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Publishing courses

Publishing involves making information (books, magazines and digital content) available to the public. Bear in mind publishing is a business and on a publishing degree you will learn how books and magazines are designed and produced to budget and marketed for sale - as well as learning writing and editing skills. There are a few focused publishing degrees to choose, or you can combine publishing with creative writing or English.

Studying publishing at university

Example course modules

  • History of publishing
  • Introduction to digital publishing
  • Editorial process
  • Print and society
  • The creation and editing of text for publication
  • Developing digital publishing
  • Acquisitions, rights and production
  • Legal and ethical aspects of publishing
  • Cultural and international influences on publishing
  • Introduction to editorial functions

Teaching hours / week

Average for this subject


Average for all subjects

The time you'll spend in lectures and seminars each week will vary from university to university, so use this as a guide.

More on studying and contact hours at uni

Who studies this subject

  • Female : 80%
    Male : 20%
  • Mature : 15%
    School leaver : 85%
  • Full-time : 98%
    Part-time : 2%

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

A-levels (or equivalent) usually required

  • No Specific Requirements

Useful to have

  • English

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!

Career prospects

Sources: HECSU & KIS
More common at Masters level than as a first degree, not a lot of undergraduates take this subject. Sought-after editorial roles in the publishing industry are far more likely to go to Masters graduates, so if that’s what you want to do, then consider postgraduate study carefully. It's a good idea to chat to tutors on open days to find out what previous graduates have gone on to do.
Professional and accrediting bodies:

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Sales, marketing and related associate professionals

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • Marketing executive
  • Desktop publisher
  • Publications editor

Other real-life job examples

  • Public relations officer
  • Web designer
  • Commercial artist

What employers like about this subject

A degree in publishing will help you to learn subject-specific skills in editorial, production and design, marketing, and management, as well as in understanding publishing as a business and how it is changing in modern society. Useful transferable skills you can expect to develop include teamwork, entrepreneurship and business focus, creativity, the ability to work flexibly, presentation and critical research skills. Publishing is the most common industry for publishing graduates - not a surprise - but last year they also got jobs in advertising, management consultancy, retail, recruitment and the creative arts.