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English Literature and Publishing

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

BA (Hons) English Literature and Publishing
School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year. Part time available.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: HH36 or HH37
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email with your specific details.

Turn your passion for words into a practical skill set. Learn to shape stories, information and ideas for print, digital and beyond with our English Literature and Publishing degree.

  • Explore literature though diverse perspectives and communicate ideas in engaging and creative ways.
  • Develop practical skills in copywriting, editing, layout, web and project management, and work on real-life projects and briefs.
  • Graduates from this course have gone on to work with leading employers including Oxford University Press, Penguin Random House and Future Publishing.

University of the Year for Social Inclusion

Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024

#10 in UK

for Satisfied with Teaching in Journalism (Guardian University Guide, 2024)

#12 in the UK

for Satisfied with Course in English (Guardian University Guide, 2023)

Our English Literature and Publishing degree has been designed to enable you to acquire specialised subject knowledge while developing practical and professional skills that you can apply to a wide range of industries and careers.

English Literature introduces you to an incredible range of literary worlds. From classic texts to new and unfamiliar writing, you'll be asked to think differently about what ‘literature’ can be and to explore original ways of reading and analysing it. We’ll ask you to place your reading in wider contexts, and to draw on other disciplines to deepen your understanding and sharpen your insights.

It’s not just about reading and analysing texts – you’ll also learn vital professional skills. English Literature and Publishing will help you develop creativity, analysis, communication and collaboration skills, which can open up a diverse range of possible careers. We’ll support you in learning how to manage projects, work with your peers, and collaborate in our partnership projects. We’ll equip you with a wide range of the latest digital making skills, such as Adobe InDesign, web, and multimedia social content, alongside core publishing skills such as copywriting and editing, design, layout and marketing. You’ll carve out your own role and graduate with industry experience and a stunning digital portfolio of your work.

You'll also have access to key industry resources such as Nielsen Bookscan, where you can explore book sales data and monitor consumer trends, and the entire suite of Adobe creative software as well as Society of Young Publishers South West events, some of which are hosted at the University.

Why choose this combination?

Learning to read, think about and interpret literature can inform and enhance the ways we communicate - and publishing is a natural outlet for expressing these different perspectives. Publishing is one of the UK’s largest creative industries, which shapes and presents content across a wide range of subjects and for a variety of publications, from books and magazines to innovative apps and websites.

What you'll learn


We combine the academic study of literature with skill-based modules to create a practical, applied English Literature and Publishing degree. You’ll learn how to analyse a wide range of literary texts and the history of print culture, but you'll also learn practical skills such as:

  • communicating your ideas through a variety of forms and media
  • copywriting and text editing
  • communicating brand identity and audience research
  • content layout, including image use, video, photography and infographics.

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

Course structure

Year one
The first year will introduce you to key elements and concepts in both subjects. You’ll develop your skills with a broad curriculum of core modules in Publishing and English Literature.

Year two
Alongside core modules in both subjects, you’ll be able to choose from a selection of Publishing and English Literature modules that cover a wide range of genres and topics, including a number that involve working with creative industries or local communities.

Year three
The final year follows the mix of required and optional modules from year two, but with an additional emphasis on developing your final projects. You’ll be encouraged to develop your individual approach as a creator, curator or project manager; your final Publishing portfolio will reflect this, showcasing your work for prospective employers. In your English studies, you can choose from a variety of final projects (previously, students have created digital resources, worked at literary festivals and produced educational materials, to name a few examples).

Optional modules cover book commissioning, children's publishing, and cross-platform digital publishing.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is based mainly on coursework. Depending on your module choices, coursework may include portfolios, essays, journals, feature articles, reflective commentaries, seminar presentations, collaborative magazines and reports. In some modules you’ll share your work through short, informal presentations.

How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught through a mix of tutorials, creative workshops, skills labs, seminars and lectures. You’ll learn to be adept at project management and product development following a research and development process. We work on-screen and beyond: creating sketchbooks; making physical prototypes; getting out and meeting people; finding opportunities.

Throughout the course, you’ll work to briefs set by your tutors or industry collaborators, as well as working on your own projects. 

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


Study abroad

As part of your degree, you could study abroad on a placement at one of Bath Spa’s partner universities.


From visiting the London Book Fair or a bookbinder to working on projects with local companies, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in fieldwork across the Publishing modules.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Students have the opportunity to work on live projects and collaborations. We’ve worked with international and local clients such as the HarperCollins, BBC, TEDxBristol, Cheltenham Literature Festival and The History Press.

With our support, many students carry out work experience and freelance work. The Publishing lecturers have had a great amount of experience in the industry and are in an excellent position to help students to develop internship and work experience opportunities.

You can also work on the publishing student-run Milk Magazine.


Employability is a core part of our curriculum. You’ll develop your own projects, and have access to our renowned digital facilities, as well as to our Bath Spa Careers team who'll help you forge a fulfilling future.

Many of our graduates pursue careers in publishing, digital media, marketing or teaching, and have gone on to work at  international NGOs and organisations including NewScientist, Trinity College Library, DigitalBox, Cengage Learning EMEA, Defra, Future, Taylor & Francis, Penguin Random House Anthem Publishing and Adweek. Graduate professions include:

  • Editorial Assistant
  • Production Assistant
  • Digital Editor
  • Digital Marketing Coordinator
  • Project Manager
  • Publishing Outreach Executive
  • Content Writer
  • Campaigns Officer

Some graduates choose to progress onto postgraduate study. Many of our students go on to study one of our specialist MA programmes in either Creative Writing, Writing for Young People, Scriptwriting, Nature and Travel Writing, or Children’s Publishing.

Competitions and awards

There are annual prizes for the best overall performance in both core modules in years one and two, and a very special prize for the best final year English Project. 

Each year we award a publishing prize to one student from each year group.

Global Citizenship

If you’re a full-time undergraduate student starting your first year at Bath Spa University, you can apply for the Certificate in Global Citizenship, which you’ll study alongside your degree.

You’ll gain global awareness and add an international dimension to your student experience, and funding is available. On successful completion of the programme, you’ll be awarded a Certificate in Global Citizenship. This is in addition to your degree; it doesn’t change your degree title or results.

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.   

Professional placement year


This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.


Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The course is taught at our stunning Newton Park campus, where you’ll be surrounded by wildlife and beautiful eighteenth century landscaping.

You'll have access to a range of excellent facilities, including:


We have a wide range of high-quality online resources to complement the books and journals you have access to in our Library, as well as digital publishing facilities, historical and modern printing presses, and industry-standard broadcast media facilities.

As an English Literature and Publishing student, you'll also benefit from:

  • Experienced Publishing technical demonstrators to support you
  • The latest specialist software as well as various print and handmade publishing equipment including digital cameras, iPads, booklet makers
  • Free equipment hire with SISO, Bath Spa’s loan system.


2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £9,250
UK part time £4,625
International full time £16,675

Professional Placement Year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. This applies to UK and EU/International students.

  • UK: £1,850
  • International: £3,335

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We're looking for students with creative flair - enthusiastic team players who share our passion for literature in all its forms, who are full of ideas and want to learn how to make them happen. You should be inquisitive and willing to challenge yourself and to question shared assumptions. You'll want to collaborate with others in exploring the ideas and worlds opened up to us by the written word.

Great attention to detail is important as we place emphasis on creating industry standard professional work.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level – grades BBB-BCC including a Grade B in English or a related subject.
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades from Distinction Distinction Merit (DDM) to Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) in a related subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit preferred in a relevant subject.
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum of 32 points are required with a minimum of grade 5 in English at Higher Level.
  • Access to HE courses – typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, at Merit or higher).

If you don’t meet the entry requirements above, we may be able to accept your prior learning or experience from outside of formal education. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) page to learn more.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at

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 pages.

Get ahead

We recommend that you read as much literature as possible! It’s a good idea to read books from various historical periods and literary genres – and think about the differences you notice between them. You’ll find Studying English Literature (Continuum Press, 2010) by Ashley Chantler to be a good guide. You may also want to explore industry magazine The Bookseller online.

Course leader: Dr Stephen Gregg (English Literature)

Course leader: Neil Baber (Publishing)


Three year course
With placement year

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