Publishing MA

London, Bloomsbury

Equip yourself with the skills, knowledge and understanding you need to thrive in the competitive world of book publishing. The Publishing MA blends theory with practice, teaching you how to become a future leader and changemaker in this field. Taught at UCL, you’ll learn from research experts and publishing practitioners, benefiting from access to professional guest speakers and networking opportunities with industry influencers.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
All applicants: 16 Oct 2023 – 05 Apr 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The programme provides practical and theoretical insights into how this complex industry functions and equips you with a range of transferable skills. In core modules, you will gain a fundamental understanding of how publishing works, as well as learning how academics research the book trade. The optional modules will allow you to develop your specific interests across several academic and industry areas.

Who this course is for

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 commercial companies in both the UK and internationally.

What this course will give you

Our Publishing MA aims to include insights into a wide spread of publishing disciplines. Teaching staff possess a broad range of book trade knowledge, and most are active researchers whose work has had an impact on the discipline as a field of academic study. In addition to staff expertise, the course brings in leading publishing professionals to give guest lectures and presentations, keeping content responsive to current trends and issues.

The foundation of your career

Graduates from this course have gone on to work at a variety of Publishing Houses and other associated companies in the creative industries, ranging from roles at international organisations such as Penguin Random House and Oxford University Press, to smaller independent and specialist presses like Nosy Crow. Other opportunities our graduates have pursued have led to work in areas such as literary agenting and public relations.


At the end of the programme, you will have had access to a wide range of training and learning opportunities designed to assist you in pursuing a career as a professional publisher. You will be able to launch your career with a qualification from a university that the industry recognises and values.


On the course, you will have plenty of time to familiarise yourself with possible career paths as you engage with core teaching and benefit from our professional mentoring scheme. You will be encouraged to engage with key networking organisations like the SYP and Bookmachine, and to attend publishing events like the London Book Fair.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, workshops, and seminars, and the content is a mix of theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

In order to reinforce the blend of theoretical and practical training on the course, you will engage with a wide range of assessment types, including traditional essays, presentations, case studies and business/marketing plans, along with a final research-based dissertation of 15,000 words.

Contact hours are typically 12 hours each week. The MA comprises approximately 30% contact and 70% self-directed study.

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


You will undertake compulsory and optional taught modules, as well as a research project. The programme is modular with an emphasis on practical skills and exercises based on real-world scenarios and approached through team working.

The core and module options are the same as for the full-time MA, but taken over two years rather than one. The Programme Director will discuss the order in which modules will be undertaken with you following application.

The core and module options are the same as for the full-time MA, but taken over 2-5 years instead of one. The Programme Director will discuss the order in which modules will be undertaken with you following application.

Compulsory modules

Working in Publishing

Publishing Studies

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Publishing. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Publishing.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £15,100 £7,550
Tuition fees (2024/25) £31,100 £15,550

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

The department strives to keep additional costs low. Books and journal articles are usually available via the UCL library as hard copies or via e-journal subscriptions.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For more details on the scholarships we offer please visit UCL Publishing Centre.

Applications for funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) must be made by 31 December in the year before the programme start date.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

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
  • Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

    Choose your programme

    Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

    Year of entry: 2024-2025

Got questions? Get in touch

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.