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Innovative creative industries partnership develops unique masters degree in Publishing

3rd February 2022

Three major organisations have joined forces to deliver an innovative new publishing degree, which gives students a guaranteed work placement with a global publisher and the opportunity to work on live writing development projects.

Northumbria University’s new one-year MA Publishing programme has been designed – and will be delivered – in collaboration with one of the world’s largest publishing houses, Hachette UK, and reading and writing development organisation,New Writing North.

It has been specially designed to respond to recognised skills gaps within the contemporary publishing industry, and will cover all stages of the publishing process, from commissioning and editing through to marketing, sales, data and production.

The course has a focus on equality, diversity and inclusion in publishing and the partners hope that diversifying the future workforce will be a key outcome. To support this the partners will offer a £2,000 scholarship for one highly gifted student from an under-represented background each year.

The MA Publishing gives students the opportunity to take part in a work placement within one of Hachette UK’s offices or with New Writing North so that they can apply their learning in a real-life context, gain valuable work experience and enhance their knowledge of publishing and the wider writing industries.

Students will be taught by expert academics and by specialists and staff from both Hachette UK and New Writing North.

With Hachette UK recently opening five new national offices across the UK – including one in Newcastle-upon-Tyne – and with New Writing North developing a flagship Centre for Writing, the partners hope that the new course will reinforce the North East’s already significant reputation for being a creative centre for writing and publishing.

Professor Katy Shaw, Director of Cultural Partnerships at Northumbria University, said she was hugely excited by the new course.

“Newcastle has a thriving literary culture and community and we have worked extremely closely with our partners at Hachette UK and New Writing North to develop this unique and innovative programme.

“Our students will have the opportunity to explore all elements of the trade publishing landscape, and benefit from cutting-edge industry-inspired learning. When they graduate, they will be truly distinctive, having developed the academic, vocational and practical skills needed to prepare them for success in a range of publishing-related roles.”

Claire Malcolm, Chief Executive of New Writing North, said that the new programme supports the broader ambitions of the region.

“New Writing North has a fantastic track-record of working in partnership with Higher Education and industry and this new partnership demonstrates our capacity to bring partners together to create strategic ‘game-changing’ activities,” she said.

“The new programme will build up the creative industries infrastructure and workforce in the North East to support our broader plans to develop a new Centre for Writing here. We look forward to working with more industry partners as our plans grow.”

The £2,000 scholarship is awarded jointly by Northumbria University and Hachette UK as part of the University’s Higher Education Without Barriers Fund. The fund provides a range of support, including financial initiatives, to make participation and progression in higher education more achievable for academically talented students, regardless of their social or economic circumstances.

Richard Kitson, Deputy Group CEO at Hachette UK, said: “We are so excited to be part of this brand new MA in Publishing, working in close partnership with Northumbria University and New Writing North. 

“The conversations about this new venture began around three years ago, when we started planning one of our five new national offices in Newcastle as part of our Changing the Story diversity and inclusion programme, and our All Together employee network, which is focussed on improving our regional and socio-economic diversity, has been closely involved.

“By supporting this MA, we hope to make a meaningful contribution to the City of Newcastle and the North East and to contribute to the vibrant arts and culture scene here. We all share a vision for this MA to develop the next generation of publishing talent and to give graduates a real world understanding of the skills needed to work in our amazing industry and the myriad roles available.”

Teaching on the new MA Publishing degree begins in September 2022. The course is delivered over one year on a full-time basis.

Anyone wanting further information can visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/mapublishing or watch the video below.

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