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Postgraduate Taught

MA Publishing

Please note: The below is for 2025 entries. Click here for 2024 entries.
UCAS code 1234
Duration 1 year full time
2 years part time
Entry year September 2024
Campus Streatham Campus
Discipline Creative Industries
Typical offer

View full entry requirements

2:2 Honours degree

Contextual offers


  • Develop the critical contexts and practical skills to engage with global publishing models across print and digital environments and familiarise yourself with the processes of commissioning, production, marketing, and distribution.
  • Equips you to build your career in the fast-changing publishing industry to set up your own innovative publishing initiative with entrepreneurial support from SETSquared Exeter, or to undertake further research in this growing field of study.
  • Draws on the teaching expertise of industry professionals and researchers, as well as providing the opportunity for you to undertake a work placement module and pursue either a practical publishing project or research-based dissertation.
  • Join and network with a growing hub for the publishing industry and literary community in the South West, as Exeter develops as an UNESCO City of Literature.
  • You will develop analytical and creative tools for innovation within and beyond existing publishing structures, with several optional, interdisciplinary modules from English, Creative Industries and Modern Languages departments.
  • Our curriculum is guided by our Industry Advisory Board, which includes Valerie Brandes (CEO, Jacaranda Books), Anna Cohn Orchard (Director, Exeter City of Literature), Gracie Cooper (Publisher, Little Toller Books), Louisa Joyner (Associate Publisher, Faber & Faber), Sanphy Thomas (Managing Director, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Hachette Bristol), and Emma Shercliff (Literary Agent, Laxfield Literary Associates).
  • By actively co-creating your learning experience with industry professionals we provide our graduates with the best possible education to enter the world of publishing.

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View 2024 Entry

Fast Track (current Exeter students)

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Programme Directors: Dr Kate Wallis and Dr D-M Withers

Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

Discover MA Publishing at the University of Exeter.

Develop transferable skills, specialist knowledge and professional experience through interdisciplinary teaching

Focus on professional practice and the cultural management aspects of Creative Industries and Humanities

Industry placement options

Opportunities for study in the field

Entry requirements

We will consider applicants with a 2:2 Honours degree with 53% or above, or international equivalent. We consider applications from a wide range of backgrounds, where applicants can provide evidence of a passion for developing a career in the publishing industry.

Applications from industry professionals, or applicants with relevant work experience or aptitude in publishing, bookselling or the literary and cultural industries, seeking an academic qualification or the opportunity to enhance your skills or knowledge in this field are also welcomed.

Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B2. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.

The Publishing and Power: Black and Asian Literary Networks in the UK module taught us that there's so much more going on in this area of the publishing industry than we realise. 

It covers the system of publishing and questions the biasness that prevails in the industry. Personally, if I decide to enter this field, I know I will be coming from a position of strength, as through this module I have gained knowledge about methodologies of publishing and its ways of operating, which is and will remain valuable professionally and/or in academia.

Read more from Vibhuti


MA Creative Writing (studied Publishing and Power: Black and Asian Literary Networks in the UK module)

Course content

The programme is divided into units of study called modules which are assigned 'credits'. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.


2024/25 entry

UK fees per year:

£12,000 full-time; £6,000 part-time

International fees per year:

£24,300 full-time; £12,150 part-time


We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students. This includes over £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*.

For more information on scholarships, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.

*Selected programmes only. Please see the Terms and Conditions for each scheme for further details.

We have designed this programme to address the full spectrum of diverse skills required for working in the publishing industry today. 

From developmental editing and working with writers to the layout, production, and marketing that are part of a book’s path to its readers, we teach skills that will make you a qualified candidate for many jobs—or refine the skills you might already have.

The publishing industry is increasingly acknowledging that hiring people with a diversity of experience leads to a more representative, just, and robust industry. This programme operates with a similar ethos and is committed to helping the industry reconceptualize how it operates by training its next generation of employees and leaders.

Read more from Dr Kate Wallis

Dr Kate Wallis

Director of MA Publishing

Teaching and research

Learning and teaching

Drawing on the teaching expertise of industry professionals and researchers, as well as providing the opportunity to undertake a work placement module and pursue either a practical publishing project or research-based dissertation, this MA Publishing cultivates excellence through industry connections, research, and the acquisition of professional skills.

This programme looks to combine academic theory, with regular industry input and relevant placements and practical projects to provide a holistic learning experience, which builds industry relevant academic knowledge as well as a strong set of soft skills to support employability. You can also learn about the publishing industry through the archive, with sessions taught using the Agatha Christie business papers.

You can undertake a publishing work placement and will have opportunities to network with industry professionals. You can also choose to tailor the programme by choosing a research-based dissertation which could also support a route into further research.


Established by the University of Exeter’s Department of English and Film, currently fourth in the UK for research power, this programme of study benefits from the following strengths:

  • Research expertise and Special Collections in publishing practices and histories across the Victorian, Modernist and contemporary periods
  • A vibrant Creative Writing department working across fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children’s writing and well-networked with publishers across the UK
  • Cutting-edge research aligned with the agenda of decolonizing the curriculum and concerned with Publishing Studies as a methodology that makes visible the structures of power out of which literature is produced
  • A growing World and Postcolonial Cultures research group with expertise in global publishing practices that moves beyond dominant Euro-American models to study innovative publishing initiatives from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Exeter has a strong track record in supporting its graduates into work. In addition, the HESA destination of leaver’s data from master’s degrees in publishing shows an exceptionally high number of graduates securing full-time employment following this qualification. This is reflective of the MA Publishing as a qualification that the industry recognizes and values.

This programme prepares graduates to build careers with major publishing houses and small presses. It is designed to enable students to secure entry-level roles, but also to progress faster through the industry and become innovators and leaders. Graduates will be equipped to take on roles in the industry from editorial to marketing to sales to production, and to work across print and digital, literary and popular, trade and academic, book and journal, fiction and non-fiction, children and adult publishing. Throughout the programme, you will be offered opportunities to build professional networks with industry and our alumni community.

The programme explores entrepreneurial skills in the context of the publishing industry and therefore equips graduates with the skills to set up their own publishing companies or literary initiatives or to take on publishing roles within charities, government bodies or other cultural organisations. It also provides skills that are highly transferable (from project management to digital literacy to team-working) and relevant to securing and building roles in the literary, digital and creative industries more broadly. All of these skills will ensure that graduates are able to succeed well beyond graduation and their first role in industry.

As part of this programme, graduates will have benefitted from a complementary set of employability workshops designed to help graduates to successfully compete in the labour market after graduating.

Read more