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MLitt Publishing Studies

Our MLitt Publishing Studies offers an immersive and exciting introduction to a dynamic industry, covering the whole process of commissioning, editing, production, marketing and publication management in both print and digital environments.

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MLitt, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Start date September 2024
  • Duration MLitt full-time: 12 months, MLitt part-time: 24 months
  • Mode of study full time, part time
  • Delivery on campus

Overview

The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication is a world-leading centre for postgraduate study in publishing, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2022. The course equips students with the skills and knowledge to launch their career in the publishing industry, offering a comprehensive, coherent and practical approach to print and digital publishing across sectors.

As a student on the course you will be immersed, from day one, in the current debates driving the industry: from cutting-edge digital developments, to diversity in the literary industries and sustainability issues in book production.
 
You will learn about publishing across sectors, genres and formats, developing expert knowledge of the publishing process, from commissioning and planning right through to sales and rights management. You will learn a wealth of new skills, enabling you to create and manage your own original publishing project during the course and to produce professional marketing plans and business development reports. The course culminates in a major project, for which students may choose to submit either a significant piece of original research in the form of a 15,000 word dissertation, or a digital project, offering a creative response to a publishing-related question.

This course is demanding, stimulating and enjoyable. We update the content every year to reflect the rapid changes that transform the industry, so you will graduate with cutting-edge skills and knowledge of current publishing industry practice and standards.  This is why many publishers now consider it equivalent to a year's worth of experience at a publishing company. We are proud of our Stirling graduates, many of whom  occupy senior positions in both commercial and not-for-profit publishers and other organisations across the world.

Scotland is an excellent place to study publishing, with its rich literary heritage and a distinctive publishing ecosystem, characterised by dynamic independent publishing.

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

We offer an optional work placement module in the Spring semester. Centre staff will support students in finding work placements and/or internships to enhance their 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 overview

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
  • contemporary literary publishing
  • children’s publishing literary awards
  • literary prizes
  • book festivals

100% of our research environment in English Language and Literature was classed as world-leading or internationally excellent during the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021).

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent. 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 currently meet our academic requirements, INTO University of Stirling offers a variety of preparation programmes that can earn you the qualifications and skills you need to progress onto some of our courses. Explore INTO University of Stirling to see the pathway and pre-masters routes available.

International entry requirements

View the entry requirements for your country.

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 Academic or UKVI 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with a minimum of 59 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.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these 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.

Course details

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.

Changes to module for the session 2023/24

Our core module ‘Managing Content from Manuscript to Market’ (PUBPP26) has been extended to two-semesters to enable us to extend the content from a focus on editorial and marketing, to all aspects of the publishing cycle, including copyright and contracts, international rights sales, production, sales and distribution. Our ‘Publishing Project’ module (PUBPP29) becomes a one-semester, skills-focused course, in which students learn how to work with InDesign software and are supported in creating their own publication over 10 weeks of workshop-based learning.

Modules

The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the current academic year (September 2023). Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

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 talks by visiting speakers from the publishing industry;
  • go to industry events like the Scottish Book Trade Conference, The SYP Scotland conference and the London Book Fair;
  • take part in field trips, including visiting a printer, a book distributor, Scotland’s first lending library at Innerpeffray and Stirling’s own centre for letterpress printing – The Pathfoot Press;
  • join the Stryvling Press team to produce an anthology of poetry and prose in collaboration with Creative Writing students; 
  • undertake internships and work experience placements.

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, business reports, presentations, essays and either a 15,000 word dissertation or a major digital project. 

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, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden. 

The Centre is also supported by an Industry Advisory Board, with members from Floris Books, Faber & 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, Bloomsbury, Bookspeed, Charco Press, Hodder Gibson, Simon & Schuster and Publishing Scotland.

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

2023/242024/25
Students from the UK and Republic of Ireland£8,700£9,100
International (including EU) students£17,775£18,700

University of Stirling alumni will automatically be awarded a fee waiver for the first year of Masters studies through our  Stirling Alumni Scholarship.

Applicants from the UK or Republic of Ireland who hold a first-class honours degree or equivalent will automatically be awarded a £2,000 scholarship through our Postgraduate Merit Scholarship

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

If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for additional fees. 

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry. 

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Eligible students could receive a scholarship worth between £4,000-£7,000. See our range of generous scholarships for international postgraduate students.

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

If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for additional fees. 

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry. 

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

This course is eligible for a postgraduate tuition fee loan from one of the UK’s governments. See the section, below, for more details.

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.

Scholarships and funding

Funding 

Eligible international students could receive a scholarship worth between £4,000-£7,000. See our range of generous scholarships for international postgraduate students.

University of Stirling alumni will automatically be awarded a fee waiver for the first year of Masters studies through our Stirling Alumni Scholarship.

Applicants from the UK or Republic of Ireland who hold a first-class honours degree or equivalent will automatically be awarded a £2,000 scholarship through our Postgraduate Merit 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.

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

Scottish students may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for loans of up to £11,500 to cover tuition fees and associated living costs.

English students can apply for a loan of up to £12,167 each year as part of the Postgraduate Masters Loan Scheme.

Welsh students can apply for financial support of up to £18,770 as a combination of grant and loan from Student Finance Wales.

Northern Irish students can apply for a postgraduate tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 from Student Finance NI.

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.

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.

International (including EU) 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

After you graduate

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, BooksfromScotland.com

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, The North 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;
  • 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.

Companies and organisations that have offered our student industry experience in the past include:

  • Acair Books
  • Barrington Stoke
  • Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival
  • Canongate Books
  • Central European University Press
  • Edinburgh University Press 
  • Fledgling Press
  • Floris Books
  • HarperCollins
  • Luath Press
  • Luna Press Publishing
  • Moonlight Publishing 
  • Octopus Books
  • Oxford University Press
  • Portobello Literary Agency 
  • Saraband Books
  • Scottish Book Trust
  • Tern Digital

What our students said

Monika OKeefe
USA
MLitt Publishing Studies
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.
Read Monika's story

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