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You’ll develop key skills, knowledge and experience to give you the edge in a range of rewarding careers

  • Gain experience in real-world publishing settings – current MA students are working on a book project with the 2017 Man Booker Prize winning author, George Saunders.
  • Cover every stage of publishing including editorial, production, sales and marketing – from initial ideas to book launches.
  • Our students have gone on to careers with companies including Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Taylor & Francis, and some have also set up their own publishing companies.
  • Be inspired by industry professionals and published academics – guest lecturers visit from a range of publishing companies and literary agencies including Bloomsbury, Penguin Random House and Little Island Press.
  • Engage in research-based scholarship to focus on themes which particularly interest you.
  • Benefit from a challenging cross-disciplinary learning experience.

This course explores all aspects of the publishing industry, including editorial and content development, design and production, sales and marketing, and business success and entrepreneurship. Throughout, you will learn how to respond to the exciting new opportunities facing the industry today and in the future.

An industry full of opportunity

The total value of the British book publishing industry has been estimated at around £4.3 billion, the largest in the world in terms of its output per head of population. Some 145,000 new book titles were published in the UK in 2014.

The expansion of digital publishing, the growing sophistication of interactive ebooks and the popularity of ereaders and tablets have brought new dimensions to the industry.

Meanwhile, traditional boundaries between book publishing and periodical publishing are breaking down, with professionals moving much more freely between the sectors. The industry is also becoming more global in outlook and reach, opening up even more opportunities for ambitious graduates.

The Derby MA Publishing is a newly designed programme that is up-to-date, well balanced, thought-provoking and exciting. It covers all industry sectors, from fiction to scholarly; and all job roles from editorial to author rights. It is perhaps the most tightly focused and complete Publishing MA available in the UK today.

Combining print and digital know-how

The MA Publishing has been designed to meet the needs of an industry undergoing dramatic technological and commercial changes.

With the printed book still accounting for around 85% of revenues, we will build your awareness of the traditional aspects of publishing. At the same time, we will ensure you are fully conversant with digital technologies, trends and marketing techniques. By the end of the course, you will be equipped to move seamlessly between print and digital formats whenever required.

New skills for a new era

Publishing companies are keen to dispel the myth that all you need for success in the industry is a love of literature and reading. New entrants are now expected to bring industry-specific professional skills along with qualities such as innovation, versatility, enterprise and problem-solving.

Our MA therefore covers vital insights not just into editorial functions but also into aspects of the business such as leadership and management, project management, marketing, intellectual property law, and finance. This programme provides a comprehensive and well-balanced training to enter a wide variety of careers in publishing and beyond.

Expertise to inspire you

Our teaching team comprises enthusiastic, dedicated academics and practitioners with extensive experience in marketing, journalism and professional writing, as well as the broader publishing industry.

International Students

The British publishing industry is one of the largest and most important in the world, exporting more books than any other country, and at the forefront of many developments such as digital business models, English language publishing, niche products and globalised business. By coming from overseas to study Publishing at MA level International students will receive unparalleled insights, knowledge base and training in every aspect of this dynamic, global industry.

How you will learn

You will learn through a mixture of seminars, lectures, workshops and applied study, with a focus on real world learning. You will have exciting opportunities to gain experience with publishers, booksellers and events organisers and to gain insights into the freelance world of indexing, proofreading and design.

You could attend book fairs and festivals, volunteer at author events and book launches or take part in live projects working on the in-house publications produced by the University.

Students will be encouraged and supported to undertake various forms of work-related learning and experience, including internships at major publishers.

Thanks to our networks across the creative, media and cultural sectors, you will have the chance to make valuable contacts. We offer a vibrant programme of guest lectures and we host events where authors, editors and publishers speak about the realities of making a living in the field.

Programme leader Alistair Hodge has been a non-fiction book publisher, commissioning editor, designer and business leader for 30 years. He brings an unparalleled range of expertise to the programme. His varied research interests include the Ethics and Practice of Editing; John Milton and Freedom of the Press; and Publish and be Prosecuted: How Authors and Publishers avoided State Censorship.

How you'll be assessed

You will learn through a mixture of seminars, lectures, workshops and applied study.

Your work will be assessed using a wide range of methods, including oral and written presentations, reports, essays and portfolios of practical work in areas such as editing, production, marketing, design and digital publishing. 


Visit the Publishing (MA) page on the University of Derby website for more details!

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