Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 2 years
£780 per 20 credits* (2018/19)
£13,500 for the full programme (2018/19)
Kedleston Road, Derby Campus
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.
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.
The course is made up of three stages - Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Masters.
You will study modules such as:
The Publishing Profession
What does it mean to be a publisher today? you'll analyse new issues and big trends facing the world of books, literature and the wider publishing profession. Guest speakers and round-table seminars will contribute to a lively, stimulating and highly supportive learning environment.
Editorial and Editing
Here you will examine the ethical and practical issues of being a senior editor. Which books deserve to be published, and why? How do commissioning editors build a successful list of titles? When is it acceptable to change or ‘correct’ an author’s writing? Explore issues of bias, taste, morality – and profit – in publishers’ everyday decisions about what gets published and how.
Print and Digital Production
There are many stimulating and creative job roles in publishing, none more so than in design and production. In this module you will examine design theory and practice as well as project and systems management. You will explore how new projects are conceived, designed and brought to market in both print and in digital formats, on time and on budget.
Marketing and Sales in Modern Publishing
Publishing is a highly competitive business where success depends upon innovative marketing and sales operations. In this crucial module you will explore social media marketing, big data, market analysis, sales reporting and marketing theory. Learn the theory and practice of how marketing professionals deal with authors, signings and events, book promotion, and negotiating with booksellers.
Legal Frameworks for Publishers
Publishing relies on a complex web of legal and business frameworks and conventions. Contracts and ‘rights’ have to be negotiated with authors and literary agents, while publishers have to understand the many implications of an evolving and globally diverse legal landscape. Examining theory and practice will prepare you for a stimulating career in rights, copyright or contracts.
Books and Society
The module will provide a description and critical historical evaluation of the various trends that have contributed to literary and publication history and culture since the fifteenth century. You'll learn the fundamentals of financial and business arrangements around literary outputs, both in the past and in today’s increasingly globalised industry.
Skills for Modern Publishing
This module covers broad themes including teamwork, quantitative research and analysis, technical know-how, sophisticated understanding of modern digital tools and software, and social media management, and you will develop a proficiency in a variety of areas that will prepare you for real-world tasks in the national and global industry.
This module focuses on the publication processes, the business practices and the design of trade magazines and non-academic periodicals. From a managerial and commercial standpoint, students develop skills, knowledge and understanding related to this important and fast-changing sector.
Critical Perspectives in Strategic Management and Leadership
For businesses to maintain a competitive advantage in the market, business leaders and managers have to manage contemporary challenges such as globalisation, innovation, technology and sustainability. Therefore, this module provides a broad representation of the diverse concepts and theories that reflect current debate among academics and practitioners alike. It explores how today’s leaders and managers utilise and manage competitive intelligence and knowledge in diverse cultural, industrial and organisational contexts in order to develop innovative strategies for sustainable competitive advantage.
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.
The entry requirement to this programme is a good honours degree (1st or 2:1) in any subject, or its international equivalent. Applications may be considered if you have a 2:2 honours degree and can demonstrate significant publishing or related industry experience or aptitude. Examples might include a period of work at an appropriate level within publishing or a related industry, or a portfolio of work or achievements in a related discipline such as, for example, English, Business, Law, Graphic Design, etc.
It is important that we get to know you, your aspirations and your expectations. Therefore, before being accepted on to the programme all applicants will be invited to an informal interview to discuss the course, the nature of the programme, and what will be expected of you during it. Interviews will normally take place at the university campus, but special arrangements may be made if you have difficulty attending.
The university welcomes applications from every sector of society, and the College of Arts, Humanities and Education is a signatory to the Equality in Publishing Charter.
If English is not your first language you will need to have passed the International English Language Teaching System (IELTS) at the overall level IELTS 6.5, including a minimum score of 5.5 in each test category. (Where appropriate the university’s International Admissions office can give further details, including information regarding approved IELTS test centres.) The English language qualification required by this programme is at a higher level than that required for other university programmes: the reason for this is that throughout the MA Publishing programme you will have to work with the English language at an advanced level.
If you are interested in finding out more about the MA Publishing, you may contact the Programme Leader by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2018/19 Fees (August 2018 - July 2019)
£780 per 20 credits*
£780 per 20 credits*
£13,500 for the full programme
*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.
|Postgraduate Certificate||60 Credits|
|Postgraduate Diploma||120 Credits|
|MA or MSc||180 Credits|
This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.
Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.
Funding your studies
Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.
Find out about funding your studies
Alumni discount for Derby graduates
We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.
Find out about the Alumni discount
Scholarships and bursaries
We also offer a number of funding opportunities for all International students, including discounts, scholarships and bursaries.
Find out about scholarships and bursaries
Additional costs and optional extras
A broad choice
The MA Publishing will equip you with a broad range of skills, a critical awareness of the whole industry, a high degree of flexibility and an enterprising mindset. It will prepare you for careers with major publishing houses or the growing number of small publishers, including the thousands of ‘micro-publishers’, which exist within the UK. You could also consider becoming self-employed or setting up your own publishing company.
There are opportunities, too, to work in publishing roles within charitable organisations, government bodies and cultural organisations such as galleries and museums.
Much of the knowledge and many of the skills you will attain on this MA are highly transferable. The course is a perfect springboard for a wide range of professional careers such as magazine publishing, librarianship, bookselling, PR, communications, or illustration and web design.
Ensuring you’re ‘work-ready’
Our Careers and Employability Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure that you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate – industry aware, motivated and enterprising.
The support continues once you’ve completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.
If your ambition is to set up your own business in the publishing field, you could consider moving into one of our incubation units which offer reasonable rents and a range of business support services to help you establish your venture.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
† Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
Included in your fees
- The fee includes any mandatory study visits and some social events
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Minimal printing costs starting at 5p per sheet
Optional costs not included in your fees
- It is possible that students will have minor costs from engaging in work experience
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.