Publishing Studies (MRes)

Study Publishing Studies (MRes) and graduate with a university degree

MRes, Postgraduate Certificate

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Publishing Studies (MRes)
  • Type Part-time, Full-time
  • 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

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

The MRes Publishing Studies allows students to develop strong research skills in the field 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.

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.

Entrance 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.

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 and January

Structure and content

The teaching year at Stirling is divided into two semesters, which run from mid-September to late December and from January to the end of May. You take the following mix of compulsory and optional modules, which are designed to increase your understanding of theoretical approaches to publishing and research methodologies, in order to equip you for effective and sustained research in the field of publishing studies:

  • Arts Research Training [1 & 2]: Our innovative training for graduates enables students to build up a portfolio of skills that prepare them for academic and professional life. All graduate students will work with their supervisors to select what’s right for them from a menu of activities. Each student will build up a portfolio of skills every year. On a taught postgraduate degree, you may be given specific guidance on what activities you need to undertake for those qualifications
  • Subject Specific Module: In this module, you will produce a portfolio of publishing-related research, which will allow you to explore, with the guidance of a supervisor, a range of issues relating to contemporary or historical publishing
  • Publishing Dynamics: This optional 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 optional 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 optional 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
  • 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.
  • Financial Management for Publishing: Confidence in the financial management is crucial to successful publishing companies and organisations of all sizes. The module enables students to understand profit, turnover, and cash flow, and how it can be enabled to develop sustainable business practice.
  • Growth Strategies for Publishing: Strategies for growth in the publishing business are analysed in this module, include list-building, company acquisition, and international export, expansion, and partnerships.
  • Business Models in Publishing: As a result of the digital environment of publishing, business models are being rapidly redrawn. This module enables students to understand traditional and evolving business models for print and digital publishing, in home and international markets.
  • Digital: Process and Product: This optional module develops skills, understanding and aptitudes for publishing’s digital present and future. Students will become confident with embedding digital content creation in editorial thinking; briefing for digital products; reviewing and evaluation of products; effective usage of social media and management of digital rights; understanding of e-business models and the digital economy; deployment of analytics and metadata.
  • 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 Dissertation: This is an extended and intensive piece of research of 20-25,000 words on a topic of your choice relevant to publishing and approved by the Course Director. Work extends over both semesters and into the summer

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.

Course Director

Professor Claire Squires

RAE rating

Over half of our submissions in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) were found to be ‘Internationally Excellent’ or ‘World-leading.

Career opportunities

The MRes equips students to pursue effective research projects in publishing, skills which can be either taken into the publishing workplace, or be taken forwards into PhD study.



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