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Publishing with English BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time P5Q3 2019

Why choose this course?

Do you want to work in either publishing or one of the creative industries? This course allows you to choose from a range of modules which offer both variety and complementary subject combinations, from English, creative writing and journalism. You'll be taught by current practitioners with high profile, senior industry roles, with complementary specialisms, current experience, and extensive professional networks.

Specialist tutors from industry will also teach your practical modules, incorporating industry standard design and content management software packages. You'll also have access to practising publishers, literary agents, editors and others through our dissertation mentoring scheme.

You'll get involved with Kingston University Press, a student-run enterprise, which will provide you with hands-on experience of commissioning, design and production, marketing and supply chain, through the project management of home-grown lists. The Press provides a conduit for your writing and enables you to build your own portfolio of accomplishments to prospective employers. It also reflects our entrepreneurial learning environment and emphasis on developing a practical skillset, to help with employability.

During the course, you'll also benefit from a well-structured and supported work placement, not commonly offered on similar courses.

What you will study

An integrated, interdisciplinary course with wide variety yet focused specialisms, integrating vocational and academic study.  It offers a conduit for developing skills in publishing, writing output and hands on practical content creation, management and marketing through Kingston University Press. It combines theory and practice at every level, requiring you to analyse and reflect on central issues in contemporary publishing and literature and to test out your understanding by applying it in a variety of contexts.  The hands-on modules address the core activities of acquiring, producing, marketing and distributing content across multi-media platforms. In the creative writing and English modules you will nurture a writing skillset and gain a broad context to the study of books and authorship. You will be encouraged to develop your entrepreneurial skills to be able to innovate in the fast-changing environment through practical project work.

This course will provide the historical, cultural and contemporary context needed for you to make sense of publishing's place in the current environment. The course also provides you with transferable skills. These include the capacity to carry out independent research, to demonstrate initiative and leadership; interpersonal skills such as communication, collaboration, and team-working, and the ability to produce precise and accurate written work. You are also expected to reach a competent level in the use of various forms of technology, ranging from social media platforms and design applications to standard, commercially available software packages. Career planning and employability sessions are run as part of the final year core practical module.  

Module listing

Publishing with English is an integrated, interdisciplinary course with varying, focused specialisms, integrating vocational and academic study. You'll develop skills in publishing, writing and creating practical content, management and marketing through Kingston University Press.

This course combines theory and practice, requiring you to analyse and reflect on central issues in contemporary publishing and literature and to test out your understanding by applying it in a variety of contexts.

If you want to make sense of publishing's place in the environment, this course will provide you with the historical, cultural and contemporary contexts.

Each level is made up of four modules each worth 30 credit points. Typically a student must complete 120 credits at each level.

Year 1

  • How Publishing Works is a skills-based practical module which provides an introduction to the practice of publishing as a creative, collaborative process. You will learn about the key processes and systems within publishing and how these impact on the quality of publishing outputs and the broader publishing landscape.

    By working on in-class exercises and assignment tasks you will acquire and apply the basic skills at the core of successful publishing. You will develop an understanding of the impact of effective communication, group dynamics and successful collaboration, and build effective writing, organisational and data analysis skills. You will also gain hands-on experience with industry-standard tools and software packages.

  • 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 module introduces you to the literature of London, from the rise of Renaissance theatre culture to its fictional futures, and from explorations of its urban heart to its sprawling suburbs. You will investigate how numerous writers have depicted everyday life in the metropolis, as well as social upheaval, crime and injustice. You will consider the emergence of distinct literary cultures in the capital, the ways London's position at the centre of a global empire has shaped its literature, and how writers have in turn represented the experiences of particular groups, for example, social elites, immigrants, women, and children.

    The module will also introduce you to some of the most fundamental categories of literature. The module will be organised into three strands: one on drama, one on poetry, and one on prose (fiction and non-fiction). In each strand you will identify the distinctive characteristics of particular forms and genres of literature, and of modes of writing that developed at particular historical moments. Through close study of a range of literary texts we will consider, for instance, what distinguishes tragedy, comedy and realism in drama, how poets have engaged with the sonnet form or the epic, what defines the memoir, and how to explain the differences in narrative style between realist and modernist fiction.

    Our weekly interactive lectures will be complemented by study trips to locations across London, which may include a visit to the Globe Theatre, the London Museum or a walking lecture following the route taken by Mrs Dalloway in Virginia Woolf's novel of the same name.  

    Read full module description

  • This module is designed to familiarise you with a range of rhetorical strategies, aesthetic techniques, redrafting and editing skills, while also providing the opportunity to practise writing and editing in a number of literary and non-literary forms. In "Writing that Works" you are introduced to key techniques for writing effectively and you develop your ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in writing by studying a number of different forms of published texts, both literary and non literary. These abilities are first developed by reading and examining good and bad examples of writing in a variety of forms written for different audiences – from short stories and poems, to newspaper articles, commercial writing, blogs, ads, speeches, emails, informational pamphlets, and business letters.  In addition to the examples offered by tutors, you will be encouraged to source independently further instances of good and bad writing to share with the class in seminars. The next step is for you to practise and obtain tutor and peer feedback on your own writing in these forms and styles.  Transferable skills are embedded in the module through the editing and redrafting practice in which you will synthesise the reading, analysis and feedback you have received in order to produce a portfolio of writing that works. The module will make use of the expertise of a number of our Writers in Residence, Distinguished Writers and Creative Writing staff who will present and discuss examples of their own writing that has, and hasn't, worked. 

    Read full module description


Year 2

  • Developing Content for Digital Delivery
  • 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.


Optional year

Final year

  • 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.


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.

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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