5 Reasons to study an MA in Publishing

Sean Betts gives us 5 amazing reasons why you should study an MA in Publishing at Anglia Ruskin University.

Publishing is a rapidly growing, and evolving industry. While holding qualifications specific to the field are not prerequisites for employment, they can give you an edge when applying for that much coveted job. I study an MA in Publishing at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and I present you with my top five reasons (in no particular order) for undertaking an MA in Publishing.

1. Lectures from Industry Professionals

The course content is always contemporary and relevant to the latest developments in the industry.  This content is delivered by individuals who work in the industry and specialise in their field, therefore students directly benefit from their expertise and take it forward into the future. Where industry professionals do not deliver course content, the tutors have extensive experience in the industry and have diversified into academic teaching.

 2. Multiple Publishing Internships and Opportunities

The MA in Publishing that is offered at ARU has strong links with the publishing industry in and around Cambridge and students benefit from various internship opportunities connected with these companies throughout the academic year.  These internships offered include placements in Editorial, Production, Marketing and Rights Management. Internships supplement, and complement, course content, while also providing students with the chance to get noticed by employers and gain practical transferable skills. I have been on internship with Safkhet Publishing, a virtual publisher who operate a virtual/paperless office which was founded by former MA Publishing student, Kim Maya Sutton.  Through them, I have had the opportunities to edit two manuscripts and conduct a marketing campaign for one of the manuscripts that I have edited.

3. An established, industry mentoring scheme

The MA in Publishing at ARU operates a Mentoring scheme. This scheme involves pairing students up with industry professionals, the two parties then liaise to discuss what both mentor and mentee want to get out of the initiative.  Participation can be extremely useful as it provides a chance to get a perspective from deeper inside the industry.  This knowledge is often a combination of what the student wants to know about and/or what the mentor can offer.  During my involvement in the mentoring initiative, I undertook a day of work experience at Cambridge University Press.  During this day, I was able to gain an insight into day and day operations at the Press, and helped prepare documents to be taken forward to a ‘syndicate’ meeting.

 4. Having professional experience alongside academic qualifications

Throughout the MA course it is important not to lose sight of the fact that, upon completion, you will have gained a Masters degree.  This not only shows employers that you have dedication, but it also enables you to move onto further PhD study, if you wish to do so. At the end of the degree, students leave equipped with academic and practical skills that can be applied directly to a position within the publishing industry.

 5. Gaining Transferable Skills

The MA in Publishing imparts a wide range of transferable skills that can be applied across multiple positions within publishing and the wider publishing-related industries. Key job-specific attributes, such as having an attention to detail, marketing/business skills and design skills, are all fostered throughout the MA. These are traits that many employers value and will only enhance a job application.

In conclusion, if you have a passion for books and love working in a team, an MA in Publishing could well be a step in the right direction in order to get you where you want to go!

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Sean is a part-time student on the MA Publishing Course at Anglia Ruskin University. His acquaintance with the publishing world was born out of a long sense of intrigue about what actually happens at a publishing house. While his passion, and curiosity, is towards trade fiction, he also holds a bit of a candle to the academic publishing world. He loves to write about trade publishing on Blurbify and is always intrigued to see which book will be next that takes readers by storm!