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MLitt in Publishing Studies

Course Description


The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication provides a comprehensive and coherent approach to all forms of publishing. The course covers the whole process of planning, editing, production, marketing and publication management in print and digital environments. It is dedicated to teaching the best current publishing practice, so the detailed content is updated each year as a result of the rapid changes that are transforming the industry worldwide.
The MLitt in Publishing Studies teaching course is devised, and continually updated, to reflect current publishing industry practice and standards. It produces graduates who will have an enhanced opportunity to succeed in publishing and publishing-related careers. The course is demanding, stimulating and enjoyable, and many publishers now consider it to be the equivalent of a year’s experience within a publishing company. Our graduates occupy senior positions in both commercial and not-for-profit publication organisations throughout the world.
The MLitt in Publishing offers:
- Strong publishing industry links and networks
- Enhanced publishing career pathways
- International environment with a student cohort from all around the world
- Intensive publishing research environment

Key information

- Degree type: MLitt, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Part-time, Full-time
- Duration: Full time - MLitt - 12 months; PG Diploma - 9 months; Part time - MLitt - 27 months; PG Diploma - 21 months;
- Start date: Full-time and part-time: September
- Course Director: Professor Claire Squires

Course objectives

In close contact with publishing businesses and the changing needs of the industry worldwide, the teaching team equips you with the qualities — intellectual and practical — that are needed for a successful working life in publishing and related organisations.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Delivery and assessment

The MLitt in Publishing Studies is delivered through interactive lectures, seminars, workshops (including sessions in the Publishing Computer Lab) and one-to-one teaching.
Assessment is based on a range of practical and academic activities, including the creation of a physical publishing product (a book, magazine, e-book or app), marketing plans, presentations, and a dissertation. Students have opportunities to undertake work experience and internships, and to go on industry visits and field trips. There is also a weekly series of visiting speakers.


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Career opportunities

The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication has over 30 years of graduates now working in the publishing and related industries. Entry level jobs our students have gone into in recent years include:
- Publicity Assistant, Canongate
- Publicity Assistant, Faber & Faber
- Marketing Assistant, Taylor & Francis
- Events & Marketing Assistant, The Bookseller
- Sales & Marketing Assistant, McGraw Hill
- Production Assistant, Oxford University Press
- Editorial Assistant, Oxford University Press
- Production Editor, Cicerone Press
- Publishing Assistant, Cengage Learning
- Web editor, Digital Publishing Department, China Social Sciences Press
- Foreign Rights Specialist, Suncolor Publishing Group
- Web Editor, BooksfromScotland.com

Some of our alumni who have worked in the publishing industry have gone onto the following job roles:
- Group Sales Director and President (Asia Region), Taylor & Francis
- Chief Executive, Publishing Scotland
- Managing Editor, Little Island Books
- Higher Education Texts and eBook Sales Manager, Taylor and Francis (Asia Pacific)
- Director, World Book Day
- Production Editor, Taylor & Francis
- Founder and Publisher, Tapsalteerie and Lumphanan Press


The MLitt in Publishing Studies is built around developing and enhancing publishing careers for its students. The focus of the modules is on building skills and understanding of the contemporary publishing industry, with constantly updated content and access to industry expertise. All students have the opportunity to undertake work placements, with host organisations in recent years including:
- Alban Books
- Barrington Stoke
- Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival
- Canongate Books
- Fledgling Press
- Floris Books
- Freight Books
- HarperCollins
- Luath Press
- Octopus Books
- Oxford University Press
- Saraband Books
- Tern Digital

Industry connections

The Centre is supported by an Industry Advisory Board, with members from Floris Books, Freight Books, Publishing Scotland, Oxford University Press and Taylor & Francis. Further industry support is provided by our regular visiting speaker series, and the internships and work placements provided for our students. The Centre is a Network Member of Publishing Scotland.

Visit the MLitt in Publishing Studies page on the University of Stirling website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Yuanyuan (Jennifer) Jin

When I got my bachelor’s degree, my dream was just to be a little copy editor in any publishing house in China. However, my destiny changed when I decided to take this course at the University of Stirling.

I think my MSc brought me an excellent job in my hometown, for I am now one of the English editors in the English Editorial Department in Zhejiang University Press. This is the Rank-One Publishing House, as well as the National Top-100 Publishing House in China.

What I enjoyed most on the course were the case study modules. Through the year, I found that the six case studies dealt with issues across the whole publishing industry. In working with the case studies, we students gained important knowledge about many publishing areas.

The University of Stirling is really a fantastic place to study. I was so surprised when I saw the beautiful lake with the white swans on campus for the first time. The new library also provided us with an efficient service during the semesters. The experience in Scotland will be the memory all of my life.

(Student Profile)

Christina O’Brien

Hi! My name is Christina O’Brien and I have just completed my studies here at the University of Stirling.

When I finished my undergraduate degree in English Literature at the University of Glasgow, I wasn’t really sure what direction to take career-wise. I did know that I wanted to take a break from studying to travel, so I took myself off to Korea to teach English for a year… which soon became two!

I had a fantastic time there, but I knew that it wasn’t really ‘real-life’, and that I needed to make some decisions about what my ‘real-life’ was going to be.

Whilst researching possible postgraduate degrees in publishing, the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication at the University of Stirling jumped out at once.

The Centre has an excellent reputation and I’m so glad I made the decision to study here. The modules were very interesting, boasting a great mix of theory and practical knowledge and I have thoroughly enjoyed the course.

Perhaps most importantly, I know that the course has boosted my career prospects already. Before I had completed my studies, I had already interviewed for – and accepted! – a position with a company which produces free magazines. It’s a job that I would have been under-qualified for, before I began my course. So my time at Stirling has been incredibly beneficial and I’m looking forward to utilising the skills and knowledge that I have acquired here in my future career.

(Student Profile)

Olive Huang

Once I graduated from university, I worked for two years as an editorial assistant for a publisher in my hometown in China, before planning the next step of my career. I applied to do my MSc at Stirling but did not realise at the time that it would completely change my life for the next year.

Before I came to Stirling, my everyday work was sitting in my small cubicle, dealing with routine editorial stuff: countless manuscripts and slush piles. However this Programme has helped me to jump outside the box and see the bigger publishing industry picture.

The MSc focuses on practical skills training through case studies that require students to create solutions, both independently and through teamwork. The solutions draw on the students’ growing knowledge of financial management, list building, profit & loss evaluation, rights trade and digital publishing.

By combining theory and practice, doing research and taking part in team discussions, we got a better understanding of what was being taught. Though the course students come from different nations and backgrounds, most have worked in the publishing field and sharing our work experiences helped us to form a global insight.

Now that I have returned to my original job, I am inspired to generate new ideas. In fact, I based my final MSc research case study on my present organisation, identifying its business problems and proposing solutions. So I believe the skills I learned at Stirling will be very useful to my future work.


AHRC Block Grant Partnership Studentships - 5 Awards

The University of Stirling and Strathclyde University have been awarded an AHRC Block Grant Partnership for 2011-13, for 19 studentships over 3 years. Studentships can be held at either the University of Stirling or the University of Strathclyde. There are opportunities for joint supervision of doctoral projects.Further details of the AHRC’s studentships are available in the AHRC’s Guide to Student Funding to which applicants are advised to read and refer while making their application: http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/FundingOpportunities/Documents/GuidetoStudentFunding.pdf

Value of Scholarship(s)

see website for full details


Please see here for full details: http://www.artsandhumanitiesconsortium.org.uk/Eligibilty.aspx

Application Procedure

Please see: http://www.artsandhumanitiesconsortium.org.uk/Apply.aspx

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply. INTO University of Stirling offers a Graduate Diploma for those students who do not meet the required criteria for this course. If you successfully complete the Graduate Diploma in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences and meet the required progression grades, you will be guaranteed entry onto year one of this Master's degree.

Course Fees

2015/16: Home/EU £6,000; Overseas £11,900

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