Some rather downbeat news. The University recently decided to withdraw the MA Information Studies course temporarily, taking effect from the academic year 2014-15.  This means that there will be no new students joining the course in October 2014 – although all the students currently on the course will be supported through to completion. The suspension is because of a proposed review of all the Postgraduate courses in Computing, the aim of which is to create a new programme of integrated modules and awards.  The MAIS team argued for resources to be put in place to maintain the course as it’s currently constituted so that it could run alongside the review, but this was not forthcoming. This is a real shame, since MAIS is one of the highest recruiting PG courses in the university and there is still obviously a market for it.

The PG review is being led by Lyn Pemberton, the Assistant Head of School responsible for the Computing Division.  She has made it clear that the aim at the moment is to have a pathway through the new programme which will have CILIP accreditation.  She’s also aiming to have the new programme up and running for the start of the academic year 2015-16.

So, hopefully a temporary blip!

If you want to find out more about our MA Information Studies and the opportunities it offers for graduates in the library and information world then come to our open evening on the 22 March in room W623 in the Watts Building on our Moulsecoomb campus.  We will be there from 4pm to 7pm to answer questions and discuss the course with you.

We look forward to meeting you.

More details and an online booking form for the open evening are here.

We’ve been working with East Sussex Library and Information Services to develop a skills programme for staff working in public libraries in the South East of England. The aim of the programme is to develop the knowledge and skills base in local public library services in the South East of England.

The first session was in January and we were really pleased with how it went and with the feedback we got from participants.  The session was on the theme of Public Libraries in Society and set the context for the programme. 

PL skills course

The photo shows David Horner in action at the whiteboard, along with Rhona Drever, Assistant Head of Service in East Sussex and some of the participants.

The sessions are being led by members of the teaching staff from the Information Management Subject Group and are taking place at the University of Brighton’s Moulsecoomb Campus. Practitioners from participating authorities and other guests are also being invited to contribute.

The course runs until December 2012 and consists of 10 modules, covering the following subjects:

• Public Libraries in Society
• Community Development
• Children and Young People’s Services
• Reader Development
• Local Studies and Family History
• Web 2.0
• Search Structure and Strategies
• Research Methods and Project Proposal
• Leadership and Communication
• Reflective Writing and CPD

As students are attending from across the South East region a major aspect of the learning is the opportunity to share experiences and best practice. Each participant’s learning and development is also being enhanced with support from their employer, allowing them to put their learning into practice within the service.

I’ll be writing up more of it as it progresses.

MA Information Studies open evening

Open Evening 17 March 2011 4pm to 7pm

Anyone interested in applying for our MA Information Studies course should consider coming to our open evening on Thursday 17th March between 4pm and 7pm where you’ll be able to meet our teaching staff, view our teaching facilities and find out more about the course.

It is an informal, drop-in session but if you think you might come please fill in our Online Form so we can get an idea of numbers.

We look forward to seeing you on the 17th March. The event will be in Room W622 in the Watts Building on our Moulsecoomb campus. Click HERE for more details.

Watch our short 3 minute video to find out more about the MA Information Studies

I’m currently teaching a module to our MA Information Studies students on information retrieval. We spend quite a lot of time using mainstream databases such as Dialog and Factiva but we’re also looking at ways of retrieving information from the main social networking sites such as Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn and Facebook. While Dialog and Factiva are the best tools for many information requests, I’m increasingly struck by how much useful information there is on some of the social networks. I think information professionals will increasingly have to be aware of the value of these sites and be able to use some of the tools for extracting information. I’m looking forward to developing this module over the next several years as new tools for making sense of the social web emerge.

If you are a library and information professional who wants to learn more about User Experience (UX) and Information Architecture (IA), this short course is exactly what you need. Taught over 3 days by an experienced practitioner, you’ll learn all of the key principles and techniques of the discipline, including requirements capture, user research, persona creation, user journeys, sitemapping, wireframing, prototyping and usability testing.

The course is a mixture of formal taught lectures and practical examples which you can get stuck into. It is suitable for anyone working with digital information across a range of LIS settings. The course can be taken on its own, or as part of a credit bearing set of modules leading to a postgraduate qualification.

Course dates: 20 – 22 April 2009

Location: University of Brighton

Cost: £410

For more information or to apply, please email Martin De Saulles


Today saw the official opening of the National Chess Library at University Centre Hastings (UCH). The collection was officially opened by Charles Clarke, MP, whose father, Sir Richard Clarke, donated his private collection of chess books to the British Chess Federation (now the English Chess Federation), to start the National Chess Library.

Part of the afternoon’s events included the presentation of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Europe award for the best student dissertation to Francess Warrell, who undertook research for her Masters dissertation into marketing of the collection. Frances completed her MA Information Studies at the University of Brighton last year, and has gone on to take up a post at the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum (see posting April 15th).

Frances is pictured below, with her dissertation supervisor, Dr. Nicola Smith, who teaches on the MAIS course in Brighton and is leading the Community History strand on the Joint Honours programme offered by UCH which will run for the first time this September (currently available as Joint Honours with Sociology or Joint Honours with English Literature). Details of all courses available at UCH are available here.

Also pictured below, (flourishing their wands and playing with a Harry Potter chess set), are Margaret Wallis, Head of Co-ordination and Development at UCH, and Sarah Eatwell, UCH Information Services Manager.


Nicola and Frances


Sarah and Margaret

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