M.A. Book Design

  • On Campus
  • 12 months
  • GBP14900 Year (Non-EEA)
  • English ( Find a course )
University of Reading | Reading , United Kingdom
This course combines practical project work with exploration of related history. We emphasise the needs of the reader, and relate these to design principles and production issues.



This course combines practical project work with exploration of related history. We emphasise the needs of the reader, and relate these to design principles and production issues. Projects range in scale from typographic detail through to the design of complete books and series, integrating text with illustrations. A real-life environment is fostered through assignments for actual clients, prepress and printing facilities in the Department and links between staff and UK publishers.

You are taught by Paul Luna, Ruth Blacksell, James Mosley and Mary Dyson who cover the history, theory, practice and evaluation of design. Recent visiting theachers and lecturers have included John Morgan, Fraser Muggeridge, David Pearson, Stuart Bailey and Bryn Walls.

We are proud of our small-group teaching and our informal but productive environment. There is studio space for all MAs, and the Department is fully wifi-equipped. We arrange visits to studios and publishers including Hand and Eye Press, Dorling Kindersley and Oxford University Press.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline UK:1 August; International:1 June
Tuition fee
  • GBP 14900 Year (Non-EEA)
  • GBP 7000 Year (EEA)
Start date
Duration full-time 12 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time
Intensity Flexible
Duration part-time 24 months
Part-time variant Flexible

Course Content

Practice of book design: you develop your pratical abilities in typography and book design through briefed projects, a personally directed project, and a professional assignment. The aims are to achieve a high level of competence in design work and understand the demands of professional practice. Core module: you develop your knowlege and analytical skills through lectures, seminars, directed reading, an student presentations, looking at topics such as decision-making about design, the history of book design, and the evaluation of design. Our history teaching includes hands-on sessions looking at important books from 1500 to the 1960s in our own collections and at specialist libraries in oxford and elsewhere.

Dissertation: you choose a topic in consultation with staff that focuses on an aspect of book design, leading to a written study of between 10,000 and 13,000 words.

English Language Requirements

Before starting a programme, you need to have a basic knowledge of the English language. Find English courses on Language Learning Portal.

CAE score
200(Grade A)


A good first degree in a related discipline or equivalent professional experience. English language, e.g. IELTS level 7.

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

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University of Reading, United Kingdom

United Kingdom The University of Reading is ranked as one of the UKs 20 most research-intensive universities and as one of the top 200 universities in the world. We enjoy a world-class reputation for teaching, research and enterprise. Established as an extension college of Christ Church, Oxford in 1892, we received a Royal Charter in 1926, the only university to do so between the two world wars.

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