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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

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)

  • 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.  

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  • 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. 

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Year 2 (Level 5)

  • 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.

     
  • Available options will vary each year depending on staff specialism.

    • This module offers students a chance to carry out an in-depth piece of research into an aspect of publishing which interests them and to work independently under the guidance of a tutor. Students will be able to choose their own topic, frame it in the way they want and select the most appropriate primary and secondary sources.

      Students can use their research not only to gain insight into a chosen topic but also to contact and question publishers working in the industry to find out what is really going on and to start networking. This module provides an excellent foundation for independent empirical research focused within the main course discipline. It will be especially relevant for students planning to do a dissertation or special study in their final year.

       
    • The UK magazine industry has never been more exciting and challenging. Despite digital and economic changes modern magazines devoted to trends and interests endure. This module looks at how these contemporary publications are positioned and how they co-operate to weave together strands of information. In this module you will learn about the contexts within which contemporary magazines operate. You look at the current state of the periodicals sector and reflect on trends and future developments by researching, originating and developing a magazine concept for a specified readership. You will build up effective editorial, team-working skills and adapt these to the needs of differing audiences and objectives through the origination and production of your own magazine. You will apply journalistic skills to create a portfolio of articles and will utilise design and layout skills to produce a dummy magazine.

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    • This module is an optional period module at Level 5. It will begin by exploring literature published from the 1930s through to the present day, and will examine the strategies writers have used in response to a changing Britain and wider world. We will consider how twentieth and twenty-first-century texts adapt realist, modernist and postmodern techniques to engage with issues such as the rise of mass culture, the threat of totalitarianism, the establishment of the Welfare State, post-war immigration, and sexual liberation. To enhance your perspective on these issues, you will be introduced to non-fiction material by other contemporary writers, such as J.B. Priestley, Erich Fromm, Iris Murdoch, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Richard Hoggart, and George Lamming, as well as more recent critical and theoretical material.  The module also examines the development and continuing popularity of realist drama in the twentieth century. We will pay particular attention to the ways in which realist drama is used as a tool of social and political examination in the various contexts of pre-Revolutionary Russia, Dublin in the aftermath of the First World War, and the establishment of the welfare state in Britain after 1945. Secondly, we will examine the developments in non-realist forms of drama and the experiments which gave rise to what is, somewhat controversially, called the 'Theatre of the Absurd'. The module culminates with the study of a selection of texts chosen to illustrate the great variety of genres and styles in contemporary British literature and to exemplify literature written by different nationalities and social groups. Underpinned by relevant theoretical perspectives, questions will be raised about the relation between literature and contemporary events, with relation to issues pertinent to literature, such as social mobility, hybridity, democracy and technology. In recent years, authors studied have included Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, George Orwell, Sylvia Plath, Harold Pinter, Alan Hollinghurst, and Zadie Smith.

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    • On this module, you will have the opportunity to progress your creative writing skills by exploring the relationship between theory and practice.You will be presented with a range of theoretical and contextual approaches to the production of imaginative work, and will be invited to respond to these provocations through their creative projects.You will attend interactive lectures whose themes may include psychogeography, adaptation, narrative techniques for literary authors, history and narrative, identity and aesthetics. You will learn more advanced practical techniques for crafting expressive, imaginative work, which will allow you to make more sophisticated use of aspects such as voice, point of view, structure, character, imagery, and tone. The module will entail the reading and discussion of texts by a variety of contemporary authors, whose work reflects the diverse range of styles and approaches at work today. You can choose to experiment with writing the novel, short story, script for radio, stage or screen, or poetry. You will be asked to participate in improving each other's work by offering thoughtful, constructive feedback. Along with developing your own personal sense of voice and style, you will practise applying skills learned on the module to real-world situations faced by professional authors, such as writing a piece for a commission or for a target audience.

      Read full module description

       
     

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.

     
  • Available options will vary each year depending on staff specialism.

    • This module builds on students' existing knowledge by introducing them to two of the most important factors in contemporary publishing: the acquisition, exploitation and protection of intellectual property (IP) rights and the effective and appropriate organisation and management of sales. Students will be introduced to the history and principles of copyright law before researching and critically debating current issues surrounding copyright in practice. They will also gain an appreciation of the processes and challenges of acquiring, selling and protecting IP rights.


      Even the smallest publishers operate in an international context, sourcing authors and suppliers outside of their home country and marketing and selling their products to customers around the globe. Students will consider how publishers organise themselves to successfully deliver international operations, explore cultural, pricing and communication issues related to commissioning, developing and producing publishing products, and identify and evaluate different models for reaching overseas customers. Finally, they will have the opportunity to apply their learning to an in-depth analysis of live consumer-sales data, drawing robust conclusions about the market, consumer behaviour and product performance, while also considering the perils and pitfalls of relying on consumer insight.

       
    • 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.

       
    • Salman Rushdie, Mary Wollstonecraft, Geoffrey Chaucer, Audre Lorde, Charlotte Bronte, Chinua Achebe, Mary Shelley, John Milton, Lawrence Sterne, Gertrude Stein, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison...the list is endless. At every point in literary history there are writers who break the mould and challenge the status quo. Whether it is through writing epics that endure through centuries, addressing the injustices of the time or challenging the very notion of what a novel, poem or a play can do, writers can be radical in a number of exciting ways. This module looks at works by radical writers in depth, studying one famous text in detail by a range of writers from different time periods and taught by lecturers who are experts in these writers. We will look at the context of each text as well as the way the text is written, determining why these radical writers have been so successful and looking at the effects their texts have had on the world around them. We will look at the idea of the literary 'canon', made up of writers who have been radical in some way, and consider the way that this idea can be challenged, reinvigorated or refreshed.

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    • This module examines the rich and dynamic presence of British black and Asian writing from the mid-17th century to the present. Exploring the ways in which black and Asian writing has contributed to definitions of Britishness for more than 300 years, it examines how black writers have produced formally innovative and conceptually challenging responses to questions of race, class, gender and identity, while simultaneously making significant creative contributions to the fields of drama, prose, poetry, and life-writing. In the first half of the module, you will study a range of early British texts from the mid-17th century to the 19th century from writers such as Equiano and Mary Seacole, alongside contemporary works which have reflected on the black cultural presence in Britain during this period, while the second half of the module turns to 20th century and contemporary texts by writers such as Zadie Smith. Andrea Levy, Monica Ali, Hanif Kureishi, Meera Syal, Gautam Malkani, Leila Aboulela, Jackie Kay and John Agard, contextualised by appropriate critical and cultural theories from thinkers such as Paul Gilroy and Stuart Hall. The module is assessed by a flexible assessment strategy which allows you to respond to the module through a combination of critical essay, performance and/or creative writing, and discussion posts documenting engagement and critical response. 

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    • 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.

       
     

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.

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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.

Location

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.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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