Library and information education in Northern Ireland took a step forward this month when the MSc and Postgraduate Diploma programmes offered by the University of Ulster received accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), the UK standards body for the profession.
Course Director Jessica Bates said: “ Formal accreditation from CILIP, the leading UK professional body for librarians, information specialists and knowledge managers, ensures that our students will graduate from the Postgraduate Diploma or MSc with a professionally recognised library and information degree.
“This will significantly enhance their career opportunities and in the longer term, will also serve to raise the status of library and information work in Northern Ireland."
Patricia McAdams, a student who works in the Derry Central Library explained that CILIP accreditation meant “recognition of the work I have put in so far, and encouragement to finish the Masters.”
CILIP accreditation is only awarded after an in-depth and rigorous review of all aspects of the programmes. It assures students and employers that accredited courses meet the standards of the profession they are about to enter. The programmes are already attracting students from all sectors of the library and information management workforce.
Successful completion of a programme accredited by CILIP is the first step for candidates who intend to proceed towards Chartered membership of CILIP. Chartered membership means graduates can continue to develop the highest standards of professionalism in whichever aspect of librarianship, knowledge management or information science they practise.
Students are drawn by the wide-ranging curriculum and the accessible and flexible nature of course delivery, much of which is via video-conference and brings together students at the University’s Coleraine, Jordanstown and Magee campuses.