Publishing Studies (MLitt)

MLitt, Postgraduate Diploma


The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication provides a comprehensive and coherent approach to all forms of publishing. Our Publishing Studies 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.

The MLitt 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

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a postgraduate taught degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: MLitt, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Study methods: Part-time, Full-time, Campus based
  • Duration: Full time - MLitt - 12 months; PG Diploma - 9 months; Part time - MLitt - 27 months; PG Diploma - 21 months;
  • Start date:

    Full-time and part-time: September

  • Course Director: Professor Claire Squires
Download postgraduate prospectus

Professor Claire Squires

Literature and Languages
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA
Scotland, UK

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.

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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Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

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Live Life

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.

INTO University of Stirling offers a Graduate Diploma for those students who do not meet the required criteria for this course. If you successfully complete the Graduate Diploma in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences and meet the required progression grades, you will be guaranteed entry onto year one 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 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.

Flexible Learning

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

Fees and costs


2018/19 Overseas £13,650
2018/19 Home/EU £6,300



Fees for all new applicants to postgraduate taught courses are held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

University of Stirling 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 the Postgraduate Merit Scholarship »

Financial information

Find out more about funding your studies and meeting your living costs while working towards another degree.

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

The MLitt in Publishing Studies is a one-year, full-time course (two years, part-time) designed to enable students' career development in Publishing. In Semester 1, students take compulsory modules in Publishing Dynamics, Editorial Practice and Content Creation, Marketing Management and Communications, Skills Training for Publishing, and the Publishing Project. These modules offer a coherent introduction to the publishing and related industries, offering students a thorough grounding in contemporary publishing. Part-time students take the course over two years.

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, go on field trips to locations including a printer and a book distributor, and to undertake a variety of internships and work placements.

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, e-book or app), 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.


Academic Year 2017/18

Full Time

SemesterModule 1 Module 2 Module 3 Module 4 Module 5 
Semester 1 PUBPP16 – Publishing Dynamics core PUBPP17
Marketing Management and Communications (continued in Semester 2)
core PUBPP18
Editorial Practice and Content Creation
core PUBPP19
Publishing Project
(Continued in Semester 2)
core PUBPP25
Skills Training for Publishing (Continued in Semester 2)
Semester 2 Select 1 module from:
IPMPP19 – Skills for Publishing Management
PUBPP21 – Publishing, Literature and Society
PUBPP22 – Publishing in the Workplace
PUBPP24 – Digital: Process and Product
Option PUBPP17
Marketing Management and Communications (continued from Semester 1)
core PUBPP19
Publishing Project (Continued from Semester 1)
core PUBPP25
Skills Training for Publishing (Continued from Autumn semester)
Semester 3

PUBPP05 – Dissertation




Semester Module 1   Module 2   Module 3  
Semester 1 PUBPP16
Publishing Dynamics
core PUBPP18
Editorial Practice and Content Creation
Semester 2 Select 2 modules from:
IPMPP19 – Skills for Publishing Management
PUBPP21 – Publishing, Literature and Society
PUBPP22 – Publishing in the Workplace
PUBPP24 – Digital: Process and Product
Semester 3 PUBPP17
Marketing Management and Communications (continued in Semester 4)
Core PUBPP19
Publishing Project(Continued in Semester 4)
core PUBPP25
Skills Training for Publishing (Continued in Semester 4)
Semester 4 PUBPP17
Marketing Management and Communications (continued from Autumn Semester)
Core PUBPP19
Publishing Project(Continued from Semester 3)


Skills Training for Publishing (Continued from Semester 3)
Semester 5 PUBPPP5 – Dissertation Core


This listing is based on the current curriculum and changes may be made to the course in response to new curriculum developments and innovations. Module information for 2017/18 will be made available in due course.

Study method

Part-time; Full-time

Example timetable

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

MLitt Publishing Studies - Example Timetable

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 & Product











Publishing, Literature & Society



Publishing Project software workshops


Visiting Speaker sessions





Publishing in the Workplace





Skills Training for Publishing



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.


In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, around half of the research submitted from the subject areas that now make up the Faculty 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.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .


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 students

One of the things that really drew me to the MLitt in Publishing Studies course was how practical the modules were. The classes and lecturers offered a myriad of practical skills through the publishing project, dissertation and through the way the course was taught. Right from the start we were given group exercises, like making pitches as international companies at rights fairs, and creating marketing materials in a team in a short space of time and presenting them to the class. We were also encouraged to keep on top of what was happening in the publishing world outside of our classroom. All of this also gave me lots to talk about in interviews. We were also exposed to many different aspects of publishing, which was invaluable. When I began the course I was set on becoming an editor but I found myself becoming increasingly interested in marketing as well.

Now I am working as a Sales and Marketing Assistant with McGraw-Hill Education, a thoroughly enjoyable role where I can utilise the software, marketing, communication and design skills which Stirling gave me. It has also really helped in my understanding of how publishing in general works, and my role within the company in particular, and especially in choosing where I wanted to go. The course helped me get the job by giving me the needed skills, allowing me to articulate them in interviews and detail my professional development, and enabling me to prepare the interview tasks, but it also puts me at ease in my work. I can’t recommend it enough.

Kate McNamara, MLitt in Publishing Studies, 2011-12, now Sales & Marketing Assistant, McGraw Hill

Graduating from Stirling with an MLitt in Publishing Studies gave me the tools necessary to enter the publishing sector with confidence and capitalise on what will be your crafted ability. Under the auspices of staff who know the market thoroughly and who inspire you to face challenges head on, a Stirling Publishing Studies graduate is sure to leave with the right mix of practice and theory, ready to forge a successful career in the creative industries. You’re also guaranteed to enjoy the majestic setting of Scotland’s ancient capital and will be enthused by the experiences and diversity of your peers.

Martin Jack, MLitt in Publishing Studies, 2008-2009, Martin is currently Higher Education Texts and eBook Sales Manager, Taylor and Francis (Asia Pacific)

Attending Stirling was without a doubt the best decision I ever made! The MLitt in Publishing course provided me with the design and marketing skills needed to pursue a career in graphic design and the professors provided invaluable insight into the publishing industry from their first hand experience.

One of the biggest highlights while at Stirling was the incredible friendships I formed with people from around the world. I am fortunate to count them as some of my closest friends, even though we live in various countries now!

Currently, I am accountable for the marketing and graphic design at a multi-speciality medical practice in Utah. I was instrumental in assisting the company to undergo a complete corporate rebranding and have been able to build the graphic design fundamentals from the ground up. If I could offer any advice, it would be to pursue something you are truly passionate about because life is too short to do something you don’t absolutely love!

Kelley Whalen, MLitt in Publishing Studies, 2007-8


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 MLitt in Publishing Studies is built around developing and enhancing publishing careers for its students. The focus of the modules is on building skills and understanding of the contemporary publishing industry, with constantly updated content and access to industry expertise.


 As part of this programme you will:

  1. Have the opportunity to undertake placements/work shadowing/alumni mentoring/internships within the programme – either as part of PUBPP22 Publishing in the Workplace, or alongside other modules. We have a wide range of industry contacts with whom our students undertake placements and internships every year, including with companies and organisations including:
  2. Receive substantial input into career planning and skills development, both through PUBPP25 Skills Training for Publishing, and via the broader publishing knowledge, networks and communities the programme offers you.
  3. Receive talks from visiting speakers from industry and alumni – We have a regular visiting speaker series, with recent speakers coming from companies including Birlinn, Faber & Faber, 404 Ink, Gaelic Books Council, HarperCollins, Hodder Education, Publishing Scotland, Scottish Book Trust and Waterstones.
  4. Participate in field trips – You will have the opportunity to visit a printer and book distributors, to attend the Publishing Scotland conference, and the London Book Fair.
  5. Be encouraged to take part in clubs and societies – 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.
  6. Have the opportunity to undertake placements/work shadowing/alumni mentoring/internships within the programme – either as part of PUBPP22 Publishing in the Workplace, or alongside other modules. We have a wide range of industry contacts with whom our students undertake placements and internships every year, including with companies and organisations including:
  • Alban Books
  • Barrington Stoke
  • Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival
  • Canongate Books
  • Fledgling Press
  • Floris Books
  • Freight Books
  • HarperCollins
  • Luath Press
  • Octopus Books
  • Oxford University Press
  • Saraband Books
  • Scottish Book Trust
  • Tern Digital


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.

 The programme is oriented towards employment within the publishing and related industries, and for further details on internships see our dedicated web page:


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