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Course content

This course combines relevant theory with practice and, by equipping you with appropriate knowledge and skills, enhances your employment prospects in the publishing and related media industries.

The MA in Publishing Media at Oxford Brookes is respected throughout the world. It gives you a broad understanding of the key issues facing the publishing industry in the 21st century, and provides scope to develop specialist skills required for your career development. It also enables in-depth exploration of specialist areas through independent study and a dissertation or a major project.

This is one of a number of courses run by the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies which enjoy a high international standing in the publishing world. We have close links with publishing companies in Oxford, London and the south-east of the UK, and our staff have extensive experience in national and international publishing roles.

Why choose this course?

Our industry-led Publishing Media MA provides you with the skills, knowledge and networks to kickstart your career in publishing, or to improve your current position.

  • Unrivalled industry links and networking, and access to work experience in Oxford, London and elsewhere, and 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, and our programmes have been awarded the Creative Skillset tick by experts working in the creative industries
  • Taught by staff who have written many of the key texts on publishing, and features an extensive list of visiting speakers and associate lecturers who are leading industry specialists, and supported by an Advisory Board comprising some of the most senior publishers in the UK
  • Visits to London, Frankfurt and Bologna book fairs, and links 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
  • The opportunity to attend an international Summer School in Florence with students from Slovenia, Germany, Italy and France.
  • International internships and a range of scholarships are available, as is specialist careers advice, including our Working in Publishing Day

This course in detail

The MA consists of three compulsory modules and three elective modules plus a dissertation or major project. The PGDip consists of three compulsory modules and three elective modules. The compulsory 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 choose three optional modules to develop skills and knowledge in specialist areas of publishing.

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

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.

See Postgraduate information at Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies.

Compulsory modules

  • Design and Production 
  • Editorial Management and Content Development 
  • Sales, Marketing and Consumer Insight 

Optional modules

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

Compulsory for the MA

  • Dissertation or Major Project

Teaching and learning

As a student studying with us, you will engage in a range of teaching and learning experiences. 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 graduate attributes, and to encourage deeper learning
  • computer workshops to give you the opportunity to test, clarify, and apply your digital 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 for example, simulating new product development in a real-life publishing context
  • individual supervision in support of self-directed outcomes for the dissertation, major project or independent study module
  • use of resource-based learning materials and virtual learning environments to support student learning through computer-aided assessment and computer-aided learning.

Approach to assessment

Assignments in all modules are designed to assess your knowledge and skills developed during the period of study. It is nearly all coursework with a few class tests. These are designed to 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.

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

Specialist facilities

Facilities available to publishing students include a purpose-built Apple Macintosh IT suite with an interactive whiteboard and sound and video projection. All students have the opportunity to learn and use professional software such as Adobe Creative Suite which includes InDesign, Acrobat, Photoshop and other software used for digital production. These technologies are taught in workshops and assessment for some modules involves producing course work using these programmes.

The library carries a comprehensive and up-to-date collection of books, journals and electronic resources relating to publishing. Students have access to many databases including Book Facts Online, the Bookseller, Business Source Complete, Fame, Global Publishing Information Reports, Logos, Mintel and Nielsen Bookscan.

The library also includes a number of special collections of relevance to publishing students and researchers such as The Booker Prize Archive, André Deutsch Collection, Publishing in Africa Collection and the Book Design Collection.


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

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