All CAIS programmes are accredited by the UK Archives and Records Association and The Records and Information Management (RIM) Professionals Australasia.


If you wish to enrol on the MLitt/MSc/Diploma Archive or Records Management pathways you must identify a mentor prior to starting the programme. If you are applying for the Family and Local History Masters a mentor is not compulsory, but see below.

Archives / Records Management students: It is essential for students to find a mentor who is prepared to support the student for the duration of the course.  Mentors should either be a registered member of the Archives & Records Association UK & Ireland or have at least 5 years’ experience as an archivist or records manager.  Mentors for the Archives programme who are records managers must have experience working with archives. The mentor can be the student's line manager but this is not essential. In some cases it can be more appropriate for the mentor to be someone outside the student's organisation. The same mentor can be used throughout the course or students can opt for more than one mentor, depending on the specialist skills available.

Your mentor should be someone to whom you can turn for general support and professional advice. You will be required to meet with your mentor once a module but you are encouraged to keep in regular content with them. Mentors are there to support you but we find that most mentors find the experience interesting and rewarding. Mentors are required to send a short report of their meeting half way through each module.

Family and Local History students: It is not compulsory for students enrolling on this programme to have a mentor, however we strongly recommend that you do so. Your mentor should be someone who can provide general support throughout your distance learning experience and preferably be someone who has an understanding of family and local history.

Prior Experience

Archive and Records Management students:

As this is a distance learning course, it is vital for students on the MLitt/MSc/Diploma and PG Cert pathway to work/volunteer in an archive/records management environment so that they can complete tasks and assessments based on their work experience, but also so that they have a support network.

Archive programmes: It is essential for anyone working solely in a records management environment who wants to undertake the Archive programme to seek experience working with archives for a sufficient time period prior to and for the duration of the course.  Normally people working in a records management environment will be encouraged to apply to the MSc. During the records management module all students on the Archive programmes will be expected to have access to a records management unit.

Records Management programmes: MSc students must be working/volunteering in a records management unit prior to and for the duration of the programme. If any optional archive modules are undertaken you will be expected to gain experience in an appropriate archive environment.

Family History students:

If you are enrolled on the Masters in Family History you are not required to have any particular prior work experience. However it is expected that you have used primary sources and visited archives for your research. You should be prepared to demonstrate your experience of previous research into family and local history on your application form.

Study School

MLitt/MSc/Diploma students are required to attend a compulsory one-off study school in April/May or August/September at the outset of the programme if they are resident in the UK. The Study School normally takes four days and all sessions are compulsary. Alternative arrangements are made for international students who are not able to attend in person.

Study Time

Courses are part time and normally require at least 15 hours a week study time. 

Virtual Learning Environment

The programme is delivered online via our Virtual Learning Environment, where all course materials are based.  It is also possible to download course material in PDF format and students are sent a pack of reading materials where appropriate. Students and tutors communicate using our online discussion boards, by using email and by occasionally participating in real-time sessions.