New Master's programme provides unique expertise in information science in digital environments

Information science in digital environments is a fast-moving field in which a great deal is happening rapidly. At present, a number of courses in Sweden and Europe focus on this topic from a technical perspective, for example in computer science and programming. There are also programmes, such as within digital humanities and digital cultures, that approach it from a more theoretical and critical perspective, focusing on how its developments affect society. However, given the complexity of the subject, there are strong indications that it would be optimal to combine these two perspectives.

“For those who work as university librarians, for example, or as data analysts managing information in a company, just one of these two perspectives is not sufficient. A holistic view and a higher analytical understanding are needed. We want to offer this combination to those who already have basic knowledge in this field," said Karen Nowé Hedvall, Senior Lecturer in Library and Information Science at the University of Borås.

The Master’s Programme in Information Science: Digital Environments, 120 credits will be offered at the Swedish School of Library and Information Science in the autumn term of 2023. The programme is aimed at those who hold a Bachelor's degree in library and information science, informatics, archival science, digital humanities, systems science, or equivalent and wish to specialise further when it comes to their already-acquired expertise.

“In the past, no Master's programmes have addressed those with these specific skills. We have not been able to find anything similar in Europe," said Karen Nowé Hedvall.

Provides skills that stand out from the crowd

This programme will include courses in computational thinking, research methods, multimodality, open data as an arena for information creation, data strategies for organisations, and critical perspectives on a society steeped in data. Given the world’s overall situation and the ongoing war in Ukraine, these are timely topics.

“This is an opportunity to immerse yourself in something that is happening right now. How do people deal with massive amounts of digital data, how do fake news and filters work? Through a theoretical, critical, and more hands-on perspective, a deeper understanding of such things will give students a skill set that will stand out from the crowd.”

The programme is intended primarily for data analysts, university librarians, information managers or similar who are seeking further training, as well as those with Bachelor's degrees who have not yet started their professional careers.

“Completing our Master's programme will be a way to excel and advance towards leadership or expert roles. It also gives a head start to those who want to pursue doctoral studies in library and information science or related subjects.”

Strong and rich research environment

This programme will be given in English. It will be full-time and almost exclusively conducted remotely, with only a few meetings in Borås, Sweden that will not be compulsory. The university hopes to attract students from all over the world, especially from Europe, with this unique initiative.

“We have a very strong and rich research environment. All those who teach in this programme will be active researchers, conducting their own, often well-regarded, research.”

With 25 planned spots, the programme will also be relatively small, which has many advantages.

“That will mean significant opportunities for discussion and participation," said Karen Nowé Hedvall.

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Master’s Programme in Information Science: Digital Environments