Publishing degree – BA (Hons) – Bath Spa University Skip to main content

Publishing

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - studied as part of a combined award

Award
BA (Hons) Combined Award
School/s
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

Using our list of possible combinations, choose which combination course you'd like to apply for. You'll find UCAS codes specific to that combination on the course page.

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 admissions@bathspa.ac.uk with your specific details.

Study Publishing as a joint subject and learn to shape stories, information and ideas for print and digital.

  • Work experience opportunities with publishers, social enterprises and media companies are included in the course.
  • Our graduates have been employed by BBC, Penguin Random House and Immediate Media.
  • Brings copywriting, editing, layout and web skills together with project management and team working to train tomorrow’s publishing and media professionals.

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)

"The direct help I received from tutors in improving my work, allowed me to feel very prepared when applying for jobs. Because of this and their help in getting work experience throughout the course, I got an incredible publishing job only a few months after I finished!"

Hanna Glover, BA (Hons) Publishing and Creative Writing 2020

Publishing at Bath Spa can be taken with subjects such as Creative Writing, English Literature and is also available as a Single Honours course in Journalism and Publishing. Our approach 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.

Publishing is one of the UK’s largest creative industries, which shapes and presents content across a wide range of subjects. Publishers find an audience for a variety of publications, from books and magazines to innovative apps and websites.

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 also get access to key industry resources such as Nielsen Bookscan sales data, the BookMachine online industry community and Society of Young Publishers South West events, some of which are hosted at the University.

Through collaborative project development, you'll acquire essential creative skills in working with others, carving out your own role and achieving high-quality results. You’ll graduate with industry experience and a stunning digital portfolio of your work.


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"I was able to tailor my course to the exact career I was looking for. The Publishing course enabled me to specialise in science writing and I found work experience as a science reporter during my third year, interviewing leading researchers and tech businesses."

Amy Barrett, Creative Writing and Publishing Graduate, now Editorial Assistant at BBC Science Focus

Possible combinations

Publishing can be taken as part of a combined course, meaning you’ll take Publishing alongside another complementary subject. It is also available as a Single Honours course BA (Hons) Journalism and Publishing.

What you'll learn

Overview

You’ll graduate with essential publishing skills, from writing persuasive, concise copy and text editing, to communicating brand identity and audience research. We’ll teach you how to layout content and manipulate images using industry-standard software, with opportunities to develop your skills in image use, video, photography, infographics, and HTML.

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
We’ll introduce you to core publishing principles, with a focus on copywriting and editing. You’ll become familiar with layout, production and publishing software. There will be weekly deadlines, so you’ll get used to turning around work quickly and in a well-presented form. Alongside this you’ll start to build an in-depth knowledge of the publishing industry and have the chance to work collaboratively on all-day challenge projects.

Year two
You’ll gain greater insight into particular areas of publishing, such as marketing, editorial and design. Optional modules allow you to delve deeper into areas such as illustrated books, independent magazines, fiction editing, and the use of publishing skills for social enterprise and charity work.

Year three
Tutors will guide you to focus your skills and knowledge around your personal creative and career interests. You’ll be encouraged to develop your individual approach as a creator, curator or project manager; your final portfolio will reflect this, showcasing your work for prospective employers. Optional modules cover book commissioning, children's publishing, and cross-platform digital publishing.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed by coursework, including portfolios, essays, feature articles, reflective commentaries and reports. In some modules you’ll share your work through short, informal presentations.

How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught through creative workshops, skills labs, seminars and lectures. You will 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. We expect you to work with flair and enthusiasm, taking your ideas and developing them into industry standard work.

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

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules
  • Introduction to Publishing
  • Introduction to Editing and Production
  • Create Lab
Year two (Level 5) modules
  • Marketing and Selling Books
  • Book Design and Production
  • The Independent Magazine
  • The Editor
  • Publishing for Good
  • Science Journalism and Publishing
  • Digital Storytelling
  • The Book
  • Professional Placement Year
Year three (Level 6) modules
  • Publishing Innovation
  • Publishing Industry Project
  • Non-fiction Publishing
  • Children’s Publishing
  • Content Marketing Strategy
  • The Magazine Business

Opportunities

Study abroad

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

Fieldwork

From visiting the London Book Fair or a bookbinders, 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 have worked with international and local clients such as the BBC, TEDxBristol, Bonnier Books, X Media Lab, the National Trust, Forest of Imagination arts events, and Bath Film Festival.

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.

We work with industry contacts to develop internship and work experience opportunities for students. 

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

Careers

Publishing graduates have been highly successful in gaining graduate-level jobs, including Editorial Assistant, Production Assistant, Digital Editor, Digital Marketing Coordinator, and Project Manager. Graduates have been employed by publishing companies including:

  • Future
  • Taylor & Francis
  • Penguin Random House.
Publishing prizes

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.   

“Bath Spa allowed me to choose a career with confidence, as I learned what I was good at and what I enjoyed doing. The best thing about the course is the support, the module choices (which can really inform your path) and the work experience offered with local publishers or events and festivals.”

Laura Garcia Moreno, 2022 graduate, now Production Assistant and Environmental Champion at Bath Festivals

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Publishing is taught on our Newton Park campus. You'll have access to a wide range of excellent facilities, including:

Resources

As a Publishing student, you'll 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.

Fees

2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £9,250
UK part time £4,625
International full time £16,905

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: £3,381

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for students with creative flair – enthusiastic team players who are full of ideas and want to learn how to make them happen. 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 preferred.
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades from Distinction Distinction Merit (DDM) to Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) accepted in any subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit preferred.
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum of 32 points are required.
  • 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 admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

How do I apply?

Find the Publishing combination you're interested in. Click the "apply now" button in the centre of the page.

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

Get ahead

Explore industry magazine, The Bookseller, online.

Course leader: Neil Baber
Email: n.baber@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk