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International Publishing  MA


The global publishing industry is changing dramatically - and so are the skills needed by the next generation of publishers. Located in the heart of the commercial centre of this global industry, the City MA in International Publishing bridges the gap between knowledge and practice. The programme provides you with a systematic understanding of the current international publishing industry, and a critical awareness of insights drawn from both scholarly research and professional practice.

Mary Ann Kernan, Programme Director, talks about the benefits of studying Publishing

Through both analytical and applied modules, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to your own research or advanced professional practice, and a critical awareness of the nature of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge relating to publishing. The conceptual and applied understanding that you gain will enable you to critically evaluate both current industry practice in local and global markets and research and advanced scholarship in the discipline; to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them; as well as, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.

City University London is a leading global provider of professional education and research in publishing studies, producing both award-winning dissertations and consistent impact on students' careers.

City University London is now ranked first in the UK as Best Graduate University for Media and Communications Professionals according to LinkedIn rankings.

LinkedIn ranked universities based on how successful recent graduates have been at landing desirable media jobs.

Find out more about City's graduate success.

Course Fees:

  • Full-time EU: £9,500
  • Full-time Non EU: £16,000

Start Date:

September 2016

How to Apply

Entry Requirements

You will need, as a minimum:

  • an upper second class honours degree or equivalent
  • evidence of a commitment to a career in publishing (such as experience within bookselling or publishing, voluntary or professional experience on a publication)
  • or evidence of research into current industry conditions.

Postgraduate Preparatory Courses for International Students

If you do not qualify for direct entry, our partner INTO City University London offers an academic preparation programme - the Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences. The course offers a route to City University London through an excellent teaching and learning experience, located in purpose built study facilities.  Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma at INTO City University London to the standard required provides guaranteed progression to this Masters degree.

Other Suitable Qualifications

You are encouraged to apply if you have relevant professional experience.

English Requirements

If your first language is not English you are required to obtain a minimum overall score of 7.0 in the IELTS Academic English Language test, including at least 6.5 in the writing component of the test.

Language Programmes

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner, INTO City University London offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information.

English for Postgraduate Study
Pre-sessional English

Visa Requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.  

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course; there are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than 6 months
  • Students on courses of less than 6 months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English Language course

Please note: If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City University London courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

When and Where

Start Date:
September 2016

One year


The International Publishing MA is a full-time course, September to September, with two ten-week taught terms (usually taught on Monday to Thursday).

Most modules are delivered in ten weekly timetabled sessions, with some workshop-style delivery, including International Publishing Case Studies.

Course Content

The MA International Publishing covers all types of publishing, from trade and specialist publications to novels and non-fiction, providing a thorough grounding in the drivers of commercial success for both print and digital products.

Throughout the year, you will be offered additional teaching and projects to better understand both global publishing and the specific conditions in individual sectors and markets.

While in London, you will be encouraged to gain informal placement experience throughout the year, if you wish. In Term 2 you will extend your business skills in the International Publishing Case Studies module by developing the key commercial skill of analysing businesses in detail in order to write business case studies, focusing on a company of your choice or in partnership with an industry sponsor.

Course Structure


Core Modules (taken in Terms One and Two)

PBM001 - Business and Marketing in Publishing
The module aims to provide an effective working knowledge of the business and marketing principles and practices of the publishing industry across different marketplaces and sectors, and how they apply in different types of publishing organisations in both domestic and global markets. By the end of the module, you will be able to define strategic responses to realistic industry conditions, including investment, marketing and business development opportunities; and apply theoretical models to detailed analyses of industry practices in different strategic contexts.

PBM002 - Creating and Managing Intellectual Property Working with authors and others to generate and manage intellectual property is the core activity of the publishing industry, and functions within the complex legal environment of copyright law. In this module, you will be encouraged to develop an applied, analytical understanding of how publishing projects are conceived, developed, managed and launched, and how publishing contracts reflect legal frameworks in the UK, Europe and other jurisdictions.

PBM003 - Digitisation and Publishing Changes associated with digitisation touch on every stage of the publishing process, including how we relate to, interact with and consume published products and services. Some sectors of the industry, especially academic and educational publishing, have long-established and successful models of digital delivery and services. Innovations in others, notably consumer publishing, are closely associated with technological changes. This module explores this rapidly evolving area of practice with reference to analytical tools and research frameworks drawn from business studies and other disciplines, including sociology and cultural studies. You will review changes in authorship and product models, working practices, the supply chain, marketing, and commercial measures; and identify the effects of the associated disruptions in the publishing value chain. The module considers the broader cultural and global impact of the interactive technologies and new models of digital consumption, and develops insights through both an industry-facing project and a summative essay assessment.

PBM004 - Publishing History and CultureThe module aims to develop an informed, critical understanding of books and print media in their historical and social contexts. You will review a range of literature essential to an understanding of the history and cultures of publishing, including the impact of printing technologies; the commercialization of publishing; authorship and copyright; and the cultural, social, and political impact of literacy. The module will also encourage you to apply insights from theory and research in the humanities and social sciences to the analysis of the evolution and impact of publishing upon the formation and development of modern societies.

PBM009 - International Publishing Case Studies

This module aims to develop your research and writing skills, to enable you to develop a business case study related to the international publishing industry. You will be better equipped to understand the conditions that apply in local publishing sectors and markets, and to assess strategic options in comparison with best current practice across the global industry, including the opportunities and challenges raised by digitisation.

Students must also complete three optional taught modules from this list.

PBM006 - Developing Creative ContentThis module aims to provide you with a strategic and a practical introduction to the challenges and opportunities the publishing industry faces in responding creatively, commercially and culturally to current disruptions in the publishing value chain; enable you to apply the knowledge you gain to critical and comparative analyses of industry practice; and provide an applied experience of current challenges and opportunities in responding creatively to the publishing marketplace.

PBM007 - Managing the Publishing Value Chain
This module aims to provide you with a strategic and a practical introduction to the challenges and opportunities the publishing industry faces in responding creatively, commercially and culturally to current disruptions in the publishing value chain; and to enable you to apply the knowledge you gain to critical and comparative analyses of industry practice.

PBM011 - Designing Interactive Media
An applied, critical understanding of the disciplines which inform the effective design of interactive and visual content is a key requirement for the development of an interactive media artefact or website. This module provides a hands-on introduction to the skills needed to plan, design and render visual layouts for interactive content, particularly on the web, and encourages you to apply the knowledge and skills you will gain to your own professional development.

AMM421 - Digital Cultures

This module will explore the sorts of roles new communication technologies - and in particular digital media, social media, and the Internet - play in the transformation of cultural, economic, political, and social structures and practices. Students will review the key theoretical debates around new media and critically evaluate the claims being made about their influence and impact. Are they representative of a shift toward more democratic and participatory engagement? What happens to the 'when and where' of this engagement? How is the policy changing in order to reflect this paradigm shift? What are the implications for cultural managers? Questions such as these will be investigated using examples from a range of cultural and creative industries.

INM380 - Libraries and Publishing in an Information Society
Gives a broad understanding of the ways in which the publication of recorded information is changing, and the impact which this will have on publishers, libraries, other information providers and society in general. These issues are related within a framework of forces for changes: technical, economic, social and political.

Finally, all MA students complete the Major Project

PBM008 - Major Project

You will identify, research, articulate and write-up a substantial major project or piece of research related to your programme of study which reflects your interests. This element of the programme will allow you to apply and further develop the knowledge and skills gained through the taught modules, and add to the literature related to your programme of study. The project can take the form of either professional practice or research. Your related skills will be developed through lectures and seminars, and you will work with a supervisor who will support you through the period of developing and writing up your project.

Teaching and Assessment


We teach you through a combination of lecture and workshop-style discussions and other activities. You will also learn through group-based, commercially realistic projects, often with industry sponsors.

Industry visitors, members of the Advisory Board and our Visiting Professors support face-to-face teaching, and you also join in with remote presentations from publishers in a variety of markets and sectors.

A standard module consists of 20 timetabled hours comprising a variable proportion of lectures, seminars, and supervised project work; each is designed in the expectation of considerable personal study hours.


The course is assessed largely through coursework, with two examinations, both of which account for 50% or less of their module.

The range of coursework includes assessment for industry-related projects as well as analytical essays, and allows a proportion of credit for personal and group projects we well as presentations.

Teaching staff, 2015/16


  • Full-time EU: £9,500
  • Full-time Non EU: £16,000


For up-to-date information about tuition fees, living costs and financial support, visit Postgraduate Fees and Finance.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.

A small number of bursaries are advertised and awarded by media and industry organisations. See below for more information.


Profile Books - City University London Publishing Scholarship

City University London MAs in Publishing and International Publishing 2016–2017

City University London's MAs in Publishing and International Publishing invite applications for the 2016–2017 Profile Books – City Publishing Scholarship. Funded by Profile Books and a charitable trust, the Scholarship will fund full UK/EU fees up to the sum of £9000 to support a candidate who would not otherwise be able to join an MA programme.

Andrew Franklin, MD of Profile Books, will also mentor the successful candidate through your year of studies at City University London. Profile is Independent Publisher of the Year 2015-16 and a leading publisher of literary fiction and quality non-fiction – and Andrew’s offer is therefore a valuable opportunity, which will enhance both your studies and your career prospects after the MA year.

Find out more about the Profile Books Scholarship

Val Brandes, previous Scholar, describes the impact on her career of being awarded a scholarship for the 2008-2009 Publishing MA:


"How this bursary helped me"- Emma Smith, Stationers' Company Bursary holder 2011-12

"The bursary has been especially valuable to me, not only financially but also in terms of the ongoing opportunities and insight that it provides. The benefits of individual mentor support, the chance to talk to industry professionals and the invitation to attend events have all made me extremely grateful to be part of such an encouraging and sociable organisation. The scholarship initially allowed me to study but will undoubtedly open up more possibilities and connections as I progress, then hopefully I will be in a position to help other people get into publishing."


As an MA International Publishing student at City University London, you will be encouraged to compete for informal placements throughout your studies. For your International Publishing Case Study and Major Project, many students also complete placements with industry practitioners in London and other locations where they hope to develop their careers.

Past placements have included:

  • Children’s Marketing, HarperCollins
  • Social Media in India, Random House
  • Korean Digital Market, Harper Collins
  • Co-Edition Rights, Quarto Publishing
  • Digital Department, SAGE Publishing
  • Marketing, Phaidon Press
  • Editorial, Picador, Macmillan
  • Russian Rights Sales, Trade, Bloomsbury
  • Vogue Editorial, Conde Nast
  • Marketing, Kogan Page
  • Editorial and PR, Editions Perrin, Paris
  • Rights, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publisher Support Team, Nielsen Bookscan
  • Chinese Dictionary Editorial, Collins
  • Baltic Co-edition Market, Octopus
  • Launch of Hachette India

Career Prospects

City's MA in Publishing has delivered consistently strong employment impacts for its international graduates for over ten years.

The International Publishing MA pathway aims to further enhance the professional development of its students by providing a broad and commercially relevant grounding in current conditions across a rapidly changing industry.

You will be better equipped to understand the conditions that apply in your own publishing sectors and markets, and to assess strategic options against best current practice across the global publishing industry in order to respond successfully, including to the opportunities and challenges raised by digitisation.

MA International Publishing and MA Publishing graduates

Here's a selection of what last year's MA International Publishing and MA Publishing graduates are doing now:

  • Account Executive, Faber Factory
  • Freelance Artist & Illustrator
  • Editorial Assistant, Usborne
  • Sales Assistant, QED Publishing
  • Associate Editor, Black Lawrence Press, New York
  • Editorial Assistant, Bloomsbury
  • Sales Assistant, Penguin
  • MBA, Singapore
  • Rights Consultant, Korea
  • Freelance Editor at Wordit Content Design & Editing Services Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai
  • Freelance Editor
  • Commercial Sales Administrator, SAGE
  • Assistant Editor, Online Journals, SAGE
  • Junior Copywriter, Aesop Agency
  • Freelance Publisher, Learning Luxembourgish
  • Production Assistant and Ebooks Controller, Robert Hale
  • Contracts Administrator, Macmillan Education
  • Analyst, Commercial Unit, Nature Publishing Group
  • Editorial Assistant, Nelson Thornes
  • Intern, The Rights Factory, Toronto
  • Rights Assistant, HarperCollins Press. New York
  • Marketing Assistant, Pearson
  • Editorial and Production Assistant, Thames River Press
  • Digital Publishing Executive, Blackwell's UK Limited (International Book Retail and Distribution)
  • Publishing Assistant, SelfMadeHero
  • Intern, Athene Publishing
  • Client Liaison Manager, Professional Outsourcing Solutions Ltd
  • Sales Account Manager, Assouline, New York
  • Translator for Foreign Teachers, Attached Middle School, Jiangxi Normal University

Job destinations

Where are they now? Employment destinations of previous International Publishing MA graduates include:

  • Editor, Tesco China magazine, Cedar Communications, Shanghai
  • Assistant to Literary Agent and Head of Foreign Rights Team, The Wylie Agency
  • International Rights, Conde Nast
  • Editorial freelancer, Actes Sud Publishing
  • Associate Agent, P.S. Literary Agency, Toronto
  • Sales Executive, Central & Eastern Europe, Burgundy Services
  • News Writer, MedWire News, Springer Healthcare
  • PhD Student, University of Mainz
  • Senior Editor, food and lifestyle titles, Penguin Books Australia
  • Journals Managing Editor, Institution of Engineering and Technology
  • Business Development Executive, McGraw-Hill Higher Education
  • Editorial Assistant,  Prospect Press, Media & Editorial Project, Trinidad
  • Editorial Assistant, IT publishing company in Tokyo, Mainichi Communications Inc.
  • Foreign Rights Manager for the Nordic territories, Quarto Publishing
  • Assistant Editor, Icon Books
  • Correspondent (Enterprise and Technology), Network 18, New Delhi
  • Freelance Publisher, Learning Luxembourgish
  • Associate Editor, Black Lawrence Press, NY
  • MBA, Singapore
  • Rights Consultant, Korea
  • Freelance Editor at Wordit Content Design & Editing Services Pvt. Ltd (Mumbai)
  • Rights Assistant, HarperCollins Press, New York
  • Sales Account Manager, Assouline, New York
  • Executive Consultant, Rodan + Fields Dermatologists, Atlanta
  • Commissioning Editor, Piter Publishing House, St Petersburg
  • Associate Editor, Aleph Book Company, New Delhi
  • National Account Manager, Olive Elite+ at Olive Media, Toronto
  • Project Manager, Kurk Lietuvai, Lithuania
  • Copy Editor, Unambiguous, Toronto
  • Assistant Copy Editor, Rupa and Aleph, New Delhi
  • Head of Operations and Digital at Fleet Street Publications, USA
  • Marketing Executive at Rowman & Littlefield International

Application Deadline

Places are strictly limited and we strongly recommend that you apply as early as possible.

You can apply for the International Publishing MA online. Please follow the instructions below carefully. Please submit the following:

  • One application form.
  • A copy of your degree transcript. We require an original transcript or a copy certified by your university. If you have not yet graduated, you will be required to send us your degree transcript as soon as it is available. You will not be able to register as a City student without having supplied your degree transcript.

Please note: Academic references are not required when you submit your application. However, the admissions tutor may request them at a later date to help make a decision on your application.

Application form

Selection process Places are strictly limited and we strongly recommend that you apply as early as possible.

Return address

Please return any hard copies of supporting documents, marked "Postgraduate Applications 2016", to:


MA International Publishing

City University London

Northampton Square

London EC1V 0HB