• For Entry: January | May | September
  • Duration: 12-30 months (certificate)/30-60 months (MLitt/MSc/Diploma)
  • 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.

Masters or Diploma core modules

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

The remaining credits are formed from over 25 optional modules.

There are 4 core modules:

In Archive Services, Access and Preservation, we will be utilising professional UK and International standards and best practice, to study the complex balancing act of making unique archives available to users, whilst ensuring their preservation. We will consider the services users require, explore barriers to access, and discuss how we can facilitate and increase use. We will review the best ways to promote our collections, looking at websites, digitisation, outreach, publicity and educational activities. We will examine immediate and potential threats to the preservation of archives and consider practical ways in which these can be removed. Finally we will consider resource management, how best to manage time, staff and other resources to ensure that our responsibilities to users, archives and managers are met. Throughout the module we will be mixing theory with practice, looking at not just what we do but why we do it and looking at how standards and guidelines can best be applied in practice.

  • Users and access: providing services to users; users and their needs; access restrictions and regulations; legislation
  • Outreach: reaching a wider audience; publicity and promotion; online resources; outreach and inreach strategies;
  • Preservation: identifying risks to archives; responses to ensure protection of archives; storage requirements of different media; preservation policies
  • Management: staff, resource and time management; policies and procedures; measuring performance

Module code

RM50001

Number of credits

20 SCQF credits (10 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutors

Caroline BrownAlex Du ToitCraig Gauld

Available in January and May

This module is about the principles and practice of records management and the broader discipline of 'recordkeeping'.  It looks at what records are and why they need to be 'managed', examines records management concepts and discusses the foundations for, and the key elements of, a records management programme.  In this module, you will be able to draw on what you have learned in any other core modules which you have already completed.  You will also be expected to draw on your own experience of records, whether or not you have worked in any area of 'recordkeeping'.

Main topics:

  • Organisations and records: nature of records; making, maintaining and managing records
  • Records management concepts: record life cycle; records continuum
  • Records management programmes – foundations: records management roles & responsibilities; records management policies; records systems development methodology; business analysis; records survey
  • Records management programmes – elements: records creation & capture; records classification; records storage; records retention; records destruction
  • Establishing a records management programme: developing a business case for a records management programme; selling records management

Number of credits

20 SCQF credits (10 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutor

Durham Burt, Tim Lovering, Meic Pierce-Owen

Available in September, January and May

This module will explore:

  • the importance of records and archives and their impact in society
  • the nature of the record in the context of the wider data and information landscape
  • the development of recordkeeping functions and theories
  • regulations, standards, professionalism and ethics
  • concepts of records and archives within and beyond the discipline

You will notice that this module is about ‘recordkeeping’ rather than archives or records management. As will become apparent this is because so many of the underlying concepts are relevant to recordkeeping in general rather than to either just archives or just records management. Even though these are separated in employment terms (jobs are usually for either a records manager or an archivist) there is far more that connects than separates them.

The purpose of this module is to set the professional context for the work that you are undertaking or planning to undertake. So whether you are working with records or archives, or within a wider data and/or information environment it is important that you understand what ‘recordkeeping’ means and what concepts, functions, theories and practices come within its scope. As well as discussing the overarching importance of records and archives to society in general we shall consider the relevant regulatory, ethical and standards frameworks within which recordkeeping operates.

We shall also explore how other communities and disciplines use and view records and archives. Other CAIS modules focus on specific aspects in more detail: here we are taking a broad and introductory view of the recordkeeping landscape. But before going further I think we should start by considering why records and archives matter. Why would individuals, organisations and society be unable to function without them?

Number of credits

20 SCQF credits (10 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutor

Craig GauldMorag Fyfe-LucasMelinda Haunton

Available in September and May

This module will explore:

  • Introduction to theory and practice: historical development of the record keeping profession; functions and responsibilities of archivists; differences and similarities between records and archives
  • Acquisition and appraisal: policy development; methods of acquisition; accessioning procedures; the theory and practice of appraisal
  • Arrangement and description: provenance; arrangement; descriptive and indexing standards; finding aids; archives, the internet and new technologies

This Archive Management module builds on many of the topics and concepts discussed in The Theory and Context of Recordkeeping but focuses on the archival rather than the broader recordkeeping world. We will be looking at theoretical issues but very much in the context of practice. It is important that you are working or regularly volunteering in an archive, or if you are a records management student, have access to one. You will be drawing on this experience throughout the course, relating what you read to what you have seen in practice and applying what you learn to your working environment. You will also have plenty of opportunity to discuss issues and ideas with your fellow students.

Number of credits

20 SCQF credits (10 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutors

Craig GauldAlex Du ToitCaroline Brown, Melinda Haunton

Available in September and January

Certificate core modules

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

In Archive Services, Access and Preservation, we will be utilising professional UK and International standards and best practice, to study the complex balancing act of making unique archives available to users, whilst ensuring their preservation. We will consider the services users require, explore barriers to access, and discuss how we can facilitate and increase use. We will review the best ways to promote our collections, looking at websites, digitisation, outreach, publicity and educational activities. We will examine immediate and potential threats to the preservation of archives and consider practical ways in which these can be removed. Finally we will consider resource management, how best to manage time, staff and other resources to ensure that our responsibilities to users, archives and managers are met. Throughout the module we will be mixing theory with practice, looking at not just what we do but why we do it and looking at how standards and guidelines can best be applied in practice.

  • Users and access: providing services to users; users and their needs; access restrictions and regulations; legislation
  • Outreach: reaching a wider audience; publicity and promotion; online resources; outreach and inreach strategies;
  • Preservation: identifying risks to archives; responses to ensure protection of archives; storage requirements of different media; preservation policies
  • Management: staff, resource and time management; policies and procedures; measuring performance

Module code

RM50001

Number of credits

20 SCQF credits (10 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutors

Caroline BrownAlex Du ToitCraig Gauld

Available in January and May

This module is about the principles and practice of records management and the broader discipline of 'recordkeeping'.  It looks at what records are and why they need to be 'managed', examines records management concepts and discusses the foundations for, and the key elements of, a records management programme.  In this module, you will be able to draw on what you have learned in any other core modules which you have already completed.  You will also be expected to draw on your own experience of records, whether or not you have worked in any area of 'recordkeeping'.

Main topics:

  • Organisations and records: nature of records; making, maintaining and managing records
  • Records management concepts: record life cycle; records continuum
  • Records management programmes – foundations: records management roles & responsibilities; records management policies; records systems development methodology; business analysis; records survey
  • Records management programmes – elements: records creation & capture; records classification; records storage; records retention; records destruction
  • Establishing a records management programme: developing a business case for a records management programme; selling records management

Number of credits

20 SCQF credits (10 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutor

Durham Burt, Tim Lovering, Meic Pierce-Owen

Available in September, January and May

This module will explore:

  • Introduction to theory and practice: historical development of the record keeping profession; functions and responsibilities of archivists; differences and similarities between records and archives
  • Acquisition and appraisal: policy development; methods of acquisition; accessioning procedures; the theory and practice of appraisal
  • Arrangement and description: provenance; arrangement; descriptive and indexing standards; finding aids; archives, the internet and new technologies

This Archive Management module builds on many of the topics and concepts discussed in The Theory and Context of Recordkeeping but focuses on the archival rather than the broader recordkeeping world. We will be looking at theoretical issues but very much in the context of practice. It is important that you are working or regularly volunteering in an archive, or if you are a records management student, have access to one. You will be drawing on this experience throughout the course, relating what you read to what you have seen in practice and applying what you learn to your working environment. You will also have plenty of opportunity to discuss issues and ideas with your fellow students.

Number of credits

20 SCQF credits (10 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)

Tutors

Craig GauldAlex Du ToitCaroline Brown, Melinda Haunton

Available in September and January

Optional modules

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

Optional modules available

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 2019/20
Registration Fee MLitt/MSc/Diploma £300
Registration Fee Certificate £95
MLitt/MSc
£7,620
Diploma £5,820
Certificate £2,910
Individual 20 credit module £970
Individual 10 credit module £485
Dissertation £1,800

Fees will be amended periodically.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

Application deadlines:
 September 2018January 2019May 2019
MLitt/MSc/Dip 6 July 2018

9 November 2018

15 March 2019

PGCert/CPD 20 July 2018 9 November 2018 22 March 2019
Discover/Explore
Family and Local History
24 August 2018 4 December 2018 19 April 2019
Semester start date 10 September 2018 14 January 2019 06 May 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
  • Photograph
  • CV
  • Copy of Academic Awards and Transcripts
  • 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
Humanities
cais@dundee.ac.uk
+44 (0)1382 385543