MA / PGDip / PGCert
The MA in Publishing is respected throughout the world. The course gives a solid knowledge of publishing processes and their management, and provides scope to develop specialist skills required for career development. It also enables in-depth exploration of specialist areas through independent study and the dissertation.
The course provides an excellent overview of every aspect of publishing. It combines relevant theory with practice and, by equipping you with appropriate knowledge and skills, will enhance your employment prospects in publishing and related work.
Graduates who have completed publishing courses at Oxford Brookes have been exceptionally successful in obtaining employment soon after graduation and have a strong record of career progression. Students leave the course with a broad understanding of the key issues facing the publishing industry in the 21st century and a wide range of publishing and general management skills, including advanced IT skills, to help them succeed in the industry.
Publishing courses at Oxford Brookes enjoy a high international standing in the publishing world. We have close links with publishing companies in Oxford and London, and staff have extensive experience in national and international publishing roles.
The MA consists of four compulsory modules and two elective modules plus a dissertation or major project. The PGDip consists of four compulsory modules and two elective modules. The PGCert consists of three compulsory modules.
In the first semester you take: Design and Production for Publishing, Editorial Management, and Marketing Management for Publishing.
In the second semester you choose two optional modules to develop skills and knowledge in specialist areas of publishing.
You finish by taking the compulsory module New Product Development. 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 role of the design and production department in the publishing process. It looks closely at current working practices in areas such as 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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 web publishing with particular reference to 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, AJAX 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).
Teaching, learning and assessment
Some of the key teaching methods we use are:
* lectures that provide students with foundation knowledge and a framework for study that will enable them to achieve the module's learning outcomes
* seminars and workshops that encourage students to engage in discussion with tutors and peers to test their understanding and ability to apply ideas, to develop their transferable skills, and to encourage deeper learning
* computer workshops to give students the opportunity to test, clarify, and apply their IT skills
* field trips to book fairs and to the industry, for example, printers, publishers, retailers, so that students can observe at first hand aspects of the industry taught in lectures and workshops
* work experience and internship opportunities across a broad range of departments and market sectors
* group work role play simulating new product development in a real-life publishing context
* individual supervision in support of self-directed outcomes for the dissertation or major project
* use of resource-based learning materials and WebCT to support student learning through computer-aided assessment and computer-aided learning.
Assessment is 100% coursework.
The postgraduate publishing courses at Oxford Brookes University are among the most highly regarded in the world, and our MA graduates are now working in publishing jobs in over 50 countries. Students undertake innovative learning through work on real-life publishing projects.
In addition to teaching staff who have extensive industry experience and who have played a leading role in developing innovative teaching and learning within the University, numerous visiting lecturers from publishing companies and related organisations regularly contribute to modules. Some of the teaching staff are particularly active in research on cultural issues in publishing, and publishing lecturers provide consultancy and training to organisations in the UK and worldwide.