Programme Structure 

Students have two options for completing the MSc in Information Studies programme:

By Coursework and Dissertation

In this option, students take one compulsory course, 4 foundation courses and 3 electives and a project on which the student must submit a dissertation.

By Coursework Only

In this option, students take one compulsory course, 4 foundation courses and  4 electives  and H6799 Critical Inquiry.

Information available on this page:

Course Load and the Academic Unit System
Grade Point Average Requirements
The Dissertation
List of Courses
Course Descriptions

Course Load and the Academic Unit System

With the introduction of the Academic Units system in the university, the student in the MSc (Information Studies) programme has to accumulate a total of 30 Academic Units (AUs) to graduate. Each course in the curriculum carries 3 AUs, with the exception of Dissertation Project which carries 6 AUs. A 3-AU course comprises 39 contact hours of lectures, tutorials and laboratory work. The full-time programme can be completed within one academic year (two semesters) by taking 5 courses (1 compulsory course and 4 Foundations) in Semester 1, and 3 Electives plus Disssertation Project in Semester 2 -- or 4 Electives plus H6799 Critical Inquiry for coursework-only students. The maximum candidature for the full-time programme is two academic years.

The part-time programme can be completed within two academic years (four semesters) by taking 2 Foundations in Semester 1, and another 2 Foundations in Semester 2 in the first year of study. In the second year, coursework+dissertation students can take 1 compulsory course and 2 Electives in Semester 1 and another 1 Elective plus the Dissertation Project in Semester 2. Coursework-only students can take 1 compulsory course and 2 Electives in Semester 1 of the second year, and 2 Electives plus H6799 Critical Inquiry in Semester 2.

Students can decide to complete the programme according to their preferred pace of study by accumulating and meeting the necessary AU requirements for graduation. However, the maximum candidature for the part-time MSc (Information Studies) programme is four academic years.

Suggested course load for full-time and part-time students taking the coursework+dissertation option:

  Compulsory Course Foundation Courses Electives Project Number of AUs

 MSc (Information Studies) Full-Time Programme
Semester One
1 4


- 15
Semester Two
- -

3 (Dissertation)
4 (Critical Inquiry)

2 (Dissertation)
1 (Critical Inquiry)


Total AUs

 MSc (Information Studies) Part-Time Programme
   Semester One
- 2 - - 6
 Semester Two
1 2 - - 9
 Semester Three
- - 2 - 6
 Semester Four
- -

1 (Dissertation)
2 (Critical Inquiry)

2 (Dissertation)
1 (Critical Inquiry)


Total AUs

A total of 6 AUs are accumulated for successful completion of Project that includes the submission of a dissertation not exceeding 15,000 words.

Grade Point Average Requirements

From the academic year 2005, the university adopted a Grade Point Average (GPA) system of calculating the overall academic performance of a student in a particular semester and for the whole programme. Letter grades obtained for courses are assigned grade points of 0 to 5.0 as follows:

Letter Grade Grade Point
A+ 5.0
A 5.0
A- 4.5
B+ 4.0
B 3.5
B- 3.0
C+ 2.5
C 2.0
D+ 1.5
D 1.0
F 0

The Term Grade Point Average (TGPA) represents the grade point average for all courses taken by a student in a particular semester. The Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) represents the grade point average for all the courses taken by the student

To graduate from the MSc in Information Studies programme, a student must:

1. Complete all the requirements for the programme of study, and
2. Attain a minimum CGPA of 2.50 (equivalent to C+ average) at the completion of the programme of study.

A student is considered to be making satisfactory progress in any semester of study if he attains a minimum TGPA of 2.50. A student who obtains a TGPA of less than 2.50 in 2 consecutive semesters of study will be dismissed from the programme.

The Dissertation

Harnessing the knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired in the courses and applying them to solve information-related research problems, create new knowledge or develop new information products or services is an essential part of the programme. A student who opts for the coursework+dissertation option has to undertake a Project under the supervision of a faculty member and submit a dissertation of up to 15,000 words. The Project can be in any of the disciplines of the information studies area. However, students are advised to work on a Project that is related to their chosen area of concentration. A student who opts for the coursework only option has to take H6799 Critical Inquiry which includes a small research study. In this option, the student is not required to submit a dissertation.

List of Courses

Compulsory Course

H6701 Research in Information Studies

Foundation Courses (Take at least 4)

H6711 Perspectives on Information Studies
H6712 Information Sources & Searching
H6713 Information Representation & Retrieval
H6714 Information Organisation
H6715 Information Management
H6716 Internet & Web Technologies


For the coursework+dissertation option: Three courses to be selected. For the coursework only option: Four courses to be selected.

H6721 Collection Development & Management
H6722 Cataloguing & Classification
H6723 Business & Management Sources and Services
H6724 Children & Young Adults Sources and Services
H6725 Advanced Reference Services
H6726 Management of Information Organisations
H6727 Information Behaviour
H6728 Archival Management
H6729 Organisational Records Management
H6730 Digital Libraries
H6731 Database Management Systems
H6732 Human-Computer Interaction
H6733 Social Computing
H6791 (Special Topic): Social Sciences & Humanities Sources and Services
H6792 (Special Topic): Science & Technology Sources and Services
H6793 (Special Topic): Art and Music Sources and Services
H6794 (Special Topic): Heritage Informatics
New Courses
H6795 Text and Web Mining
Social Media Analytics
Information Mining & Analysis
Information Visualization

Research Project

Dissertation OR H6799 Critical Inquiry

Not all the elective subjects will be offered in any given semester. While the Division will endeavour to offer as many elective subjects as possible, it cannot guarantee that students will be able to take all the elective subjects of their choice.

Course Descriptions

Compulsory Course

H6701 Research in Information Studies

The course provides an introduction to quantitative and qualitative foundations of research in information sciences. Students will gain a basic understanding of both quantitative and qualitative research approaches, as well as gain hands-on knowledge on designing, collecting, analysing and evaluating research.

Paradigms, theories, and ethics of social science and LIS research. Research design. Survey research. Experiments. Unobtrusive research. Designing and implementing a qualitative research study. The interview method. Ethnography and participant observations. Qualitative analysis. Evaluating and managing quality in qualitative research.

Foundation Courses

H6711 Perspectives on Information Studies

This course provides an overview of the broad heritage of information work in order to give students an understanding and appreciation of the values/norms that inform this work and the deep roots of many of the problems that continue to confront the information professions today.

Representing and recording information: from papyrus to ebooks. Development of scientific information systems. The tangled history of computing technology. Origins of statistics: political arithmetic to the national census. Universal bibliography: Konrad Gesner to Paul Otlet to Google. Sorting things out: Linnaeus and Buffon to Dewey and Ranganathan. Libraries in the past: public, academic and special. Library history in Singapore. Contemporary issues in information work.

H6712 Information Sources and Searching

This course develops basic searching skills to effectively retrieve information using different information systems. It also familiarise students to key reference sources and activities, and how to manage a reference service.

Basic searching concepts and developing search strategies. Use of basic and advanced search features. Evaluation of search results and management of the search service. Philosophy of reference service. Primary, secondary and tertiary information sources. Evaluation and selection of reference sources including dictionaries, encyclopedias, and ready reference sources. Conducting reference interviews. Evaluation of reference services. User education and staff training. Virtual reference services.

H6713 Information Representation and Retrieval

This course provides an introduction on how information in different forms of documents can be represented, organised and indexed to support effective search and retrieval.  It covers the main concepts of information retrieval, use of standards, and the design and evaluation of such systems.

Principles of information retrieval systems. Description and representation of information sources. Organising information sources. Applications of information standards. Query structures and matching process: Boolean and Vector Space models. Visualising information. Designing and evaluating information retrieval systems. Image, multimedia and web information retrieval. Trends in information representation, organisation and information retrieval.

H6714 Information Organisation

This course provides an overview of information organisation in libraries and other information agencies. It introduces the principles, standards, and tools for preparing surrogate records. Students will gain experience in conducting basic cataloguing work such as bibliographic description and subject analysis.

Functions and purposes of catalogues. Process of bibliographic control. Descriptive cataloguing: bibliographic description, selection of access points, and authority control. Subject analysis: subject headings and classification systems. Encoding of bibliographic records. General metadata schemas. Recent developments in information organisation.

H6715 Information Management

This course introduces the basic concepts of information management, how information is identified, evaluated, collected, processed, stored and disseminated in profit and non-profit organisations. The emphasis is on context-based information and its management for planning and decision-making. 

Importance of information in society. Information management in learning organisations. Information needs and information seeking in organisations. Information management cycle and activities. Managing human, print and online information resources. Information politics and information sharing in organisations. Marketing of information products and services to staff and stakeholders. Outsourcing of information management activities. Information auditing and management of information related projects.

H6716 Internet and Web Technologies

This course introduces fundamental Web technologies in information services and applications. Students will learn to create simple dynamic Web pages and applications using Web development tools.

Evolution of Internet and Web technologies. An overview of networking concepts, Internet communication protocols and information security. Client-side technologies: Web content representation with markup languages and dynamic Web page generation with script languages. Server-side technologies: application programming languages, Web servers, and application servers. Introduction to XML (eXtensible Markup Language) and Web 2.0 technologies.


H6721 Collection Development and Management

This course covers the principles and techniques used for developing, managing, and evaluating print and non-print materials. Students will also learn about the impact of contemporary issues including intellectual freedom, copyright and censorship on collection development and management activities.

Key concepts related to collection development and management. Community analysis and information needs assessment. Formulation of resource development and management policy. Selection approaches and tools. Role and evaluation of library vendors. Procurement procedures and access to materials. Access to and management of electronic information resources. Financial planning for collection development. Conservation and preservation of materials. Evaluation of collection using a variety of collection-centered and user-centered techniques. De-selection of materials.

H6722 Cataloguing and Classification

This course further examines cataloguing and classification systems. It covers the principles, types, and practices of resource description and subject authority control. Students will gain familiarity with recent standards and tools used for organising print and electronic resources.

Advanced bibliographic description: cataloguing of digital resources and authority work. Indexing of information resources. Subject-access mechanisms: controlled vocabularies and bibliographic classification systems. Organising digital collections: specialized metadata schemas and metadata record encoding. Technical services: bibliographic utilities and integrated library systems.

Prerequisite: Information Organisation or Instructor’s consent.

H6723 Business & Management Information Sources & Services

This course provides an overview of the wide world of business information sources and services. Students will learn both the major print and electronic resources as well as a variety of business information services that can be provided by libraries and information centres.

Business print resources and databases. Government sources and services for business. Economic and industrial indicators. Marketing information resources. Investment information resources. Corporate information needs and services. Competitive intelligence and business. Intellectual property issues. Future trends in the provision of information to business

H6724 Children & Young Adults Information Sources & Services

This course provides basic knowledge of children/young adult literature, the value of literature in child development and an understanding of the information needs of children and young adults in the digital age.

History of children/young adult literature. Key genres of children/young adult literature. Evaluation of children/young adult literature and services. South East Asia’s contribution to children/young adult literature. The digital age: the Google Generation and the library. Library services for children/young adults. Imparting information literacy skills. Internationalism and multiculturalism in children/young adult literature.

H6725 Advanced Reference Services

This course explores the concepts, trends, and issues in the area of reference and information services. It covers the functions, ethics, and processes of reference services. The assessments of information needs and services to special groups will be discussed.

Nature and functions of reference and information services; Information services philosophies and ethics; Conducting reference interviews; Virtual reference services; Selection and evaluation of reference materials; Bibliographic instruction and information literacy training; Information needs assessment; Services to special populations; Information services marketing and outreach; Evaluation of information services.

H6726 Management of Information Organisations

This course prepares students to effectively function as managers of information organisations. It covers key principles of the management cycle including planning, organising, directing and controlling of organisational assets.

Principles of management and their application in information institutions. Managerial roles of information professionals. Managing people, processes, resources, technologies, and services in information organisations. Organisational structures and organisational behaviour dimensions. Strategic and operational planning. Human resource management. Effective skills for communication and leadership. Budgetary management.

H6727 Information Behaviour

This course examines user interaction with information in different contexts. It examines the issues involved in information behaviour and implications for education, management and system design.

Theories and models of information behaviour. Information needs, seeking and use in different contexts and domains. Organisation, management and sharing of personal information. Interactions with information in different types of media. Assessment of information and trust. Information ethics. Quantitative and qualitative techniques for studying information behaviour.

H6728 Archival Management

This course will introduce students to basic principles of archival theory and current practices in the field. Students will acquire knowledge of the different aspects of archival work to prepare them for work as an archivist.

Introduction to archival work. Classical and contemporary theorists. Foundations of appraisal theory. Acquiring private archives. Understanding and applying appraisal methods. Classical approaches to archival arrangement. Key approaches to archival description. Gaining control of new materials: Accessioning. Archival conservation and preservation in practice. Oral history methodology. Archives records management.

H6729 Organisational Records Management

This course introduces the main concepts and practices of managing records in organisations. It   equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills to prepare them as managers of records in organisations.

Foundations and importance of records management. Analysing the context of records. Record creation and capture. Managing the appraisal, retention and disposal of records. Providing access to records: taxonomies, classification schemes and folksonomies. Record storage and preservation. Implementing records management. Disaster planning and recovery.

H6730 Digital Libraries

This course will focus on building digital libraries using open source tools. Students will learn how information methods and techniques, such as metadata, taxonomy, XML, full-text indexes, Web applications and database systems, are used together to build digital libraries.

Concepts and evolution of digital libraries. Types of digital resources and metadata. Techniques to implement metadata-based browsing and full-text searching. User interfaces. Digital library management and policy including security, copyright and preservation. System architecture, protocols and services for interoperability. Tools for developing web-based digital library applications.

H6731 Database Management Systems

This course is an introduction to relational database management systems. Students will learn how to apply the principles of data modelling and database design to develop a small web-based database application.

Overview of database management and development. Relational database design: data modelling using Entity-Relationship diagrams, normalisation of relational tables, and physical database design. Database definition and manipulation: relational operations and Structured Query Language. Managing database environments: database administration, transaction processing, stored procedures and triggers, and access control. Tools for developing web-based database applications.

H6732 Human Computer Interaction

HCI is the study of people using computers and aims to suggest ways in which designers can build efficient, usable and useful systems. Students will learn the concepts of human cognition and perception, as well as how to examine systems for usability issues.

Basic concepts of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Human cognition and perception: memory, cognitive task analysis, the human information processing model and visual perception. Interactive systems: dialogue design, user support, direct manipulation, and design heuristics. User-centered design: task analysis and scenario-based approaches, qualitative and quantitative methods for evaluation.

H6733 Social Computing

This course introduces emerging social computing technologies. It explores the effective use and management of social technologies from both practical and theoretical perspectives.

Concepts of social software and computing technologies. Social computing and user communities. Affordances of social computing technologies. Social computing applications. Strategies for effective implementation of social computing. Critical analysis and emerging trends such as organisational communication and political campaigning. Implications of social computing including ethical, legal, privacy and security issues.

H6791 Social Science & Humanities Information Sources and Services

This course seeks to broaden students’ understanding of electronic and print information sources, focusing specifically on the areas of social science and the humanities. It contextualises the use of these tools within specific social science and humanities disciplines.

The origins and historical overview of social science and humanities. Academic cultures and scholarly communication in the social sciences and humanities. Information behaviour of social scientists and humanists. Key information resources and services in the social sciences and humanities. The role of government in the production of social science information. The social sciences and humanities in South East Asia.

H6792 Science & Technology Sources and Services

This course develops a basic understanding of the nature and structure of science and technology (S&T) information sources and services. It also covers the communication patterns and channels used by the scientific community for scholarly communication.

Information needs and seeking patterns. Nature and uniqueness of various S&T disciplines. Formal and informal scholarly communication channels. Characteristics of primary, secondary and tertiary information sources in print and non-print formats. S&T publishing cycle and the role of peer review. Information sources and services in selected scientific disciplines. Production of S&T information by government departments, professional associations and other agencies. Evaluation of S&T sources and Services. Contemporary issues in S&T research and information dissemination.

H6793 Art and Music Sources and Services

This course will help you acquire an understanding of the field of music and art librarianship. Other than readings, students will be expected to spend a considerable amount of time listening to assigned audio files and watching assigned movies.

Introduction to the nature of musical knowing. The literature of music. Understanding the information needs of the music community. Music libraries: Acquiring and developing collections. Principles and techniques of music cataloguing and classification. Music publishing and recording, music literacy, and the functions of the music librarian. Historical introduction to sources of art information resources. Cataloguing and managing art and other special materials.

H6794 Heritage Informatics

This course introduces concepts, practices, and research associated with heritage work from the perspective of information science. Students will learn how people think about heritage, and in the process, understand the emergence and management of heritage in the contemporary media environment.

Concepts of heritage work. Custodians of heritage: libraries, museums, archives and other memory institutions. Locating practices in physical and virtual environments. Society and documentary heritage. Assessing the value of heritage resources. Introduction to intangible heritage such as oral stories, songs and carnivals. Perceptions of heritage and collective memories. Public engagement and participation. Preserving heritage resources.

H6795 Text and Web Mining

This course is an introduction to text and web mining. It covers how to analyse unstructured data (i.e. text content) on the Web using text mining techniques. Students will learn various text mining techniques and tools both through lectures and hands-on exercises in labs. The course will also explore various usages of text mining techniques to real world applications. This course focuses on Web content mining, but not on Web structure and usage mining.

H6750 Social Media Analytics

This course develops analytical ability with respect to the variety of information provided by the web and social media applications. Students will learn about the mechanisms for observing behavioral and consumer generated information as well as the leading-edge technologies that aid in the collection and analysis of these data.

[From MSc(KM) Program] K6312 Information Mining and Analysis

Principles and concepts of knowledge discovery and data mining. The knowledge discovery process. Data preparation. Techniques and methods for extracting information and knowledge from large amounts of data. Statistical methods. Machine learning techniques: decision tree induction, nearest neighbour categorization, Bayesian learning, neural networks, associated rules, and clustering. Text and Web mining for unstructured data. Data mining for KM applications.

[From MSIS Program] CI6221 Information Visualisation

Study of concepts, models and examples for improved information visualisation; Rearrangement and interaction: affordances, table lens, mosaic displays, network data, algorithms; Representation and interpretation data: quantitative, ordinal and categorical data; Dynamic exploration: dynamic queries, attribute explorer, neighbourhood explorer, model maker; Connectivity: graph theory, general networks, tree structures; Document visualisation: TileBars, galaxies, themescapes, galaxy of news, Kohonen maps.

Research Project

H6799 Critical Inquiry

This course provides students an opportunity to apply different research concepts & technics learnt in the course on H6701 Research in Information Studies.

Note: Not all courses listed in the curriculum will be offered in a semester. Courses offered are subject to availability of instructors and resources.