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Course content

Who is it for?

This MA is designed for aspiring professionals who recognise that the global publishing industry is changing dramatically - and who wish to equip themselves with the knowledge and skills needed by the next generation of publishers. Your first degree might be from the Humanities, the Social Sciences or the Sciences; and you might be a recent graduate or someone with work experience either in publishing or in another field.


Located in the heart of London, the commercial centre of this global industry, this MA explores how publishing is evolving in the face of digitisation.

The programme provides you with an applied understanding of how books, journals, magazines and interactive resources are conceived, developed and marketed, including the key role of authorship.

You will be encouraged to explore whether your interests lie in publishing for entertainment, education, research or information. Alongside research-led analytical assignments, you will develop a portfolio of achievements relating to the global industry which reflect the range of professional roles in contemporary publishing, including editorial, marketing, production, and both print and digital content development.


All MA Publishing students at City, University of London are strongly encouraged to apply for and complete placements, whether in London or other locations, subject to the approval of the Programme Director.

To join the optional MA Publishing Professional Placement module in Term 2, you need to be offered a placement by the beginning of that term (or by the end of Term 2 for part-time students). Whether or not you join that module, you will be encouraged to apply for the many placement opportunities that are shared with the programme, and supported to develop a practice-related Major Project that furthers your career goals.

Teaching and learning

The course content covers all types of publishing, from trade and specialist publications to novels and non-fiction, and provides a thorough grounding in the drivers of commercial success for both print and digital products.

You will be taught both by research experts and publishing practitioners who share specialist expertise and up-to-date industry knowledge.

Your core modules aim to establish and develop your understanding of contemporary industry conditions, including the impact of digitisation. Your options in Term 2 allow you to develop more scholarly or applied interests, and include an optional Professional Placement module.

Our publishing programmes foster a nurturing community with great guest speakers and student opportunities. Search #citypublishing and find out more.


You will learn through lectures, project work, student-led projects and presentations, workshops, online learning and research, preparation of submitted work, site visits and discussions. Your final module is a substantial Major Project, which can include an approved industry project.

Visiting lecturers from the industry contribute to the programme throughout the teaching year, and in many cases directly support your project work.

A standard module consists of 20 timetabled hours in a combination of lectures, groupwork sessions and supervised project work. Each module also requires substantial study hours towards both individual and group assessments.

Core modules

  • PBM001 Business and Marketing in Publishing (15 credits)
  • PBM002 Creating and Managing Intellectual Property (15 credits)
  • PBM003 Digitisation and Publishing (15 credits)
  • PBM004 Publishing History and Culture (15 credits)
  • PBM008 Major Project (60 credits).

Elective modules

  • PBM005 Professional Placement (15 credits)
  • PBM006 Developing Creative Content (15 credits)
  • PBM007 Innovations in Content: Curating Cultural and Commercial Value (15 credits)
  • PBM011 Designing Interactive Media (15 credits)
  • AMM421 Digital Cultures (15 credits).

Part time students

Part-time students take the course over two years and normally chose an equal number of elective modules between the two years. All modules are 15 credits unless otherwise stated.

Core Modules

  • PBM001 Business and Marketing in Publishing (Year one, term 1)
  • PBM002 Creating and Managing Intellectual Property (Year one, term 1)
  • PBM003 Digitisation and Publishing (Year two, term 1)
  • PBM004 Publishing History and Culture (Year two, term 1)
  • PBM008 Major Project (60 credits, Year two)

Career prospects

City’s Publishing graduates develop careers in a variety of organisations, with the majority of each class achieving a publishing role within months of graduating. The roles of a recent class show the range of possible careers in global publishing, include:

  • Trainee, Foreign Language Publishing Co, Shanghai;
  • Rights Assistant, Literary Agency
  • Editorial, Production Assistant and Rights Assistants, Children’s Publishing
  • Contracts Assistant and International Sales Representative, Academic Publishing
  • Business Reporter in a Chicago newspaper
  • Marketing Assistant and Digital Marketing Executive, Bloomsbury
  • Rights Assistant, Fiction, Paris
  • Picture Researcher, Hodder
  • Marketing, Random House
  • Editorial Business Analyst, Condé Nast Japan
  • Editorial Assistant and Marketing Assistant, Specialist and Academic Publishing
  • PR and Literary Agent, Freelance
  • Editor, Economics website
  • Publicist, Hachette NZ
  • Magazine Publishing, Beijing
  • Production Assistant, ELT, Greece.

Visit the Publishing (MA) page on the City, University of London website for more details!






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