Workplace Case study

The skills associated with delivering a digital preservation programme in both public and private sector organisations are increasingly in demand with the realisation that digital information is an asset that needs to be carefully managed to ensure ongoing access and use over the long-term. Additionally, the requirements of legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulations, Freedom of Information and Data Protection Acts, and guidelines such as the UK Research and Innovation’s Common Principles on Data Policy have put the emphasis on procedural accountability, requiring organisations to address the effective management of their digital information.

This is a practical portfolio-based course that will help you to apply pre-existing theoretical knowledge of best practice in digital preservation to the reality of assessing the practical needs of an organisation and implementing effective change. It provides the opportunity to review an organisation in detail, judge how well it manages its data, and develop ideas for introducing or improving a digital preservation framework.

You will be asked to look at an organisation’s practices, to understand the dimensions of its digital preservation challenge, assess how ready it is to undertake digital preservation and how far it has reached along the journey in implementing digital preservation by benchmarking an organisation’s policies and processes against prominent models.


Dr Sarah Higgins MA(Hons) DAA, FHEA, PhD — Faculty Deputy Associate Dean & Lecturer Department of Information Studies.

Sarah previously worked for the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) at the University of Edinburgh where she provided advice on the lifecycle management of data, and the standards applicable to this. A qualified archivist she was previously in the University of Edinburgh’s Information Services Group, where she worked in a number of IT implementation teams across both the Library and the Archives. These involved implementing archival cataloguing, managing digitisation and the introduction of digital repositories. With degrees in Geography and Cartography she was previously Geographic Information Research Officer for the British Antarctic Survey and Secretary to the UK Antarctic Place-names Committee. Before this she worked in cartographic research and digitisation positions for various local authorities and utilities companies. She also spent several years working as a self-employed stage designer.

Sarah is joint editor of Archives and Records, the Journal of the Archives and Records Association (ARA). She is a member of the Digital Preservation Coalition Editorial Board and their Workforce Development Sub-Committee, and a member of the ARCW Digital Preservation Group – working together to develop an all Wales digital preservation solution. She peer reviews for a number of journals including Archival Science, Computer Standards and Interfaces, International Journal of Digital Curation, Library Review and the Records Management Journal.

Sarah’s research is in: Digital curation, particularly the conceptual space occupied by digital heritage and its intersections with museums, archives, libraries and galleries. Context and discovery for the digital and documentary heritage. Her publications include:

Editorial: estate archives Higgins, S., Evans, S. & Mathias, J., 2019, In: Archives and Records: The Journal of the Archives and Records Association.40, 1, p. 1-44 p.

Digital Curation: The development of a discipline within information science Higgins, S., 2018, In: Journal of Documentation.74, 6

Time to become our own profession? Higgins, S., 2017.

Learning with Lego Higgins, S., 2017.

Data modelling for analysis, discovery and retrieval Higgins, S., 2016, Managing Digital Cultural Objects: Analysis, discovery and retrieval. Foster, A. & Rafferty, P. (eds.). London: Facet Publishing, p. 25-60

More publications on the Research Portal


This course should only be undertaken if you already have a theoretical grounding in digital preservation and are embedded in an organisation that will allow its policies and processes to be scrutinised.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • apply digital preservation principles and practices to the achievement of organisational goals and strategies
  • formulate and evaluate approaches to assessing organisational need
  • assess drivers and requirements for digital preservation and critically appraise the level of organisational preparation for digital preservation
  • identify data requirements for long-term preservation and use tools and software to prepare data
  • formulate recommendation for the future development of digital preservation within a given organisation
  • evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses in relation to the skills and competencies required by the profession


To apply please complete the Short Course Application Form

This form should be completed and returned - with your reference - as soon as possible to the Postgraduate Admissions Office: 

For further information, please contact the Department of Information Studies tel: (+/0)1970 622731 / 622189; e-mail: