MSc Publishing

Postgraduate, Part-time

Publishing MSc

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

Professional Publishers Association


This course is not accepting applications for September 2019 entry. You can still apply for the Full-Time course.

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.

This is a part-time course which can be tailored to suit your needs.

Collection of books

Mode of Study:

Part-time (available as Full-time)


2 years

Start date:




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Course details

The expansion of digital media has created a need for highly specialised skills in publishing. This course will give you the training and experience demanded by publishing employers.

You'll graduate with an excellent understanding of the industry in an international context, including traditional book and magazine publishing, digital and corporate publishing. The course is structured in a way that you’ll become familiar with every aspect of the publishing process and have the opportunity to make valuable industry contacts.

You'll study modules in publishing practice and develop skills in critical thinking and problem solving. In addition, you’ll gain an in-depth skill set and understanding of the editorial function, marketing, publicity, business management, production, design and digital technology.

With the support and guidance of our tutors you’ll develop an individualised programme of study that best suits you. You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement and a dissertation, both of which will enhance your career prospects and allow you to research the area of publishing which interests you most.

MSc Publishing works closely with the PPA Professional Publishers Association  and was the first programme to be accredited by them. More recently, the course was awarded the prestigious Creative Skillset Tick.

Our team has strong relationships with leaders across industry, commerce and academia which helps to ensure you are at the forefront of latest thinking, processes and technology.

Each year our students 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 at the UNESCO Literary Salon, 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 see our Publishing degree site for more information regarding our current students.

  • calendar How you’ll be taught

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

  • briefcase Work placement

    A work placement module is offered on this course.

  • library Facilities

    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

Creative Toolkit ( JAC11109 )

The lecture programme and workshops will cover industry standard applications, including Adobe Creative Suite. The student will learn about essential graphic design principles, page layout, typography, image enhancement, saving and transferring documents as final digital artwork, ready for publication and presentation. This module is designed to give the student an understanding of the creative possibilities that today's software applications can provide, raising student confidence and utilise applications to their best advantage.

Further information

Dissertation ( JAC11106 )

The module comprises a taught programme in trimester 2, which covers advanced literature reviewing, framing and generating research questions, methodological issues (including reflexivity), qualitative research methods, critical analysis, scholarly writing and presentation. Students undertake independent study under supervision to produce a 15 000-word dissertation on a topic appropriate to the student's programme of study (Trimester 2).

Further information

Publishing in Context ( CLP11100 )

You will critically explore the way in which publishing has developed as an industry from the time of the creation of the first printing press until the present day. You will examine the size, structure and organisation of contemporary publishing; the internal structures of large and small publishing companies; how people perform their work within a range of industry sectors (book, magazine and journal publishing); the trade environment; the legal environment including contracts and Intellectual Property Rights; the role of the literary agent; distribution; issues surrounding digitisation of published products; and the role of government sponsored initiatives and library provision.

Further information

Publishing in Practice: from Concept to Creation ( CLP11101 )

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 Practice: from Creation to Consumer ( CLP11102 )

You will learn how to create content for the marketplace, including how to: investigate opportunities for publishing; plan marketing for publishing products; create appropriate marketing tools for publishing products; organise publicity and public relations for publishing; organise and run a direct marketing campaign for publishing products; organise a marketing event; organise direct sales and customer support; establish potential for rights sales; sell primary rights prior to publication; sell secondary rights after publication; negotiate rights agreements; administer and monitor rights agreements; review and prepare contracts; control international administration of contracts; advise on legal and contractual matters; devise an appropriate route to market.

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.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:1 or above. We look for applicants to have a background in any discipline in order to be eligible for the programme.

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

Applicants must also demonstrate, via their personal statement a strong interest in publishing.

English language requirements

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.

International students

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

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

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 2020/21 2021/22
Home/EU Stage 1 £2,880 tba
Home/EU Stage 2 £3,450 tba
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Home EU - Total Fee £6,330 tba
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Stage 1 £6,330 tba
Stage 2 £7,732 tba
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Overseas - Total Fee £14,062 tba
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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

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships


  • Book, magazine or journal publishing (editing, design, production, sales or marketing)
  • Consumer and corporate publishing
  • Online and digital publishing
  • Publishing entrepreneur
Student from the publishing course