In January, an innovative new distance learning MA in Publishing will begin at Brookes’ Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies (OICPS). The OICPS, which is located within the School of Arts in the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment, will be the only publishing course of its kind to be offered by a higher education institution in Europe.
Over 75 students annually study Publishing at MA level within the OICPS. The exceptionally successful and well-respected programme is now distinguishing itself from other universities in the UK and Europe by offering a distinctive distance-learning Publishing MA, which will meet the growing demand for postgraduate study in the field of publishing, while offering greater flexibility to prospective students. The new Publishing MA will run alongside the current campus-based programmes.
Making the most of Virtual Learning Environments
The new distance-learning MA in Publishing is developed by experienced academic staff with extensive industry expertise and experience. The programme engages students with Oxford Brookes through interactive technologies that facilitate study from a distance. This includes the use of the virtual learning environment (VLE) Moodle, which offers vital aspects of study such as discussion forums, file sharing and access to videos and audio files. Course content, including core and alternative compulsory modules, are taken from the already successful MA Publishing programmes that have been running for over 15 years. These modules have now been enhanced, adjusted and rewritten for online delivery using the VLE.
Meeting demand for flexible postgraduate study in Publishing
Each year, there are around 200 applicants for approximately 75 places on the campus-based master’s programme. The new distance-learning Publishing MA has been introduced to cope with the growing demand from students for professional study of publishing. Market research has indicated considerable demand for distance learning delivery both from prospective applicants and potential employers, with 180 enquiries received to date.
Currently, employers are stressing the need for entrants to have an up-to-date knowledge of the changing publishing industry. The distance-learning course aims to give aspiring publishing professionals the ability to assess and respond to change without having to take a career break.
Programme Lead for Publishing Sally Hughes, explained the appeal of the course and how her team are preparing for the launch:
“Enquiries about the course already have been received from all continents, from employees already working in the publishing industry and wanting to enhance their career with an advanced degree, from individuals already in work who would like to change to a career in publishing and from new graduates wanting to prepare for entry into publishing but who are unable to commit to further full time study.”
“The staff team -lecturers, programme administrators and digital media and e-Learning developers supported by guidance from the Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development – have designed, written and developed the two-year programme and are looking forward to welcoming the first students early next year with a dedicated two week induction programme.”
The new distance learning MA in Publishing comprises three core modules in production management: Editorial, Marketing and Sales and Digital Workflow, with elective modules to acquire specialist knowledge in Rights and International Management, Journals Publishing, and History and Culture of Publishing. Students will be supported on the distance-learning programme by a personal tutor, who will guide and support them through their studies. Brookes also allows students to switch between distance-learning and campus based courses, to give greater flexibility to students with different needs and preferences.