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MRes in Publishing Studies

Course Description


The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication is a world-leading centre for postgraduate publishing studies, offering expertise in contemporary and historical publishing in the UK and beyond. The MRes in Publishing Studies is a course which enables students to develop strong research skills in the fields of publishing studies, either with regard to contemporary publishing issues and trends or to the history of the book and print culture. It enables and encourages an analytical and research-driven approach to publishing, leading either towards further study and research, or allowing publishing practitioners to examine in depth issues affecting their current practice.

The MRes 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: MRes, Postgraduate Certificate
- Study methods: Part-time, Full-time
- Duration: Full-time: MLitt-12 months; PG Certificate-9 months Part-time: MLitt-27 months, PG Certificate-18 months
- Start date: Full-time and part-time: September and January
- Course Director: Professor Claire Squires

Course objectives

The MRes Publishing Studies is a research preparation Master’s course that offers students the opportunity for tailor-made Master’s study in the field of publishing studies. It also offers the opportunity to prepare for a PhD through concentrated research with a specialism in publishing.

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 delivery of modules is via a variety of teaching and learning methods, including lectures, seminars, self-guided study and one-to-one supervision. Assessment includes a variety of written assignments and presentations, including a portfolio of publishing research and an extended dissertation.


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.


Over half of our submissions in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise were found to be ‘Internationally Excellent’ or ‘World-leading.

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 MRes in Publishing Studies focuses on research and can be used to enhance existing publishing careers or to position students effectively for further study at PhD level. The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication has an active research profile, including the following current PhD topics:
- Developing Literary Glasgow (an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award with Glasgow Life)
- Writing Culture and Cultural Value: Ethnographies of Contemporary Publishing
- The Saltire Society Book Awards (an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award with The Saltire Society)
- The Scottish Diaspora and the Book Business
- The Nesta/Creative Scotland/AHRC Digital R&D Fund for Arts & Culture in Scotland (co-supervised with the University of St Andrews; co-funded by the University of Stirling, St Andrews and the Nesta/Creative Scotland/AHRC Digital R&D Fund)
- The Literary Festival: The Festivalisation of Contemporary Literary Culture (AHRC studentship)

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

(Student Profile)

Gillian Hall

After completing my undergraduate degree in English Studies, it became clear that if I wanted to pursue a career in such a competitive industry as publishing, I would need a further specialist degree in the subject, in order to stand out from the crowd.

Although I already had an editorial career in mind, the Publishing Studies course at Stirling gave me the chance to study all aspects of the industry, from marketing and editorial to design and production, as well as providing me with invaluable advice on how to build an impressive CV.

Fortunately I was able to do some work experience at an Edinburgh publishing house during the course. I would encourage all students to do this if their circumstances allow it, since it's vital that future employers see you are committed and willing to put in the extra effort.

I now work as a Proofreader for the UK's biggest typesetting company, Palimpsest Book Production Ltd. Our clients include Penguin, HarperCollins, Hodder and Stoughton, Random House and Little, Brown. I've had the opportunity to work on high-profile titles by authors such as Stephen King, Cecelia Ahern and George R. R. Martin.

One of the things I like most about my job is that we typeset all kinds of books; one day I'll be proofreading a celebrity autobiography, the next I'll be working on a non-fiction title. I'm also involved in making sure Ebook files get to the publishers by their deadlines, as there is currently a massive demand to get both backlist and frontlist titles converted as quickly as possible.

I couldn’t be a Proofreader if I didn’t have a passion for books – it can be very intensive and we often have to work to the publishers’ tight schedules. However, I wouldn't be where I am if I hadn't studied at Stirling – the course lecturers keep on top of current industry issues and I was encouraged to do the same.

So as well as being thoroughly enjoyable and well-equipped, my course allowed me to progress towards a successful and exciting career.


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. Applicants should submit a research proposal of 2000 words.

Course Fees

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

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