Critical Information Policy Studies (CIPS)

Master of Information

Concentration liaison: Prof. Leslie Shade

Our globalizing information society needs a new breed of professional specifically trained in critical approaches to the study of information in all its manifestations.

In a world of increasingly ubiquitous and perpetually innovating information and communications technologies where no aspect of our lives as citizens, workers and consumers is untouched by their influence, governments and businesses alike demand professionals who can make sense of fundamental social change in the transition from the old analog world to the new digital one.

CIPS professionals identify, critically describe and interpret all aspects of the information life-cycle and within the full range of social contexts. They work within the public and private sectors to ensure the creation of beneficial policies, programs, and strategies. They grapple with issues that include: the digital divide, open data, open government, data protection, privacy, intellectual property, surveillance, cyber security, telecommunication policy, copyright, and consumer rights. Similarly, they critically investigate the use of body scanners, cloud computing, Facebook, Google Street View, social networking, and emerging technologies on which we are increasingly relying.

Program Features

  • Gain an understanding of the relationships between information and social transformation or entrenchment
  • Develop an understanding of the mutual relationships between information systems and their political, economic, historical, and cultural contexts
  • Learn to evaluate how choices about information systems affect the growth and development of institutions, and vice versa
  • Learn about the critical perspectives and methods used to acknowledge and encompass cultural and social differences
  • Acquire an understanding about how information processes are useful in the constitution of social subjectivities


This listing of CIPS resources highlights key resources in the field.  It includes freely available resources as well as some licensed U of T Library databases and journals.  A current UTORid is required to access the licensed resources.

Found under Master of Information
  • Requirements & Options

  • Suggested Elective Courses

  • Careers in Critical Information Policy Studies