Publishing

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This is a practical course developing student's creative making skills and critical judgment of publications (books, magazines, ebooks, websites, and Apps)

  • BSU student magazine, MILK run by Publishing students
  • Publishing Lab with professional facilities including two Mac suites with latest industry software and equipment
  • Students work on live industry projects 
  • Six fully-paid publishing graduate editorial internships at Parragon Books

Why study Publishing?

Publishing (print and digital) taken as part of a Combined Award adds a practical dimension to your study at university and will give you the edge when applying for jobs in terms of practical industry experience and a stunning portfolio of varied work. Our students are the content creators and shapers of a digital future where handmade is important too.

Publishing is one of the UK’s largest creative industries and is in the process of adapting its creative strategy and business models to the challenges and opportunities that digital technology brings. Students learn core skills (e.g. copywriting and editing) and importantly, a wide range of practical digital making skills. Through work on live projects and collaborations, students gain work experience, confidence and a strategic approach to their work. Students don't spend their time glued to a screen, we work in sketchbooks, make physical prototypes, get out and meet people who we might want to work with.

The publishing industry needs people who can think creatively across a range of media, platforms, and markets to develop and promote innovative and engaging content. Publishing students carried out the R&D and branding for a new Bath Spa University magazine, Milk, and launched it as a digital magazine in 2012. Other ventures planned for next year include a commission from TEDxYouthBath for our Social Media Experiment project developed for the international digital think-tank X Media Lab. We work with international and local clients such as X Media Lab, the National Trust and Bath Film Festival. 

Students carry out work experience, and often freelance work, during their course and we support them in that. Our lecturers are all experienced publishers and continue to practice, putting them in an excellent position to help graduates with networking opportunities and in their early careers. We also offer 6 fully-paid graduate internships at Parragon Books.

 

 

Course structure

All students take a 40-credit core publishing module in each of the three years. These teach the essentials of contemporary publishing: writing concise copy and developing effective content; creating professional blogs, websites, and integrated social media; text editing and communicating brand identity; researching and developing an ebook or iPhone app and presenting the results. You will learn layout and image manipulation using industry-standard software, and compile a wide-ranging portfolio of your work ready for interviews.

Additional modules offer the chance to specialise and deepen your knowledge and skill base, and to work on larger personal projects.

Students take part in a variety of live projects with outside organisations and run the new BSU student magazine, Milk. You will be able to further your personal interests through specialist projects and industry briefs. There are also opportunities to develop your skills in photography, design and layout, App creation, and in video interviewing to create multimedia content. We offer the innovative Digital Natives course for all students to develop their digital making and publishing skills.

NOTE: This is part of a Combined Award so you will need to study another subject to study with Publishing.

 

Publishing BA Routes

You can opt to take Publishing as a Major, Joint or Minor subject within a Combined Award (though you will start in Year 1 studying both your subjects in equal depth).

  • Minor: You will take the core course only
  • Joint: You will take the core course with one additional 20-credit module in each of the three years
  • Major: You will take the core course with one additional 40-credit publishing module in each of the three years (please note - one 40-credit module can be replaced with two 20-credit publishing modules)

Modules

Year 1
  • Introduction to Publishing: Copywriting and text editing (40 credits)*
  • Digital Natives (20 credits)
  • Understanding Media Communications (40 credits)
Year 2
  • Contemporary Publishing: The Business of Publishing (40 credits)*
  • Editorial: New Product Development (40 credits)
  • Writing for New Media (20 credits)
  • Feature Journalism (20 credits)
Year 3
  • Digital Publishing (40 credits)*
  • Professional Writing (20 credits)
  • Food Writing and Editing (20 credits)
  • Literary Journal (20 credits)
  • Creative Enterprise Project (40 credits)

* Core module.

Course assessment

Students are assessed by coursework.

Assessment is mainly through the creation, over the year, of professional-standard portfolios of varied work to briefs set by your tutors or industry collaborators, and personal project work. There are regular points in the year when students have to prepare their work in progress for presentation to the tutor for feedback.

There is also an element of writing reflective commentaries and sharing your work through short, informal presentations.

Publishing involves conceptualising, shaping and producing content for books and magazines (print and digital); multimedia websites and mobile apps; ebooks, and social media. It also centres on communication and collaboration. This is an exciting time to get involved in publishing as digital technology is changing things fast offering opportunities to those combine digital skills with creative ability. This innovative course will add a practical dimension to your study at university, and you can opt to take Publishing as a Major, Joint or Minor subject within a Combined Award

We want to help you find out what it is you are especially good at - and then help you find a way to get even better at it. For some this might mean focusing on fashion or sport in various projects, researching the subject broadly and deeply to develop specialist knowledge, for others it might involve researching user-experience in Apps. It also means building relevant work experience into your third-year project work, giving you an opportunity to showcase your talent for a particular area of publishing.

We have industry standard facilities in our two Publishing Labs with full Mac suite and the latest software. We have iPads and phones, ebook readers and digital cameras available for student use. Our expert, dedicated Lab staff offer software training at all levels, so that all students emerge with a full range of practical making skills, enabling you to realise your creative potential.

 

Teaching methods

External academic adviser, 2011:

'The learning resources on offer to the students are both impressive and varied. The expertise in training around the digital side of the publishing industry is particularly noteworthy.'

You will learn through a series of mini-lectures, practical workshops, software training, tutor-guided independent and group project work. This will mainly be carried out in the Publishing Lab where the facilities include two Mac suites with full industry software, and a range of digital devices such as camera equipment, iPads, iPhones, and Kindles. We also run industry skills tests (introductory and intermediate levels) in copyediting and InDesign layout software.

Staff have extensive publishing industry experience, continue to develop their practice and share this (and their industry contacts) with students. Talks by visiting industry speakers have included: the CEO of the Publishers Association, social media experts, book production directors, and the online marketing director of The Bookseller and its digital arm, Futurebook. Specialist advice is available for work placements, careers, and job applications.

Teaching quality excellence

All lecturers are experienced publishers across a range of fields and continue to practice, enabling continuous updating of courses and access to industry networks.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

Please contact Course Leader, Katharine Reeve to find out more: k.reeve@bathspa.ac.uk

Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants

260–300 UCAS Tariff points

Career opportunities

Publishing graduates will go on to a variety of roles within the publishing industry (such as editorial, production, marketing, digital); marketing and publicity roles within a wide variety of organisations and companies (from charities and fashion to business and cultural); digital roles such as web editor, social media manager, Digital strategist for schools.

Graduate Internship Scheme: Parragon Books; Bath-based Parragon Books is a world-leading international publisher of illustrated non-fiction books across print and digital. Six fully-paid graduate internships across editorial and digital are available for publishing students to apply for.

 

% going on to work and/or study for courses in this subject area: 85%

 

 

What students say...

Graduate profileSarah Jessica Leivers, Creative Writing and Publishing graduate, 2011. Now at Random House Digital.

“Publishing modules gave me a deep understanding of the industry along with the required technical skills, and of course a chance to practice my creativity – all reasons why I landed a great job so quickly!“

Graduate profile: Georgia Leaper, Creative Writing and Publishing graduate, 2011, Fashion PR intern at Mary Portas.

“Tutors continue to work in their profession, meaning they have a fantastic, current, knowledge of their subject. The modules I took meant that I had social media and writing skills that I could apply to industry roles.”

Here’s what other graduates say about studying Publishing at Bath Spa:

Marketing Executive at IOP (Institute of Physics) Publishing (2010 graduate)

At interviews, I was able to walk in with physical, printed evidence of the skills I’d picked up: attention to detail … the ability to make tough decisions about copy and images based on tone, style, content, and quality.

Deputy Production Editor, Origin Magazines (2008).

You have more skills, more experience, and more job-specific knowledge than any other graduate applying for the same job.

Co-ordinator, social media marketing at Mumsnet (2010)

In my interview I was able to speak about blogs with a degree of knowledge due to this course [and a key] factor in me getting this job was my knowledge of Photoshop and InDesign.

Editor, Paragon Books (2009)

Understanding the process and having produced a tangible project … all helped me to land my first job.

Production Assistant and e-books co-ordinator, BSRIA Publishing (2009)

I wouldn’t be where I am today without the broad skills and wealth of knowledge I gained from this module and the excellent staff who run it.