MA Children's Publishing – Bath Spa University

Key facts

MA Children's Publishing
School of Creative Industries
Campus or location
Corsham Court
Course length
One year full time. Two years part time.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We are generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent. Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.

Please contact our admissions team for more information:

Shape stories and ideas for print and digital in the world’s first MA Children's Publishing course.

  • Creative, studio-based, practical course focusing on a popular area of publishing.
  • Specialist focus on international print and digital publications.
  • Excellent opportunities for industry collaboration and personal career development.

Due to Covid-19, we have made changes to teaching and learning for the 2020-21 academic year.

Please see the 2020 Postgraduate Programme Changes page for information about specific changes to this course.

Please note the changes are for the 2020-21 academic year only.

The 'Programme Document' beneath the main image on this course page shows you the programme specification as normally delivered.

Children's and Young Adult books are internationally successful, high-growth areas of publishing in terms of innovation, revenues and employment.

This creative, industry-focused course offers a deep and immersive learning experience across editorial, marketing, rights and contracts, and design and production. Additionally, business strategy, audience and market research, user experience and digital product development, collaboration and project management are all covered, along with careers coaching.  

The course has been carefully designed to offer each student the flexibility to tailor coursework and a final extended project to their own interests and ambitions. 

You'll have access to up-to-date information from industry speakers and field trips to key events, which might include the Bath Children's Literature Festival, the London International Book Fair and the Bologna Children's Book Fair.

"The course helped me to learn more about the different roles in the industry, make useful connections and push myself creatively. The wide range of projects, from book proposals to pop-ups books and digital apps, taught me a lot about the publishing process as well as the history of children’s books. The tutors were encouraging and extremely knowledgeable, and students collaborated and encouraged each other from the start. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to explore a future in publishing."

Romy Higgins, 2019 graduate, now Creative Assistant, Scholastic

What you'll learn


Publishing at Bath Spa is characterised by innovative approaches, creative studio-based collaborative working and high-quality making across all published forms, from handmade and print to digital and live.

This practice-based subject involves creative experimentation, intellectual and critical engagement with ideas, research and stories. It involves the application of creativity, imagination, critical judgement and commercial awareness in the conceptualisation, shaping and production of engaging content. A distinctive feature of the course will be the creative-digital-tech approach to innovation, drawing on our expertise in both digital publishing and physical books e.g. story apps and pop-up books.

A particular strength of this MA is in picturebooks, which form a significant part of the international children's publishing industry. The international context is an important component of the course in terms of translation, rights, illustration, and sales; as is an awareness of audience, market and merchandise.

In-built flexibility enables students to tailor the course to suit their interests and chosen specialism, such as new product development, editorial, marketing, design or production; young adult, educational and picturebooks. Students will graduate with a stunning professional portfolio demonstrating relevant knowledge and experience in the specific area in which they wish to build a career.

Course structure

Trimester one
You'll explore the industry across print and digital, experiment with the relationship between form and content, and develop the skills to create your own original publication.

You'll learn about the distinctive nature of children's and YA books in the context of the international publishing business and the challenges and opportunities of digital technology.

Visiting industry experts will talk to you about the latest developments in a wide range of specialist areas, from rights to digital marketing, and commissioning strategy to working with illustrators.

Trimester two
You'll develop specialist skills for this distinctive area of publishing across print and digital publications. This will be hands-on and varied. Modules might include:

• Story Lab
• Visual Sequential Narrative

Specialist careers coaching is offered to all students on this course, from industry-experienced Publishing tutors. We help you develop a professional digital portfolio to present yourself and your work to the industry.

Trimester three
You'll complete an extended project or dissertation. Tutors will support you as you develop your ideas into a finished proposal and in-depth exploration of a topic.

Work experience is embedded throughout the programme, and you'll have the opportunity to work with a publisher on a live industry project.

Course modules

This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

  • Multiplatform Publishing
  • Experiments in Book Print and Production
  • Story Lab
  • Visual Sequencing and Narrative
  • Extended Project or Dissertation

How will I be assessed?

You'll be assessed through coursework and continuous assessment. You'll present creative and strategic industry project reports and pitches, publication samples, industry-standard documentation, reflective writing and critical essays.

How will I be taught?

Taught by subject experts and industry practitioners, you'll take part in tutor-led workshops and live industry projects in the first and second trimesters.

The extended project or dissertation is an opportunity for you to apply and extend your subject knowledge and creativity to develop your own original project. This will be taught through one-to-one tutorials and access to technical publishing workshops.

"The course has enabled me to develop invaluable knowledge of the industry and Adobe software skills. My dissertation was on Kaye Webb’s pioneering magazine Puffin Post of the 1960-70s. I used the Penguin Archive to carry out my research into the influence of Webb’s strategies on modern book marketing."

Lauren Kent, 2019 graduate, now Publishing Assistant, The History Press


Study abroad

Students have completed Erasmus+ and GALA exchange programmes in a variety of countries.

Field trips

Industry field trips to key events such as the Bath Children's Literature Festival, The London International Book Fair, or the Bologna Children's Book Fair will offer industry networking opportunities and possible work experience opportunities.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Staff have excellent industry links - nationally and regionally. Our students have worked with international, award-winning children's publishers such as Book Island, Parragon Books and Chicken House. We develop work experience opportunities for students through our relationships with publishers. 


You'll receive expert advice on developing an appropriate industry CV to accompany your digital portfolio, as well as specialist publishing careers advice.

MA Children's Publishing graduates will be prepared for a wide range of roles within the publishing industry such as editorial, design and production, and marketing. In addition, transferable skills will make you attractive to recruiters in digital content development, digital marketing, merchandising and education. You might also set up your own businesses or continue your studies at PhD level.

"Children’s Publishing was filled with hands-on workshops and informative lectures. I left with a beautiful picturebook, which I designed, and greater knowledge of this distinctive part of the publishing industry."

Catarina Lobo (2017)

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

  • The majority of module workshops, seminars and tutorials will be held at Corsham Court.
  • We’ll also take advantage of the opportunities offered to us by Newton Park campus.


We provide a variety of equipment both in workshops and for student hire (free), from iPads and DSLR cameras to bookbinding and pop-up book-making equipment. Letterpress, typeface creation software and 3D printing workshops are available. We offer library resources and access to international journals and reference sources. 

“Children’s Publishing was a fantastic opportunity to be creative. It expanded my view of picturebooks, introducing them as an art form, whether they focus on poignant storytelling or innovative design. The course was more fun than work!"

Rebecca Taylor (2017)


UK and EU students full time

Course fees
2020/21 entry £7,600
2021/22 entry Published Jan 2021
2022/23 entry Published Jan 2022

UK and EU students part time

Fees shown below are for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £3,800
Year 2 Published Jan 2021

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023

International students full time

Course fees
2020/21 entry £14,700
2021/22 entry Published Jan 2021
2022/23 entry Published Jan 2022

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for enthusiastic and motivated students who are interested in developing a career in children's publishing. We value creativity, imagination, initiative and a willingness to try new things.

Typical offers

We usually require candidates to have a good first degree (2:1 or above) in any academic subject. You may be considered without a first degree, if you can demonstrate considerable relevant experience. You may be asked to attend an interview.

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence of proficiency in written and spoken English. A minimum language level of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

Interview and portfolio guidance

We interview based on your application form and personal statement.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Course leader: Laura Little

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