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MA Children's Publishing
School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Campus or location
Newton Park
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 into engaging print and digital publications on this industry-focused MA Children's Publishing course.

  • Creative, studio-based and practical course focusing on an internationally successful, high-growth area of publishing.
  • Specialist focus on print and digital publications, from picture books and story apps to young adult novels.
  • Excellent opportunities for industry collaboration and career development.

This creative, industry-focused MA Children’s Publishing course is the first of its kind, offering a deep and immersive learning experience across editorial, sales and marketing, rights and contracts, and design and production. You’ll explore various aspects of the industry such as business strategy, audience and market research, user experience and digital product development, collaboration and project management.

Taught by industry specialists, the course provides a full understanding of the various departments, roles and skills required to work in this exhilarating, diverse and fast-evolving sector. You’ll have access to up-to-date information from industry speakers and field trips to key events, which could include the Bath Children’s Literature Festival and the international London Book Fair.

The course has been carefully designed to offer flexibility. You can tailor your coursework and create a final industry project around your own interests and ambitions.

"My favourite thing about MA Children’s Publishing was how much freedom I had to specialise in and explore the topics that interested me (design and illustration). I had the support and structure to complete projects I was passionate about and push my abilities to an industry standard. I graduated feeling proud of my portfolio and prepared for my future in publishing!"

Milly Forbes, 2022 graduate, now Assistant Designer at Curious Universe UK

What you'll learn


At Bath Spa we take an innovative approach to publishing, so that when you graduate your skills will be up-to-date. Working in our industry-standard computer labs you’ll learn to create your own publications, from print to digital, using the Adobe Creative Suite, as well as industry events and experiences, such as live book events and podcasts.  

Children’s Publishing involves practice-based, creative experimentation, and intellectual and critical engagement with ideas, research and stories. You’ll learn how to use your creativity, imagination, critical judgement and commercial awareness to conceptualise, shape and produce engaging content. A creative-digital-tech approach is a distinctive feature of the course, drawing on our expertise in both digital and print publishing.

A particular strength of this MA is its full 360-degree coverage of the industry, allowing you to develop an awareness of audience, market and product development, and enhance your skills in anything from picture and activity books to young adult fiction (YA). You’ll gain valuable insight into the various departments of children’s publishers, from editorial and production to design and marketing, and learn about important aspects of  international publishing, including  translation, rights, illustration, and sales.

In-built flexibility enables you to tailor the course to suit your interests and chosen specialism, such as books for infants, educational books, children’s magazines or comics. You’ll graduate with a good understanding of the industry and a stunning professional portfolio demonstrating relevant knowledge and experience in your chosen specialism.

Course structure

Trimester one

You’ll be introduced to the children’s publishing landscape and learn about the particulars of publishing children’s and YA books internationally. You’ll develop a deep understanding of the vital role of sales and marketing and how they influence new publication decisions. You’ll learn to analyse consumer insight and the competitive market as well as how to devise a compelling marketing campaign. You’ll learn about merchandising strategies and managing brands.

You’ll also learn about new product development including commissioning for children, working with agents, brands and partners, and current trends and issues in children’s publishing.

Visiting industry experts will share their knowledge and expertise in a wide range of specialist areas, from rights to digital marketing and commissioning strategy.

Trimester two

You’ll develop specialist skills in desk editing, production, design and layout skills using industry software. You’ll learn about the relationship between text and image across a number of formats, including picture books, and how to  work with illustrators. You’ll also gain an understanding of print management and sustainable and ethical production processes. Visiting industry experts will help you to turn your ideas into products with commercial potential.

You’ll learn about the evolution of digital content for children, such as audiobooks and podcasts, and develop your own story app.

Trimester three

Supported by your tutors, you’ll complete an industry project or dissertation, developing your ideas into a finished proposal and an in-depth exploration of a topic of your choice. 

Our Publishing tutors are experienced in the industry, and will provide you with specialist careers coaching during your studies. There is also the opportunity for work experience and support with applying for paid internships with industry partners.

You’ll develop a professional digital portfolio to present yourself and your work to the industry. 

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.

  • The Children's Book Market
  • Creating Content
  • Making Books
  • Multiplatform Publishing
  • Industry project or Dissertation
How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed through industry-related coursework with regular feedback from course tutors. You’ll present creative and strategic industry project reports and pitches, publication samples, industry-standard documentation and reflective writing.

How will I be taught?

You’ll take part in tutor-led workshops taught by subject experts and industry practitioners in the first and second trimesters.

In the final trimester you’ll have the opportunity to apply your subject knowledge and creativity to develop your own original industry project or dissertation. This will be taught through one-to-one tutorials and technical publishing workshops.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.

"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 Digital Development Editor, Scholastic


Field trips

Previous students have taken part in industry field trips to key events such as the Bath Children’s Literature Festival and the international London Book Fair. These events 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 and Chicken House, and we develop work experience opportunities for students through our relationships with publishers, agents and children’s festivals. 


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

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 gain transferable skills that prepare them for a wide range of roles within the publishing industry such as:

  • Editorial
  • Design and production
  • Sales, marketing and publicity
  • Digital content development
  • Merchandising
  • Education 

You might also set up your own businesses or continue your studies at PhD level.

Adobe Creative Campus

Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.   

“As an international student who was changing careers into publishing, I was hesitant I’d ever find a perfect course, but this was it. The modules balanced creativity, academic application, and practical skills, but the structure of the course (and genuine support from tutors and staff!) also allowed me to find my perfect niche and grow the skills most relevant to my career aspirations. Best and most useful years of my higher education.”

Meghan Meloy, 2022 graduate, now Assistant Audio Editor, Nosy Crow

Facilities and resources


We provide full access to the Adobe suite, as used within the industry, as well as a variety of equipment in our workshops and support from experienced Technical Demonstrators. You can also hire what you need, such as DSLR cameras and bookbinding equipment, through our free equipment loan service. We offer access to international journals, databases and reference sources through our Library services.

“The course managed to cover the breadth of the children’s publishing industry, from the practical side of book binding to identifying what goes into a marketing plan, to how to pitch a bestseller. Guest speakers added invaluable professionalism, perspective and colour to a course which has its roots set very much into gearing students for the world of children’s publishing. Highly recommended.”

Sarah Tucker, 2022 graduate, author, broadcaster and journalist


2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £8,825
UK part time £4,413
International full time £17,065

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 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. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) web page to learn more.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide evidence of proficiency in the English language. The Admissions Team assesses applications individually, but for postgraduate courses we're looking for an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each component (Writing, Listening, Reading and Speaking).

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.

When to apply

Many of our postgraduate courses have a limited number of student spaces. To avoid the disappointment of the course being full, we recommend that you apply now.

Late applications (generally those made after 31 July) will only be considered if places remain on the course.

Need more information or still have questions? Contact us to discuss your situation.

Course contact: Jason Bennett

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