The first single honours degree of its kind in the UK, this exciting new course combines authorship and publishing to open up a world of opportunities in the creative industries.
- Publishing at Derby has been ranked in the Top 20 in The Guardian University Guide 2019
- Develop the understanding and skills you need to embark upon successful careers in writing, editing, literature and publishing
- Explore the entire spectrum of the creative process: our unique integrated curriculum takes you from conception and writing through to content development, editing, publishing and sale
- Look at the creative literary industry from all angles and cover every sector – from fiction to scholarly, poetry to biography, children’s books to travel
- Build essential business and leadership skills and gain insights into important aspects of the law, including author contracts and copyright
- Gain real-world experience of writing, editing and publishing through our in-house unit, Peregrine Publishing
- Learn from our highly experienced lecturers, many of whom have substantial backgrounds in the creative and publishing industries
Whether you aspire to make your living as an author, an editor, a literary agent, a book or magazine publisher – or a combination of all these – you will find this course to be hugely stimulating, innovative and relevant.
Breaking new ground
This is the first single honours Writing and Publishing degree to be launched in the UK and it brings together the strengths of both traditions.
The crucial defining feature of the course is that it takes a fully integrated approach to the subject – so you will benefit from a broad base of content that covers the full range of the creative process and is strongly relevant to the workplace.
At every stage, your core modules will integrate the study of writing, editing and publishing. You will therefore gain invaluable insights into the professional relationships that operate within this wide-ranging industry.
Broaden your perspectives as a writer
Forget the traditional stereotype of the creative writer as an impoverished figure working alone in a poorly furnished garret! The twenty-first-century reality is that authors, editors, literary agents and publishers have never worked more closely together.
If you are seeking to pursue a career as a writer, you will need to collaborate with fellow professionals to an unprecedented degree. This course will help you to understand not only the theoretical and practical skills of writing, but also the commercial realities and opportunities from the perspective of the more business-oriented world of publishers and editors. It offers an excellent introduction that ensures you can deal with the constraints of the marketplace for your work.
Vital practical experience
The literary creative industries have a longstanding tradition of accepting interns on work experience in writing, editorial and publishing roles. We encourage you to make the most of such opportunities and give you guidance on how to secure an internship.
There may also be opportunities for you to undertake voluntary work with our own in-house publishing imprint, Peregrine Books, which has been set up to publish books, ebooks and periodicals on a commercial basis.
Ideally equipped for career success
The BA (Hons) Writing and Publishing equips you for many different career paths in and beyond the creative industries of today. You will attain extensive transferable skills, a high level of employability and a full and nuanced understanding of the rich world of writing and publishing.
You can look forward to a wide range of possible post-graduation opportunities, from employment to freelancing or even setting up your own business.
You will study modules such as:
You will study modules that provide a sound foundation of knowledge and understanding about authorship, publishing and the business and cultural forces at work in today’s dynamic and increasingly global creative literary industries.
- History and Culture of Publishing
- Markets and Media
- Introduction to Creative Forms
- The Writer's Toolbox: Reading for Writing
- English for Writers, Editors and Publishers
You will explore a number of key issues and industry sectors from the perspectives of authors, editors and publishers. This includes a look at scholarly and professional publishing, one of the largest and most important sectors in the industry. You will also gain vital insights into issues such as copyright, author contracts and moral rights.
Core components will include modules such as:
- Writing and Publishing: Non-fiction
- Writing and Publishing: Fiction, Long and Short
- Law for Writers and Publishers
Your studies will be further enhanced through optional modules such as:
- Power, Passion and Polemic: Advanced English for Writers and Editors
- Writing and Publishing for Children and Young Adults
- Content Development
- Print and Digital Production
You will study core modules:
- Principles and Practice of Business in the Creative Industries
- Multi-platform Writing and Publishing
You will choose from the optional modules:
- The Written World in the Twenty-First Century
- A Picture Paints: Working with Images
- Book and Magazine Design
- Writing and Publishing: Magazines
You will also undertake Independent Study which will lead either to a research dissertation or to a publishing project where you will help to prepare real books for publication
This programme offers a careful balance of intellectual exploration and the achievement of practical, professional and business-focused knowledge, skills and understanding.
You will therefore learn through lectures, project work, group sessions, teamwork, independent study and research, all underpinned by a strong emphasis on real-world and technology-enhanced learning.
How you'll be assessed
You will be assessed by a variety of appropriate methods. In certain modules you will be asked to prepare essays or written reports, while in others you may be required to lead a group discussion or deliver your research outcomes orally. There may also be exams and tests.
Who you'll meet
You will learn from a supportive and enthusiastic team who bring together extensive academic experience and industry knowledge. They include:
- Programme Leader Dr Matthew Cheeseman is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing. He works across fiction, non-fiction and art writing, drawing on critical theory and cultural studies. Matthew also edits and publishes the work of others via Spirit Duplicator, a small press.
- Senior Lecturer Alistair Hodge, who has been an editor and book publisher for over 30 years and has taught advanced English, editing, book design and production, publishing business, ethics and law. He brings an unparalleled range of expertise to the programme, along with research interests which include the ethics and practice of editing.
- Senior Lecturer in Publishing Dr David Barker has worked in publishing for over 20 years, as a Commissioning Editor and then a Publishing Director, in both London and New York. Most recently he was Publishing Director at Bloomsbury Academic in London.
- Lecturer in Publishing Dr Miriam Johnson has a PhD in both Creative Writing and Publishing. Her research interests are in the role of social media and technology in publishing.
Your learning will also be enriched by a vibrant programme of guest lectures and regular events where authors, editors and publishers speak about the realities of making a living in the field.
September 2019 typical entry requirements
|UCAS points||112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE||GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DMM
- Access to HE Diploma 60 credits: 45 at level 3 with a minimum of Dist: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
How to apply
Apply by 15 January to start this September
Need help applying? Find out how we can help you with your UCAS application
This programme will prepare you for an extremely broad range of potential career paths, including becoming a successful author in your own right.
You will be ideally equipped to secure rewarding roles in the book or magazine publishing industries, either in the UK or abroad. Other options to consider include working as a literary agent or a freelance editor.
If your ambition is to launch your own venture in the publishing field, the knowledge and skills you gain through our legal and business modules will underpin a successful commercial start-up. You could even explore moving into one of the University’s incubation units which offer reasonable rents and a range of business support services to help you establish your enterprise.
To deepen your critical awareness of the publishing industry further still, you could also progress to postgraduate study with our innovative MA Publishing.
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 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
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.