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Book Design (MA)

Course Description

This course combines practical design for printed books and ebooks with related theory and history.

A real-life environment is fostered through assignments for clients and through digital and traditional printing facilities. We make regular visits to libraries in Oxford and, through partnership with the Institute of Contemporary Arts, we have a venue for London-based activities. In the practice of book design you will develop your work through briefed projects that engage with the current demands of professional practice. You will develop knowledge and analytical skills through lectures, seminars and directed reading. Hands-on sessions look at important books in collections and archives, and your dissertation will focus on a specific aspect of historical or contemporary book design.

See the website http://www.reading.ac.uk/ready-to-study/study/subject-area/graphic-design-pg/ma-book-design.aspx

Modules include:

• Practice of Book Design
• Core Module
• Dissertation.

What career can you have?

We have an excellent track record of our graduates finding relevant employment at an appropriate level. Our graduates take up positions in type design studios, with publishers and general design studios; many develop their own businesses. Major companies employing our graduates include Monotype Imaging, Microsoft Typography, Victoria and Albert Museum, Oxford University Press, Financial Times and Nokia.


Study within a department that has an international reputation for the scope and quality of its research and teaching.

Our courses draw upon our academic and professional expertise providing a range from more practical skills-based activity to preparation for MPhil or PhD study.

We have developed unique courses which provide grounding in principles and methods of design practice in various areas. Our links with industry enable us to draw on additional knowledge and experience and maintain a current perspective.

We draw on methods from a range of disciplines across the arts, humanities and social sciences and so have a wide-ranging, multi- and interdisciplinary approach to our subject. Our relatively small size provides you with a supportive and collegiate environment and a rich ground work for developing ideas and receiving feedback on work.

We have informal and formal links with design institutions all over the world. These include the Rare Book School in Lyon, the Information Design Association, International Institute for Information Design, Sign Design Society, Printing Historical Society, Monotype Imaging, the Newberry Library, Victoria & Albert Museum and St Bride Library. We also have outstanding collections relating to typography and graphic communication.

Visit the Book Design (MA) page on the University of Reading website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Lozana Rossenova

Working on a variety of practice-based projects has been invaluable, and the research, reading and writing helped me to develop and sharpen my analytical skills. I have been able to apply all of this to my current work on a challenging digital project for one of the world’s largest publishers of art books.


Entry Requirements

At least 2:1 honours, or equivalent, in a design or design-relevant subject or, for exceptional candidates without such a degree, convincing evidence of relevant professional experience. Applicants will also be asked to provide a portfolio and an example of academic writing as part of the application process. You are normally required to have a good undergraduate honours degree (or equivalent from a university outside the UK). If you have other qualifications and a number of years' relevant work experience then you may also be eligible to apply.

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