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Publishing - BA (Hons)

Why study this course?

Study our Publishing BA undergraduate degree and discover how to develop ideas and concepts, execute ideas and produce high-quality books, magazines and digital media. Live briefs from high profile studios and practitioners give you the chance to build networks and contacts, while our professionally equipped studios let you work with both traditional and digital platforms, such as letterpress and web-based applications. Successfully complete the course and you'll be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge for a career in publishing.

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The Publishing BA undergraduate course will help you understand the publishing design process from start to finish. This includes developing ideas and concepts, creating written and visual content, executing designs and learning the technical practicalities of print-based and digital publishing platforms.

The work of identifying audiences and how to engage with them is a vital part of the course. This skill is invaluable in the creative, commercial and professional areas of publishing, and will enhance your ability to connect businesses with new and existing audiences.

You’ll have access to our professionally equipped studios in London, working with technologies from letterpress and screen printing to digital, web and ambient platforms. This course also benefits from London Met's reputable staff and industry contacts, providing you with expertise and inspiration from innovative publishers.

We supply you with live briefs from high profile studios and practitioners, while also helping you hone your personal voice and vision as a designer and explore the relationship between word and image. This gives you the opportunity to build industry contacts and a career-boosting portfolio of work to show to employers after graduation.

With knowledge of the practical and creative processes involved in a professional design and publishing environment, you’ll have everything you need to get a head start in the global and multidisciplinary publishing world of the future.

Please note: From September 2018, this course will be retitled. If you would like to apply for September 2018 entry, please apply on the Design for Publishing BA (Hons) course page.


There are no examinations on this course, as you will be assessed through a portfolio of creative work and essays.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC, one of which from a relevant subject area in the arts, humanities and social sciences (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification in relevant art and design subject) plus portfolio review

We encourage applications from international/EU students with equivalent qualifications. We also accept mature students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Suitable applicants living in the UK will be invited to a portfolio interview. Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a portfolio of work via email.

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Art and Design Extended Degree (with Foundation Year).

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Portfolios and reviews

Your portfolio should be selective, but include enough work to show the range of your interests and talents. We are interested in seeing how you develop a project from beginning to end, not only the finished work.

If you cannot bring some of your work to the portfolio interview, take photographs of your work and bring them instead.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2017/18 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    The module offers a sequence of three intensive programmes or ‘mini-blocks’, tailored to the interests of specific groups of students. The module engages the student in thinking about their subject area, how it is defined and practiced, the richness of its resources, and how it opens up questions of context. In particular the module investigates how context might be framed, for example culturally, historically, economically, socially, theoretically or through practice. Students are encouraged to see connections and reflect on what they see in ways that build skills of communication and help articulate ideas. The module also helps the student, through learning how to identify, access and use knowledge profitably, to become knowledgeable about their subject area, its extent, its language and conventions, its history and practice.

    The three mini-blocks have equally weighted single assessments . The assessments include a range of different modes of written assignments, for example, Patchwork, Case Study, or Essay.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    Successful design outcomes are reliant on sound design principles. These design principles inform and create opportunities for you to apply your creativity to the conception, development and eventual realisation of effective design solutions.

    Design is intent on bringing about change, impacting on human experience. This module will introduce you to a range of contemporary and traditional discipline-related design approaches and processes, some of which will be tested in design exercises and some of which may be realised in studios and projects carried across other modules. You will be introduced to systems and methods of analysing 2D and 3D artefacts, material culture and sites. Processes experienced will involve research, documentation and analysis, as well as play, accident and chance.

    Design concepts will be tested through the application of workshop and studio methods. Materials, processes and technologies will be discipline-specific, developing creative outcomes relevant to the possibilities and constraints of the context, the needs of the client and users, and industry conventions.

    You will be encouraged to develop a critically informed and personal approach to the process of design. Studios and projects will encourage you to understand your practice in the context of a rapidly changing contemporary culture with ever-developing needs and problems. Engaging with materials, media and, processes, you can become an agent of change through design practice.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This module introduces the idea of ‘graphic authorship’ as a way of thinking and approach to developing your own design practice. Through investigation and development, from conception to realisation, its purpose is to stimulate critical and creative methods of design in an evolving personal perspective. As good working practice, the module also encourages reflection in relation to critical reception of your work. It asks you to consider the negotiable nature, contexts and implications of the personal positions and purposes adopted by graphic and visual designers.

    It surveys key historical and contemporary movements and designers known for their singular creative voice, considering what can be learned from the influence of their work in context of their own and later times. The module also looks at other creative factors and influences, whether tied to the professional field or not, in shaping individual practice.

    The module normally includes course specific studios with a range of practical activities and will facilitate the realisation of studio practice and projects generated in other modules.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This module introduces and develops a range of knowledge, skills and approaches in the research, sketching and communication of information and ideas in visual form.

    You will take part in a range of studios, workshops and lectures that introduce a wide range of traditional and contemporary drawing, visual research and communication media, methods and practices to help you explore, record, select from, analyse and interpret your environment and the world of images, spaces and artefacts for a range of purposes.

    Through the regular practice of a wide range of drawing methods, whether for the recording and communication of information, the generation of concepts and design or the expression of ideas, you will develop confidence and a key resource to support your practice.

    Discipline specific projects will explore the recording and expression of line, colour, form, structure, light, space and perspective, texture, detail and context appropriate to the requirements of your field in a range of media and formats.

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This module is intended to enable designers to gain experience and understanding of working practices within the creative industries. Through working on projects that reflect real-world situations, you will consolidate both disciplinary and creative skills, develop professional confidence and navigate individual and collaborative approaches to working.

    Projects will provide the opportunity to explore in-depth professional ways of working, encouraging students to foster creative imagination and critical judgement, and to develop individual and team-working skills to real-world problems and opportunities.

    The module is driven by workplace goals, objectives and constraints in order to develop, test and extend knowledge and understanding of professional practice and employability. Particular emphasis is placed upon the completion of agreed practice-based outcomes to a professional standard within agreed timescales, promoting confidence in communication skills, including visual and verbal presentation methods. Professional ethics, social enterprise and entrepreneurial strategies will be explored, debated, and applied to produce creative solutions.

    This module develops your ‘learning for work’. Within the module, you will gather work-related experience through live or simulated projects. You will gather employment transferable skills, desirable and advantageous for employment. You will foster your ability to develop and present your creative ideas to a professional client relevant (or adjacent) to your overall practice/ employment intentions.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    The module offers a sequence of three intensive programmes or ‘mini-blocks’ tailored to the interests of specific groups of students. It provides a range of studies that address the character and conditions of cultural production including how they operate in practice. The module helps to prepare the student for their final-year dissertation and their future role as professionals and practitioners. The student encounters different perspectives on their subject area and undertakes different forms of coursework aimed at helping inform their choice of dissertation topic and approach.

    The module begins to situate the student within the process of constructing knowledge. This process may be approached from the point of view of the producer or consumer, the critic or the professional, the academic or the practitioner, in that there are a number of players involved. The module recognises that the student is also an active player in the process: what they bring to the construction of knowledge counts; and how effectively they construct it depends on how well they understand and interact with the field. To this end the module encourages the skills of reading and literacy as required – historical, analytical, textual, visual or technical – to help support rigorous and enterprising thought.

    The three blocks have equally weighted single assessments.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning

    This module encourages understanding of ‘narrative’ as a key element within creative practice. The principal purpose of this module is to explore understanding of how found or individually generated narratives can be utilised imaginatively within design practice. Narrative within design practice regularly employs fictional devices as stimuli. Thoughtful reflection on storytelling conventions will enable you to enrich and extend the range of creative expression.

    Within this module, you will be encouraged to de/construct and reconstruct narrative to inform or subvert the reading of design practice for public dissemination. Intelligent, creative selection of media and process will enable you to enrich and extend the range of your practice, developing confidence in communicating through narrative studio themes.

    Read full details.
  • This module exposes students to specialist practices in design for publishing, both printed and digital. Exploring different aspects of publishing as part of practice in design by exploring the designer’s role in relation to audiences and mediums for publishing.

    Looking specifically at designer as author / designer as publisher / designer as editor.
    The module examines the collaborative nature of the role of designer as publisher – a partner in, author of and conduit for subject matter and content generated across the spectrum of creative fields.

    Students will be mastering the materials and processes associated with print media, whilst exploring the field of cross-disciplinary digital publishing, especially focusing on the rapidly evolving possibilities for print-digital relationships.

    Using editorial thinking as part of the design process, this module encourages autonomous research, ideas-generation and the exploration of writing and editing in the design process. It will interrogate concepts of design stories / design fictions and ptactices of designing into editorial formats.

    Students will be expected to build upon their skills in the following areas or combination of areas:
    Design – Adobe Creative Suite / Typography / Layout / Art Direction / Illustration/ Photography
    Editorial – Writing / editing / commissioning / curation
    Publishing – publishing models / platforms / distribution / audience / funding
    Production – paper & print / digital platforms / pagination / formats / book binding
    Research / Culture – research methods / criticism / reflecting on contemporary practice / social and aesthetic context
    Presenting – editorial / portfolio / promotion

    The module asks you to conceptualise, plan and produce design outcomes, to embed research and practice in contemporary publishing world, to reflect on historical / traditional and non-traditional publishing methods, and to research, document and publish innovation in the field of publishing.

    Read full details.

Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    The module is framed in terms of a dissertation. The student undertakes an enquiry into a topic of his or her own choice and, based on this enquiry, develops an extended critical study. The module involves individual supervision designed to support the student’s ambitions and confidence in becoming an independent learner, building on techniques and knowledge developed in previous years, and providing scope for initiative and development. The dissertation demonstrates the student’s ability to thoroughly research a topic, use appropriate methods of investigation, and work methodically and productively.

    The subject matter of the dissertation can be theoretical, technical, or historical, should be closely related to the student’s main field of study and be complimentary to their practice. It may be envisaged as one of several different types: for example, visual, technical or other non-written material may form the subject of the enquiry and comprise an integral part of the whole; the dissertation may be professionally oriented and include field-work; or it might be academic and theoretical in its source material and methodology. Its form and approach can reflect a broad range of discipline-specific approaches based on discussion and agreement with the supervisor and/or course leader.

    Students may develop their topic independently or, as an option, within a specific dissertation Interest or Subject Group. Interest or Subject Groups will provide a short taught programme. They are offered on an annual basis and may incorporate:

    • research based specialisms
    • areas of scholarly interest in history and theory
    • industry related practice
    • workshop, digital or media based technical studies

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    Design is a complex creative field, encompassing a range of ways of working and patterns of professional engagement. Succeeding within design professional practice requires specific skills in pitching, presenting, innovating and communicating. This module helps you to develop your experience of the professional workplace, competitive and/ or exhibition practice and the legal and ethical frameworks surrounding them through participation in live competition or exhibition and/ or work placement

    The module looks at formal models for concept innovation, creative thinking and entrepreneurial skills, alongside developing your individual responsibility as a practitioner and your critical self-reflection. Through professional submission, pitching and presentation to potential employers, real-world competition briefs or exhibition opportunities, you will develop and test your design approach and professional strategies for differentiation and self-promotion within a highly competitive field.

    The module sets out to prepare you for entry to the workplace or higher study through experience of professional portfolio development and related promotional activities. It helps you to assess not only your position within the design industry but also to define your individual creative strengths, presenting your work to a high professional standard. Through practice, you will establish a sound process for research, design-development and production. Through a series of lectures, workshops, seminars and assignments, you will investigate, analyse and practice the forms, properties and qualities of a wide range of professional practice fundamentals, for example, website portfolios, press releases, design rights statements, consultancy costing, copyright laws, portfolio content.

    This module develops your ‘learning for work’. Within the module, you will experience work-related learning through live exhibition, competition and/or simulated consultancy and/ or work placement. You will refine a range of transferable skills in communication, management, research and analysis and will be encouraged to reflect and report on the work-relevant skills you develop throughout. These skills are both desirable and advantageous for all graduates and include (for example): action planning, contribution to professional meetings, entrepreneurship, acting as a consultant, goal setting, negotiating, networking, project management, self-appraisal, team working. Activities undertaken within this module will help you to prepare for the launch of your individual design practice during your final degree show and subsequent career activity.

    Read full details.
  • This Major Project module enables Publishing students to prepare for independent practice in the workplace or to move onto higher studies. In this module, you will carry out the project conceived and developed in the parallel Project Design and Development module (DN6001), fully realising it in appropriate physical form by the end of the module. You will exercise and display your abilities in selecting, analysing and applying knowledge, skills and understanding to a negotiated and fully researched project in order to properly understand your strengths, interests and position in your field, and the potential for your future professional development.
    You will show that you understand the complex and changing nature of problems in the publishing discipline and can devise and apply realistic strategies for constructing, applying and managing a process designed to provide solutions. A professional standard of realisation, contextualisation and presentation will be expected, providing the elements for a portfolio of practice with which you may enter the field of employment or self-employment or further studies.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning

    Together with their Major Project Realisation module, this module is intended to prepare Design students for independent practice, entry into the professional workplace, or for higher studies.

    Through synthesis of knowledge of processes and principles, using an appropriate range of intellectual, creative and practical skills, you will design and develop a self-directed project. This will naturally require in-depth research, a well-constructed design process, and the exercise of practical and thinking skills, resulting in a significant body of creative work for public exhibition.

    A negotiated and approved proposal will confirm your individual project. Using creative exploration and experimentation, you will develop research, concept development, material investigation, modelling or prototyping and visualisation. The final outcome will be produced in Major Project Realisation.

    The module will ensure that you critique and reflect upon your own work and your position in your creative sector. The module emphasizes self-direction and personal focus whilst acknowledging external and professional expectations and constraints.

    Read full details.

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

Year 1 (Level 4) modules include:

  • Critical and Contextual Studies 1 (Graphics)
  • Design Principles
  • Graphic Authorship
  • Visual Research and Communication

Year 2 (Level 5) modules include:

  • Critical and Contextual Studies 2 (Graphics)
  • Narrative
  • Graphic Media
  • Creative Industry Practice

Year 3 (Level 6) modules include:

  • Critical and Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation (Graphics)
  • Project Design and Development
  • Major Project Realisation: Publishing
  • Design Competition

The Publishing BA is a new course. Students from our related Graphic Design BA and Illustration BA had this to say:

"The course has allowed me to explore all areas of design - not just illustration itself. I think is hugely important for my future in the workplace. I've been encouraged to try new materials and not just limit myself to drawing, which again, is really important for when I finish my course. The teaching staff are amazing and are always there to go through any problem that I may have and I've found that invaluable. They are also all excellent practitioners, highly experienced and always offer a critical eye and opinion which has only ever helped me improve my work. All in all, my time has been amazing here. I've learnt heaps and can honestly say it's been the best experience."
National Student Survey (NSS)

"The teaching of both the Graphic Design BA and Illustration BA courses are quite literally some of the best London has to offer. The quality of teaching in terms of lectures, course material and both exterior and interior resources are incredibly substantial and are almost always readily available to us students. I am, and will always be, proud of being a London Met student."


This course equips graduates to perform in creative roles across the spectrum of publishing media, from traditional print to contemporary digital contexts, working in design, publishing strategy, editorial, commissioning, art direction or branding. It opens the door to a number of exciting careers in many aspects of design for publishing media including art, fiction, journalism, advertising, commercial and public service.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of- the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats is the official site that allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The widget(s) below draw data from the corresponding course on the Unistats website. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, one widget for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

Applying for September 2017

UK/EU students wishing to begin this course studying full-time in September 2017 should apply by calling the Clearing hotline on .

Applicants from outside the EU should refer to our guidance for international students during Clearing.

Part-time applicants should apply direct to the University online.

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

All applicants applying to begin a course starting in January must apply direct to the University.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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