The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication provides a comprehensive and coherent approach to all forms of publishing. The course covers the whole process of planning, editing, production, marketing and publication management in print and digital environments. It is dedicated to teaching the best current publishing practice, so the detailed content is updated each year as a result of the rapid changes that are transforming the industry worldwide.
The MLitt in Publishing Studies teaching course is devised, and continually updated, to reflect current publishing industry practice and standards. It produces graduates who will have an enhanced opportunity to succeed in publishing and publishing-related careers. The course 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.
In close contact with publishing businesses and the changing needs of the industry worldwide, the teaching team aims to equip you with the qualities — intellectual and practical — that are needed for a successful working life in publishing and related organisations.
A minimum of a second class honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (5.5 in all bands).
If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard.
Our range of pre-sessional courses.
Course start date
Full-time and part-time: September
Structure and content
The teaching year at Stirling is divided into two semesters, which run from mid-September to December, and from January to the end of May. The Dissertation is then completed over the summer. Part-time students take the course over two years.
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. Students have opportunities to undertake work experience and internships, and to go on industry visits and field trips. There is also a weekly series of visiting speakers.
The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.
Full-time students have three days of classes a week in Semester 1, and two or three in Semester 2 depending on module choices.
- 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 Course Director. Work extends over both semesters and into the summer.
Why study Publishing Studies (MLitt) at Stirling?
Professor Claire Squires
In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, around half of the research submitted from the subject areas that now make up the School of Arts and Humanities was judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent in quality, with over 10% of that research placed in the highest (world-leading) category. 85% of the assessed research from the Arts and Humanities was judged to be recognised internationally.
The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication has attracted external funding for projects in recent years from the AHRC, British Council, Caledonian Research Fund, Creative Scotland, Nesta, Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Saltire Society. Staff undertake a range of industry- and public-facing activities, including media appearances and commentary, participation in and organisation of events at Edinburgh International Book Festival, Aye Write!, LSE Review of Books Literary Festival, Electric Bookshop, and Bloody Scotland.
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.
Expanding your horizons
The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication is guided by an Industry Advisory Board, and students benefit from a broad range of weekly visiting speakers and industry visits. Students take advantage of a range of internship and placement opportunities during the course, including via the Publishing in the Workplace module, and at companies and publishing organisations including Alban Books, Barrington Stoke, Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival, Edinburgh City of Literature, Floris Books, Freight Books, Luath Press, Octopus Books, OUP, Penguin, Publishing Scotland, Tern Digital and Saraband.
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. Our graduates work at companies including Canongate, Cengage, Cicerone Press, Floris Books, Faber & Faber, OUP, Penguin, Publishing Scotland, Taylor & Francis, and are also active in setting up their own publishing enterprises.
You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.
information on possible sources of funding
The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Masters course or £1,000 for part-time study. Further information on the scholarships is available here