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The award
MA

How long you will study
1 year

Domestic course fees
7195

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
October

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Children's Publishing at Bath Spa University

Shape stories and ideas for print and digital in the world's first MA Children's Publishing course.

  • Creative, studio-based, practical course focusing on a popular area of publishing.
  • Specialist focus on international print and digital publications.
  • Excellent opportunities for industry collaboration and personal career development.

Children's and Young Adult books are internationally successful, high-growth areas of publishing in terms of innovation, revenues and employment.

This creative, industry-focused course offers a deep and immersive learning experience across editorial, marketing, rights and contracts, and design and production. Additionally, business strategy, audience and market research, user experience and digital product development, collaboration and project management are all covered, along with careers coaching.  

The course has been carefully designed to offer each student the flexibility to tailor coursework and a final extended project to their own interests and ambitions. 

You'll have access to up-to-date information from industry speakers and field trips to key events, which might include the Bath Children's Literature Festival, the London International Book Fair and the Bologna Children's Book Fair.

'Children's Publishing was a fantastic opportunity to be creative. It expanded my view of picturebooks, introducing them as an art form, whether they focus on poignant storytelling or innovative design. The course was more fun than work!"

Rebecca Taylor (2017)

What you'll learn

Overview

Publishing at Bath Spa is characterised by innovative approaches, creative studio-based collaborative working and high-quality making across all published forms, from handmade and print to digital and live.

This practice-based subject involves creative experimentation, intellectual and critical engagement with ideas, research and stories. It involves the application of creativity, imagination, critical judgement and commercial awareness in the conceptualisation, shaping and production of engaging content. A distinctive feature of the course will be the creative-digital-tech approach to innovation, drawing on our expertise in both digital publishing and physical books e.g. story apps and pop-up books.

A particular strength of this MA is in picturebooks, which form a significant part of the international children's publishing industry. The international context is an important component of the course in terms of translation, rights, illustration, and sales; as is an awareness of audience, market and merchandise.

In-built flexibility enables students to tailor the course to suit their interests and chosen specialism, such as new product development, editorial, marketing, design or production; young adult, educational and picturebooks. Students will graduate with a stunning professional portfolio demonstrating relevant knowledge and experience in the specific area in which they wish to build a career.

Course structure

Trimester one
You'll explore the industry across print and digital, experiment with the relationship between form and content, and develop the skills to create your own original publication.

You'll learn about the distinctive nature of children's and YA books in the context of the international publishing business and the challenges and opportunities of digital technology.

Visiting industry experts will talk to you about the latest developments in a wide range of specialist areas, from rights to digital marketing, and commissioning strategy to working with illustrators.

Work experience is embedded throughout the programme, and you'll have the opportunity to work with a publisher on a live industry project.

Trimester two
You'll develop specialist skills for this distinctive area of publishing across print and digital publications. This will be hands-on and varied. Modules might include:

• Story Lab
• Visual Sequential Narrative

Specialist careers coaching is offered to all students on this course, from industry-experienced Publishing tutors. We help you develop a professional digital portfolio to present yourself and your work to the industry.

Trimester three
You'll complete an extended project or dissertation. Tutors will support you as you develop your ideas into a finished proposal and in-depth exploration of a topic.

How will I be assessed?

You'll be assessed through coursework and continuous assessment. You'll present creative and strategic industry project reports and pitches, publication samples, industry-standard documentation, reflective writing and critical essays.

How will I be taught?

Taught by subject experts and industry practitioners, you'll take part in tutor-led workshops and live industry projects in the first and second trimesters.

The extended project or dissertation is an opportunity for you to apply and extend your subject knowledge and creativity to develop your own original project. This will be taught through one-to-one tutorials and access to technical publishing workshops.

Opportunities

Study abroad

You'll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes in a variety of countries.

Field trips

Industry field trips to key events such as the Bath Children's Literature Festival, The London International Book Fair, or the Bologna Children's Book Fair will offer industry networking opportunities and possible work experience opportunities.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Staff have excellent industry links - nationally and regionally. Our students have worked with international, award-winning children's publishers such as Book Island, Parragon Books and Chicken House. We develop work experience opportunities for students through our relationships with publishers. 

Careers

You'll receive expert advice on developing an appropriate industry CV to accompany your digital portfolio, as well as specialist publishing careers advice.

MA Children's Publishing graduates will be prepared for a wide range of roles within the publishing industry such as editorial, design and production, and marketing. In addition, transferable skills will make you attractive to recruiters in digital content development, digital marketing, merchandising and education. You might also set up your own businesses or continue your studies at PhD level.

"Children's Publishing was filled with hands-on workshops and informative lectures. I left with a beautiful picturebook, which I designed, and greater knowledge of this distinctive part of the publishing industry."

Catarina Lobo (2017)

Pop-up book making

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

  • The majority of module workshops, seminars and tutorials will be held at Corsham Court.
  • We'll also take advantage of the opportunities offered to us by Newton Park campus.

Resources

We provide a variety of equipment both in workshops and for student hire (free), from iPads and DSLR cameras to bookbinding and pop-up book-making equipment. Letterpress, typeface creation software and 3D printing workshops are available. We offer library resources and access to international journals and reference sources. 

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMAHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study1 year
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course fees 7195International course fees find out
  • The awardMAHow you will studyPart-timeHow long you will study2 years
    Course startsOctoberDomestic course fees 7195International course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Fees

UK and EU students full time

Course fees

2018/19 entry £7,195 2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019 2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

International students full time

Course fees

2018/19 entry £13,900 2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019 2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

Entry requirements

What we look for in potential students

We're looking for enthusiastic and motivated students who are interested in developing a career in children's publishing. We value creativity, imagination, initiative and a willingness to try new things.

Typical offers

We usually require candidates to have a good first degree (2:1 or above) in any academic subject. You may be considered without a first degree, if you can demonstrate considerable relevant experience. You may be asked to attend an interview.

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence of proficiency in written and spoken English. A minimum language level of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required.

What students think about Bath Spa University

    Yasmina Van De Peer, BA (Hons) English Literature and Film Studies, Spain

    Where to start with this year? There have been so many new friends, a new life-style with freedom and no muYasmina Van De Peerm bossing me around. My year has not been easy but I would do it all again, life challenges you in many ways and this experience definitively has.

    When I arrived in September, I felt like a lost girl trying to find something that I could grasp and change my life forever. My first year in a foreign country was fantastic and thanks to the creative writing department, I will never forget my second year as I have the privilege of studying in Chicago for a full academic year! However, this has no real connection with why I chose Bath Spa University.

    I worked as an ambassador for this University and a lot parents have asked the same question, why did I choose it? After 50 parents it gets tiring- especially when I was unsure. As everyone else I want to succeed in life. I have dreamt about going to Oxford, Harvard or any well known University. But the one thing that I have learnt in life is that you can be successful and come from the smallest place in the world. The key to success requires determination to reach your goal.

    Bath Spa just felt right and it allowed me to combine my subjects [English Literature and Film Studies], be myself and it also has an inspiring and picturesque scenery. For me it was perfect.

    Johannes Gerdes, BA Business and Management, Germany

    I chose BA Business and Management as I have always been inspired by my dad who runs a world leading business. The opportunity to work for him during holidays gave me a chance to look inside a company and to experience what management, leadership and communication is all about. I wanted to widen my knowledge and hence started my Business & Management career here at Bath Spa.
    My parents always wanted to give me the opportunity to study abroad. My old school, near Bristol, where I stayed as a boarding student for the last two years, helped me to discover where most of my interests lie. In addition, friends of mine started studying here at Bath Spa.

    I would describe Bath Spa in three words as: Cultural, Wonderful, Friendly.

    In the future I hope I will be working together with my dad and widen the market to countries which haven't been discovered yet.


    Don't be afraid of university life. University is the best time in your life. You meet so many new people from different nationalities and all come together! You will settle down easily. You make friends so fast and there is always someone around to help you! Even language barriers can be fixed with a perfect Writing and Learning Centre [the English Language Unit (ELU) is also available for all international students to access where English is not their first language] here at Bath Spa. Come to Bath and experience the whole range of activities they offer and be open to new things!

    Nassos Polyzoidis, MMus Songwriting, Greece

    Even though I live in Greece, I'm familiar with many British Universities, as I work for some English Examination Boards for Music and I've attended some Summer Schools in UK over the years. Bath Spa University's reputation in Songwriting and Commercial Music was known to me for a long time. Being a guitarist and working for the RGT at the same time, I have heard stories about Bath being the birthplace of guitar magazines and other music and artistic events. I was accepted to study Commercial Music as an undergraduate student about 4 years ago, but due to some sudden accidents I have to decline my offer. After this unfortunate event, I decided to become better Musician and Songwriter, so that I can return as a postgraduate applicant. When I noticed that there was a distance learning degree, MMus Songwriting, I knew I had to do this. Meanwhile, I did my research, which only lead me to ensure my initial decision to study at Bath Spa University.


    I was attracted to this course as I was already familiar with Bath Spa University's reputation in this field. In addition to that, Songwriting isn't taught in my home county at all. I knew that only few Institutes offer Songwriting as a postgraduate degree, so I did my research over the last 3 years. During this time, I was only ensuring myself that I have to apply for this course. I really want to become a successful songwriter, and also, probably one of the first songwriting teachers in Greece, so I know that this course is best for me. I knew that the course will help me become more confident and enhance my professional skills in the field. Finally, being mainly inspired by British Songwriters, it was really important that my songwriting skills would develop a lot lyrically, which can help me open the door to an international market.


    I would describe Bath Spa University in three words as: Innovative, modern, artistic.


    Once I have my degree, I am really hoping to become a successful songwriter. Being inspired mainly by British Songwriters, I would really like to write songs for the UK and international market. In addition, I will probably become one of the first songwriting teachers in Greece. Last, but not least, as I'm already collaborating with several English musicians, I'm considering in my future plans to apply for a PhD and probably seek for more collaborations in UK, which might extend my visits there.


    My advice I would you give to other international students who want to study in the UK would depend on the ethics and societal context of each county. So, a general advice I would give is "Do not be afraid of failure, do your best and apply to the courses that you really like!"

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