A Panel Advising About CV Writing
Students Appointments with Publishers
Students Meeting with Dr. Samuel Fanous of Bodleian Library Publishing
Student Volunteers pose outside the Earls Court Venue
Where does Oxford Brookes feature in the rankings?
The 2016 university league table from the Guardian ranks Publishing at Oxford Brookes at number two out of 57 universities in the category Journalism, Publishing and Public Relations; the 2015 Guardian University Guide ranking was number two out of 58 universities in the same category. The 2013 Sunday Times University Guide ranked Publishing at Oxford Brookes number one across all British universities in the category of Communications and Information Studies.
The 2016 National Student Survey highlights the excellent standard of the publishing programmes at Oxford Brookes. The overall satisfaction figure was 90 per cent, and the figure for the quality of the teaching was 97 per cent satisfaction, with 100 per cent saying that the staff are good at explaining things to their students; 100 per cent thought that the staff have made the subject interesting; and 100 per cent thought that the staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching.
Will I get a job in publishing if I do a postgraduate degree at Oxford Brookes?
Publishing is a very desirable industry to work in, and so entering it is very competitive, with companies receiving hundreds of applications for each advertised post. A postgraduate degree in Publishing from Oxford Brookes will help you to beat the competition.
We have excellent employment statistics over a number of years, and the vast majority of graduates surveyed from our MA courses have gone on to jobs in publishing. You can read sample profiles on our alumni page. Students are offered a range of support services to help them find a job at the end of the degree - for example we run a web board of jobs and work placements, and students benefit from our annual Working in Publishing careers event.
During the programme, we provide you with the skills, knowledge and networks to kickstart your career in publishing, or to improve your current position. Our degrees are recognized in the industry as top professional courses, and our graduates benefit from this reputation. Whilst you are on the programme, there are plenty of opportunities for work experience, internships and temporary paid work.
What kind of jobs do your alumni get?
Our alumni go on to a wide range of jobs in different market sectors, including books, journals, digital and magazines. Publishing companies that have been the first destination for our students include Bloomsbury Publishing, Cambridge University Press, Dorling Kindersley, Egmont, HarperCollins, Hodder Headline, Macmillan, Oxford University Press, Pearson, Penguin Random House, Taylor & Francis, Transworld, Time Warner, V&A Museum and Wiley. Some of our students have gone on to work in other areas of the book trade, such as at literary agencies, or for literature-related projects such as the Story Museum.
Job titles that our students have stepped into on leaving the course include Assistant Editor, Development Editor, Editorial Co-ordinator, Marketing Co-ordinator, Marketing Publishing Manager, Production Editor, Production Manager and Rights Manager. Our emphasis on digital skills and knowledge helps our graduates to find roles in social media or content development. Evidence from our alumni suggests that completing the course can allow students to enter companies at a higher level as well as accelerate their subsequent career path. One of our alumni reported that ‘I got my first job with the company I had worked with as an intern, which enabled me to enter at Marketing Executive level rather than as a Marketing Assistant’.
What’s so special about the postgraduate degrees at Oxford Brookes?
Oxford is the ideal city in which to study publishing. We are strongly networked to the regional, national and international publishing industry, through our Industry Advisory Board, the Oxford Publishing Society and the Oxford branch of the Society of Young Publishers, as well as our informal contacts. Oxford is the second biggest publishing hub in the UK, and in an under an hour you can access the London publishing industry as well.
We are the longest established centre for publishing education in the UK. Recent developments include the addition of the MA in Digital Publishing and new modules in Children’s Publishing, Digital Media and Magazines. Our most popular degree is the MA in Publishing, but you can also choose the MA in International Publishing, geared towards students who may already be working in publishing and want to increase their knowledge of the global publishing environment; the MA in Publishing and Language, aimed at those interested specifically in international co-editions, translations or international educational publishing; or the MA in Book History and Publishing Culture.
We have 12 permanent members of academic staff teaching on the postgraduate programme – the highest number in the UK – and we welcome frequent visits from industry practitioners to our lecture and seminar programme. You will be taught by experts, who are currently working in publishing and actively engaged in research, consultancy and industry training.
Most importantly, it is you and your fellow students who make the degrees so special. Each cohort is truly international (just as publishing is a global industry) with typically around 25 different nationalities represented, and you leave the programme with an impressive set of contacts from around the world. The ratio of British to EU and International students is approximately 50/50. Our student groups are large enough to have real diversity and benefit from a lively atmosphere, but they are also small enough to remain friendly and focused. Every year we are extremely impressed by the high standards of our student groups, and we are very proud of the achievements of our students and alumni.
Can I do work experience and internships during the course?
Yes. Everyone on the course has the opportunity to do work experience. Typically, you will have the chance to do a variety of work placements in your time at Oxford Brookes in a range of departments and market sectors. We have two members of staff with specific responsibility for developing work experience and internships who will work with you to help you locate work experience appropriate for your interests in publishing and your skills.
There are also opportunities for paid work in publishing, in companies such as Oxford University Press and Infinite Ideas, and international placements, for example in Geneva at the International Labour Organization.
Do you welcome applications from international students, and from people already working in publishing?
Yes, we do. We have a very lively international student community and we strongly value the global perspective such students bring to the course.
We welcome applications from students with experience already gained in the publishing industry, either in the UK or abroad. Taking one of our postgraduate courses can allow you to step up the career ladder, form international networks, and benefit from a period of intensive training for, and analysis of, the industry.
Is it a professional or an academic course?
Both. The MAs in Publishing have an emphasis on both the business and cultural aspects of the industry.
The course will prepare you for a variety of different roles in the publishing industry, and has a very strong vocational base. We teach core skills in the modules Editorial Management, Design and Production for Publishing, and Marketing Management for Publishing. You then can choose to specialize in a variety of market sectors and/or publishing functions, in our optional modules in Children’s Publishing, Digital Media Publishing, Digital Publishing Strategy, International Publishing Management, Journals Publishing, Magazine Publishing, New Product Development, Publishing and Language, and Rights Management.
On the cultural side, we also offer a module on the History and Culture of Publishing, and the analysis of the interaction of publishing and society underpins many of the other modules. You have the choice to complete a Dissertation or Major Project. The Dissertation is an extended piece of academic work that allows you to investigate aspects of contemporary or historical publishing in depth, while the Major Project allows you to produce a design project in either print or digital form, or a business plan or consultancy report. Many students use this work as the stepping stone to a publishing career, but it can also lead to further academic research.
Is it all lectures and exams?
No. We use a wide range of teaching and learning methods on the course to enable you to succeed in your studies, and to reflect contemporary publishing practice. We do have lectures, particularly for contributions from visiting speakers, but we also use a range of other formats, including discussion groups, role play exercises, seminars, online learning and interaction, skills-based workshops and individual supervision. On a taught module, the ratio of lectures to other class activities will typically be 1 hour to 2 hours. This range of teaching and learning methods encourages interactivity and participation, and draws on the expertise and backgrounds of students as well as those of staff.
There are no exams in a publishing company, and there are no formal examinations in our courses, although there are some class-based exercises and tests. Most modules have a range of different individual and group-based coursework assignments. These include writing marketing plans, editorial proposals and research articles, preparing publishing-based exercises, giving presentations and contributing to seminar and discussion sessions. All of these activities are based on real-life publishing activities. The aim of these assessments is to fulfil your potential as a future and developing publisher.
We have a purpose-built IT suite with the latest versions of publishing-specific software, fully equipped with Mac desktop computers. The newly opened Headington Library has an extensive range of books, print and electronic journals and databases related to publishing, and special collections including the Booker Prize Archive, the André Deutsch collection and the African Publishing Collection.
Who teaches on the course?
We have 12 permanent members of staff. We all have extensive experience of working in the publishing industry both in the UK and internationally, in a variety of publishing roles and market sectors. What is more, we continue to work within the industry, either on a part-time or consultative basis. We are actively engaged in the industry in terms of consultancy, research and CPD (continuing professional development). All staff have wide networks of publishing contacts, and we are closely connected to all sectors of the publishing industry. Members of staff have also written many of the key texts you will use during the programme.
In addition, we have many visiting speakers who contribute to our programme and to the Publishing Seminar Series.
What is it like living in Oxford?
As well as being the centre of a substantial publishing industry, Oxford is a vibrant, student-friendly place with lots to offer, including a wide range of sporting venues, shops, pubs, cafes, clubs, cinemas, theatres and restaurants. It has excellent transport links - only an hour away from London - and is ideally situated for exploring the rest of Britain and Europe. Oxford Brookes has numerous halls of residence available for postgraduates, and many of our students live in our accommodation, which is good value and close to our campus. There is also plenty of privately-rented accommodation for students in Oxford.
How do I apply?
Good question! You need to apply through UKPASS. UKPASS is an online service for all those wanting to apply for postgraduate study in the UK and for universities and colleges that offer postgraduate opportunities. You can apply online at http://www.ukpass.ac.uk
These are our entry requirements:
- for UK students, an honours degree, i.e. a 2:2, 2:1 or 1st in any subject, or extensive industry experience
- for EU/International students, a qualification equivalent to a good honours degree, or extensive industry experience
- for applicants whose first language is not English, then an English language level of IELTS 6.5
- for all students, a clear commitment to working in the publishing industries
We strongly encourage both applicants who have little or no experience of publishing, and those who are already working within publishing.