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Publishing BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time W468 2017
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2017
Joint honours: see course combinations for UCAS codes

Why choose this course?

Publishing is an evolving and stimulating subject and a leading profession in the creative industries. This course 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. You can study publishing as a single or joint honours.

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/enterprise goals, and to develop evidence of the skills required for a 21st-century 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 needed to work in publishing, building your knowledge of how publishing works. You will study the publishing process across platforms and sectors, learn to use industry-standard tools and software, gain confidence to research concepts and develop your critical and creative thinking.

In Year 2 you will apply and expand your skills and knowledge by making and creating products. Working in teams, you will learn additional skills such as video production, and continue to analyse and gain insight into the publishing arena. 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 in the USA.

Year 3 will apply your skills and knowledge to real-life settings. You will work as part of the Kingston University Press and undertake 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.

  • 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.

  • This skills-based practical module introduces students to the creative process that drives successful publishing products and businesses and to the challenges of winning support for new publishing ideas. Students will learn about the diverse activities creativity supports within the publishing industry (such as idea generation, business development, problem-solving and product and graphic design) and identify and apply creative habits and tools themselves. A major proportion of the module will be dedicated to implementing a collaborative design-thinking methodology to generate and develop user-focused publishing product or service concepts. In the process, students will gain an appreciation of the nature of effective and engaging user experiences, the collaborative management of creative ideas and the iterative approach at the heart of creative product development. Students will be encouraged to reflect on the experience and will consider how creativity can be fostered and managed in practice. They will also develop their skills in visual communication, argument construction and presenting, through developing a group pitch for their publishing concept.

  • This module offers an in-depth study of the structure and key traits, roles and processes of today’s publishing Industry, building on the overview offered in Publishing in Context. The module commences with an exploration of the creative industries and the role of publishing in the creative economy. The structure of the industry is evaluated - from the global media conglomerates and the main publishing houses through to the independents and proliferation of start-ups and entrepreneurs. The characteristics of the different publishing sectors are appraised and the major players in each are identified. The module then focuses on main roles and functions within the industry. Editorial, design and production, marketing, sales, rights and distribution are critically examined with regard to the value they add to the process. The skills and attributes required for the business of publishing are explored (from those related to specific roles and sectors to the general practice of collaboration, communication and project management). In this fast-changing industry the module also considers the role of creative and critical thinking in relation to strategy, problem-solving, adaptability and risk.

    Using case studies students will examine the critical success factors of key companies and publishing professionals and innovators. The assessment will enable students to use the case study approach to analyse a specific industry sector (e.g. consumer, academic, magazines) or genre (e.g. children’s, Young Adult, non-fiction).
    The assessment will include a presentation which critically evaluates a role or function within the industry. The module is underpinned by discussions about professional practice and students are introduced to personal and professional development planning in relation to the skills and attributes required for work in the publishing industry.


Year 2 modules to be confirmed

Year 3 modules to be confirmed

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.

Study abroad as part if your degreeMost 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.

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