BA (Hons) Publishing – Bath Spa University


BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - studied as part of a combined award

Key facts

BA (Hons) Combined Award
School of Creative Industries
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full-time. 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. Typical offers include A-level grades CCC.

View "typical offers" for more information.

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

  • 100% of our Publishing graduates were in work/further study six months after graduating (DLHE).
  • This is the UK's first creative and digital studio-based BA Publishing course.
  • Our graduates have been employed by BBC, Taylor and Francis and Penguin Random House.

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.

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 Association 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.

Open Days

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“Adding Publishing to my degree has given me a huge range of opportunities and an advantage over others when applying for jobs. I have really enjoyed every moment of the course.”

Frances Bircher, BA (Hons) History and Publishing graduate

Possible combinations

Publishing can only be taken as part of a combined course, meaning you’ll take Publishing alongside another complementary subject.

By studying Publishing, you’ll emerge with specialist and transferable skills that give you the edge over other graduates, and you’ll be ready to hit the ground running in your first job. Publishing at Bath Spa University has high levels of graduate employment.

Possible combinations are:

What you'll learn


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; app creation; 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.

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, 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 magazines, book commissioning, digital literary studies, cookery publishing, and children’s books.

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.

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 (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Introduction to Publishing
  • Introduction to Editing and Production
  • Create Lab

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • The Book Publishing Industry
  • Experiments in Book-Making
  • The Independent Magazine
  • The Editor
  • Social Enterprise
  • Science Journalism and Publishing
  • Professional Placement Year 

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Digital Publishing
  • Publishing Industry Project
  • The Commissioning Editor
  • Children’s Publishing
  • Digital Content Strategy


Study abroad

Students can choose to study abroad; this is a great opportunity to develop knowledge of other book markets as publishing is an international industry.

Field trips

From visiting bookbinders and letterpress companies to climbing Britain’s tallest spire and visiting bookshops for talks and research, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in field trips 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 TEDxBristol, 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, putting us in an excellent position to help students and graduates with networking opportunities.

We support applications for the Parragon Books paid internships and work with industry contacts to develop internship and work experience opportunities for students. 

The 'Future Publishers' initiative aims to encourage new publishing talent and increase diversity in the industry. Since 2011, Publishing staff and students have delivered inspiring magazine and book-making workshops for children and young people in schools and at live events e.g. Forest of Imagination

Students have also worked on Social Media Experiment, a tutor-directed project creating live social media coverage of cultural and tech events, and Milk Magazine, a student managed digital and print student magazine.


Publishing graduates have gained a range of professions including Production Assistant; Digital Editor; Digital Marketing Coordinator; Events Organiser; and Project Manager. Graduates have been employed by publishing companies including:

  • Future
  • Parragon Books
  • Taylor & Francis
  • BBC
  • Penguin Random House

Publishing prizes

Each year we award six prizes to students in their final year. These are the:

  • Digital Publishing Prize
  • Public Ambassador Prize
  • Food Writing Prize
  • Illustrated Publishing Prize
  • Book Innovation Prize

"Over three fantastic years I was taught key industry skills and the business side of the industry. I left with a fantastic portfolio that is wowing employers!"

Tom Williams, BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Publishing graduate

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:


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.


UK and EU students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

UK and EU students part time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,625
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

International students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,700
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

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

The standard offers based on A-levels for Publishing combinations are:

  • Business and Management - CCC
  • Creative Computing - CDD
  • Creative Writing - CCC (C in English Literature or Language)
  • English Literature - CCC (C in English Literature or Language)
  • Film and Screen Studies - CCC
  • History - CCC
  • History of Art and Design - CCC (C in Art and Design related subject and ideally C in History)
  • Media Communications - CCC

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

  • A Level
  • BTEC
  • International Baccalaureate
  • 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, including 30 at merit or higher). Any selection procedure/further requirements will also apply.

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.

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.

Admissions service:
Course leader: Neil Baber

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