Publishing Studies (MRes)

MRes, Postgraduate Certificate


The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication is a world-leading centre for postgraduate publishing studies, offering expertise in contemporary and historical publishing in the UK and beyond. The MRes in Publishing Studies is a course which enables students to develop strong research skills in the fields of publishing studies, either with regard to contemporary publishing issues and trends or to the history of the book and print culture. It enables and encourages an analytical and research-driven approach to publishing, leading either towards further study and research, or allowing publishing practitioners to examine in depth issues affecting their current practice.

The MRes in Publishing offers:

  • Strong publishing industry links and networks
  • Enhanced publishing career pathways
  • International environment with a student cohort from all around the world
  • Intensive publishing research environment

Key information

  • Degree type: MRes, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Study methods: Part-time, Full-time, Campus based
  • Duration: Full-time: MLitt-12 months; PG Certificate-9 months Part-time: MLitt-27 months, PG Certificate-18 months
  • Start date: Full-time and part-time: September and January
  • Course Director: Professor Claire Squires

Lesley McIntosh School of Arts and Humanities
Graduate Studies
University of Stirling
+44 (0)1786 466220

View fees and finance

Course objectives

The MRes Publishing Studies is a research preparation Master’s course that offers students the opportunity for tailor-made Master’s study in the field of publishing studies. It also offers the opportunity to prepare for a PhD through concentrated research with a specialism in publishing.

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

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.  Applicants should submit a research proposal of 2000 words.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements

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. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

The MRes in Publishing Studies is a one-year, full-time course (two years part-time) designed to enable students to research aspects of contemporary or historical publishing. The course offers maximum flexibility so that students can tailor their course to fit their research interests and professional practice. The course has both a September and a February intake, and benefits from access to the modules in the MLitt in Publishing Studies, independent research modules, and a long dissertation.

As well as the content of the modules, students attend a regular series of visiting speakers, have the opportunity to attend industry events such as the Publishing Scotland conference and the London Book Fair, and go on field trips to locations including a printer and a book distributor.

Delivery and assessment

The delivery of modules is via a variety of teaching and learning methods, including lectures, seminars, self-guided study and one-to-one supervision. Assessment includes a variety of written assignments and presentations, including a portfolio of publishing research and an extended dissertation.


Academic Year 2015/16

Full Time – September entry


  • ARTPP03 - Portfolio of Work (continued in Spring Semester)
  • PUBPP25 - Skills Training for Publishing (continued in Spring semester)

Option of:

  • PUBPP16 - Publishing Dynamics
  • PUBPP18 - Editorial Practice and Content Creation


  • ARTPP03 - Portfolio of Work
  • PUBPP25 - Skills training for Publishing
  • Two 10 credit options if only one option module completed in Autumn.



  • PUBPPDS - Dissertation

Full-time - January entry


  • ARTPP03 - Portfolio of Work (continued in Autumn)
  • PUBPP25 - Skills Training for Publishing (continued in Autumn)
  • Two credit 10 options if intention is only to complete one option module in Autumn


  • ARTPP03 - Portfolio of Work
  • PUBPP25 - Skills Training for Publishing 

Option of:

  • PUBPP16 - Publishing Dynamics
  • PUBPP18 - Editorial Practice and Content Creation


  • PUBPPDS - Dissertation

Part Time - September Entry


  • PUBPP25 - Skills Training for Publishing (continued in Spring)

One of:

  • PUBPP16 - Publishing Dynamics
  • PUBPP18 - Editorial Practice and Content Creation


  • PUBPP25 - Skills Training for Publishing
  • Two option modules (not required if 20 credit module is to be taken in third semester)


  • ARTPP03 - Portfolio of Work

One of:

  • PUBPP16 - Publishing Dynamics
  • PUBPP18 - Editorial Practice and Content Creation


  • ARTPP03 - Portfolio of Work


  • PUBPPDS - Dissertation

Part Time - January Entry


  • ARTPP03 - Portfolio of Work (continued in Autumn)
  • PUBPP25 - Skills Training for Publishing (continued in Autumn)


  • ARTPP03 - Portfolio of Work
  • PUBPP25 - Skills Training for Publishing


  • Two option modules


One of:

  • PUBPP16 - Publishing Dynamics
  • PUBPP18 - Editorial Practice and Content Creation


  • PUBPPDS - Dissertation

Option modules:

IPMPP16 - International Publishing Management
IPMPP19 - Skills for Publishing Management
PUBPP21 - Publishing, Literature and Society
PUBPP22 - Publishing in the Workplace
PUBPP24 - Digital: Process and Product


Study method

Part-time; Full-time

Why Stirling?


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


Over half of our submissions in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise were found to be ‘Internationally Excellent’ or ‘World-leading.


The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication was established in 1982 and has since developed a global reputation for its postgraduate degrees in publishing, its research activities, and its industry links.

Focusing on book, magazine, journal and digital publishing, the Centre trains the publishers of the future, provides opportunities for those currently working in the industry to reflect on their professional practice, and through its research, critically analyses the past, present and future of the publishing.

The Centre undertakes a range of staff and student research activities, including collaborations with industry, publishing-related organisations and other Universities. We focus on the history of the book and publishing studies in the 20th and 21st centuries, both in Scotland, the UK and globally, including digital publishing, graphic novels and games, contemporary literary publishing, children’s publishing literary awards and book festivals. Our work has been funded by a number of funders including the AHRC, RSE, British Council, Nesta, and Creative Scotland, working with partners including Glasgow Life, the Saltire Society and Publishing Scotland

Our staff

Staff in the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication all have a background working in the publishing industry and retain extensive contacts within publishing – including via our alumni. Staff members have active research profiles and are regularly invited to speak at industry events, literary festivals and academic conferences in Scotland and around the world including, in recent years, in China, France, Germany, India, Lithuania, Norway, Slovenia and Sweden.

Teaching in the Centre is supplemented by a regular series of Visiting Speakers, including recently speakers from Barrington Stoke, Canongate, Cargo Publishing, Cicerone Press, Creative Scotland, Edinburgh University Press, Faber & Faber, Publishing Scotland and Saraband Books.

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication has over 30 years of graduates now working in the publishing and related industries. Entry level jobs our students have gone into in recent years include:

  • Publicity Assistant, Canongate
  • Publicity Assistant, Faber & Faber
  • Marketing Assistant, Taylor & Francis
  • Events & Marketing Assistant, The Bookseller
  • Sales & Marketing Assistant, McGraw Hill
  • Production Assistant, Oxford University Press
  • Editorial Assistant, Oxford University Press
  • Production Editor, Cicerone Press
  • Publishing Assistant, Cengage Learning
  • Web editor, Digital Publishing Department, China Social Sciences Press
  • Foreign Rights Specialist, Suncolor Publishing Group
  • Web Editor,

Some of our alumni who have worked in the publishing industry have gone onto the following job roles:

  • Group Sales Director and President (Asia Region), Taylor & Francis
  • Chief Executive, Publishing Scotland
  • Managing Editor, Little Island Books
  • Higher Education Texts and eBook Sales Manager, Taylor and Francis (Asia Pacific)
  • Director, World Book Day
  • Production Editor, Taylor & Francis
  • Founder and Publisher, Tapsalteerie and Lumphanan Press


The MRes in Publishing Studies focuses on research and can be used to enhance existing publishing careers or to position students effectively for further study at PhD level. The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication has an active research profile, including the following current PhD topics:

  • Developing Literary Glasgow (an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award with Glasgow Life)
  • Writing Culture and Cultural Value: Ethnographies of Contemporary Publishing
  • The Saltire Society Book Awards (an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award with The Saltire Society)
  • The Scottish Diaspora and the Book Business
  • The Nesta/Creative Scotland/AHRC Digital R&D Fund for Arts & Culture in Scotland (co-supervised with the University of St Andrews; co-funded by the University of Stirling, St Andrews and the Nesta/Creative Scotland/AHRC Digital R&D Fund)
  • The Literary Festival: The Festivalisation of Contemporary Literary Culture (AHRC studentship)

Industry connections

The Centre is supported by an Industry Advisory Board, with members from Floris Books, Freight Books, Publishing Scotland, Oxford University Press and Taylor & Francis. Further industry support is provided by our regular visiting speaker series, and the internships and work placements provided for our students. The Centre is a Network Member of Publishing Scotland.

Online application process

Please choose a start date and study method from the drop-down list below, and click the Apply Now button below to begin the online application process. (Please make sure you have consulted the Postgraduate Study pages on the University website and the Online Application Guidance Notes before continuing).



2016/17 Overseas £12,450
2016/17 Home/EU £6,100
2015/16 Overseas £11,900
2015/16 Home/EU £6,000

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.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information

Scholarships & funding

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 Master's course or £1,000 for part-time study. Further information on the scholarships is available here

Scholarship finder
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