Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Digital Preservation
Academic Year
Available all semesters
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Other DL materials: printed module book plus VLE activities, discussion forum areas and tutor support


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment One report / written presentation (equivalent to 2,500-3,000 words)  100%
Supplementary Assessment Submission of supplementary coursework for failed course element in line with the learning outcomes of the original assignments  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

* Provide an analytical, contextual account of the development of digital preservation as a 21st century information issue

* Identify and critically evaluate the characteristics of digital objects, justify the need to preserve each characteristic for continued access and develop a strategy for digital preservation

  • Propose methods for developing and maintaining control over a complex array of digital forms and formats, which address the necessary conditions, techniques and models for digital preservation

* Critically assess national and international standards, frameworks and models for digital preservation

* Formulate rational hypotheses regarding the potential role of institutional repositories and open access initiatives in enabling digital preservation

Brief description

The module encompasses the complex issues surrounding continuing access to digital information, frameworks for preservation decision-making and strategies for the preservation of digital information, records, IT platforms, systems and architectures to ensure that records remain authentic, reliable, usable and possess integrity.


The drivers for digital preservation include the evidential role of digital records and some turn-of-the-century, high profile court cases.
Characteristics and related strategies
The characteristics of digital objects are explored in detail, with reference to the relationship between content and metadata and the need to preserve a multiplicity of data in each instance. Strategies for preservation are investigated to establish feasibility, assess associated risks and analyse likely success factors.
Different forms and formats of digital information are considered i.e. audio, video, photographic, textual, highlighting the difficulties associated with preserving compound and composite digital documents such as web pages and web sites.
Standards, frameworks, models and national directives are considered with particular reference to the work of the Digital Curation Centre, the Digital Preservation Coalition, and the implementation of the OAIS model, as well as the work of international projects and research groups.
The role of institutional repositories and the developments in the open access movement are reflected upon, with respect to the role these could potentially play in very long term preservation. Further consideration is given to sustainability issues and projections made for future developments.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Oral and written communication via tutorials and classroom discussion/online forums in VLE and assessed work
Improving own Learning and Performance Self management: students make their own selections relating to sector for specialisation/directed study through exercises in certain units and assessed work.
Information Technology Students are expected to utilise the VLE, and other technical systems during practical sessions. Coursework requires the application of IT in its presentation.
Personal Development and Career planning Career needs awareness encouraged and assessed through the group project exercise and report
Problem solving Exercises which seek to identify the needs of the organisation and how best these might be met under different operational conditions
Research skills Analysis of sets of resources and their application to a research problem
Subject Specific Skills Professional skills development in digital preservation in recordkeeping design.
Team work Group activities are integral to the teaching of this module, and to classroom exercises.


This module is at CQFW Level 7