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.
- 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.
- 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 – teaching focused on providing theoretical groundings
- Seminars – aiming to develop critical thinking and confidence in discussion and presenting ideas, and apply learning to specific situations
- Practice based Workshops – across all the parts of the course developing skills and competencies with opportunities to understand how these can be effectively applied in different situations; workshops will develop along mini projects/briefs to build depth within each practice area
- Active learning on live projects – enquiry-based learning followed up with reflective thinking time
- Portfolio & project development – the concept of portfolio for publishing will be developed and opportunities to support independent development of skills and initiatives
- Simulations – students participate in simulated environments to develop understanding of how to apply thinking in work place environments (eg hackday)
- Experiential learning from internal and external work projects, work experience and the work on the annual Publishing Innovation conference
- Independent and collaborative working – the course aims to facilitate opportunities to develop these skills both in terms of group projects but also in taking initiative and responsibility to develop a major project
- 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.
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:
- Research and critical evaluation of the process for developing an artefact or prototype
- Business development research and proposal
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.
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.