Publishing MSc

Our intensive, industry-focused publishing programme is the ‘standard bearer for publishing education in the UK’ and will open doors for you
The Professional Publishers Association


We provide the specialist training and experience you need to succeed in the fast-paced, vibrant world of publishing.

Our focus is vocational and will provide you with industry-specific and research skills demanded by employers, invaluable contacts that will open doors, and a placement that will provide you with crucial experience.

MSc Publishing works closely with the Professional Publishers Association (PPA), and was recently awarded the prestigious Creative Skillset Tick.

Edinburgh Napier is the only University to have doubly-accredited postgraduate publishing provision.

Typical entry point to this course is in September. Please enquire for more information.

Due to the competitive nature of this programme, we advise you submit your application as early as possible and before 26 July 2024.

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Mode of Study:



1 year

Start date:




Course details

Our programme works with industry and will open doors for you. Our team has strong relationships with thought leaders across industry, commerce and academia which helps to ensure you are at the forefront of the latest thinking, processes and technology. The expansion of digital media has created a need for highly specialised skills in publishing. 

This course will give you the specialist training and experience demanded by publishing employers. You'l develop skills in critical thinking and problem solving, and will graduate with an excellent understanding of the industry in an international context.

You will become familiar with every aspect of the publishing process, meet industry professionals and attend prestigious events such as the London International Book Fair, the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Magfest. You'll have further opportunities to meet with industry professionals and make valuable contacts at UNESCO Literary Salons, book launches, author readings and literary events.

We are also linked with the internationally renowned Scottish Centre for the Book based at Edinburgh Napier University.

Please visit our Publishing By Degrees site for more information regarding our current students.

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    How you’ll be taught

    This is a one year full-time course starting in September and is split up into three trimesters.

    You’ll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials and independent study.

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    Work placement

    An 80 hour work placement module is offered on this course during trimester 2 as part of the Publishing Placement and Professional Development module.

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    Our Merchiston campus, situated in the heart of Edinburgh, is home to creative industries students along with engineering and computing. This mix of disciplines helps create an inspiring, innovative and collaborative atmosphere.

    Inside you’ll also find the 500-seat Jack Kilby Computing Centre (open 24 hours a day in Trimesters 1 and 2), the library and the Edinburgh Napier Students’ Association.


Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Dissertation ( JAC11106 )

This module allows students to undertake independent research into a specialised area of interest about the Publishing industry. Students may choose an appropriate topic with guidance from the module leader or supervisor and all students are assigned individual supervisors. During Trimester 2 and 3 there will be a series of taught seminars to prepare students for their independent study, covering research ethics and methods, literature reviews, framing and generating research questions, critical analysis, scholarly writing and presentation. This 60 credit module is the culmination of the MSc Publishing programme and is an opportunity for students to evidence their in-depth knowledge of key themes, issues and principles related to Publishing. The final assessment for this module is a 15,000 word dissertation which is submitted in Trimester 3.

Further information

Fiction and the Fiction Market ( CLP11133 )

You will develop an understanding of the creative and business aspects of the fiction market. The growth and current prominence of fiction publishing in the global publishing industry and the significance of copyright, rights sales and legal relationships will be explored. You will be taken through the different stages in the publishing process for fiction and analyse the principles and practices involved. Derivative works, for example, translations, will represent a key element in understanding the use of rights. You will critically examine the development of editorial policy, budgeting, marketing, author development, and design and illustration. You will undertake marketing research, publicity and promotional campaign appraisal and market analysis. You will explore commercial marketing strategies of modern fiction publishers. A unique focus of this module is its consideration of the ethical vis a vis the commercial realities of fiction publishing.

Further information

Publishing Placement and Professional Development ( CLP11103 )

Many companies expect students to have experience of working within the publishing industry before applying for their first position. The aim of this module therefore, is to enable students to consolidate and apply the academic study which they have undertaken in the first trimester of this programme and provide the opportunity to experience the commercial realities of industry. The module also aims to introduce and prepare students to experience some of those elements in professional life and employment which cannot be taught in an academic environment.

Further information

Publishing in Context ( CLP11100 )

In this module you will critically explore the way in which publishing has developed as an industry, from the creation of the first printing press until the present day, in order to contextualise contemporary business and management structures of the industry. You will examine the size, structure, and organisation of different contemporary publishing sectors (such as Trade, Academic and Education). You will learn about different publishing business models and other management theories to examine the internal structures of large and small publishing companies. Further, you will examine the impact of digitisation on the industry (in terms of creativity, marketing and production) and how digital disruption, along with different business models, affect the dynamics between publishers, authors, retailers, and other industry stakeholders. Lastly, you will examine the broader societal, political, ethical, and regulatory contexts of the publishing industry and learn about the importance of intellectual property rights in an evolving multinational and multimedia context.

Further information

Publishing in Practice ( CLP11137 )

You will learn how to identify and evaluate markets, publishing priorities and resources; develop and maintain a publishing list; collaborate with authors, contributors, developers and providers of material for publication; manage editorial projects; control editorial quality; edit texts and images; proofread text and collate corrections; estimate and control production costs; assess the value of production and publication schedules. You will learn about page layout, typography, image reproduction, and saving and transferring documents according to a specified brief, ready for publication and presentation.

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.



Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

What are the entry requirements for Publishing?

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at 2:1 or above in any discipline.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience within the industry.

Can I get admission into Publishing based on my working experience in this sector?

This course has academic entry requirements which are assessed alongside relevant work experience. Full details of any relevant work experience, including references should be submitted with your application and may be considered for entry where the minimum academic entry requirements are below those required.

Usually, unrelated work experience is not considered sufficient for entry without meeting the minimum academic entry requirements. Please contact us with your specific circumstances by submitting an enquiry form above and we will be happy to discuss your options.

Can I make an appointment with an advisor to discuss further about the admission process?

If you want to get more information on the admission process, please get in touch with the postgraduate admissions team by submitting an enquiry form above.

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test.  The English Language requirements for this programme are an IELTS (Academic) overall band score of 6.5 with no individual component below 6.5. For guidance on the acceptability of other English Language tests please contact

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery
  • All Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

See who can apply for more information on Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students From 2023/24 2024/25
Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £6,930 £7,280
Overseas and EU £17,090 £18,800
Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next. For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships
The University offers a 20% discount on Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes. The discount can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount. For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.
Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.

Please note:

The discount for Edinburgh Napier alumni can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount.

For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.

Please read our full T&C here


  • Book, magazine or journal publishing (editing, design, production, sales or marketing)
  • Consumer and corporate publishing
  • Online and digital publishing
  • Publishing entrepreneur
Student using a computer