The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication provides a comprehensive and coherent approach to all forms of publishing: book, journals, magazine, and digital. The MLitt in Publishing Studies programme covers the whole process of planning, editing, production, marketing and publication management. It is dedicated to teaching the best current publishing practice, so the programme content is updated each year as a result of the rapid changes that are transforming the industry worldwide.
Hear more about the MLitt in Publishing Studies from our Director, Claire Squires:
The MLitt in Publishing Studies offers graduates in any discipline a broadly-based introduction to the publication process, focused on printed books, journals and magazines, and with a strong focus on digital media developments, within an international context. It is suitable for graduates hoping to enter the publishing industry or any business or charity where they will provide publishing expertise, and for overseas publishing professionals seeking to expand their international knowledge.
There are usually 30-36 students on the programme, which begins in September and lasts for one academic year (two for part-time students). Students come from all over the world to study publishing at Stirling – in recent years we have had students the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Finland, Sweden, Cyprus, Latvia, the Netherlands, China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkmenistan and the United States.
The MLitt in Publishing Studies teaching programme is devised, and continually updated, to reflect current publishing industry practice and standards. It aims to produce graduates who will have an enhanced opportunity to succeed in publishing and publishing-related careers.
The programme is demanding, stimulating and enjoyable, and many publishers now consider it to be the equivalent of a year’s experience within a publishing company. Our graduates occupy senior positions in both commercial and not-for-profit publication organisations throughout the world.
Structure and Content
The teaching year at Stirling is divided into two semesters, which run from mid-September to Christmas, and from mid-February to the end of May. The dissertation is them completed over the summer. Part-time students take the programme over two years. Modules on offer include:
- Publishing Dynamics – This module investigates different market sectors, introduces concepts of publishing business, finance and intellectual property, and analyses current publishing trends and issues. It also explores job roles and publishing processes, equipping students with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a publishing career.
- Editorial Practice and Content Creation: This module examines the processes by which publishing projects (including books, magazines, journals, and digital products) are conceptualised and created, including via market research and literary agents. It explores the management of authors and intellectual property resources, and editorial workflow, including practical skills of project management and text preparation (copyediting and proofreading).
- Marketing Management and Communications: This module introduces marketing theory and practical publishing examples in order to develop a range of strategies for effective promotion of publishing products, through traditional and digital media, including social networking. The module also explores the publishing supply chain and effective sales.
- Publishing Project: Each student will conceptualise a publishing project (a sample of a book, magazine, or digital publication), source text and images and then design and produce it. The project is accompanied by an analysis of the the issues that emerge in its creation. Work is supported with IT workshops on publishing and design software (including InDesign, Photoshop, Acrobat and the creation of EPubs). In addition, using the skills gained in Marketing, Management and Communications, students devise a marketing plan and accompanying marketing materials for a realistic and innovative launch strategy for their publishing project.
- Skills for Publishing Management: This optional module enables students to develop management skills crucial to publishing. Areas covered include strategic, operational, risk, financial and HR management.
- Digital: Process and Product: This optional module enables students to develop skills, understanding and aptitudes for digital publishing, its processes and products, including in compiling digital briefs, reviewing and evaluating digital products, management of social media and digital rights, understanding of e-business models and the digital economy, and deployment of analytics, keywords, SEO, metadata and XML.
- Publishing, Literature and Society: This optional module explores the interactions between contemporary and historical publishing and society, approaching topics including authorship, readership and the literary marketplace, censorship, wartime publishing, and publishing and diversity.
- Publishing in the Workplace: This optional module enables students undertaking work placements or internships to incorporate their workplace learning through critical reflection on their and their placement company’s activities and processes.
- International Publishing Management: This optional module introduces students to the global business of publishing, including growth strategies and financial management for publishing.
- Arts Research Training: This module enhances students’ employability skills, professional social media, online writing and editing skills, and research methods and research project development.
- Publishing Dissertation: This is an intensive piece of research on a topic of your choice relevant to publishing and approved by the Programme Director. Work extends over both semesters and into the summer.
Delivery and Assessment
The MLitt in Publishing Studies is delivered through interactive lectures, seminars, workshops (including sessions in the Publishing Computer Lab), and one-to-one teaching.
Assessment is based on a range of practical and academic activities, including the creation of a physical publishing product (a book, magazine or e-book), marketing plans, presentations, and a dissertation.
As well as programme teaching, there are a range of activities that the MLitt in Publishing Studies students can take advantage of, including work experience and internships, events within the Department of English Studies (including the Scottish Centre of Poetry), and events outside the University (including the Society of Young Publishers Scotland).
All staff members teaching in the Centre have substantial experience working in publishing and publishing-related industries. Our experience ranges across several publishing market sectors, including trade, academic and educational publishing. The Centre staff is supplemented by a number of additional Visiting Speakers from the publishing industry, who come to share their knowledge and expertise with students.
To support the development and currency of our teaching programmes, we have an Industry Advisory Board, which is made up of senior figures from the UK publishing industry (including some of our alumni), who give us advice and support in terms of keeping our curriculum up-to-date, offering internship and – frequently – employment opportunities.
The MLitt in Publishing Studies is a professionally-oriented degree which has as its central aim the enhancement of students’ employment prospects in the publishing industry – either by helping you get your first job, or – if you are already working within the publishing industry – by improving your practical and analytical skills in order to advance in your career. Students take advantage of a range of internship and placement opportunities during the programme, including via the Publishing in the Workplace module.
Graduates from the MLitt in Publishing Studies have successfully found employment in a diverse range of publishing companies in the UK and around the world, with many now working at management level, leading the publishing industry in the 21st century.
Applicants should have a good Honours degree (or international equivalent) in any subject, although relevant professional experience may also be taken into account by the Programme Director. If English is not your first language, you provide evidence of your proficiency, such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (or TOEFL equivalent).
Fees and Funding
For details on scholarships and bursaries, see the University of Stirling Postgraduate Finance pages
The Programme Director would be delighted to discuss the programme further with prospective students, and to welcome them to Stirling to see the campus and meet with staff at the Centre for International Publishing and Communication. Contact us for further details.
Please note that it is possible to apply online for this course – please scroll down to ‘Division Name Arts & Humanities – Literature & Languages’ and choose ‘Master of Letters in Publishing Studies’.