Aberystwyth University Department of Information Studies (AUDIS) has been offering education and training in information, archive, library and heritage studies for 50 years with distance learning provision available for over 25 years. Distance learning accredited and assessed short-courses for CPD have also been available a number of years. AUDIS offers the following post-graduate higher education qualifications:

  • Credit bearing modules (5, 10 or 20 credits)

  • Post-graduate Certificates (60 credits)

  • Post-graduate diplomas (120 credits)

  • Master’s degrees (180 credits)

AUDIS recognises that the information profession needs both new career entrants, and those already in the workplace, to develop skills in the lifecycle management of digital information. Central to the department’s current learning and teaching strategy is the holistic development of opportunities to study digital information management and digital preservation at different appropriate levels so that as many people as possible can participate. Levels required include: short courses on specific aspects of digital information management; modules within existing programmes which develop competencies as part of a wider programme; and dedicated programmes in digital curation.

Since early 2012 AUDIS has been implementing the learning and teaching strategy to develop a portfolio of qualifications in digital preservation/digital curation. This has required:

  • a revision to all existing curricula;
  • the development of new courses both internal to the department and as part of an industrial partnership; and
  • the introduction of new short-courses.

Some of these developments were in place for the 2013-2014 academic year while others are undergoing the internal verification procedures required for introduction in 2015. Central to this aim is membership of the Digital Preservation Coalition to lend additional professional support to our students. Developments are as follows:

2013-2014 academic year:

Full-time master’s

  • All existing externally accredited full-time master’s curricula were revised to enable all students on these schemes to opt for the new 20 credit module in digital information management and preservation (ILM7420: Digital Information: Management for Access and Preservation) (equivalent modules were already available for all distance-learning students);
  • Introduction of the first full-time master’s degrees in Digital Curation. This emphasises long-term management strategies and hands-on implementation, with students undertaking a real-life group project embedded in an established memory organisation throughout semester two. This year students undertaking the relevant module worked on all aspects of digital curation with an HLF Funded Community Archives portal Still Ardua Semper in conjunction with Meirionnydd Record Office and the Dr Williams’ School Old Girl’s Association. Future projects are being discussed with a number of organisations including the National Library of Wales.
  • Introduction of a full-time master’s degree in Digital Information Services, emphasising the services required for the creation and delivery of digital resources.


  • Pathways to Information Leadership – a collaborative venture with Emerald Group Publishing and ASLIB (The Association for Information Management), offers optionally assessed credit bearing CPD training in digital information management in six subject areas, with students able to build them together towards a master’s degree:
    • Digital Information Collection Development and Curation
    • Digital Information Governance, Rights and Ethics
    • Digital Information Structures
    • Information Asset Protection and Assurance
    • Resources and Risks in the Digital Environment
    • Strategic (Digital) Information Leadership

Over 50% of these courses have become available during the 2013-2014 academic year, with the remainder currently being developed, to be available by January 2015.
2014-2015 academic year:

Short courses

  • 10 credit short courses for CPD in Digital Information (with optional assessment) at both undergraduate and post-graduate level.

April 2015 (currently being internally verified):

Distance learning

  • Master’s degrees in Digital Curation and Digital Information Services. These will offer students already in the workplace the flexible opportunity to study for these degrees already offered in full-time mode.
  • A hands-on accredited Digital Preservation Certificate. The certificate will be open to all applicants but is being developed as part of the Archives and Records Council Wales (ARCW)/CyMAL National Digital Preservation Strategy to enable accredited hands-on learning for those already qualified as librarians or archivists through ARA (Archives and Records Association, UK and Ireland)or CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) accredited courses.

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