The MA in Publishing from Oxford Brookes University is respected throughout the world. The course gives you a broad understanding of the key issues facing the publishing industry in the 21st century, and provides scope to develop specialist skills required for your career development. It also enables in-depth exploration of specialist areas through independent study and a dissertation or a major project.
This is one of a number of courses run by the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies which enjoy a high international standing in the publishing world. We have close links with publishing companies in Oxford, London and the south-east of the UK, and our staff have extensive experience in national and international publishing roles.
Why choose this course?
Studying Publishing at Oxford Brookes gives you:
- Excellent employment prospects
- Extensive industry links and networking with specialist external speakers
- A great location in Oxford, which is a global publishing centre
- Unrivalled access to work experience and International internships
- Specialist careers advice, including our Working in Publishing Day
- A large faculty with a variety of research interests and extensive industry expertise
- Comprehensive coverage of the industry from mass market trade fiction, illustrated non-fiction, digital and academic publishing, journals, magazines, rights.
- Access to a wide range of visiting speakers from the publishing industry who regularly contribute to the programmes
- A variety of awards to suit your needs and career aspirations
- Access to unique research resources and specialist publishing collections; The Booker Prize Archive; André Deutsch Collection, African Publishing Collection; the Bodleian Library
- The opportunity to visit international book fairs including Frankfurt and Bologna and London
- An industry advisory board with representatives from major publishers such as Bloomsbury, Faber, HarperCollins, Hodder and Random House Group
- Links with publishing organisations such as the Independent Publishers Guild, OPuS (Oxford Publishing Society) and the Society of Young Publishers – regular events are held at Oxford Brookes
- An extensive network of alumni throughout the world
- The opportunity to attend an international Summer School in Florence with students from Slovenia, Germany, Italy and France.
The MA consists of three compulsory modules and three elective modules plus a dissertation or major project. The PGDip consists of three compulsory modules and three elective modules. The compulsory and optional modules are listed below.
In Semester 1 you take Design and Production for Publishing, Editorial Management and Marketing Management for Publishing.
In Semester 2 you choose three optional modules to develop skills and knowledge in specialist areas of publishing.
To gain an MA you must also submit a dissertation or a major project (15,000 words or equivalent for major projects).
Modules may change from time to time; an indicative list is shown below.
- Design and Production for Publishing explores the digital aspects of design and production in the publishing process. It looks closely at current working practices in areas such as content design and typography, project management, the evaluation and selection of appropriate media platforms, the buying of raw materials and manufacturing processes, and the use of external resources.
- Editorial Management explores the strategic role of the editor within the publishing process and the knowledge and skills required for the development of new projects, whether in print or digital form.
- Marketing Management for Publishing provides a systematic examination of the key concepts and disciplines of marketing and their relationship and relevance to the products of publishing. It includes coverage of the marketing mix, consumer behaviour, segmentation, targeting and positioning, and elements of market research including SEO.
- E-Publishing enables you to engage with the dynamic nature of a rapidly evolving part of the publishing industry. Through lectures, workshops, and talks from industry speakers, you are introduced to both the strategic and practical sides of e-publishing.
- New Product Development addresses the fundamental issue of how publishers survive and prosper through development of new publishing ideas. Working in groups, students simulate the new product development process, taking marketing, editorial, production and financial elements to an advanced stage and presenting the new product proposals (books, journals, international publishing projects, e-publishing projects, translated or co-published projects) to senior management.
- International Publishing Management covers the management of publishing organisations in an international context. Focusing on the need to remain competitive and survive in the rapidly changing media communications environment, you access and use a range of analytical tools; explore international management issues through case studies; and develop an understanding of the financial tools available to management to assess performance.
- Journals Publishing introduces a rapidly changing publishing sector, covering both electronic and paper-based serial publications across science, technology, medicine, the humanities and social sciences, and the arts. Journals publishing is characterised by technological change in everything from workflow and production to online submissions systems. Where journals publishing leads, the rest of publishing often follows.
- Publishing and Language Issues examines how language issues are affecting the development of publishing in an international context. It looks at these issues from the perspective of publishing in world languages (eg English, French), in major national and international languages (eg Chinese, Arabic), and in more local languages (eg Finnish, Kiswahili, Bengali).
- Rights Management introduces the management of rights in the fast-moving world of global publishing. As well as looking at the acquisition of rights from the author, and the different rights contracted, the module covers the rights function within the publishing house and its responsibility for licensing a range of products.
- History and Culture of Publishing examines the culture and ideology of publishing in terms of its development throughout the 20th century, and its contemporary practice. Different theories of print culture and critiques of the role of the publisher in society are reviewed, and there is an examination of ideological challenges to the culture of publishing.
- Magazine Publishing provides a comprehensive insight into and understanding of the international magazine industry and its place as both a print and electronic product. It covers a range of contemporary issues and business models, exploring the job roles involved in the production of magazines and addressing the issues of editorial content, marketing, branding, technology, law and design.
- Children's Publishing explores the development of the market sector and the current shape and business practices of publishing for children and young adults. Topics include picture books, co-editions and translatability; the sector's links to other leisure industries, merchandising and content reuse; editing and censorship; age ranging and gatekeeping; literacy and reading campaigns; and promotion.
- Digital Media Publishing offers an examination of forms of digital publishing with particular reference to epub and apps including standards of mark-up and accessibility. It provides an opportunity for the practical investigation of the strategies to publish digital media. Emphasis is placed on keeping content separate from presentation through semantic markup and the use of XML and various web server technologies.
- Independent Study in Publishing offers you the opportunity to design a course of study to suit your own interests and concerns; to organise and carry out a work schedule set by yourself; and to determine a set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria in collaboration with the module leader and a supervisor.
Compulsory for the MA
- Dissertation or Major Project is the defining and essential component for the award of the MA degree. It is a major in-depth investigation of a subject, theme or issue significant to the study of publishing through research and extended written work (15,000 words or equivalent for major projects).
English Language Requirements
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A good degree (2.1) in any subject or significant industry experience is required or its international equivalent. Applicants should be able to demonstrate a commitment to work in the publishing or communications industries. This commitment may be evidenced in a number of ways. For example you may have done voluntary work with communications sections in not-for-profit organisations, undertaken short periods of work experience with publishers or worked with various media during university programmes. Include reference to any work experience in your personal statement in your application. If you have not yet been able to obtain this experience, do mention your interest at your interview.
English language requirements
If your first language is not English, or if you have not studied a higher education degree in English, then an English language level of IELTS 7.0 is required.
- Preparation courses for International and EU students
We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.
- Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
- If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.
If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.
How to apply
You apply for this course through UCAS Postgraduate.
Through UCAS Postgraduate, you should use the UKPASS portal to make your application, which will then be forwarded directly to our Admissions Office. You should send supporting documentation to us directly using the email addresses on the UKPASS application form.
Please complete the application on UKPASS website using the UKPASS code listed here. Your application is then sent through to our Admissions office who will review the materials. You do not need to wait for your references before you apply and while we do not have a deadline for applications and continue to accept students through the summer, the earlier you apply, the earlier we can respond. Applications for scholarships require that you have received and accepted a place with us. If you have applied but have not heard back from us, please send an email to an academic member of staff (look for our email details on the website). We can then check on progress of your application.
We usually offer an interview to applicants which can be in person if you live near Oxford. Alternatively, we can telephone you or offer a Skype interview. This part of the application process is set up through our Admissions office who will contact you by email to set up the interview at a mutually convenient time. Following the interview, the Admissions office will contact you to let you know the result.
No work experience is required.