PDF version of Publishing MA

Contact details

Ms Kerstin Michaels

Email: k.michaels@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 2107

Fees and funding

UK/EU 2013/14:

£8,500 (FT)

Overseas 2013/14:

£16,750 (FT)

The UCL Wiley Scholarship is awarded to one outstanding student on this programme. It will cover full tuition fees and an internship.

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website

More information

Prospectus Entry

Information Studies

Key facts

Research Assessment Rating

55% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
(What is the RAE?)

The programme information on this page relates to 2013 entry. 2014 content to appear here shortly. 

Publishing MA

This MA prepares you for a career in the challenging world of publishing. Taught by experts and practitioners and with master classes from industry leaders, the programme of study includes all the knowledge, skills and understanding you need to become a successful publisher, including a period of professional placement.

Degree summary

What will I learn?

The programme equips students with both a practical insight into how this complex industry functions and a range of transferable skills. These include editorial, sales and marketing skills, publishing business plans and their successful delivery, contract negotiation and copyright management, electronic publishing and new media, global publishing, export and licensing.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The Publishing MA aims to cover the entire spread of publishing disciplines, from fiction and trade to professional, academic, scholarly and educational.

Teaching staff possess a wide range of book trade experience and networks of contacts across all fields in the UK and internationally. Their research has helped shape how publishers have developed practices, and made an impact on the discipline as a field of academic study.

In addition, leading publishers, literary agents, authors, legal experts, booksellers and electronic authorities visit the course to give lectures and presentations. Students benefit from masterclasses from industry leaders on current and controversial issues and field visits to retailers, publishers and libraries.

See subject website for more information:

Degree structure

Availability: Full-time 1 year; Part-time 2-5 years

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits), research dissertation (60 credits) and a five week practical placement for full-time students.

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months or flexible study 2-5 years) is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 15 weeks or flexible study over a period of up to two years) is offered.

Core Modules

  • The Publishing Business
  • Publishing Law
  • Journal and Periodical Publishing
  • Publishing, Culture and Society
  • The Publishing Process
  • Publishing Skills
  • Sales, Marketing and Promotion
  • Commissioning, Research and Project Management


  • There are no optional modules for this programme.


All MA students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000–15,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through lectures and seminars, with an emphasis on practical skills and exercises based on the real-world and team working. An essential component of the course is the five week placement in a publishing house. Assessment is through essays, presentations, reports, one unseen examination, and the dissertation.

Further details available on subject website:

Entry and application

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class UK Bachelor's degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is normally required. Applicants without the necessary academic attainment but with significant industry experience may exceptionally be considered.

For overseas equivalencies see the relevant country page.

How to apply

You may choose to apply online or download application materials; for details visit www.ucl.ac.uk/gradapps

Applications for the programme must be submitted by 31 May in the year for which entry is sought. If you wish to apply for funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) you must apply by 31 December.

Who can apply?

This programme is ideal for students interested in book and journal publishing who wish to develop a thorough understanding of the structure, organisation and dynamics of the publishing industry. It is suitable for those seeking to enter not-for-profit organisations as well as the commercial companies in both the UK and internationally.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Publishing at graduate level
  • why you want to study Publishing at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally and/or academically with your degree


At the end of the course you will be a professional publisher ready to launch your career with a qualification from a university that the industry recognises and values.

Recent first career destinations of graduates include:

  • Walker Books: Marking Assistant
  • Omission Group: Marketing and Advertising Trainee
  • Egmont Publishing: Sales Executive
  • Jessica Kingsley Publishing: Commission Editorial Assistant
  • Penguin UK: Digital Asset Controller
  • Lewis Carroll Library: Learning and Information Assistant
  • Dorling Kindersley: Editor
  • Octopus Publishing Group: Marketing Assistant
  • Constable and Robinson: Desk Editor
  • Notting Hill Media: Content Assistant
  • BMJ Group: Editorial Assistant
  • Blackwell Publishing: Assistant Publisher

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:

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