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Publishing MA

Course Description

Choose Kingston's Publishing MA

From books and magazines to apps and websites, publishers need excellent product-development, consumer-marketing and digital-technology skills. To succeed in this global business, you will also need great organisational and communication skills, outstanding attention to detail and the ability to work effectively with others. The best publishers are those who can think on their feet and embrace and exploit new challenges. This course aims to help you gain all these skills and qualities.

Key features

This course will help develop your skills and prepare you for a career in the publishing industry, whether as publisher, agent or supplier. The competencies acquired through this course have an increasingly wide transferrable value within the international economy as a whole.

You will benefit from the input of a dynamic Publishers' Advisory Board, members of which give lectures and masterclasses on the MA and contribute to its development.

You will undertake a work placement with a relevant organisation, usually represented by a member of our Publishers' Advisory Board. These placements have resulted in many of our students gaining references and employment opportunities within the industry.

Kingston University's Publishing MA programme has been awarded the Creative Skillset Tick, the industry mark of quality, by experts working in the creative industries. This accolade is awarded to practice-based courses which best prepare students for a career in the industry.

What you will study

You will learn everything you need to know about the publishing industry, from its structure, the production processes involved, including commissioning titles, editing copy and branding issues, to how to market the title and ensure dissemination. You will attend masterclasses by leading publishers and publishing professionals to keep you up to date with industry developments. You will also develop and demonstrate your analytical skills and competence through discussions, assignments and the culminating dissertation or practical project.


Blog posts, business and marketing plans, case studies, critical reflections, essays, portfolios, group and individual presentations.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

Create: The Business of Publishing
Do: Work Placements, Networking and Career Planning

Optional modules

Make: Content Development and Production
Practical Publishing Project
Publishing Dissertation
Self-publish: from concept to final format
Share: Strategic Marketing and Sales
Writers' Workshop

What this course offers you

If you choose to study this course, here are some of the things you can expect from the course and how it will benefit you.

The Publishing MA is designed to give you a head start in your career. It is ideal for:

graduates looking for a career in any aspect of the publishing industry, whether as a publisher, agent or supplier;
graduates interested in undertaking research in publishing;
publishing employees seeking to develop their career prospects and accelerate promotion; and
those working in another industry who want to transfer their skills to publishing.

Publishing today is an international industry and this is fully reflected in the content, teaching and research interests of those running our course. Our students too come from a diverse range of backgrounds and speak many languages, and this leads to an atmosphere that is challenging, stimulating – and diverse. Kingston recently won University of the Year for its commitment to equality at the National Mentoring Consortium's (NMC) 16th Annual Award Ceremony.

Our close links with the publishing industry mean that you benefit from:

an academic teaching team that have both commercial publishing experience and contextual/theoretical knowledge of the industry;
input from guest speakers, who add an extra perspective to your studies;
an Advisory Board, which ensures that modules meet industry needs; and
masterclasses with leading publishers on the latest trends.

The taught modules aim to prepare you for the job market. Alongside your publishing studies, you gain practical skills in:

data collation, review, research skills and synopsis;
communication (oral, written and electronic);
time management;
computing; and
co-operation and teamwork.

The course meets the needs of commercial publishers. You not only gain key skills, but also learn how these processes work in a practical context. For example, if you choose the MA award, your dissertation/special study gives you the chance to put your skills into practice. You might choose to work with students in illustration, creative writing and design to produce books or publications.

Other opportunities to work with students from other disciplines include:

projects with students studying creative writing, media and cultural studies or film studies courses;
projects with design and illustration students; and
choosing modules from other disciplines, including marketing, alongside core publishing modules, which allows you to build on your own professional or academic interests.

You will undertake up to five weeks' work experience in the second semester, usually at an organisation represented on our Advisory Board. This gives you the chance to put theory into practice and network with potential employers.

Our teaching approach is fully cross-functional. For example, we will help you to understand the role that commissioning editors play in brand marketing. We offer a part-time study option to help you fit the course around other commitments.

English language requirements

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 7.0 in Writing. Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from one of the recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Visit the Publishing MA page on the Kingston University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Kjell Eldor

"I recommend the Kingston Publishing MA because it's the perfect publishing 'finishing school', giving you the skills you need before sending you off to your career."


Alumni discount - 20+ Awards

All undergraduate alumni qualify for 10% off postgraduate taught course fees.

Value of Scholarship(s)



All Kingston Undergraduate alumni will receive 10% off postgraduate course fees.

Application Procedure

Automatically assessed on application, please ensure you state that your undergraduate degree was awarded by Kingston University.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A second class degree or above or equivalent and/or demonstrable enthusiasm for publishing. International students must have an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent with 7.0 in Writing.

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