School of Art, Design and Architecture

MA Publishing

Do you want to launch your graduate career in a competitive, dynamic global industry that spans both the arts and the sciences? With our highly-regarded and well-established MA you can develop vital editorial, production and marketing skills, while working with industry-relevant digital technologies. We focus heavily on employability and you will undertake work placements, engage with live publishing projects, travel to national industry events and build a network of professional contacts.

This course is also available to study part-time.

A top 5 UK young university for subjects of art, design and architecture

Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2022

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Careers with this subject

Graduate destinations include: Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Wiley, HarperCollins, Macmillan Publishers, FW Media and Quadrille Publishing. Students establish a network of contacts through a dedicated work placement module as well as collaborating on live publishing projects with the University of Plymouth Press.

Key features

  • Tailor your time at university to meet your needs by fitting your study around work and personal commitments. This part-time route allows you to study over two years, giving you the flexibility to study at a pace which suits you.
  • Engage with contemporary digital technologies, academic debate and research through the University’s Centre for Media, Art and Design research (MADr).
  • Network with industry professionals, attend exclusive seminars and discover the global reach of publishing by attending the London Book Fair.
  • Take advantage of our excellent technical and creative facilities, including a suite of Apple Mac computers, small and large scale digital printers, a letterpress workshop and digital sound and video editing suites.
  • Gain a vocational qualification endorsed by the publishing sector and establish your career in an industry that contributes £4.7 billion to the UK economy.
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of the publishing industry, with exceptional teaching delivered by professionals skilled in editorial, design and digital.
  • Refine and test your newly acquired skills by undertaking a proofreading and copyediting qualification, as part of your masters degree.
  • Benefit from a long-standing partnership with the University of Plymouth Press, enabling you to gain work experience and collaborate on live publishing projects.
  • Immerse yourself in the regional publishing and arts sector through involvement with projects such as Mayflower 2020.
  • Establish a network of contacts through a dedicated work placement module. Benefit from invaluable partnerships with publishing professionals and a team of academic staff with extensive and diverse experience in the industry.
  • Get ahead in a competitive, fast-paced sector by developing skills in editing, production, marketing, digital publishing, product development and publication design.
  • Engage in academic debate and foster a curiosity for industry trends alongside the development of vocational skills.
  • Tailor your time at university to meet your needs by fitting your study around work and personal commitments. Our part-time route allows you to study over two years, giving you the flexibility to study at a pace which suits you.

Course details
  • Programme overview

  • Study our MA Publishing and you’ll gain insight into key areas of the publishing industry and achieve a qualification endorsed by the sector. You’ll immerse yourself in the world of digital publishing, discovering new technologies and the impact these have on the industry. Through dedicated modules, you’ll develop an understanding of the skills and responsibilities essential to becoming a publishing professional, as well as the roles and collaborative processes vital to the industry. Engage with the different stages of the publishing process, from production and distribution to marketing and financial viability. You’ll be able to network with guest lecturers from established publishing companies and negotiate invaluable work experience, through placements and collaborative projects. Benefit from key industry partnerships with publishers such as FW Media and University of Plymouth Press.

    Core modules

    • Publishing Process (MAPU718)

      This Module offers the opportunity to engage effectively within the different stages of the publishing process, taking into consideration the mode of production, distribution, content, structure, target audience and the viability in terms of the products suitability, quality and profitability.

    • Creative Design and Analysis in Publishing (MAPU721)

      This Module requires the student to analyse an existing publication and/or create and analyse a potential publication by evaluating the intended target audience, content, structure, methods of production and distribution

    • The International Business of Publishing: Print and Digital (MAPU722)

      This module allows students from publishing to recognise the interdependency on a range of skills to produce work for publication. A range of published media will be explored and the collaborative nature of the projects that functions to bring work to publication.

    • Employability, Networking and Industry Placement (MAPU723)

      This Module requires the student to negotiate and liaise with an outside agency in order to engage in industry work experience or collaboration for the development and production of a publishing project. This may also be developed into a final major project.

    • Masters Publishing Dissertation or Masters Project Report (MAPU724)

      This module requires the student to focus on and engage in negotiated study to produce a substantial piece of research in the student’s chosen specialism/focus. The latter should take the form of a Publishing Dissertation or a Publishing Project and Report that is informed by and developed through appropriate methodological and theoretical frameworks

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MA Publishing Programme Specification Sep22 5933

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.
Entry requirements


A 2:1 degree with honours or an equivalent professional qualification. Other qualifications accompanied by substantial experience in an appropriate field may also be considered. Non-standard applications will be considered on a case by case basis.


Please view the country specific pages for further information regarding the equivalency of your degree. International applicants will be required to provide evidence of their English language ability, for example by achieving an IELTS score of 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each element) or equivalent. Pre-sessional English language courses are available if you do not meet these requirements. English language requirements. We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.


Scholarships are available for postgraduate taught programmes. Tell me more about scholarships and bursaries.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home £9,400 £9,500
International £15,700 £16,500
Part time (Home) £500 £530
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.

Find out about the postgraduate scholarships available to you as an international student

How to apply

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full. 

Before you apply

Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.

Disability services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. 

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Submitting an application

Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.

If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

Progression routes

International progression routes

The University of Plymouth International College (UPIC) offers foundation, first-year and pre-masters programmes that lead to University of Plymouth degrees. Courses are specially designed for EU and international students who are missing the grades for direct entry to the University, and include full duration visa sponsorship. You can start in January, May or September, benefitting from small class sizes, top-quality tuition and 24/7 student support.

Find out more at or contact our team at

Joint Programme Leader for MA Publishing, Miranda Spicer

Facilities on site

We benefit from excellent facilities on site, ranging from artisan studio spaces (the University is home to one of the only letterpress workshops in the country) to cutting-edge Mac design suites. We boast the University of Plymouth Press, too, whose varied programme allows students to see publishing in action, immerse themselves in the regional arts sector and work directly with a range of clients and suppliers. 

<b>Letterpress</b><br>The University has one of the few remaining movable-type printing workshops in the UK.<br>workshop run by Paul Collier<br>2nd year graphic coms students at work in the <b>Letterpress</b>&nbsp;studio


Letterpress workshop

MA Publishing

University of Plymouth Press (UPP)

From projects that extend the international reach of research, to fostering partnerships with local communities, we’re passionate about publishing

Live client publishing projects

Our publishing students learn invaluable industry skills, working on real projects with real clients.

At the start of the year, the group receive client briefs focusing on different aspects of the publishing industry (including editorial, design, marketing). They then form small project teams, assign roles and responsibilities, and liaise with their client to agree a set of deliverables. Students take responsibility for setting all schedules and managing budgets where necessary, and are supported be experts in the field to use industry-standard software when creating and delivering their end products.

Find out more about our live student projects

<p>MA Publishing projects</p>

Research with the School of Art, Design and Architecture

Find out more about our specialist areas of research excellence.
<p>Open books</p>

Message: communication arts research

Ded­ic­ated to the devel­op­ment and dis­cus­sion of con­tem­por­ary visual com­mu­nic­a­tion messages through research.

Upside Down, Left To Right: A Letterpress Film

University of Plymouth has one of the few remaining movable-type printing workshops in the UK.
As a student here you can explore a range of printmaking workshops - etching, lithography, silkscreen, and letterpress. Here is a film all about it:


Establish yourself in a fiercely competitive sector and develop a critical advantage when launching your graduate career, by studying towards our MA Publishing.
With a vocational focus and regular work placement opportunities, you’ll gain valuable experience in the creative industries.
MA Publishing

Any questions?

Please contact Miranda Spicer, Programme Lead for MA Publishing: