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MLitt Publishing Studies

Our MLitt Publishing Studies covers the whole process of planning, editing, production, marketing and publication management in print and digital environments.

Publishing Studies

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MLitt, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September
  • Duration MLitt full-time: 12 months, MLitt part-time: 27 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based, Stand-alone modules

The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication at the University of Stirling is a world-leading centre for postgraduate publishing studies, offering a comprehensive and coherent approach to all forms of publishing.

You’ll develop expert knowledge of the entire publishing process in both print and digital environments – from planning, editing and production, to marketing and publication management. We update the content of this course every year to reflect the rapid changes that transform the industry, so you’ll graduate with cutting-edge skills and knowledge of current publishing industry practice and standards.

This course is demanding, stimulating and enjoyable – which is why many publishers now consider it equivalent to a year’s worth of experience at a publishing company. Our graduates occupy senior positions in both commercial and not-for-profit publication organisations across the world.

We have excellent links with publishing businesses, and a finger on the pulse of the industry and its changing needs. That means our teaching team will equip you with all the intellectual and practical qualities needed for a successful working life in publishing and related organisations.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Course objectives

    In close contact with publishing businesses and the changing needs of the industry worldwide, the teaching team equips you with the qualities – intellectual and practical – that are needed for a successful working life in publishing and related organisations.

  • Work placements

    Opportunities for work experience are circulated throughout the duration of the programme. An optional module, Publishing In The Workplace, runs in the second semester and provides the opportunity for work-based learning.

  • Flexible learning

    If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

  • Research

    The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication carries out a wide 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. Research areas include:

    • digital publishing
    • graphic novels and games
    • contemporary literary publishing
    • children’s publishing literary awards
    • book festivals

    The University of Stirling was ranked first in Scotland for research impact in Communication, Cultural and Media Studies during the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014). 

  • 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.

    Other routes of entry

    If you don’t meet the required criteria for this course, INTO University of Stirling offers a Graduate Diploma in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences. If you successfully complete the course and meet the required progression grades, you’ll be guaranteed entry onto Year 1 of this Masters degree.

  • 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 in each skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 54 overall with a minimum of 51 in each sub-skill
    • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
    • Trinity ISE II Pass overall with a Pass in each sub-skill, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills

    Last updated: 5 December 2019

    For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

  • Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

The MLitt in Publishing Studies is a one-year, full-time course designed to help you develop your career in publishing. You also have the option to take this course part-time over two years.



The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

Course Details

  • Teaching

    The MLitt in Publishing Studies is delivered through interactive lectures, seminars, workshops (including sessions in the Publishing Computer Lab) and one-to-one teaching.

    You’ll also have opportunities to:

    • attend a regular series of visiting speakers
    • go to industry events like the Publishing Scotland conference and the London Book Fair
    • take part in field trips, including visiting a printer and a book distributor
    • undertake a variety of internships
  • Assessment

    Assessment is based on a range of practical and academic activities, including the creation of a physical publishing product (a book, magazine, e-book or app), marketing plans, presentations and a dissertation.

  • Classroom hours

    The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

    Example Timetable for Semester 1



    Editorial Practice and
    Content Creation


    Publishing Project


    Publishing Dynamics



    Marketing Management & Communications


    Publishing Project software workshops

    Visiting Speaker sessions



    Skills Training for Publishing

    Example Timetable for Semester 2



    Skills for Publishing Management


    Publishing Project


    Digital: Process and Product



    Publishing, Literature & Society


    Publishing Project software workshops

    Visiting Speaker sessions



    Publishing in the Workplace



    Skills Training for Publishing

  • Course director
  • Key staff

    Staff at the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication all have backgrounds working in the publishing industry, and retain extensive contacts across the sector. 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 China, France, Germany, India, Lithuania, Norway, Slovenia and Sweden.

    The Centre is also supported by an Industry Advisory Board, with members from Floris Books, Faber, Publishing Scotland, Oxford University Press and Taylor and Francis. It is also a network member of Publishing Scotland.

    Teaching at the Centre is supplemented by a regular series of visiting speakers. Recent speakers include staff from 404 Ink, Bookspeed, Charco Press, Hodder Gibson, Simon & Schuster and Publishing Scotland.

  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (fees are different for each course)


    Home/EU Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course*

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,609 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £13,000 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

    *Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

  • Scholarships and funding

    Postgraduate Merit Scholarship

    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. Find out more about our Postgraduate Merit Scholarship.

    Commonwealth Shared Scholarships

    These scholarships are for candidates from developing Commonwealth countries, looking to study selected postgraduate Masters courses. Find out if you could be eligible for a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship.

    If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

    Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

  • Additional costs

    There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

This Masters course is designed to lead directly into publishing and publishing-related careers, offering you the expert skills, knowledge and networks you’ll need to succeed. The course also offers excellent employability prospects, and we have almost 40 years’ worth of graduates now working in the publishing and related industries across the world. Entry level jobs our students have gone into in recent years include:

  • Publicity Assistant, Canongate
  • Publicity Assistant, Faber and Faber
  • Production Assistant, Faber and Faber
  • Production Assistant, Bloomsbury
  • Rights Assistant, Bloomsbury
  • Editorial Assistant, Simon & Schuster
  • Marketing Assistant, Taylor and Francis
  • Events and Marketing Assistant, The Bookseller
  • Sales and 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 and 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
  • Publisher, Home Learning, HarperCollins
  • Production Editor, Taylor and Francis
  • Founder and Publisher, 404 Ink
  • Founder and Publisher, Tapsalteerie and Lumphanan Press
  • Junior Agent, Kate Nash Literary Agency
  • Employability skills

    The MLitt Publishing Studies is designed around developing and enhancing your publishing career. The focus of each course module is on building skills and understanding of the contemporary publishing industry, with constantly updated content and access to industry expertise.

    We offer a comprehensive employability and skills programme to help you maximise your time at university and develop the attributes that employers look for. In the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, we have a dedicated Employability and Skills Officer. The University of Stirling’s Career and Employability Service also works in partnership with academic staff to ensure you get the most out of your University experience, and are ready for the employment market.

     As part of this programme you’ll have the opportunity to:

    • undertake placements, mentoring and internships generated by our wide range of industry contacts. Companies and organisations that have offered our student industry experience in the past include:
      • Barrington Stoke
      • Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival
      • Canongate Books
      • Fledgling Press
      • Floris Books
      • HarperCollins
      • Luath Press
      • Octopus Books
      • Oxford University Press
      • Saraband Books
      • Scottish Book Trust
      • Tern Digital
    • receive substantial input into career planning and skills development
    • attend talks delivered by visiting speakers from industry and alumni
    • take part in field trips, including visiting a printer and book distributors, attending the Publishing Scotland conference and the London Book Fair
    • join clubs and societies, as there is a broad network of publishing-related activities in Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow, including events run by the Society of Young Publishers (SYP) Scotland, Publishing Scotland, Edinburgh City of Literature, and Weegie Wednesday
My experience in Scotland so far has been very enriching. I’ve not only gotten to meet and learn about the local culture but also the culture of the many other people in my programme which has a very international cohort.
The Publishing Studies course at Stirling gave me the chance to study all aspects of the industry, from marketing and editorial to design and production, as well as providing me with invaluable advice on how to build an impressive CV.
Gillian Hall
MLitt in Publishing Studies
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