and professional issues as they relate to the library and information sector;

  • to enable students to apply the principles, ideas and concepts of the discipline to a defined area of study.

2. Relevant subject benchmark statements and other external and internal reference points used to inform programme outcomes:

  • QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for Librarianship and Information Management;

  • Loughborough University, A Strategy for Teaching and Learning in the New Millennium;

  • Loughborough University Department of Information Science, Aims and Objectives;

  • Loughborough University Department of Information Science, Learning and Teaching Strategy (revised draft February 2002);

  • Loughborough University Department of Information Science, Self Assessment Document, October 2000.

3. Intended Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

This one-year programme offers international students a unique opportunity to extend their professional education by converting their existing diplomas into British Bachelors degrees. The programme covers a range of information-related topics and on successful completion of this programme, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the ethical and legal dilemmas facing information professionals;

  • the basics of information science theory;

  • the needs of users of information services;

  • the electronic information services industry;

  • the principles of information management;

  • how information services are organised to meet the needs of their users;

  • developments in IT applications and their use.

Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved and demonstrated:
The programme content is delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, guided independent reading, practical computer laboratory classes and individual supervision. Students are required to work individually and also in independent small groups.
Students are assessed by a variety of: coursework assignments (essays and reports); examinations; a dissertation; oral presentations; and, depending on options chosen, computer-based practical assignments. The dissertation tests each student’s ability to bring the various skills and knowledge together into a small but comprehensive investigation of a specialised topic of the student’s own choosing.
Skills and other attributes:
a. Subject-specific cognitive skills:

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • critically analyse developments in the information/library discipline and their implications;

  • interpret and use bibliometric data;

  • evaluate different information technology applications and their use;

  • discuss the principles of information management in a variety of environments and institutional contexts;

  • analyse data and synergise information into value-added formats;

  • evaluate users’ needs in a variety of contexts and in relation to a range of printed and electronic information services and systems;

  • plan effective strategies for searching and handling information (in both printed and electronic formats).

Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved and demonstrated:
Discussion and understanding of principles, developments and concepts is stimulated through lectures, small group teaching in tutorials and seminars and guided independent reading which is often further explored in a classroom setting. Workshops and laboratory-based sessions are also used to demonstrate key concepts and theories.
Cognitive skills such as analytical ability, argument and reasoning are assessed through coursework and examinations. Examinations enable students to demonstrate their mastery of subject knowledge and their ability to apply that to a particular problem or question under time constraints. Coursework assignments such as essays and reports allow students to explore a topic in depth and apply the full range of cognitive skills. Students are also required to demonstrate their ability by undertaking an extended piece of independent desk research.

b. Subject-specific practical skills:

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • apply the resources of scholarship to specific problems in the information science field;

  • apply legal and ethical approaches to issues likely to be encountered as an information professional;

  • use citation indexes;

  • design information services and systems according to users’ needs;

  • demonstrate IT competence with a range of computer applications.

Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved and demonstrated:
Practical skills are promoted through practical work in laboratory-based classes, small group teaching and workshops. Students are advised on research skills in class and particularly through the individual supervision for their dissertations.
Assessment of practical skills is primarily through coursework assignments with some assessment of practical knowledge in examinations.

c. Key/transferable skills:

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • plan and undertake independent research for a dissertation in a defined topic area;

  • manage a range of data and present them effectively in a suitable format;

  • communicate effectively the results of their studies and research in writing (reports and essays) and by means of oral presentation;

  • utilise time management skills in planning work;

  • work effectively in teams;

  • use a range of IT packages and applications confidently.

Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved and demonstrated:
Many of the key transferable skills are developed through small group teaching and practical laboratory-based teaching. Individual dissertation supervision also helps build competence in key areas. Independent small group work develops students’ team working skills. Assignment feedback from tutors enables students to improve their written communication and data presentation skills.
Assessment of key skills is embedded in module assessment; communication skills and team work skills are often explicitly listed in the marking criteria of assignments.
4. Programme structures and requirements , levels, modules, credits and awards:
Credit weightings of modules are shown in brackets. Students are required to take modules amounting to 120 credits. NB: this is a one-year programme.





Dissertation (20)

Legal and Professional Issues (10)

User-Centred Services (10)

Information Science (10)

Information Retrieval (10)

English Language and Study Skills 1 (10)

English Language and Study Skills 2 (10)

Options (10-30)

Options (10-30)

Options available Semester 1:
Informatics and Systems; Information and Knowledge Management 1; Information Management in the NHS; Web Design Using DHTML; Preservation Management 1; Hypermedia; The Book Trade; Interaction Design; Culture and Change Management (all 10 credits).
Options available Semester 2:
Systems Modelling; Information Work in Developing Countries;; The Child and the Book; Consumer Health Information; The Magazine Business; Electronic Information Management; Information and Knowledge Management 2; Human Information Processing (all 10 credits).
5. Criteria for admission to the programme:
Students must hold a two-year diploma qualification. Those with the French qualification Diplome Universitaire Technologique (DUT) must have been awarded a minimum score of 12/20, and in addition a minimum of 12/20 in the English Language component of the DUT. Those with other diploma qualifications must provide sufficient information so that a decision concerning an offer can be more clearly determined by the Department on the basis of merit, and ratified by the University Academic Registry. Students with diplomas other than the DUT must also submit an essay of 2,500 words on a topic set by the Department.
6. Information about assessment regulations:
Students must register for modules with a total weight of 120 credits, and must pass modules totalling a minimum of 100 credits. Students must also achieve a minimum of 30% in all modules. Modules are assessed by coursework, examination, or (most commonly) a combination of both, as indicated in individual module specifications. Any student who fails to meet these requirements has the automatic right of reassessment on one occasion only in any module or modules which are causing them to fail. Students may choose to be reassessed in the University’s Special Assessment Period or during the following year.
Students are given credit for their diploma as a Part B mark. For those students who have taken the DUT qualification, the diploma score (marked out of 20) is multiplied by 5 to give a Part B mark. For those students with other diploma qualifications, the marking schemes of the institutions are reviewed and Part B marks are calculated on this basis of these. Part B and Part C of the BLS programme contribute to the final degree classification in the ratio 25% : 75%.
7. Indicators of quality:
The department received an ESR (Teaching Quality Assessment) score of the maximum, 24/24, in October 2000.
The department was rated Grade 5 in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise, one below the highest grade

8. Particular support for learning:
Learning and Teaching Development:

Learning and teaching Development (L&TD) is the University’s centre for teaching and learning innovation and the dissemination of best practice.

It provides support for teaching, learning and assessment by working with both staff and students. It works directly with tutors who wish to develop more effective teaching and learning and also provides support to students who need skills and learning development.

Computing Services

Computing Services provides the University IT facilities and infrastructure. General purpose computer resources across campus are open 24 hours and more specialist computer laboratories are provided I partnership with departments. Students in halls of residence are supported in connecting their computers to the high speed network. The University’s virtual learning environment “LEARN” provides on and off campus access to web-based teaching materials provided by lecturing staff.

Disabilities and Additional Needs Service

The Disabilities and Additional Needs Service (DANS) offers support for students and staff including: advice both on matters relating to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Act (SENDA); adaptation of course materials into Braille/large print/tape/disk/other formats; organising mobility training; BSL interpretation; provision of communication support workers; note takers in lectures/tutorials; assessment of specific support, equipment and software needs; individual/small group tuition for students who have dyslexia; representing students’ needs to academic and other University departments; organising adapted accommodation to meet individual needs; helping to organise carers to meet any personal care needs; organising appropriate support for students who have a mental health problem.

DANS has links with the RNIB Vocational College, Derby College for Deaf People and the National Autism Society to offer effective support to students at the University. It regularly takes advice from other national and local organisations of and for disabled people.
Where a student has complex support or accommodation needs, contact with DANS is strongly advised prior to application.


The University Library provides advanced support for student learning in a purpose-built building and electronically via the web. It is open for upwards of 80 hours per week during semester and holds a stock of more than half a million volumes and an extensive serials collection. Numerous PC workstations (100+), networked printing facilities and self-service photocopiers are also available. The Library is designated EDC (European Documentation Centre). The Library catalogue is available on-line, as are electronic versions of reading lists. Over 180 subject-specific electronic databases can be accessed by users both on campus and elsewhere. The Library organises induction sessions for first year students and librarians can provide flexible training for students and researchers throughout their time at Loughborough. User support is also available from the Library information desks, via printed and online guides and through a series of ‘Lunchtime in the Library’ and other training sessions. There are a variety of study environments in the Library, including individual and group study desks, private carrels and group study rooms.

Mathematics Learning Support Centre

The Centre, which is based in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, provides a range of services designed to support any undergraduate student in the University in their learning of mathematics. In particular it aims to help students in the earlier stages of their studies who might benefit from resources and tuition over and above that normally provided as part of their course.

The Virtual Engineering mathematics Learning Support Centre provides online help for Engineering students in mathematics. This site is an additional resource provided by the mathematics Learning Support Centre in conjunction with the Faculty of Engineering Teaching and Learning Support Centre, providing students with an additional way of accessing some of the resources held within the centre – 24 hours a day.
Careers Service

The Careers Service provides a continuous service for students seeking careers guidance and help with job-search techniques, together with a library of careers resources. Careers Service personnel visit departments to talk to student groups and are involved with students and parents from recruitment and induction onwards. In the UK Graduate Careers Survey, sponsored by the Times Newspaper, Loughborough University Careers Service was rated as one of the most impressive with over 80% of students rating it as good or excellent.

Staff Development

Staff Development (SD) provides continuing professional development in

teaching and other skills.  Probationary staff attend a full programme of SD
courses and, in the final year of probation, Quality Enhancement assesses their
teaching through direct observation and a portfolio.  Accreditation for this
process has been awarded by the Institute for Learning and Teaching (ILT).
Other development opportunities are provided in institutional strategic priority
areas and in response to discussions with departments in the context of their
learning and teaching strategies.
9. Methods for evaluating and improving the quality and standards of learning:
The University has a formal quality procedure and reporting structure laid out in its Academic Quality Procedures handbook, available online at:

and directed by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching). Each Faculty has an Associate Dean for Teaching responsible for all learning and teaching matters. For each Faculty there is a Directorate (responsible for the allocation of resources) and a Board (responsible for monitoring quality issues within each department). Support is provided by the Staff Development Unit and the Quality Assessment Unit.

Student feedback on modules and programmes is sought at regular intervals, individual programmes are reviewed annually, and Departments review their full portfolio of programmes as part of a Periodic Programme Review (every five years).
Minor changes to module specifications are approved by the Associate Dean (Teaching) on behalf of the Faculty Board, and ratified by the University Curriculum Sub-Committee in accordance with the University's quality procedures. Major changes are formally considered by the University Curriculum Sub-Committee.
All staff participate in the University's staff appraisal scheme, which helps to identify any needs for staff skills development. Both probationary staff and those seeking promotion to Senior Lecturer are subject to a formal teaching evaluation scheme, administered by the Quality Assessment Unit and accredited by the Institute for Learning and Teaching.

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