MSc Publishing

Postgraduate, Part-time

Train to become a publisher on this intensive, practical course and learn the specialist skills and experience to succeed in the fast-paced publishing industry.

  • Napier code:


  • Course type:


  • Duration:

    2 years

  • Award:


  • Location:

    Merchiston campus

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Course introduction

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

Our intensive, industry focused publishing programme is the ‘standard bearer for publishing education in the UK’ (Source: Professional Publishers Association).

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

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


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 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.

Subjects include


  • Publishing in context
  • Publishing in practice: From Concept to Creation      
  • Creative toolkit


  • Publishing placement and professional development
  • Publishing in practice: from Creation to Consumer

One option from

  • New venture creation
  • Fiction and the Fiction Market
  • Interactive media
  • Magazine publishing


  • Dissertation

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

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

We have a strong record of placing graduates in relevant employment because we provide you with the most up-to-date skills required by a rapidly advancing industry. A work placement module is offered on this course. 

Career opportunities

  • book or magazine publishing (editing, design, production, sales or marketing)
  • journal publishing
  • consumer and corporate publishing
  • online and digital publishing
  • design and printing
  • publishing entrepreneur

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 IELTS (Academic) with an overall band score of 6.5 and 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.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your 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 are committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.

Tuition fees
Students from 2018/19 2019/20
Home/EU Stage 1 £2,660 tba
Home/EU Stage 2 £3,190 tba
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Home EU - Total Fee £5,850 tba
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Stage 1 £5,850 tba
Stage 2 £7,150 tba
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Overseas - Total Fee £13,000 tba
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Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

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.
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