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Digital Publishing

PGDip or MA

Key facts


Start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Location

Headington

Course length

Full time: MA: 12 months, PGDip: 9 months

Part time: MA: 24 months, PGDip: 18 months

Department

School of Arts

Overview


Our MA in Digital Publishing provides you with the skills, knowledge and networks to kickstart your career in publishing. Or improve your current position.

With an emphasis on digital publishing, the course gives you an excellent overview of every aspect of publishing. And you will gain a broad understanding of the key issues facing the publishing industry in the 21st century.

Our staff have extensive experience in national and international publishing roles. Many of them have written key texts on publishing. We also have an extensive list of visiting speakers and associate lecturers who are leading industry specialists.

Oxford is a global centre for the publishing industry. So you will have unrivalled access to work experience in Oxford, London and elsewhere.

Digital Publishing is part of a group of courses run by the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies, which enjoy a high international standing in the publishing world. You'll benefit from our close links with publishing companies in Oxford and London.

Female student working on computer with specialist software

How to apply


Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

Entrants to the programme should possess the following minimum qualifications:

  • a second-class honours degree, or equivalent, in any subject 

or

  • an appropriate professional background and experience in the publishing industry.

Applicants should also demonstrate a commitment to work in the publishing or communications industries. This attribute is usually evidenced through the application and personal statement, references or at interview.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English you will require IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each component.

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences

Go

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

You do not need to wait for your references before you apply.

While we do not have a deadline for applications and continue to accept students through the summer, the earlier you apply, the earlier we can respond. 
 

Apply now

Tuition fees


Please see the fees note
Home/EU full time
£7,950

Home/EU part time
£4,050

International full time
£14,000

Home/EU full time
£8,500

Home/EU part time
£4,250

International full time
£14,700

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees


2019/20
Home/EU full time
£7,950

Home/EU part time
£4,050

International full time
£14,000

2020/21
Home/EU full time
£8,500

Home/EU part time
£4,250

International full time
£14,700

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year your fees will increase each year.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

There may be some core text books that you might want to buy, rather than borrow from the library.

You will incur printing costs for coursework and dissertations.

Study trips and book fairs are optional and the cost is not included in tuition fees. Costs range from about £10 for a trip to London, to £300 if you join our optional trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Learning and assessment


The MA consists of:

  • five compulsory modules
  • one elective module
  • a dissertation or major project.

The PGDip consists of:

  • five compulsory modules
  • one elective module.

Compulsory modules and optional modules are listed below.

Male student working at a computer

Study modules

The modules listed below are for the master's award. For the PGDip award your module choices may be different. Please contact us for more details.

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

Design and Production for Publishing

This module explores the role of the design and production department in the publishing process. It looks closely at current working practices in areas such as design and typography, project management, the evaluation and selection of appropriate media platforms, the buying of raw materials and manufacturing processes, and the use of external resources.

Editorial Management

This module explores the strategic role of the editor within the publishing process and the knowledge and skills required for the development of new projects, whether in print or digital form.

Marketing Management for Publishing

This module provides a systematic examination of the key concepts and disciplines of marketing and their relationship and relevance to the products of publishing. It includes coverage of the marketing mix, consumer behaviour, segmentation, targeting and positioning, and elements of market research.

Digital Publishing Strategy

This module enables you to engage with the dynamic nature of a rapidly evolving part of the publishing industry. The technological basis for the products themselves will be examined and the strategic reasons for developing them critically appraised. You will learn about the process and management of digital product design and development.

Multi-Platform Publishing

This module offers an examination of forms of digital publishing with particular reference to epub and apps. Industry standards in markup and eBook formats are covered in detail with particular focus on differences between platforms and methods of distribution. Expertise grows through the use of more sophisticated enhancements to the content with multimedia, animation and interactivity.

Optional modules

Crafting and telling a story

Crafting and telling a story are central to all forms of publishing, and increasingly key in all industries worldwide. This module will build on knowledge from Semester One’s compulsory modules in order to examine and practise the techniques involved in writing and shaping narratives across all forms of fiction and non-fiction, as well as for promotional and brand purposes. Through a range of taught presentations, workshops, and guest lectures, you will learn to identify and implement methods which optimise the potential of narratives across a range of genres and platforms, and for multiple purposes.

Academic and Professional Publishing

This module provides you with an understanding of the nature of scholarly communication and the current debates surrounding topics such as research funding, open access and peer review. The convergence of books and journals in this area and the emergence of new publishing and business models to suit the market will be investigated along with the development of digital solutions.

International Rights Management

This module introduces the management of rights in the fast-moving world of global publishing. As well as looking at the acquisition of rights from the author, and the different rights contracted, the module covers the rights function within the publishing house and its responsibility for licensing a range of products.

History and Culture of Publishing

This module examines the culture and ideology of publishing in terms of its development throughout the 20th century, and its contemporary practice. Different theories of print culture and critiques of the role of the publisher in society are reviewed, and there is an examination of ideological challenges to the culture of publishing.

Magazine Publishing

This module provides a comprehensive insight into and understanding of the international magazine industry and its place as both a print and electronic product. It covers a range of contemporary issues and business models, exploring the job roles involved in the production of magazines and addressing the issues of editorial content, marketing, branding, technology, law and design.

Children's Publishing

This module explores the development of the market sector and the current shape and business practices of publishing for children and young adults. Topics include picture books, co-editions and translatability; the sector's links to other leisure industries, merchandising and content reuse; editing and censorship; age ranging and gatekeeping; literacy and reading campaigns; and promotion.

Fiction and Non-fiction Publishing

Fiction and Non-fiction Publishing are perennially popular business models within the publishing world, and the globalisation and digitisation of the consumer book landscape have only enhanced one of the most dynamic and creative sectors of the industry. Within this module, you will explore the range and depth of pitfalls and possibilities intrinsic to this ever-changing aspect of publishing. You will gain an understanding of the importance of verticals in consumer publishing and as well as the elasticity of the role of the author.

Independent study

Optional modules

Independent Study in Publishing

This module offers you the opportunity to design a course of study to suit your own interests and concerns. It might be to study an area not specifically taught during the course, to conduct a study based on your work experience, or a study that fits with your career or business plans. Practical projects are suitable as an independent study, but should be accompanied by an analytical report. You will organise and carry out a work schedule set by yourself will determine a set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria in collaboration with the module leader and a supervisor.

Final project

Compulsory modules

Dissertation or Major Project

Dissertation or Major Project is the defining and essential component for the award of the MA degree. It is a major in-depth investigation of a subject, theme or issue significant to the study of publishing through research and extended written work (15,000 words or equivalent for major projects).

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of teaching methods.

Lectures

Provide you with foundation knowledge and a framework for study to enable you to achieve the module's learning outcomes.

Seminars and workshops

  • encourage you to engage in discussion with tutors and peers
  • test your understanding and ability to apply ideas
  • develop your transferable skills
  • encourage deeper learning.

Computer workshops

Enable you to test, clarify, and apply your IT skills.

Field trips to book fairs and the industry

For example, printers, publishers, retailers. Thes trips allow you to observe aspects of the industry that we teach in lectures and workshops.

 

Work experience and internship opportunities

Prepare you for your future career and are available across a broad range of departments and market sectors.

Group work role play

You'll simulate new product development in a real-life publishing context.

Individual supervision

Supports self-directed outcomes for your dissertation or major project.

Field trips

Study trips and book fairs are a key part of your course. Each year students attend the Frankfurt, Bologna, London, and Beijing International Book Fairs.

These trips are optional and the cost is not included in tuition fees.

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

Assessment is primarily by coursework.

We also use a limited number of class tests assess your skills in rights, marketing, and proofreading.

We design assignments in all modules to assess the knowledge and skills you develop during the period of study. These align with industry practice and help you gain confidence in your ability to complete live publishing projects.

After completing the course successfully, you will be ready to enter the publishing industry as an effective employee.

Research


The Oxford International Centre for Publishing (OICP) is one of the leading centres for publishing education in the world. We focus on areas such as:

  • book consumption and the life cycle of books
  • book trade and publishing history (especially 18th-21st centuries)
  • museum publishing
  • serials publications
  • pedagogy and publishing education
  • the future of the industry. 

Research is supported by the resources of Oxford Brookes Library. The Special Collections feature:

  • the Booker Archive
  • the Publishing in Africa Collection
  • the Rainbird Archive
  • the Peter Stockham Collection of Children’s Books.

OICP carries out independent research and training with the international publishing industry. Recent clients include:

  • the British Council
  • Hewlett Packard
  • the Society of Experimental Biology
  • Sports Books.

The OICP can offer PhD and MPhil supervision in the following areas:

  • The Culture and History of Publishing
  • International, Strategy, Policy and Development
  • Publishing by museums, galleries and other institutions.

After you graduate


Career prospects

A Digital Publishing MA will provide you with the skills, knowledge and equally important access to networks that kick-start your career in publishing, or improve your current position.

Graduates who have completed publishing courses at Oxford Brookes have been exceptionally successful in obtaining employment soon after graduation and have a strong record of career progression because our courses enjoy a high international standing.

Our flexible work experience opportunities with local, regional, national and international publishing enterprises provide you with the essential up-to-date practical knowledge that will enhance your employment prospects on completing the programme. In addition our teaching staff have extensive experience in national and international publishing roles and a broad range of contacts that are at your disposal for your individual interests in this diverse industry.

While studying with us, you will develop a wide range of publishing and general management skills, including digital publishing proficiency. Graduates who have completed our publishing courses have been exceptionally successful in obtaining employment in trade, children's journals, ELT and schools publishing, rights management, digital and production roles. Our alumni have strong records of career progression.

Our graduates have established an enviable reputation in the publishing industry and they are extremely successful in obtaining good jobs fast. Evidence from our alumni suggests that they are able to enter the industry at a higher level than would otherwise have been possible.

Our international alumni work in:

  • publishing companies in New York
  • rights management in Toronto
  • production in India
  • digital enterprises in Kenya
  • a variety of roles throughout European publishing companies.

In addition, European and UK students work at:

  • Oxford and Cambridge University Presses
  • Taylor and Francis
  • Simon and Schuster
  • Sage
  • Penguin
  • Elsevier
  • Touch Press
  • Lion Hudson
  • Barefoot Books 

Our Staff


Dr Miriam Johnson

Miriam’s professional career includes work as a second hand and collectible bookseller, founder of The Istanbul Review, and in working with Scottish PEN and Scottish Book Trust, as well as developing an immersive literature project in Edinburgh in conjunction with The Bridge Awards and Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature (echoesofthecity.com).

Read more about Miriam

Programme Changes: On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.