Skip to main content
Postgraduate

MA Publishing

A series of publications laid out on a black table
Kanyarach Boonchun, Nuttaman Dhanesnitaya, Aileen Marr, Natasha Pile, Nadine Smoczynski, Haiou Zhu 2019, MA Publishing, London College of Communication, UAL.
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2024
Course length
1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

Gain the creative and professional tools you'll need for a career in the dynamic publishing sector by mastering how content is commissioned, designed and produced across print and digital media.

Applying for more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3. Find out more in the Apply Now section.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • With access to excellent facilities, you’ll commission and create physical and digital products, books and magazines - building your confidence in technical literacy, problem-solving and project management.
  • Participating in industry-facing projects, events, prototype testing and research will connect you to academic and creative commercial environments. You’ll also explore publishing challenges around sustainability, diversity and innovation.
  • Creativity, collaboration and enterprise are embedded throughout the course. You’ll anticipate audiences, develop creative publishing projects and understand commercial applications. Our experimental ethos around print and digital will help you bring new ideas into industry.
  • Flexible choices across your assignments will enable you to direct your postgraduate experience and develop a unique skillset alongside your evolving career.
  • LCC provides a unique environment for experimenting and connecting with other creatives, building your transferable skills and networks.

Open Days

A recording of our latest Virtual Open Event for this course is available. Watch online.

Course overview

MA Publishing combines theoretical and practical approaches to publishing media. Creative and entrepreneurial, this course will give you hands-on experience of multi-platform publishing. You’ll gain a holistic and critical understanding of print and digital publishing which you’ll put into practice through project-based working, developing creative content and exploring innovative ways to engage new audiences.

With the opportunity to specialise in magazine or book publishing through your choice of assignments, you’ll be introduced to concepts across both media, building your transferable skillset while exploring the evolution of publishing as a creative industry.

You’ll choose your own journey through the course, developing industry-facing and academic skills before completing a major project that suits your interests.

What to expect

  • You’ll develop a unique and flexible skillset for your future career through practical projects and events, creative collaborations, engagement with industry networks and participation in professional activities.
  • All publishing is collaborative in some way, so you’ll take part in co-creation projects such as our annual Publishing Innovation Event.
  • Digital processes and formats are embedded throughout the course and you’ll have access to digital publishing platforms to enable you to build your own projects and portfolio and to develop a highly transferrable set of skills in print and digital publishing
  • Your final project will examine an issue, question or problem in publishing using primary academic research methodologies with a choice of outcomes, developing research skills that are applicable to industry settings and which will support you for future academic study.
  • In Term 2, you’ll take the initiative on professional projects, developing your confidence in project management, decision-making and problem-solving. Specialist staff with industry experience will help you to develop your professional approach to publishing.

Work experience and opportunities

You’ll develop your own industry links through opportunities such as guest lectures and discussions, feedback from industry partners, mentoring programmes, and an embedded programme of employability sessions.

You’ll also have opportunities to participate in live projects across both LCC and UAL, while previous industry projects have included collaborations with Penguin Random House and the Royal Academy of Arts.

Our graduates go on to work across traditional and emerging roles in publishing and creative environments: from large companies to small start-ups, from mainstream to independent book and magazine sectors.

You’ll learn skills that are highly transferrable and could lead to careers in the wider content, intellectual property and audience-centred creative industries including brand communications or media/creative agencies.

Mode of Study

MA Publishing is in Full Time mode which runs for 45 weeks over 15 months. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study.

Course units

We are committed to ensuring that your skills are set within an ethical framework and are embedding UAL’s Principles for Climate, Social and Racial Justice into this course.

Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves 7 units, totalling 180 credits.

Autumn, Term 1

The first stage of the course introduces publishing theory and analyses aspects of content and audience. You’ll explore the publishing process from commissioning and copyright to marketing and production. You’ll learn critical approaches and make connections across your growing holistic understanding of publishing. You’ll start to explore aspects of research that will underpin your final project.

Context (20 credits)

Surveying the theoretical context and creative industries in which publishing sits, you’ll focus on building your academic research and reading skills.

Content (20 credits)

Taking a practical approach to learning, this unit will support you to explore the traditional commercial frameworks for books and magazines. You’ll analyse and evaluate ways to source and develop content, as well as designing and producing different types of content using print and digital production methods.

Audience (20 credits)

You’ll explore ways to analyse and understand markets as well as creative approaches to identifying and engaging diverse audiences for published content. The focus of this unit is on industry-facing assignments.

Spring, Term 2

The second stage of the course provides opportunities to develop creative and collaborative approaches to publishing. With the focus on projects, you’ll have the opportunity to put your learning into practice. Research, practical working and industry-facing activity continue through these units.

You'll have the opportunity to experiment, connect with other creative people and develop your thinking around future publishing applications.

Audience (continued)

Collaborative Unit (20 credits)

Applying your learning so far, you’ll work alongside other creatives to manage a publishing project to a deadline. This project emphasises practical aspects of workflow and project management as well as creativity in collaboration.

Innovation (20 credits)

Offering the opportunity to build on your digital skillset, you’ll conceptualise an experimental publishing product or service in digital-only formats. You’ll think about content from a digital-first perspective, examining existing models of innovation and exploring new business models for digital products. This project involves research to drive experimentation.

Professional Practice and Enterprise (20 credits)

This unit focuses on your professional journey with support and discussions looking at future careers and opportunities in the sector. You will engage in conversations with industry guests, be involved in producing our annual publishing event and explore cutting edge ideas in publishing.

Summer, Term 3 and Autumn, Term 4

Innovation (continued)​

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 an industry-facing publishing issue, question or problem, depending on your particular interests and personal approach.

You may choose to work on a dissertation, a research project leading to the development of an artefact or prototype, or a business strategy research document.

All choices will involve conducting primary research, applying methodologies that are taught as part of this unit; a critical and analytical approach, as appropriate to a higher level of study, will be reflected across these options ensuring this research stage is challenging and stimulating.

The unit commences with taught sessions in the first part of the summer term before you’ll continue to work independently on your project for the remainder of the course, with the support of your supervisor.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars and discussions
  • Practice based workshops
  • Online learning activities and exercises (synchronous and asynchronous)
  • Supervised studio work
  • Portfolio and project development
  • Simulations
  • Experiential learning from publishing projects and proposals
  • Formative assessments within units
  • Independent and collaborative working

UAL Showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Showcase

Student work

Student voices

Ben Farmer

Ben talks through the process of creating his book Arboretum, about ancient trees around the world.

Ana Bender

MA Publishing graduate Ana talks about making her final year project – a creative content kit.

Instagram

Course stories

410 Gone

410 Gone


openresty

Facilities

  • Student reading a book in between two bookshelves in the Library
    Students in the Digital Space. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Alys Tomlinson

    The Digital Space

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

  • Student using the Screen Printing facility
    Libo Li working in Screen Printing Workshop, Postgraduate Diploma Design for Visual Communication. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Alys Tomlinson

    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.

Staff

Fees and funding

Home fee

£13,330

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£28,570

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

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

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.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning)

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • OR a combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

Language requirements

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.

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

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

The deadline has now passed. However, this course is still open to applications and will remain open until all places are filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

The deadline has now passed. However, this course is still open to applications and will remain open until all places are filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply to UAL

Start your application
or

Apply with a UAL Representative

Based across the world, our local UAL representatives can support you with your application from your home country. Check to see if there is a representative available in your country currently.

Find your representative

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement and CV.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 500 words and include:

  • your reasons for choosing the course
  • your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans
  • any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Visit our personal statement page for more advice.

CV advice

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If you have any web projects or other media that you would like to share, please include links in your CV. If English is not your first language, please also include your most recent English language test score.

Step 2: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Applying to more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3 courses. You need to tailor your application, supporting documents and portfolio to each course, so applying for many different courses could risk the overall quality of your application. If you receive offers for multiple courses, you'll only be able to accept 1 offer. UAL doesn't accept repeat applications to the same course in the same academic year.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

We do not accept any deferral requests for our postgraduate courses. This means that you must apply in the year that you plan to start your course and you will not be able to defer your place to start at a later date.

Application deadlines

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 equal consideration deadlines to ensure fairness for all our applicants. If you apply ahead of either of these deadlines, your application will be considered on an equal basis with all other applications in that round. If there are places available after the second deadline, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Careers

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.