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Publishing BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time See course combinations for joint honours UCAS codes 2017
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2017

Why choose this course?

Publishing is an evolving and stimulating subject and a leading profession in the creative industries. This joint honours degree provides the historical, cultural and contemporary context for understanding publishing's place in today's world. You will gain cutting-edge business, content and creative skills required for publishing across diverse media and markets.

We are ranked 1st in London and 4th in the UK for Journalism and Publishing in the Guardian University Guide 2018.

If you choose to study Publishing BA(Hons) at Kingston University, you will benefit from:

  • Expert lecturers: All our academics are experienced publishers and practitioners in their field, bringing their up-to-the-minute industry know-how and contacts into the classroom.
  • Our good reputation: Courses in our Department of Journalism and Publishing are some of the best in the country for: teaching, student satisfaction, starting salaries and employment of graduates.
  • Live projects: You will collaborate with industry partners on real publishing projects and work as part of Kingston University Press.
  • Hands-on experience: This highly practical course will equip you with a raft of invaluable skills and creative thinking to develop and promote innovative and engaging content across a range of platforms.
  • Exceptional support: Our award-winning work placement programme and extensive network of placement providers will help you get the experience you need for your CV.
  • A stimulating location: Conveniently placed for the hub of the global publishing industry in London.

What you will study

This course enables you to tailor your degree to suit your interests and employment goals, and to develop the skills required for a modern publishing-related career. Assignments enable you to critically reflect on your professional and personal development planning.

Year 1 introduces you to the contemporary publishing scene and the practical skills it requires. You will study the publishing process across platforms and sectors, use industry-standard tools and software, research concepts and develop your critical and creative thinking.

In Year 2 you will create products, applying and expanding your skills and knowledge. Working in teams, you will learn additional skills, such as video production, and continue to analyse and gain insight into publishing. You will also have the opportunity to spend time abroad at one of our partner universities, such as Carlos III in Madrid, Spain, or California State University, USA.

In the third year, you'll apply your skills and knowledge to real-life settings, working on Kingston University Press and undertaking an industry work placement. You will hone your team working skills, designing, producing and promoting a multi-format publication. This hands-on learning will be placed in the context of your academic studies, in which you can pursue your own independent research in an area of personal interest.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1 (Level 4)

  • This skills-based practical module introduces students to the practice of publishing as a creative, collaborative process. It introduces the key processes and systems within publishing and how these impact on the quality of publishing outputs and the broader publishing landscape. Students will be supported as they develop a broad range of study and publishing skills. This will involve developing an understanding of group dynamics and successful collaboration, gaining hands-on experience with industry-standard software packages and exploring the impact of effective communication.

    By working on in-class exercises and assignment tasks students will acquire and apply the basic skills at the core of successful publishing. Students will also engage with workflow, scheduling and digital organisation. This module enhances employability by enabling students to use industry standard tools and packages, such as HTML, WordPress and Nielsen BookScan, while also devoting time to building their effective writing, organisational and data analysis skills.

    Read full module description

  • This core module offers a critical introduction to the field of publishing in its many forms. At its core are questions central to studying publishing in context. What is publishing in the digital age? What is the role of the publisher? What are the main events in publishing's past and how have they shaped current professional practice? The module begins with a current overview and goes on to examine the evolution of publishing. It adopts a critical approach to examining how key social, economic, political and technological shifts alter the publishing landscape.  Students will be introduced to academic ideas about print and material culture as well as media and communications theory and concepts like filtering and framing. This will enable a critical understanding of how publishing has developed within society as an industry and practice, how current challenges might be met and how future trends might be anticipated. 

    Using the primary historical artefact, the book, as a case study, the module examines changes in authorship and reading practices, advances in print and communication technology from industrial to digital and the move from a product-orientated to a market-orientated business. Students are encouraged to critique the role of the book as a material object and examine the role of content in other formats. The module introduces ethical issues around the publisher's role with regard to censorship and copyright.

    The module also acts as a more general introduction to the academic strand of the BA Publishing degree - acquainting students with Kingston's personal tutor system and the study skills required to engage with the conventions of critical reading, constructing arguments, persuasive writing and essay writing, Harvard referencing, and critical reflection.

    Read full module description


Year 2 (Level 5)

  • Practical Publishing builds on and hones the practical publishing skills acquired in How Publishing Works and develops new ones as you effectively manage content from raw material to finished digital presentation. You will explore content marketing, considering audiences and working up ideas for marketing your product.

    The module will focus on developing third-party content, copyediting, layout and design, HTML and e-format destinations. You will learn how to use industry-standard software and tools such as Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Premiere Pro. For the assessment you will learn to shoot, edit, produce and upload a 60 second video book trailer. You will also develop your team-working skills by working in groups to produce an e-format product.

  • Contemporary Critical Issues in Publishing offers the chance to analyse and debate a wide range of key issues and challenges which impact on contemporary publishing. A series of lectures by expert publishing practitioners and commentators will help you get to grips with the topics and provide an opportunity to network with industry professionals.

    To communicate your knowledge of specific issues you will learn to use a blogging platform to produce and disseminate a critical post. In the second teaching block you will work as team to plan, edit and produce a scholarly and industry-facing journal which showcases current issues.

  • Publishing Research Paper offers you an opportunity to carry out an in-depth piece of research into an aspect of publishing which interests you and to work independently under the guidance of a tutor. You will be able to select you own topic, frame it in the way you want and then choose the most appropriate primary and secondary sources. You can use your research to gain industry insight and to contact and question publishers to find out what is really going on, and to start networking. This module is especially relevant if you are planning to do a dissertation


Year 3 (Level 6)

  • Publishing in Practice is a hands-on, capstone module where you are involved in a live project to create and publish a print or digital product, and undertake a period on work placement. You will be required to spend at least two weeks working within a relevant host organisation in a real publishing environment. Taught sessions post-placement will help you consider what it means to be a reflective practitioner and workshops will look at career development and employability skills as well as jobs in publishing and related areas.

    Collaborating in groups, you will produce a real publication for the Kingston University Press, engaging with the project management, editorial and production tasks essential to produce publications across a range of platforms.

  • Marketing and Communications in Publishing introduces marketing theory and will increase your understanding of the various individuals and communities involved in publishing. You will develop knowledge about the function of marketing, communication, delivery and sales within the today's content business. You will practice the skills necessary to communicate effectively with colleagues and stakeholders (including authors), retailers, distributors, purchasers and consumers.

    The module will focus on the importance of copywriting, social media, metadata and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to reach target audiences, increase visibility and discoverability, and build brand and relationships.

  • Publishing Dissertation aims to encourage independent research and hone study and research skills developed earlier in the degree course. You will be asked to formulate a specific hypothesis relating to publishing and then conduct a systematic and sustained inquiry focused on that hypothesis. You will conduct secondary research but great value will also be placed on your own primary research efforts.

    At the end of this year-long module, you will be assessed on a 10,000 word piece of writing that is expected to demonstrate keen analytical skills and logical thinking and offer a cogent, coherent argument that complies with the dissertation model.

  • Publishing Special Study offers you the opportunity to carry out in-depth research into a specialist area of publishing via a combination of a research project and a practical project. The special study format provides a focused opportunity for discussion, reading and exploration of sector-relevant material which can then use to develop and extend your own research.

    Examples of study areas: the changing role of the author; social reading and its impact on book marketing; the impact of literacy development programmes; digital workflows and processes in publishing; the role of copyright: past, present and future, and diversity in publishing.


You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of terms dates for this course can be found here

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