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UCL Centre for Publishing

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MA in Publishing

"Publishing people are quirky, creative, unpredictable, exasperating, endearing, infuriating and gloriously diverse..." Professor Iain Stevenson, Book Makers 

Our MA course prepares you for a career in the challenging world of publishing. Taught by academics in the fields of Book History and Publishing Studies, and also experts and practitioners in the field, with master classes from industry leaders, the programme includes the knowledge, skills and understanding you need to become a successful publisher. This includes a period of professional placement. From mass-market fiction to scholarly journals, from editorial to marketing, from e-content management to contracts, UCL’s MA in Publishing offers comprehensive preparation for entry to the industry.

What the course will give you

Today's publishing industry needs graduates with both a practical insight into how this complex industry functions and a range of transferable skills. This is what this course will give you. In particular, on successful completion you will be able to apply and develop:

  • Editorial, sales and marketing skills
  • Publishing business plans 
  • Contract negotiation and copyright management
  • Digital publishing awareness
  • Global publishing, export and licensing
  • Project management skills
  • Critical approaches to problem solving in teams

Further information is available on how to apply.

The Centre for Publishing MA aims to cover a wide spread of publishing disciplines, from fiction and trade to professional, academic, scholarly and educational. Teaching staff possess a range of advanced research knowledge, book trade experience and networks of contacts across all fields in the UK and internationally.

The aim of the course is to equip you with a clear understanding of how the publishing industry works and to give you the knowledge, confidence and abilities to move quickly in building a successful publishing career.

Publishing teaching

The course is modular with an emphasis on practical skills and exercises based on the real-world and team working. Topics covered include business, law, editorial management, product development, new media and research methods. Students are encouraged to be active in discussion and debate. The research environment of the Centre inspires and informs teaching. Tutors, both academics and practitioners, encourage you to explore and report on major current issues. One component of the course is a period of time doing work experience. You will also produce a supervised research thesis. At the end of the course, taken either full- or part-time, if you have made the most of the opportunities the course offers, you should be a professional publisher ready to launch your career with a qualification from a university that the industry recognises and values.

Term One (September - December) Core modules

Term Two (January - March) Optional modules, with the exception of INSTG068.  NOTE that optional modules will only run if  there is a quorate amount of sign-ups, and that UCL reserves the right to withdraw any option from year to year.  Check on application if there is a particular module you are interested in taking. 

Term Three (May - June)

  • Students are encouraged to acquire practical work experience in the publishing industry and part time opportunities will be circulated as they arise to all students. Students may also organise their own placements with the approval of staff. Staff will also assist students with applications and writing CVs and covering letters.

Publishing teachers

The course is taught by academic experts, often in collaboration with professional leaders in their field, who between them are connected via various channels with all the leading international publishers.

Core Academic Staff:

Visiting and Honorary Lecturers

  • Martin Neild
  • Dr Penelope Woolf
  • Professor Iain Stevenson (Emeritus professor)
  • Rachel Calder
  • Mal Peachey
  • Heather O'Connell

In addition, leading publishers, literary agents, authors, legal experts, booksellers and electronic authorities visit the course to give lectures and presentations. There are ‘master classes’ from industry leaders on current and controversial issues and field visits to retailers, publishers and libraries.