Publishing Media

MA or PGDip or PGCert

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: Full time: MA: 12 months, PGDip: 8 months, PGCert: 4 months

Part time: MA: 24 months, PGDip: 3 semesters, PGCert: 2 semesters

Location: Headington

Department(s): School of Arts

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Publishing has changed dramatically over the last few decades. It’s no longer just about books and print but digital, social media, video, audio podcasts and animation.

Our MA Publishing Media includes future-facing aspects of the industry as well as its heritage. You’ll cover storytelling across different types of media and channels. With our employability focus, you’ll tackle the real challenges facing the industry such as AI, digital and multi-platform publishing innovations.

From academic to trade, we cover all publishing sectors from a commercial and a creative perspective. Our expert teaching team have first-hand experience of working in the industry and are known for their high-quality research.

Our Publishing Advisory Board includes the largest publishing houses and several independent publishers. They ensure our curriculum reflects current and future practice, as well as offering scholarships, internships and volunteering opportunities. Oxford is a global centre for the publishing industry, so you’re well-placed for work experience in Oxford, London and further afield.

Attend an open day or webinar Ask a question Order a prospectus

Students working together on a computer

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Industry-led content
    Our strong links with the publishing industry mean our course content is highly relevant and topical, so will equip you for your dream career.
  • Multimedia resources
    You’ll be given individual access to Adobe Creative Cloud to create book covers, ebooks, booktoks, audio books, magazine layouts and more, and you have dedicated use of a podcast recording studio and MAC suite and a state of the art broadcast studio.
  • International/UK field trips
    Travel to Bologna Children's Book Fair on assignments. Volunteer at the London Book Fair or the Oxford Literary Festival. You can also visit printers, publishers and retailers.
  • High employability rates
    Our graduates have a strong track record of winning industry Rising Star awards, and securing dream jobs and fast promotions thanks to the thorough grounding from the course.
  • A thriving, literary city
    Study in Oxford, home to J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, and more recently R.F. Kuang. Study in the Bodleian library. Join a cluster of journalists, authors and media specialists.

Course details

Course structure

You’ll get hands-on experience of publishing through a range of practical activities using Adobe Creative Suite software, including how to create ebooks, audiobooks and podcasts.

You’ll take 4 compulsory modules, one of which focuses on the role of the editor, one on digital workflows, typographic design, page layout and book construction and one on marketing tactics.

Choose between a dissertation or major project for your fourth compulsory module. You’ll undertake an in-depth investigation into a theme of significant importance to the industry. Or create new innovations, such as the development of digital editorial products to engage diverse audiences. Recent research topics have ranged from fanfiction to cultural appropriation, censorship, and the ethics of AI.

We also offer optional modules ranging from areas like children's and Young Adults (YA) publishing, brand management and commercial viability to academic publishing. We also delve into corporate responsibility, sustainability, and how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

Students in a workspace

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of teaching methods.

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.


Assessment is primarily by coursework.

We also use a class test to assess your skills 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.

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.

Further links with the contemporary publishing industry are available such as opportunities to:

  • volunteer at the Oxford Literary Festival
  • participate in Oxford Publishing Society (OPuS) meetings
  • attend seminars conducted by speakers from the industry.

Study modules

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

Taught Modules

Compulsory modules

  • Editorial Management (20 credits)

    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.

  • Digital Workflow (20 credits)

    This module follows the workflow of a publishing product in the digital environment. This is a practical and technical module and also covers the basics of delivering print and digital outputs for multi-platform delivery. Students will learn how to communicate information in a responsive platform further developing software and digital asset management skills.

  • Marketing (20 credits)

    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 including SEO.

Optional modules

Children's and Young Adult Publishing (20 credits)

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.

Brand Management (20 credits)

This optional module offers an advanced insight and understanding of an evolved content industry that increasingly depends upon brand status for commercial viability. The focus is on innovative brands and media companies that engage, inform and entertain specialist audiences across multiple platforms via content, events, products and experiences. It is about 360 degree brand management and will incorporate developing and managing a brand across web, social media, and content creation.

Fiction and non-fiction publishing (20 credits)

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.

Academic and Professional Publishing (20 credits)

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 are investigated along with the development of digital solutions.

Digital Publishing Strategy (20 credits)

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 are examined and the strategic reasons for developing them critically appraised. You will learn about the process and management of digital product design and development.

Culture of Publishing (20 credits)

Independent Study (20 credits)

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.

International Rights (20 credits)

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.

Multi-platform Publishing (20 credits)

The Craft of Storytelling (20 credits)

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.

Global Responsibility: Building a Better Publisher (20 credits)

This module examines the role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the publishing industry. It begins by adopting a wide remit of both ‘CSR’ and ‘publishing’ and seeks to understand and critique how the industry incorporates CSR into their remits and how this is reflected in their practice. Grouped thematically, the topics on this module explore the relationship between the growing value of CSR more widely in society and the way that the publishing industry is responding.

Final project

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation or Major Project (60 credits)

    The 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.

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


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.


Our graduates go on to work for major publishers across the UK and internationally, across academic, educational and trade. Others use the MA as a stepping stone into further postgraduate research.

Our MA also offers the opportunity to develop transferable skills suited to a variety of roles and employers across the wider creative industries, and is highly sought after. You’ll be equipped for roles in:
  • marketing and social media
  • public relations and project management
  • journalism
  • digital production
  • international licensing 
  • rights management
  • academic journals
  • children's publishing
  • ELT and schools publishing.
Our students have been successful in building fulfilling careers with a wide range of publishers, including: 
  • Oxford University Press
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Taylor and Francis
  • Simon and Schuster
  • Sage
  • Penguin Random House
  • Elsevier
  • Touch Press
  • SPCK Publishing
  • Barefoot Books
  • Hachette
  • HarperCollins
  • Usborne
  • Rebellion Publishing
  • Bloomsbury.

Student conducting a recorded interview

Student profiles

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 (

Read more about Miriam

Polly Silk

Polly has over a decade of experience in rights sales and children’s and educational publishing, most recently working as Acting Head of Rights at Oxford University Press. Her teaching across undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning courses focuses on international publishing and rights management.

Read more about Polly

Entry requirements

International qualifications and equivalences

How to apply

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 year, the earlier you apply, the earlier we can respond.

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time
Masters £11,150 Diploma £10,150; Certificate £5,575

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Home (UK) full time
Masters £11,700; Diploma £10,700; Certificate £5,850

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time
Masters £11,150 Diploma £10,150; Certificate £5,575

Home (UK) part time

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time
Masters £11,700; Diploma £10,700; Certificate £5,850

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

The full-time fees quoted are for the taught Year 1. Fees will be charged for the placement year in Year 2 and are available on request from

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

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

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.