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Course content

This programme provides an excellent overview of every aspect of publishing, with an emphasis on digital publishing. The MA in Digital Publishing combines theory with practice and provides scope to develop specialist skills required for career development. You will graduate with a broad understanding of the key issues facing the publishing industry in the 21st century and a wide range of publishing and general management skills, including advanced IT skills, to help you succeed in the industry.

Digital Publishing is part of a group of publishing courses, run by the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies (within the School of Arts), which enjoy a high international standing in the publishing world. We have close links with publishing companies in Oxford and London, and staff have extensive experience in national and international publishing roles.

Our publishing programmes provide you with the skills, knowledge and networks to kickstart your career in publishing, or to improve your current position.

Why choose this course?

If you choose an MA in Digital Publishing at Oxford Brookes you will benefit from:

  • Unrivalled industry links and networking through connections with publishing organisations such as the Independent Publishers Guild, OPuS (Oxford Publishing Society) and the Society of Young Publishers – regular events are held at Oxford Brookes. We also have an extensive network of alumni throughout the world
  • Publishing at Oxford Brookes is rated number 2 in the 2016 Guardian University Guide, in the category Journalism, Publishing and Public Relations. The programmes have been awarded the Creative Skillset tick by experts working in the creative industries
  • Teaching by staff who have written many of the key texts on publishing, and supported by an Advisory Board comprising some of the most senior publishers in the UK, with an extensive list of visiting speakers and associate lecturers who are leading industry specialists.
  • Visits to London, Frankfurt and Bologna book fairs, and the opportunity to attend an international Summer School in Florence with students from Slovenia, Germany, Italy and France.
  • Oxford is a global centre for the publishing industry and you will have unrivalled access to work experience in Oxford, London and elsewhere.
  • We offer International internships, a range of scholarships, and provide specialist careers advice, including our Working in Publishing Day.

This course in detail

The MA consists of five compulsory modules and one elective module plus a dissertation or major project. The PGDip consists of five compulsory modules and one elective module. Compulsory modules and optional modules are listed below.

In Semester 1 you take Design and Production, Editorial Management and Content Development, and Sales, Marketing and Consumer Insight.

In Semester 2 you take the two digital modules and choose on additional optional module to develop your skills and knowledge in a specialist area of publishing.

To gain an MA you must also submit a dissertation or a major project (15,000 words or equivalent for major projects).

Compulsory modules

  • Design and Production for Publishing 
  • Editorial Management
  • Marketing Management for Publishing 
  • Digital Publishing Strategy 
  • Multi-Platform Publishing 

Optional modules

  • Academic and Professional Publishing 
  • International Rights Management 
  • History and Culture of Publishing 
  • Magazine Publishing 
  • Children's Publishing 
  • Fiction and Non-fiction Publishing 
  • Independent Study in Publishing 

Compulsory for the MA

  • Dissertation or Major Project

Please note, as courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module lists you choose from may vary from the ones shown here.

Teaching and learning

Some of the key teaching methods we use are:

  • lectures that provide you with foundation knowledge and a framework for study that will enable you to achieve the module's learning outcomes
  • seminars and workshops that encourage you to engage in discussion with tutors and peers to test your understanding and ability to apply ideas, to develop your transferable skills, and to encourage deeper learning
  • computer workshops to give you the opportunity to test, clarify, and apply your IT skills
  • field trips to book fairs and to the industry, for example, printers, publishers, retailers, so that you can observe at first hand aspects of the industry taught in lectures and workshops
  • work experience and internship opportunities across a broad range of departments and market sectors
  • group work role play simulating new product development in a real-life publishing context
  • individual supervision in support of self-directed outcomes for the dissertation or major project
  • use of resource-based learning materials and virtual learning environment to support your learning through computer-aided assessment and computer-aided learning.

Approach to assessment

Assessment is primarily by coursework. A limited number of class tests assess your skills in applying marketing terms and in proof reading.

Assignments in all modules are designed to assess your knowledge and skills developed during the period of study. These closely align with industry practice so that through the programme you gain in confidence in your ability to complete live publishing projects. After successfully completing the programme you are ready to enter the publishing industry as an effective employee.


Visit the MA/PGDip Digital Publishing page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!

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