MA in Publishing

MA Publishing students with Prof. Iain Stevenson

Publishing people are quirky, creative, unpredictable, exasperating, endearing, infuriating and gloriously diverse...

Professor Iain Stevenson, Book Makers

Our MA in Publishing 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 the knowledge, skills and understanding you need to become a successful publisher including 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

Modern publishing 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 understand (and be able to apply):

  • 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
  • Day to day management on a range of levels
  • Critical approaches to problem solving

Further information is available on how to apply.

The Centre for 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.

The aim of the course is to equip you with a clear understanding of how modern publishing 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. Classes are small and students are encouraged to be active in discussion and debate. The exhilarating research environment of the Centre inspires and informs teaching. Tutors, both academics and practitioners, encourage you to explore and report on major current issues. An essential component of the course is a 5 week mentored placement in a publishing house which can often turn into full-time employment You will also have produced a supervised research thesis. At the end of the course, taken either full- or part-time, you will 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 INSTG057

Term Three (May - June)

  • Work placement in the publishing industry - Full-time students are expected to complete a practical placement in the publishing sector, normally five weeks. As the placement is designed to enhance the students' experience of the publishing field, a variety of different hosts will be used each year, depending on students' backgrounds, needs and career aspirations.
  • Dissertation

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.

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.