Diploma/Certificate in Professional Studies: Archives and Records Management

The D/CPS: ARM aims to provide a thorough grounding in, and a broad perspective view of the theory and practice of archives and records management, chiefly for those already in the workplace. Students are typically working within local government or specialist repositories. Here you can find detailed information about the programme, which has recently been updated in terms of materials, content and mode of delivery.  


The D/CPS ARM is a practically-based undergraduate level programme by distance learning which allows anyone currently working in archives and records management access to university-based training and education.  It is not a full professional qualification in archives and records management but provides professional development for those for whom the postgraduate programmes are unsuitable.

The programme enables participants to gain or develop knowledge and skills in archives and records management. 

Core modules are designed to cover the broad principles of archives, records management and preservation, and to demonstrate how these may be practically applied in the workplace. 

Specialist modules enable the selection of further study areas of particular relevance to the student.

One of the DCPS ARM students from the USA receiving her award from Pro-Vice Chancellor Gaskell in 2005

There is no programme like this available in the US. Completing the programme has given me the chance to learn more about archives. It has been fantastic. - Shari L Jackson, Coca Cola Archives

Programme requirements

It is important that all students on the programme have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience required to be in a position to complete the module workpackages and submit assignments. 

Who is the programme suitable for?

It is suitable for those based in:

  1. local authority archives
  2. museums
  3. libraries
  4. special collections
  5. business archives
  6. charitable archives
  7. specialist archives

To date, candidates have been based in a wide range of organisations including:

Transport for London Royal Bank of Scotland
British Museum H M Customs & Excise
The Post Office/Consignia Manchester United FC
Glyndebourne Festival Opera Merchant Taylors School for Girls
Library & Museum of Freemasonry The Coca-Cola Company
The Royal Logistics Corps Museum University of Lancaster
Harlow Museum University of Glasgow
Wigan Record Office University of Dundee
Cheshire Record Office University of Aberdeen
English Heritage Keele University
National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside National Film & Television Archives
The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training  

Candidates working primarily in records management might more appropriately apply to the  programme

To be accepted on to the programme candidates need to:

  • Have a good educational background – though no specific academic  qualifications are required
  • Have access to work in a suitable archives and records management environment whether paid or voluntary
  • Have access to a computer, the internet and local library facilities
  • Be able to commit approximately 12 hours per week to self study to ensure completion of the module workbook and assignment 

Programme aims

The D/CPS ARM aims to:

  • to provide a university and professionally accredited award at undergraduate level in the discipline
  • to facilitate best practice in archives, records management and preservation in a range of environments
  • to equip the student with the skills and knowledge needed to operate effectively within the working environment
  • to provide a context within which the student is able to view his/her own contribution in a wider organisational and professional setting

Programme content and structure

The D/CPS ARM is a flexible credit-based module programme. Each module offered is worth 15 credits and takes 10 weeks to complete by distance learning. The programme operates at Level 6 of the framework for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ), roughly equivalent to the standard you would expect in the final year of an undergraduate degree course.

Certificate in Professional Studies (60 credits)

  • Awarded on completion of 4 core modules each worth 15 credits
  • Must be completed within two years

Core modules are designed to cover the broad principles of archives and records management in a broad public sector context. Each core module carries 15 academic credits (CATS credits), and comprises 150 learning hours, including the face to face short course (online), further independent study, and completing an assignment. 

ARIM001 Introduction to Archives and Records Management

ARIM002 Processing Records and Archives

ARIM003 Reference and User Services

ARIM004 Preservation Management

Diploma in Professional Studies (120 credits)

  • Awarded on completion of 4 core Certificate modules and 4 specialist modules each worth 15 credits
  • Must be completed within four years


ARIM006 Archives as an Information Resource

ARIM007 Advocating Archives

ARIM008 Archives Management

ARIM009 Records Management

ARIM010 Business Archives


This programme will commence with Online Workshops/Study Skills Days week commencing 8 January 2024 (days to be confirmed) with the programme starting officially on Monday 15 January 2024.

The programme is delivered by interactive online learning.

Online materials include access to reference materials through the University Library, and a workpackage delivered through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard), which guides the learning experience required for successful completion of the module. Students are expected to work through the workpackage, completing exercises, research and reading as required. The package includes opportunities for reflection and discussion with fellow students and tutors. Each module is assessed through a written assignment.

Workshops (Online)

Workshops introducing the relevant modules are held twice a year online, and students should aim to attend these unless absolutely impossible. The first workshop takes place at the beginning of the programme, and introduces the content of the first two modules through seminars, group discussion and activities. The second workshop takes place at the mid-point of the programme, and introduces the content of the third and fourth modules, again through a combination of seminars, group discussion and activities.

Study Skills (Online)

All new registered students are expected to attend a Study Skills Day (online), as part of the programme’s introductory workshops. The aim of the day is to:

  • prepare students for studying at a distance;
  • introduce them to the theory and practice of learning;
  • provide an opportunity to develop skills to support studying at a distance, e.g. time management, using the learning materials, finding and using information, preparing for assessment;
  • identify roles and responsibilities of learners, tutors and support staff;
  • enable students to meet others on the programme

Workplace mentor

A mentor in the workplace will provide ongoing support and assistance with general concerns, including access to learning resources, professional issues and overall progress within the workplace. The University of Liverpool can provide details of what is required of mentors and can offer assistance in obtaining a mentor if required. 


Course fees are as follows:
£750 per module
Certificate in Professional Studies - £3000
Diploma in Professional Studies - £3000 (only available after completion of Certificate Course)

Application process

Please complete the application form and reference form. These should be submitted via email to Ms. Jane Stockley at stocko@liverpool.ac.uk. Closing date for applications is Friday 1 December 2023.

ARM Application Form 2023/24

ARM Reference Form 2023/24


For administrative enquiries, please contact Jane Stockley.

Back to: Centre for Archive Studies