Studying Publishing in Scotland

By Lauren Cameron

The UK is one of the most prominent publishing markets in the world, so it makes sense that it would provide courses for people to study the subject before entering the job market! I’m studying for my Master of Science in Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University, one of two Master’s in Publishing programs in Scotland, the other being at University of Stirling. Canada doesn’t really have any programs like this, which is why I chose to study abroad! Read on to find out what you need to know about studying publishing in Scotland!

The Program

As I said, I study at Edinburgh Napier University. This program is over 50 years old, and one of the most respected publishing programs in the UK. The program covers everything from marketing to editorial, rights to design, and you get a really good idea of all aspects of the publishing industry! It also provides the opportunity to do a placement at a publishing company, so you also get experience working in the industry! It is a one year program, and that year has been flying by. The first trimester is mainly taught theory, where you learn what you need to know about the history of publishing, current operations, and how to succeed in the industry. Trimester two is focused on production, and you get to choose a product (book or magazine) and take it from the beginning stages to a fully formed, published and printed book! I am currently in this stage right now, and I have to say, I am loving the project so far. It offers a lot of creative freedom, and you learn a lot about using computer software that is standard in the industry while getting to see what it is like to publish something! It has been really rewarding so far. Trimester three is mainly independent study, and you have four months to research and write a dissertation on a topic of your choosing related to publishing! It may sound daunting, but your professors are there to help you every step of the way.

 (View from Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston Campus, where the Publishing program is held)
(View from Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston Campus, where the Publishing program is held)

Choosing a Program

As I said, there are two programs for Publishing in Scotland. Stirling is not that far from Edinburgh, and from what I know, the programs are very similar. Both provide you with a great education in publishing, and it really just comes down to where you want to live while in the UK. Stirling is more rural, whereas Edinburgh is more urban, but both are beautiful places to live. As well, Edinburgh is just a short train ride away from Stirling, so no matter which school you choose, you’ll definitely still get to see the other city! However, one advantage of Edinburgh Napier is that you are very central for a lot of publishing industry events that happen throughout the year in Edinburgh, but again, Stirling is just a short train ride away.

(View of Edinburgh from Edinburgh Napier University-Arthur’s Seat in the background)
(View of Edinburgh from Edinburgh Napier University-Arthur’s Seat in the background)

Why Study Publishing in the UK?

Studying publishing in the UK means that you are very central for a lot of publishing events that happen, and you get to go to them as part of your program, often with student discounts! Throughout the year that you’re in the UK, there are all sorts of publishing events you can visit. In February in Edinburgh there is the Publishing Scotland Conference and the SYP Conference (Society of Young Publishers, which you can also join as a Publishing student, and they provide discounts and support to young publishers starting out in the industry. A really great program.). The London Book Fair takes place in March, and it is free to students, and if you’re already in the UK, it’s much closer than flying over from Canada! As, there are many smaller events throughout the year that can help you succeed in publishing, like CV workshops, speaker panels, and much more that make studying in the UK a really rewarding experience. As well, in my experience, the program isn’t just UK focused; it explores publishing in a world-wide context, and you can work anywhere with this degree! There are so many opportunities that come with publishing, and I’m so glad I chose to study it here in the UK. If you’re interested in working in publishing, definitely look into these programs!

Edinburgh Napier University MSc Publishing:

University of Stirling MLitt Publishing:

For more information and to discuss your options, get in touch with an Across the Pond advisor today!


All photos taken by Lauren Cameron