Publishing MA

Publishing MA
Welcome to the MA in Publishing at UCLan - the only specialist postgraduate Publishing programme in the North of England. We have worked closely with top professionals in the publishing world to create a unique curriculum which provides you with an excellent academic qualification and the vocational skills vital for you to pursue a successful career in Publishing. Our team of lecturers and tutors are dedicated academics and experienced practitioners in the book industries and we have designed the programme through consultancy with leading publishing houses such as Canongate, Faber & Faber, Harpercollins and Penguin, academic publishing houses, such as Liverpool University Press and Manchester University Press, as well as specialist houses, such as Carcanet and Comma Press.

Entry and Admissions

Award Type:




Study Mode:

Full time and Part time

Delivery Method:


Course Length:

Full-time: One year, Part-time: Two years.


School of Journalism and Media

Partner Colleges:

No Partner College



Start Date:

September 2013

Entry Requirements:
We normally require a good honours degree or equivalent. However, we will take into account previous experience in the workplace. Informal enquiries are welcome and may be followed by an initial advisory interview (which can be conducted by phone). If your first language is not English, you will be required to have an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher, or equivalent. Such equivalence may be shown by taking UCLan's own test of English proficiency.
Programme Spec:

To download the Programme Specification for this course, please click here.

Course Content

Course Outline:
This course aims to prepare you for a career in the publishing industry. The content is highly vocational and is often taught in our own fully operational, commercial publishing house, UCLan Publishing. You will work on all aspects of book publishing projects from conception to production and from marketing to sales. We encourage creative and innovative thinking and research which we believe is essential to the future of the book industry. Modules are often supported by input from professionals in the industry.

The first part of the course is intensive, equipping you with the technical skills to carry out publishing projects as well as providing a background to the industry. The second part is very practical, allowing you to test your new skills in a number of real publishing projects and through work experience placements.

Modules include:

Digital Publishing
Digital Publishing explores the rapidly evolving digital landscape and equips you with practical skills. You will be involved in creating sharing, managing and publishing digital content using digital technologies within a supported and scholarly environment.

Professional Practice
Professional Practice introduces the roles in publishing and is designed to support your work-based learning. Your work placement will provide opportunities to apply knowledge and to participate fully in the processes of publishing.

Editorial and Production
Editorial and Production allows you to see a book project through from conception to production. It is a highly vocational module taught by a professional from the industry. You will participate in every aspect of the process from commissioning, copy-editing to content gathering, picture researching and production.

Children’s Writing and Publishing
Children’s Writing and Publishing looks at the significant market for children’s books and publications. You will work in groups to establish a children’s imprint and produce and publish your own children’s book.

Business of Books - sales, marketing and events
The Business of Books is a very practical module which introduces the concept of books as a product. You will get to market, sell and pitch real books to commercial buyers and organise real events and festivals which will be open to the public.

Fundamentals of Business
Entrepreneurial skills are becoming fundamental to entering and progressing in the publishing industry as business structures change and evolve. Fundamentals of Business for Media Entrepreneurs provides you with grounding in core principles of finance, strategy, marketing and other areas that comprise contemporary business fundamentals. Unlike traditional postgraduate-level business modules, this module orients the subject matter toward entrepreneurial media professionals, with particular emphasis on applying key concepts to multi-platform publishing businesses.

Major Project
The major project is a significant and essential part of the MA Publishing. It brings together all of the skills learned through modules taken on the MA. You can choose your own publishing project or research topic, in consultation with tutors, or you can select one from a list of suggestions provided by industry professionals. The work is mostly practical with extended written work (12,000 words or equivalent).

Course at a Glance

180 credits to be taken from the following:

  • Digital Publishing (20 credits)
  • Fundamentals of Business for Media Entrepreneurs (20 credits)
  • Children’s Writing and Publishing (20 credits) 
  • Professional Practice (20 credits)
  • Editorial and Production Process (40 credits)
  • The Business of Books - Sales, Marketing and Events (20 credits)
  • Major Publishing Project (40 credits)
  • Dissertation (40 credits)


    Learning Environment & Assessment:

    You will have access to our Realistic Work Environment in Publishing, which is located in the state-of -the-art Media Factory, one of UCLan's innovative learning spaces.

    The programme incorporates a range of assessment strategies including presentations, pitches, independent and group work and practical projects that contribute to your understanding of how publishing works.

    Academic Expertise

    We are committed to delivering academic learning of the highest quality, helping you to stretch your mind and fulfil your university ambitions.

    Learning outcome & aims

    We aim to create the perfect blend of knowledge, practical experience and relevance to equip UCLan graduates with the confidence and skills they need to get ahead in the world of work.

    Industry links & professional accreditation

    UCLan has established excellent links with a range of national publishing houses, for example, Hodder, Macmillan, Penguin and Random House, and leading independents such as Canongate and Faber & Faber, as well as publishers based in the north west region, including Carcanet Press, Comma Press, Liverpool University Press and Manchester University Press. Students can take their work experience in publishing houses within the region as well as those based further afield.

    This course has been awarded the Creative Skillset Tick, the industry kitemark of quality, following a rigorous assessment process by experts working in the Creative Industries. The Creative Skillset Tick is awarded to practice-based courses which best prepare students for a career in the industry

    Work experience and international opportunities

    We have good contacts in the publishing and book businesses. This helps our students gain good work experience placements. We provide the opportunity for students to undertake a placement of between 1 and 6 weeks. Previous students have been placed at Canongate, HarperCollins, Waterstone’s Head Office, Random House, Transworld, Nosy Crow, Manchester University Press, Chicken House, Seven Stories, Liverpool University Press, Booktrust and many others.

    Graduate Careers

    Students who have graduated from the course have gained employment in Macmillan, Palgrave, Penguin, Manchester University Press, BBC (children’s department), Ishara Press, Oxford University Press, Nielsen Bookscan, Oxfam (in Kenya) and Waterstone’s in roles as diverse as editors, project managers, bibliographic editors, production coordinators and picture researchers.


    “The sessions were informative, topical and really opened up discussion about key factors affecting the publishing industry. I was encouraged to engage in critical debate with experts actually working in digital publishing. This really boosted my confidence and ultimately helped me get a job in publishing.”

    Rachel Winterbottom, MA Publishing graduate now working at Manchester University Press.

    Progression Routes

    From foundation courses through to world-leading research degrees, you can study a wide range of subject areas at UCLan. Whether you want to develop your knowledge in a subject you enjoy or gain further qualifications to enhance your career, at UCLan there are numerous progression routes for you to follow.

    Fees & Funding

    The standard fee for UK/EU students studying this course is below. For further information including the availability of bursaries/scholarships or student financial support please view our Fees and Finance pages. £5,000 per year.

    How to Apply

    If you are interested in applying for this course, our comprehensive How to Apply pages will guide you through the process. Here at UCLan, our aim is to encourage you to develop your potential and we offer a flexible approach to admissions, which reflects our commitment to all those who would benefit from our courses.

    About UCLan

    Course Enquiries

    University of Central Lancashire,
    PR1 2HE,

    United Kingdom

    Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400