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MA Publishing

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  • Entry requirements
    The normal entry requirement for this course is an honours degree. Other qualifications however that are deemed to be equivalent to an honours degree, along with any relevant professional or commercial experience, can be considered in lieu of an honours degree. Applicants will normally be required to attend an interview if resident in the UK. All applicants are required to submit a personal statement with their rationale for applying to the course, plus two references, and any other relevant supporting evidence or portfolio, if applicable. We welcome all graduates committed to starting or to extending a career in publishing, but if your first degree was for a practical subject e.g. fine art, or design, or digital media, we would like you to submit examples of written work undertaken in your degree or other work to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively with critical reasoning, as the course relies primarily on written work for assessments. If there is any doubt we may ask you to submit additional statements or evidence by essay or report.
  • Academic Title
    MA Publishing
  • Course description

    MA Publishing
    at the University of the Arts London includes two learning pathways: MA Publishing (Book and Journal), and MA Publishing (Magazine). This leading professional master’s degree at the LCC is for those who wish to advance their careers to management level within the global publishing industry. The graduates who have completed our postgraduate publishing courses since 1969 can be found throughout the world in senior positions within publishing and communications practice

    The MA Publishing course sets out to equip you with the knowledge and professional skills base so you can master issues and practice in book, or magazine publishing, across both print and e-publishing media. Accordingly, you are prepared to face the challenges of leveraging editorial content in the Internet era. The course adopts an interdisciplinary approach over different functions and contexts, as publishing is integrative and multi-platform in nature. You build a critical awareness, through a systematic research and strategic approach, of how to successfully manage publishing operations by collaborating professionally within publishing practice. There is an emphasis on applying learning through group work to practical publishing projects and by engaging with industry through leading guest speakers, visits and placements.

    The MA Publishing at LCC has access to the most advanced university based publishing production and design resources in the world. These include excellent colour offset and digital printing equipment from Heidelberg and Xerox and software and equipment from Adobe and Apple. Our unique resources allow students in teams to realise the production and publishing of actual books or magazines or websites or conference events, when applying Publishing Management, including project management methods, in Phase 2. 

    You also develop the necessary research techniques to undertake a major research study or dissertation and you also complete the study of two electives. New perspectives on publishing are gained from visiting another country for one week as part of the Residential Research Trip for MA students.  While at LCC you can also follow short skills based courses outside of the standard timetable for the PG Diploma/MA Publishing course. 

    The MATAR and Colour Imaging research groups at the University and the School of Printing and Publishing also support the knowledge base of the course.

    SHORT COURSES: examples of professional development awards (PDAs) you can attend free while at LCC include: InDesign; Dreamweaver; features journalism, copy writing, photography and bookbinding.

    Assessment is based on written reports and group presentations underpinned by theoretical and practical team projects.  The final phase for the MA includes the writing up of a report of 12,000 to 15,000 words on your major research study.


    The course’s study programme is structured across three phases over 45 weeks.

    Phase 1 (60 credits) - Publishing Professional Competencies - 15 weeks
    Phase 2 (60 credits) - Publishing Professional Practice - 15 weeks
    Phase 3 (60 credits) - Publishing Research Project - 15 weeks

    The course also offers a Postgraduate Diploma in Publishing (PG Dip), for those who enroll only for Phase 1 and Phase 2, i.e. the first 30 weeks of the course.  At the end of Phase 2 such students can step off with the PG Diploma, or instead choose to enroll and progress to join Phase 3, to complete the MA dissertation or major project, subject to meeting the progression conditions and paying the necessary additional fees.

    Phase 1 includes learning units, which encompass: Content & Marketing; Publishing Production & Design (both print and digital); and Integrative Publishing Practices (publishing law, rights, distribution, and publishing systems).

    Phase 2 includes learning units, which encompass: Publishing Management (including project management), Research Methods, plus Electives

    - a choice of two electives from these examples:  Enterprise Planning . Managing Print Suppliers in Publishing . Work-Based Learning (placement) . Academic Journal Publishing . Fashion and Style Publishing  . Creative Writing for the Communications Industry 

    Phase 3 includes the learning unit: Major Project or dissertation - independent study under supervision.

    Residential Research Trip
    Early in Phase 3 the MA Publishing course visits another city in Europe to examine an alternative publishing culture and market. Visits to local publishers are made, and this period also allows additional opportunities to finalise with tutors your research strategy for the MA dissertation. Past research trips have included Edinburgh, Stuttgart, Tallinn and Helsinki, Leipzig, Moscow and St Petersburg, Paris, Athens, Barcelona, and Krakow and Warsaw.

    Career Prospects

    Our graduates are highly prized by the international publishing industry, across both print and digital media.  Exit surveys indicate that about 90 per cent gain employment in publishing within six months of course completion. About one third go equally into either editorial or marketing or publishing production positions. Our graduates are excellently equipped for the new emerging hybrid or project leader roles, which require a critical understanding of more than one of the key publishing competencies. Longer term the course positions you to accelerate your career into publishing management positions.

    The transferable skills you will gain with the MA Publishing at LCC can be applied to a wide range of management, media and communications areas, functions and sectors across the private corporate and SME sectors plus the public sector, including international and voluntary not for profit organisations. Some of our past graduates have gone beyond the traditional publishing sectors, or have started their own publishing businesses, or have gone into new professions including teaching, where their postgraduate qualification is also valued.

    International Graduates
    International graduates, who have successfully completed the course, have been able to take advantage of the UK Government’s International Graduates Scheme (IGS), introduced in May 2007. The IGS scheme allows graduates a visa for them to work within the UK, including fixed contract work, permanent positions or agency work or self employment for up to 12 months. This scheme has proved very popular with our MA Publishing graduates, many of who start or extend their careers with some additional paid professional exposure and work experience in London before returning home.

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