M.A. MA Book Design

University of Reading

Application deadline: flexible
Tuition fee:
  • € 5,720 / Year (EEA)
  • € 13,860 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: October  2015
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time

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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.


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.


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

English Language Requirements

CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IELTS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

200 (Grade A)

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