• For Entry: January | May | September
  • Duration: 30-60 months
  • School: Humanities
  • Study Mode: Part Time+Distance Learning

Working or hope to work in the archives and records management sector? We provide a professional qualification accepted in the UK and overseas.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

We are the leading international provider of professional educational courses in recordkeeping and related disciplines by online distance learning. Since 2004 over 1000 individuals have undertaken professional education or training with us. The quality and breadth of our provision is unrivalled and the excellence of our courses has been recognised by academic and professional accreditation from the University of Dundee, Records & Information Management Professionals Australasia and the Archives & Records Association, UK & Ireland. CAIS has also been highly commended by the Information & Records Management Society, UK. We have also developed a global interdisciplinary research network focusing on aspects of recordkeeping in the context of memories, identities and communities.

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

How you will be taught

  • Delivered through My Dundee.
  • Learning materials are provided online with interactive links to resources.
  • Each course has a dedicated tutor to support students during their studies.
  • Students work in small groups and have frequent contact with each other and their tutors.
  • Tutors provide regular support and feedback through each semester.
  • The courses require at least 15 hours of study time per week.

How you will be assessed

  • The tasks you complete during the module normally form 30% of your final module mark.
  • One or two pieces of written work, completed at the end of the module, usually provide the remaining 70% of your mark.

A Masters degree comprises 180 credits (including a 60 credit dissertation). A Postgraduate Diploma consists of 120 credits.

There are 4 core modules:

The remaining credits are formed from over 25 optional modules.


A Certificate programme comprises 60 credits. For an Archives and Records Management Certificate there are 3 core modules:

For an Archival Studies Certificate there are 2 core modules:

The remaining credits are formed from the suite of archive modules.

Modules last for 9 or 15 weeks depending on whether they are 10 or 20 credit modules.


The requirement to be working or volunteering prior to, and throughout the duration of, the course gives students a distinct advantage in terms of appropriate work experience. The course itself is a mixture of theory and practice, and enables direct application of learning within the workplace. The dissertation gives students the opportunity to specialise in a particular area of direct benefit to employers.

Durham Burt

The course gave me with the opportunity to study for a professional qualification in the field of information management by distance learning whilst also working/volunteering in a relevant professional environment, an entry requirement of the course. This proved invaluable as it allowed me to not only study and apply my learning to day-to-day working practice but also apply practical experience to the learning process.

The course itself offered a broad and excellent range of modules that meant I was able to tailor my studies to reflect areas of professional interest and/or choose those subjects most relevant to my chosen career path. Being written and taught by practitioners and educators, the course gave me the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge from subject experts and equipped me with the skills needed to be a professional record-keeper.

Despite being distance taught, the programme never felt isolating as tutor’s made excellent and inventive use of discussion board forums, collaborative exercises and Skype chats to engender a positive community spirit. In addition, the administrative team were always on hand to answer queries and provide support, again fostering a strong and inclusive learning environment.  

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Dundee and the experience of distance learning. I highly recommend the course to anyone looking to pursue a career in the field of archives and information management.

Durham Burt
Archives and Records Management MLitt

Ruth Macdonald

I had been working as an archive assistant for two or three years when I decided I wanted to qualify as an archivist, but I was reluctant to give up the everyday hands-on experience I was getting from working in an archive in order to study full-time. The PGDip by distance learning has allowed me to keep working while studying in my free time. I can't say it hasn't been hard at times, but it has definitely benefitted both my work and my study, as I've been able to apply the things I'm learning to my daily work and put my learning in context through practical experience.

The flexibility of the course has worked well for me. I was able to take a term off when I felt I needed some time to recuperate and digest the things I had learned so far, and I came back feeling refreshed and ready for the remaining modules. I've found the core course very wide-ranging and thorough in its coverage, but I've also enjoyed having the opportunity to specialise by choosing optional modules that interested me. I was able to develop completely new skills through my first optional module, Palaeography and Diplomatic, and choose a second, Public History, that allowed me to expand on and apply the knowledge and skills I'd gained from a previous Masters degree. I've also felt fortunate in having had great support from the tutors who've led my modules.

Ruth Macdonald
Archives and Records Management PGDip

You'll need to be

  • a graduate with a with an Honours degree or above in an appropriate discipline and
  • be employed or active as a volunteer in a professional archive for a minimum of half a day per week and have appropriate prior experience.

Alternative qualifications may be considered on a case by case basis. Transfer of credit from other study programmes may be possible by arrangement.

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall 6.5
Listening 6.0
Reading 6.0
Writing 6.5
Speaking 6.5

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

The fees (in pounds sterling) are below. Fees do not require to be paid in full at the beginning of study and are paid per module as study progresses, making it feasible for most students, who may or may not, be sponsored by their employers.

Fees for students starting 2018/19
Registration Fee MLitt/MSc/Diploma £300
Registration Fee Certificate £95
Diploma £5,820
Certificate £2,910
Individual 20 credit module £970
Individual 10 credit module £485
Dissertation £1,800

Fees will be amended periodically.

Application deadlines:
 May 2018September 2018January 2019

16 March 2018

6 July 2018

9 November 2018

PGCert/CPD 23 March 2018 20 July 2018 9 November 2018


Family and Local History

20 April 2018 24 August 2018 4 December 2018
Semester start date 07 May 2018 10 September 2018 14 January 2019


Supporting documents

  • REFERENCES - Two references in support of your admission
  • (one must be from your current employer detailing relevant experience; the other should be an academic reference). 
  • Referee Form 1  |  Referee Form 2   |   Referee Guidance
  • CV
  • LANGUAGE CERTIFICATE (if applicable)

You will also need to

  • provide a personal statement of 500-750 words detailing previous experience and explaining why they want to undertake the course
  • have access to the Internet and a PC of an appropriate specification for the use of learning materials and for communication
  • attend an interview via Skype

Download Application Form

All application forms should be emailed to cais@dundee.ac.uk

All applications need to reach CAIS before midnight on the final day. Application forms will not be processed until all parts (including references) are submitted. If you have any questions regarding the application process please contact cais@dundee.ac.uk or +44 (0)1382 385543.

If you are required for interview, you will be contacted and required to attend in person (International students can be interviewed via Skype). There are three possible outcomes to your application:

  • We make you an unconditional offer of a place on the course 
  • We make you a conditional offer of a place on the course, dependent upon your examination results and/or further work experience 
  • We do not make you an offer of a place on the course

Course Contact

Mrs Nicola Barton
+44 (0)1382 385543