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MA Publishing

Start date
September 2019
Course length
1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

Course summary

Gain the creative and professional tools you'll need for a career in the dynamic publishing sector.

About this course

You will acquire the professional toolkit to analyse different audiences and reader contexts.

You will master how content is commissioned, designed, produced, marketed and delivered across different media including books, magazines, tablets, e-readers and social media environments.

You will have the opportunity to collaborate with international teams, the wider UAL community and connect with leading industry players.

Five reasons to apply

  • Using our excellent UAL facilities you can commission and create physical and digital published products, books and magazines – this hands-on practical experience is fantastic for building confidence in technical competence, decision-making and project management.
  • You will be able to connect the academic and creative commercial environments as you participate in live industry projects, events, prototype testing and research, and extend your exposure to and experience working with industry.
  • Embedded throughout the course are the twin concepts of creativity and enterprise – as you build an holistic understanding of the industry, there is emphasis on anticipating audiences and developing creative publishing projects while understanding the commercial application of them. A strong experimental ethos around print and digital means you can take new ideas forward into the industry.
  • Flexible choices for your assignments and projects to allow you to direct your postgraduate experience as you want– allowing you to develop your own unique skills set and ensuring flexibility to fit alongside your evolving professional and creative careers.
  • LCC provides a unique creative environment to experiment and connect with other creative people such as animators, interactive designers or illustrators to bring new insights and imaginative processes to publishing  - this is a developing aspect of the publishing industry and links you into wider creative industries.

Open evenings

The next Open Evening for this course will be on Thursday 15 November.

Book your place

Student blogs, podcasts and publications

Close-up of a typewriter with MA Publishing blog logo over the top.

Publishing Contexts blog

Read blog pieces by MA Publishing students.

Front cover of student publication 'Other Voices', showing illustrtions fo mouthson a pale blue background.

Other Voices: creative writing on diversity

A collaborative student publication featuring short stories and poems, published in print and digital by the MA Publishing students.

Logo for Spread the Word

Spread the Word: podcasts

MA Publishing students collaborate with Spread the Word on a podcast project aimed at engaging audiences with the Spread the WordShort Story Prize.

Interview Yuting Huang

MA Publishing student Yuting talks us through their work in the LCC Postgraduate Shows 2017

Course stories


The Digital Space, London College of Communication.
Image © Ana Escobar

The Digital Space

The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

A close-up of the moveable type available in the Letterpress area.
Image © Lewis Bush

Printing and Finishing

Discover our printing techniques, from Lithographic Printing to Print Finishing and Bookbinding.

Red light indicating recording is taking place.
Image © Vladimir Molico

Lens-based and Audio-visual

Find out about the workspaces and studios that support Lens-based and Audio-visual practice.

Course details

The world-leading MA in Publishing at the London College of Communication combines theoretical and practical approaches to publishing media. Forward thinking, creative and entrepreneurial, this course will give you hands-on experience of multi-platform publishing.

With the opportunity to specialize in magazine or book publishing you will nevertheless be introduced to concepts across both media throughout the course and explore how publishing is changing and evolving in the international arena.

With choices of assessments, you can choose your journey through the course with options for a major project that suits your interests. Practical live projects and events, collaborations with other creative people, engagement with industry networks and participation in professional activities are all central to the course as you develop unique and flexible skills set for your future careers.

Throughout the course, there is a variety of teaching and learning environments including group work on practical publishing projects, simulations, hackdays, seminars and individual research projects. You will be involved in a co-creation project working on our annual Publishing Innovation Conference which is an ideal opportunity to network.

You will also undertake live projects with industry – recently we have worked with the Penguin Random House and the Design Museum. You will also have access to specialist digital publishing platforms to enable you to build your own projects and portfolio.

You will gain new perspectives on the global marketplace for publishing, by visiting another country for one week at the international residential summer school. Specialist staff who all have experience in the industry will help you to develop a professional approach to publishing.


Assessment is based on written reports and group presentations underpinned by theoretical and practical team projects. The final phase for the MA is a choice of a dissertation, an artefact or prototype with related research report or a business proposal.

Course units

Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves six units, totalling 180 credits.

Autumn, Term One

The first stage of the course introduces publishing theory and analyses aspects of content and audience.

Unit Summary:

  • Context (20 credits) – surveys the theoretical context and environment in which publishing sits.
  • Content (20 credits) – explores aspects of content, analysing and evaluating ways to source and develop it, as well as design and produce different sorts of content in different media. There is an emphasis on practical workshops, making and testing print and digital prototypes.
  • Audience (20 credits) – looks at innovative and creative ways to identify and engage diverse audiences for published content. The outcomes from this first stage of the course ensure you learn critical approaches and make connections across your growing holistic understanding of publishing and the related disciplines.

Spring, Term Two

The second stage of the course provides opportunities to develop creative and collaborative approaches to publishing. You'll have the opportunity to experiment, connect with other creative people and develop your thinking around future publishing applications.

Unit Summary:

  • Collaborative Unit (20 credits) – specifically looks at executing a collaborative project, working with other creative people.
  • Future Applications for Content (20 credits) – offers the opportunity to conceptualise an experimental publishing product or service.
  • Professional Practice and Enterprise (20 credits) – starts you on your professional journey with a module that can include a choice of undertaking work experience, developing a networking opportunity or planning out a business funding document for an enterprise project.

Summer, Terms Three and Four

  • Professional Practice and Enterprise (continued)
  • Major Project (60 credits)

The Major Project is your opportunity to develop a significant project of your own, building on your learning from the previous stages. Choices of output here allow you to explore a publishing idea or concept depending on your particular interests and personal approach.

You may choose to work on a dissertation involving primary research, to create a publishing artefact, prototype or specification with a related research piece or develop a detailed, researched business proposition. A critical and analytical approach, as appropriate to higher level of study, will be reflected across all of these options ensuring this research stage is challenging and stimulating.

Complementing the above taught and assessed learning units the course includes the following additional activities:

  • Industry Guest Speakers come to run workshops, lectures and conversations throughout the course
  • Extension workshops: Students have the opportunity to attend additional specialist workshops that focus on developing knowledge and/or skills in specific areas of interest
  • Events and International Residential Summer School: This covers events and visits for learning and networking, and a one-week residential summer school and the opportunity to visit publishers outside of the United Kingdom.
  • There is the opportunity to apply to undertake one term at the University of Cergy Pontoise in Paris as part of the Erasmus programme.

If you are unable to continue or decide to exit the course, there are other possible exit awards depending on the credits you have.

This course aims to:

  • Develop your intellectual, imaginative, creative and entrepreneurial skills through the synthesis of theoretical frameworks and practical approaches to publishing that situate publishing in a broader, interdisciplinary context.
  • Critically engage with theories of publishing, content and audience to explore and understand how to create and adapt publishing tools and processes for a variety of different creative environments.
  • To develop critical and analytical skills to make effective choices for the development and application of publishing media in a variety of sectors including abilities to assess risk, make decisions and solve problems in a rapidly changing environment.
  • Enable you to manage complexity and create and adopt systematic, interdisciplinary and evidential approaches to publishing decisions.
  • To hone communication abilities to synthesise and present information on publishing issues and developments directed to a variety of audiences and contexts.
  • Develop creative and experimental responses to the publishing environment to make published products, events and services.
  • Collaborate and participate in co-creation and live industry projects to develop creative and imaginative thinking around the development of new product ideas as well as apply management skills to bring projects to fruition.
  • Develop a knowledgeable and reflective approach to the working environment in which you will operate in the future, developing an entrepreneurial outlook, sensitivity to changing environments globally and building the skills of an effective life-long learner.
  • Enable you to conceptualise and make tangible creative and sustainable publishing ideas and solutions.
  • To develop intellectual and imaginative skills to conceptualise, construct and execute a piece of detailed research, critically engaging with advanced scholarship, for a fully realised major project leading to new thinking or experimentation in an aspect of publishing.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Practice based Workshops
  • Active learning on live projects
  • Portfolio & project development
  • Simulations
  • Experiential learning
  • Independent and collaborative working
  • International residential visit to see how publishers operate in different international environments, develop cultural competencies, explore networking and issues of diversity in a wider context as well as think ‘outside’ the box by experiencing creative approaches to different aspects of cultural content.

Assessment methods

The course objectives are assessed using the following assessment methods:

  • Academic essays and research documents
  • Development of portfolio of print and digital prototypes
  • Critical evaluative reports
  • Group presentations on project briefs with critical rationales
  • Reflective responses

Some choices are available for students to develop their own journey for the final major project – these are:

  • Dissertation
  • Research and critical evaluation of the process for developing an artefact or prototype
  • Business development research and proposal

Course structure

The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.

Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.

In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.

Webpage updates

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact a member of the course team.


Frania  Hall

Frania Hall

Course Leader, MA Publishing

Keith  Martin

Keith Martin

Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism and Publishing and MA Publishing

Simon  Das

Simon Das

Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism and Publishing

Anne  Coddington

Anne Coddington

Course Leader, BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism and Publishing

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world. MA Publishing attracts applicants from a variety of backgrounds.

Students are admitted on to the course having gained the necessary entry requirements. An Honours degree of 2:1 and above is required, or an equivalent international degree. In some circumstances a 2:2 is considered (this might be based on personal circumstances or strength of interest and clear capability to undertake the course as indicated in the application form and interview).

Educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree (named above);
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
  • Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

Language requirements (International/EU)

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.

  • IELTS 7.0 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the four skills.
  • If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.

Selection Criteria

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • A demonstrable capacity for intellectual enquiry at masters level
  • Evidence of critical engagement with current observable trends related to publishing
  • Reflection on any relevant experience from your academic or professional background
  • A well-articulated rationale for applying to the course that demonstrates an enthusiasm for Publishing
  • A demonstrable ability to work both autonomously and collaboratively as well as evidence of an openness to new ideas


Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Publishing. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course. You should include some ideas about future plans around a professional life after the course.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Interview advice

Applicants may be interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered, but not in all cases. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone, or by email.


Deferring an offer

If you are offered a place for 2019/20 but wish to defer to 2020/21, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the deposit in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a deferred application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2019/20)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

Making your application

We ask all applicants to complete an online application and upload additional digital items, via the Apply now link, below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course Entry Requirements section to learn about the application process and additional the items you would also need to supply.

All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • Firstly they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and any work experience

There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Before submitting your application, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the application form. Once you have submitted the online application, we will send you a confirmation email.

Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

Extra information required for applications to this course

There are no additional items (portfolio or study proposal) required for this course, and no direct work experience is required.

After you have submitted your application, the course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview or interview you via Skype, and will then make a decision on your application.

The admissions team will be in touch soon after that to let you know the outcome, and to guide you through the next steps.

Start your application now

Applications are accepted and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.

Apply now

The online application can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you press submit.

As you progress through the application process we will send you emails with important information, so do check your inbox regularly (and junk folder, just in case).

After you apply

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£10,890 (2019/20)

There is an additional £900 residential fee for International Residential Summer School and Events costs.

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

International fee

£19,930 (2019/20)

There is an additional £900 residential fee for International Residential Summer School and Events costs.

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page.


Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

Home / EU and International students

Funding opportunities available for this course:

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Our MA Publishing graduates are highly prized by the international publishing industry, across both print and digital media. The course has an excellent record of graduates entering employment. The heritage of the College and our alumni cut across all sectors of communication, design and media professional practice areas, at home and internationally.

Typically, our graduates enter first level entry jobs across all of the different functional areas of publishing editorial, production, digital and marketing and sales. They are highly sought after by publishing employers because our graduates can hit the ground running and add value immediately. Accordingly, we find that their careers accelerate beyond the normal and they move up to executive and managerial positions quicker than most.

The transferable skills you will gain on this course can be applied to a wide range of management, media and communications areas, functions and sectors. These can be applied across the private corporate and SME sectors, or the public sector, including international and voluntary not for profit organisations. Some of our past graduates have started their own publishing micro-businesses, or have developed careers related to the digital communications sector.

Importantly, besides the traditional functions, the course equips our graduates with the adaptable skills to enter the new jobs that are emerging across media sectors, whether as a digital producer in a well-known book company, an online content editor for a global magazine or a digital marketer for a new media business.

Our graduates are often found taking up roles which require a publishing specialism within media and communications services, creative agencies and brands. Being flexible, having the ability to take the initiative and thinking ahead of the curve are key attributes for our graduates.


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