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Postgraduate Study - Modules

Sales, marketing and consumer insight - P65023

Module Leader(s) / Tutors: Sarah Franklin,

This module takes place during Semester 1

Marketing plays an increasingly central role in contemporary publishing, with decisions being made at every level and within every department in consultation with expertise from marketing teams, and the roles within these teams becoming increasingly diverse. Marketing teams identify consumer needs and potential gaps in the market, analyse the competition and devising products and services to fill these gaps. They bring to bear their understanding and execution of the precise mix of sales, marketing and PR techniques required in order to profitably meet these customer needs. Through a combination of field trips, taught theory, guest lecturers from the cutting edge of contemporary publishing and student-led case study analysis, this module will equip you with a systematic examination of the key concepts and disciplines of sales, marketing and PR and their relationships throughout publishing.

Further Information available here

Editorial management and content development - P65022

Module Leader(s) / Tutors: Beverley Tarquini,

This module takes place during Semester 1

This module introduces you to the work of the editor in contemporary publishing. Through lectures, workshops and presentations from industry speakers, you will explore the strategic role of the editor within the publishing process and the knowledge and skills required for the development of new projects for publishers on a range of platforms. It covers the editorial function in the company, the relationship between editors and authors, content development and editorial project management. Synergies with other publishing functions such as marketing, sales and rights are examined and financial and commercial considerations analysed in depth. Workshops and seminars enable students to relate theory into practice whilst the assessment requires them to work both individually and as part of a small group. Examples of seminar activities include conducting research into a range of markets and competing products, recognising the unique selling points of products and an examination of a publisher’s contract.

Further Information available here

Design and production - P65021

Module Leader(s) / Tutors: Chris Jennings,

This module takes place during Semester 1

The creative endeavour that makes up the process of designing and producing a book for print is covered in detail. The aims of the module are to explore the form of the book from its constituent parts; the cover, the page layout and the text and image on the page using a professional workflow and project management.

The way that a book is replicated through the printing and binding processes is covered and the choices that are faced by publishers are addressed when considering the diversity of markets. Publishing workflows with XML and metadata are covered as are a detailed knowledge of typography. and graphics as it applies to page layout and cover design for books. Industry standard software is used to bring together text and image for appropriate reader experience with typographic choices as part of this process.

Further Information available here

The history and culture of publishing - P65029

Module Leader(s) / Tutors: Dr Caroline Davis,

This module takes place during Semester 2

In this module, you will engage with and contribute to current intellectual discussions and debates about culture, print culture, and the role of the publisher. Examining the culture and ideology of publishing in terms of its development throughout the 20th century and its contemporary practice, you will consider the major challenges that have occurred in publishing culture as a result of social, political, economic and technological developments. You will analyse theories of print culture and critiques of the role of the publisher in society and you will explore a variety of methodological approaches to the study of authorship, textual production, print dissemination and reception.

Further Information available here

Multi-Platform Publishing - P65035

Module Leader(s) / Tutors: Chris Jennings,

This module takes place during Semester 2

This module examines the range of options available to publishers when considering alternative digital forms for publishing device independent content.

During semester 1 (P65021) students will have been introduced to the standards of the mark-up language used by publishers to store and exchange content. This introduction to XML is further explored with particular reference to eBook formats. Expertise in the use of page layout software (InDesign) is expanded with an understanding of forms of delivery beyond print. Once this knowledge is garnered then strategies for enhancing content are covered with a view to adding value to publications beyond the printed page.

Industry standards in markup and eBook formats are covered in detail with particular focus on differences between platforms and methods of distribution. Expertise grows through the use of more sophisticated enhancements to the content with multimedia, animation and interactivity. 

Since text and image will be enhanced with multimedia, techniques for editing audio and video are covered. In the final assignment more sophisticated methods are explored to provide opportunities for adding interactivity and rich immersive reader experience.

Further Information available here

Magazine Publishing - P65056

Module Leader(s) / Tutors:

This module takes place during Semester 2

Offering an advanced insight and understanding of the global magazine industry and its evolving business models, this optional module is aimed at students intending to pursue a career in publishing. Through a range of lectures, seminars, workshops, debates and external speakers, students will critically reflect on a range of industry trends, as well as contemporary cultural issues that are significantly impacting the market. Within assignments, students will undertake detailed analysis of the market in order to produce a strategic assessment of how under-performing titles can further innovate. Developing targetted content and marketing and branding ideas, students will evaluate how a chosen title can improve brand reach and circulation while also identifying relevant new revenue streams.

Designing a sample of print and digital editorial pages, students will build up a working knowledge of current industry technologies, as well as develop skills within editorial creation, content planning and storytelling across a variety of platforms.

International rights management - P65027

Module Leader(s) / Tutors: Beverley Tarquini,

This module takes place during Semester 2

Through lectures, workshops, and presentations from industry speakers, this module introduces you to the management of rights in the fast moving world of global publishing. As well as looking at the range of intellectual property rights, the module covers the rights function within the publishing house and its responsibility for licensing a range of revenue streams.

Topics include copyright, translations, co-editions, international conventions and agreements, digital media, and trade events such as the Frankfurt, Bologna and London Book Fairs.

Further Information available here

Independent Study - P65030

Module Leader(s) / Tutors: Nicola Timbrell,

This module takes place during Semester 2

This module offers you the opportunity to design a course of study to suit your own interests and concerns; organise and carry out a work schedule set by yourself; and to determine a set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria in collaboration with the module leader and a supervisor.

The independent study is a very flexible piece of work. You may want to pursue an individual interest, to develop an area of work you have particularly enjoyed during the earlier part of your course, to study an aspect of publishing that is not specifically taught during the course (such as newspaper publishing), to conduct a study based on your publishing work experience or an industry placement, and/or to tailor a study to fit in with your career or business plans.

Practical projects (such as digital or print publishing projects) are possible for an independent study, but it is important that your study demonstrates an intellectual objective or reflectively addresses an issue relevant to the publishing industry. Practical projects such as this must be accompanied by an analytical report.

Independent studies are more usually carried out on your own, but can be in pairs, or in a small group. In the case of pair or group you must think about the assignment of roles and also the implications for assessment.

Before embarking on an Independent Study module you should contact the module leader and/or a possible supervisor to discuss your proposal. A written Learning Contract must be completed and approved by the supervisor and module leader before study can commence.

Further Information available here

Fiction and non-fiction publishing - TBA

Module Leader(s) / Tutors: Sarah Franklin,

This module takes place during Semester 2

Fiction and non-fiction are perennially popular business models within the publishing world, and the globalisation and digitisation of the consumer book landscape have only enhanced one of the most dynamic and creative sectors of the industry.

Within this module, you will explore the range and depth of pitfalls and possibilities intrinsic to this ever-changing aspect of publishing. Through a range of guest lectures and taught presentations, you will gain an understanding of the importance of verticals in consumer publishing and as well as the elasticity of the role of the author.

The module will build on and synthesise knowledge from your compulsory modules in order to examine in more depth the implications of brand within this sector of publishing. It will explore the landscape for entrepreneurship by identifying failures as well as successes and interpreting key financial decisions. Students will have the opportunity to construct assessments according to their key interests and will undertake case studies which will reiterate their understanding of the key tenets of fiction and non-fiction publishing.

Digital publishing strategy - P65024

Module Leader(s) / Tutors: Nicola Timbrell,

This module takes place during Semester 2

This module focuses on digital products within the various sectors of the publishing industry. The technological basis for the products themselves will be examined and the strategic reasons for developing digital products critically appraised. Key issues that face publishers and how they are addressed will be analysed through case studies.

You will learn about the process and management of digital product design and development, and have the opportunity to practice this in the specification of a digital publishing product and the creation of a prototype.

Further Information available here

Children’s Publishing - P65055

Module Leader(s) / Tutors: Dr Sally Hughes,

This module takes place during Semester 2

In a series of lectures, visiting speaker sessions and seminars, this module explores children’s publishing. As well as looking at the development of the market sector, its current shape and business practices, the module also examines contextual issues relating to publishing for children and young adults. Topics change from year to year but may include picture books, co-editions and translatability; the role of trade events including the Bologna Children’s Book Fair; the sector’s links to other leisure industries and the possibilities for merchandising and content reuse; editing and censorship; age ranging and gatekeeping; literacy and reading campaigns; and promotion.

When you have completed this module, you will have been given the opportunity to: attend lectures and visiting speaker sessions which provide an introduction to a wide range of issues relating to children’s and young adults’ publishing engage in class discussion and activities relating to children’s and young adults’ publishing present a research article relating to issues in the world of children’s and young adults’ books participate in the Children’s Publishing Forum evaluate publishing programmes in the children’s or young adults’ market sector, and identify opportunities for their growth and diversification

Further Information available here

Academic and professional publishing - TBA

Module Leader(s) / Tutors: Philip Shaw,

This module takes place during Semester 2

During this module you will develop an understanding of the context and practice of global academic and professional publishing, including journals. You will investigate the market, the nature of scholarly communication, the shape of the publishing industry, and current debates about research funding, open access and peer review.

You will study the continuing transformation of academic and professional publishing from traditional content development and distribution, to the development of integrated solutions to support research and professional practice.

You will explore important developments in the field, including technology innovations, the integration of different media and data types into scholarly communication, the convergence of book and journal content, the emergence of new publishing and business models, and the blending of publishing with the provision of workflow solutions to customers.

The module provides a platform for progression towards a role within this dynamic sector of the publishing industry.

Professional experience - P65013

Module Leader(s) / Tutors: Dr Sally Hughes,

This module takes place during Summer

The Professional Experience Module offers you the opportunity to spend a sustained period of time working in a publishing or publishing-­â€related organisation such as a bookseller or a book promotion organisation, and to conduct a study based on that work experience that may be tailored to fit in with your career plans and aspirations. Your experience on this module can therefore take several forms and might be composed, for example, of different work in the context of the host organisation:

  • a practical piece of publishing project management in either an editorial, design or production context (e.g. editorial work on a publication or series of publications, creating a website, taking a manuscript and illustrations through pre-­â€press stages, development of digital resources or intellectual property),
  • creation of marketing materials, work on exhibitions or special events, other book promotion activities, development of an e-­â€marketing campaign,
  • a company-­â€based plan or report (e.g. a market research project looking at a particular market sector – either geographic or sectorial),
  • working on the management of IP (dealing with either the sale or purchase of rights)

The assignment will be based on this work experience and will enable students to both analyse and compare the processes experienced during the work and to explore what you have learnt through the work experience and how this may be relevant to your future career. The module may only be taken in Semester 3 and is specifically developed to permit international students to take advantage of extended period of work experience that are offered by UK publishing companies and/or supported attendance at the EU funded summer school that requires a research project taken for credit as a part of the MA programme.

Major Project - P65034

Module Leader(s) / Tutors: Dr Caroline Davis,

This module takes place during Summer

Students on the MAs in Publishing must complete either a Major Project or a Dissertation (see here for more details on the Dissertation). The Major Project is a major in-depth investigation of either a practical or business project and its development process in an area significant to the study of publishing media through extended design, production or strategic management work.  It can take the form of either a major practical or business project, and has an accompanying written analytical component of 5,000 words.  For students taking the MA in International Publishing, Publishing and Language or Digital Publishing, the Major Project will be in the specific context of international, language or digital issues, as appropriate. 

Work on the Major Project starts in Semester 1, with a series of research methods classes and project workshops designed to assist the development of your ideas. In Semester 2 you complete a project proposal, which you receive feedback on. In Semester 2 you are also allocated a supervisor, who you work with closely on your Major Project during a negotiated set of 1-to-1 supervision sessions. Your supervisor will discuss your plans, your development and research methods, and give you feedback on draft material. The Major Project is submitted in September following your final semester on the MA.

Further Information available here

Dissertation - P65033

Module Leader(s) / Tutors: Dr Jane Potter,

This module takes place during Summer

A Dissertation is a dynamic, defining and essential component for the award of the MA degree. It is a major in-depth investigation of a subject, theme or issue significant to the study of publishing through original research and extended written work of 15,000 words. It provides an opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm for a particular subject and your ability to gather information, undertake a synthesis of findings, apply appropriate insights, theories and models, evaluate critically, argue coherently and bring to a successful conclusion a significant piece of independent work which has been founded on appropriate primary and secondary research. This module aims to provide you with the skills that you will need to carry out this important aspect of your MA course, skills that will also be implemented in concurrent and subsequent Publishing modules.

Research in Publishing encompasses a wide range of different approaches across several research ‘cultures’. Depending on the topic under investigation, your research can resemble anything from historical or literary research, through social science inquiry, to the kinds of investigations undertaken in business fields. Publishing researchers therefore need to be versatile and have a wide range of understanding of different research environments. This module reviews and appraises the research methods that are commonly used across the Publishing Media fields – such as burrowing in archives, conducting interviews and surveys, the practicalities of project planning and scheduling, and the all-important matter of what to do with data when you get it. The module helps you to prepare your Proposal (due in Semester 2), the first stage of your Dissertation.

The first semester will cover research and academic literacy skills applicable to all MA Publishing/MA Digital Publishing students whether they intend to undertake a Dissertation or a Major Project. Indeed, Semester 1 is designed to help you decide which of these to undertake. In the second semester, students opting for the Dissertation will be offered different classes tailored to their research needs. From the middle of the second semester and during the third semester, you will have individual supervision meetings with your allocated supervisor.

 

Further Information available here