Research opportunities

There are several UK universities that offer doctoral research degrees in information studies. The purpose of this page is to collate this information in one place, focusing on UK and Ireland institutions, and listing any relevant information literacy work affiliated with each institution. There are, of course, many other opportunities worldwide for information literacy studies and research.

University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield Information School has offered PhD/ MPhil doctoral studies in information science for many years.

Doctoral students also have the opportunity to be a part of the Centre for Information Literacy Research (CILR) at Sheffield, which seeks to explore and develop the field of information literacy.

Additionally, the Centre for Inquiry-Based Learning (CILASS) is also located at Sheffield. The centre is interested in research about information literacy that can be taught using inquiry-based pedagogies.

Robert Gordon University

The Department of Information Management at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, offers doctoral degrees in information management. Information literacy and digital literacy are listed as topics that can be pursued as doctoral degrees.

Additionally, this university also offers a Doctorate in Information Science (DinfSci), which is aimed at professionals working in an information environment.

An information literacy project that this university is currently leading is producing an annotated bibliography about information information literacy in the workplace. The bibliography is updated annually and it can be found in full on the InformALL website.

University of Strathclyde

The Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, offers MPhil degrees over the course of one year or a PhD degrees over the course of three years.

The Strathclyde iSchool Research Group is particularly interested in information seeking behaviour, with a related interest in information literacy and health literacy.

Northumbria University

The Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Northumbria University, Newcastle, welcomes applications from prospective PhD students interested in research topics in the field of Digital Consumers, Behaviour and Literacy.

Northumbria University was involved in the following completed information literacy project:
AMORES project – an approach to motivating learners to read in European schools – an EU project with the aim to improve learning through literature  and improving digital literacies of students and teachers through the creation of e-artefacts, critical reflection on their production and their use in social participation.

University College London

The Department of Information Studies at University College London has offered doctoral degrees in librarianship, information studies and information science for many years.

On the Move, funded by the CILIP Information Literacy Group, aims to foster engagement between stakeholders (careers staff, librarians, academic staff, employers, job-hunters) and help them understand the information skills graduates need in their early careers. The project will produce a valuable e-resource which will help students and support services more effectively design, develop and communicate transferable information skills.

Aberystwyth University

The Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth, offers doctoral degrees in librarianship and information science. Its three main areas of research activity are:

  1. Knowledge and Information Management
  2. Information Organisation
  3. Social, Cultural, and Behavioural Aspects of Information

University College Dublin, Ireland

The UCD School of Information and Communication Studies offers PhD research degrees in information studies. The School is keen to hear from prospective research students who wish to pursue doctoral research in information and digital literacy – this is one of its main research areas.

The School is currently working on an information literacy research project: Seeking the perfect blend: creating innovative digital learning spaces in ICS. This is embedding bespoke e-tutorials into the modules of programmes delivered by the School with the aim to improve students’ critical and digital literacy skills.

Last updated: 15th June 2017