Nielsen Seminar comes to Scotland!

Nielsen Book is hosting a Publishing Seminar in Edinburgh at Edinburgh Napier’s Craiglockhart Campus.

Working with Publishing Scotland, MSc Publishing is delighted to host this event and to support our students and publishers by sponsoring free places.

Nielsen is a leading global information & measurement company, providing market research, insights and data about what people watch, listen to & buy. They are an essential part of the publishing industry. (@nielsenbook)

This is a must attend event for any publisher who wants to learn more about Nielsen’s services and how they can help ensure your books are widely available and easy to discover!

View the agenda here:

This is a ‘Free Event’, but you do need to book in advance to reserve your place as space is limited.

A light lunch will be provided for delegates.

We are delighted to host this event – the first of its kind in Scotland!


Can You Be a Parent and a Publishing Student?

Publishing blog
That’s lovely, darling. But wouldn’t you rather read a book?

When I applied to do the Publishing MSc in June 2016, I had worked in various forms of publishing as a journalist, copywriter and editor, so deciding to study it seemed like the logical next step in my career. However, unlike the average student, I had been out of higher education for seven years and I also had a daughter (the spirited creature above) who had just turned two.

Now that I’m at the end of the second semester of the course, I have some advice for any parents thinking of making a return to higher education, because I know from when i was researching courses that a lot of the information I read was tailored towards students who didn’t have any dependents.

I was not the first parent to go to university, and I will not be the last. I hope this blog post helps someone thinking of returning to university after a long break, or someone who is thinking of applying for a course for the very first time.

Be Realistic

The biggest mistake I made when I started the course was thinking that I was the same as all my peers. The reality was, that at 31, I wasn’t the same person that I was at 23, and I had very, very different priorities to the ones I had before.

I had to manage my time effectively and decide what to prioritise. It was no use comparing myself to anyone, because we are all in this together, and I just had different things to deal with.

I had to sacrifice going to a few parties, and I’ll admit it, I did a few all-nighters before big deadlines. (Don’t do this) And yet, after submitting my assignment, I still got my daughter to nursery, and got myself to university, which was on the other side of town. All by 9am(ish). (I’m not entirely sure how I managed to do this on more than one occasion).

Ask for Help

I can’t stress this enough: ask for help, and ask for help EARLY. When I started the course, I mentioned that I had a child, but I didn’t ask for extra help because I didn’t think I needed it.

It turned out that I really did need a bit of support, especially as after having my daughter, my short-term memory was totally unreliable – if you have trouble recalling really vital things, like  “What is a paragraph style?” and get the cold sweats every time someone starts a conversation with “You will recall…” then, take my advice, and write EVERYTHING down – and I was very tired a lot of the time.

There is no shame in asking for a little bit more support. Don’t be proud, be selfish! The lecturers and my colleagues were very helpful throughout the course, and other students would often pick me up when I was feeling down with a few much-needed words of encouragement.


Trying to build a routing around a toddler can feel a bit like stapling jelly to the ceiling; it’s messy, it’s endless and throughout, you’ll also be questioning just Why On Earth you’re putting yourself through it.

I had to be strict with myself and ensure I went to bed at a decent hour, and that i got up when my alarm went off around 6am. It wasn’t easy, and I didn’t always manage it, but having a good routine throughout the course meant that I could (usually) manage to get to class on time.


I couldn’t have returned to university without the help of my friends and family, who offered to take my daughter at least once a week, and when I had impending deadlines. And I couldn’t have got through the course if my colleagues and lecturers hadn’t been so supportive.

So, yes! It is possible to be a student and a parent. You need to be realistic with your time and priorities, find the strength to ask for help if you need it, create a routine that you can stick to and use the support of anyone and everyone who can give you it.

Returning to high education has not been easy, it’s meant that I’ve had to be very strict with myself and re-learn how I work best. However, I’m at the end of the second semester, my daughter will be three next month, and I’m really glad that I applied to the course. Remember, if I can do it, then so can you!

Choosing A Placement

Applying for a placement is a very important task – for any young person it is vital that they choose something that both strengthens their CV as well as helps them to gain experience in relevant areas; areas which they would like to work in.

I considered all of this as, when investing my time in a placement, it is important that I get experience working with scripts. Therefore I made sure to angle my work in University over the year as well as target my applications to specific placements. For example, my CV is very strong on theatrical experience, from stage management to Dramaturgy, but it is weak on the business side, with most of my experience being administration work. Therefore, when the opportunity to work with Publishing Consultant, Ann Crawford, was offered, I was very excited. I knew this would be a chance to expand my experience in many ways.

Ann has a very well-known and respected reputation in Scotland and when she interviewed me she was not only professional but very kind as well as excited to allow me to gain experience in this area. For someone with Ann’s experience to provide me with such an opportunity is a real confidence booster, and shows other (potential employers) that I am worth taking a risk on. This chance to work with someone with such a wealth of experience is why I felt that working with Ann would be an amazing opportunity for me. While it is early in the process I am very excited to do the work, and get the experience.

For young publishers starting out, it is hard to put into words how much it means when lecturers find us exciting and relevant placements, and the gratitude we feel when experienced professionals put their trust in us.

I am excited to start on my publishing journey – watch this space to see how I get on!

Postgraduate Open Evening, 6 April, from 5.30pm

If you are interested in studying Publishing at Postgraduate level, then come and meet us.

Thursday 6 April, from 5:30–8pm at our Merchiston Campus (EH10 5DT:

You will be able to meet academic staff and find more information on course content, module options and opportunities.

Supporting departments will also be on hand to offer guidance on accommodation, fees, etc.

Here is the link to register:

Places on our accredited Publishing programme are competitive and we want ambitious, informed applicants. Come and discover what you need to do to make your application stand out.

Innovations in Learning & Teaching – Behind the Scenes

innovationsbook-6Innovations in Learning and Teaching
Edited by Christine Penman and Dr Monika Foster

A pedagogic research publication showing new teaching approaches in higher education. This collection of chapters gives voice to academics from different disciplines across Edinburgh Napier University who have all embarked on a quest to question, challenge, and rethink existing practices. With a focus on student experience, this book tests alternative methods, the recombination of parameters, and the re-organisation of learning environments and curriculum design.

ISBN: 978-0-9576882-8-5
Now available from Blackwell’s Bookshop, Edinburgh, or via our online shop

We’d like to introduce you to our senior editors:  Christine Penman and Monika Foster.

Christine Penman
Christine Penman

Christine Penman: Senior Lecturer, Languages Subject Group Leader.
To learn more about Christine Penman, see her staff profile at Edinburgh Napier University’s webpage.

Dr MonikaFoster
Dr Monika Foster

Dr Monika Foster: Associate Professor and Principal Fellow of Higher Education Academy. To learn more about Dr Monika Foster, see her staff profile at Edinburgh Napier University’s webpage.

Head here to Meet the Contributors…

Monika Foster, Julia Fotheringham, Avril Gray, Kathryn James, Isla Kapasi, Iain Macdonald, Kirsten MacLeod, Myrna MacLeod, Jennifer Murray, Laurence Patterson, Christine Penman, Stephen Robertson, Sarah Sholl, Mabel Victoria, Keith Walker, Brian Webster-Henderson, Richard Whitecross, Rachel Younger

Meet our Publications team:
MSc Publishing students working in our Publishing Lab.
MSc Publishing students working in our Publishing Lab.

Rachel AitkenLaura Borrelli
Justine BottlesJulia Crawford
Michelle DaltonAdam Harris
Kirsty HunterNate A Kunitskaya
Lisa MacKenzieJason O’Neill
Romi Rellum

Head here to Meet our Event/Launch Team…
Some of the MSc Publishing students in charge of the book launch.

View the Launch Photos

Follow Innovations in Learning and Teaching on Twitter and like us on Facebook

To find out more about the publication of Innovations in Learning and Teaching – or any of our publications – email the Publishing Programme Leader:

Arusa wins Postgraduate Publisher of the Year!

arusa-qureshi-2Arusa Qureshi has won Postgraduate Publisher of the Year at the recent Scottish Magazine Awards.

Run by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA), the Scottish Magazine Awards is the premier celebration of the talent within Scotland’s vibrant magazine media sector.

PPA Scotland Business Manager, Nikki Simpson, said: “This Award recognises the close ties developed with Edinburgh Napier University, the first UK university to achieve PPA accreditation for a Publishing course.”

The judges said they “expect great things from Arusa and can’t wait to see where the magazine world leads her – and where she leads it!”

Arusa received a Carnegie Cameron Bursary in 2015–16 to complete our MSc Magazine Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University.

Arusa graduated in October 2016 and is already working at The List magazine in Edinburgh.

We are also proud of the other three 2016 Publishing graduates who were shortlisted for the Award: Scott Park (working at Shout Magazine, DC Thomson), Fiona Goodbody (working at Sustrans) and Caoilfhionn Maguire (now working at House of Coco Magazine, and freelance travel writer).

All winners here:

On winning the award Arusa said: “I was thrilled and incredibly grateful to have won the Postgraduate of the Year Award. Being shortlisted alongside such talented people in the industry was a real honour and for that, I owe great thanks to PPA Scotland, the judges and my tutors. I hope that I’ll be able to contribute positively to the magazine publishing industry in the future.”
    – Arusa Qureshi, Postgraduate Publisher of the Year, 2016

Huge congratulations, Arusa!

Leah wins Emerging Publisher of the Year Award!

leah_pictureLeah McDowell has won the Saltire Emerging Publisher of the Year Award!

The award is organised by the Saltire Society, which supports the arts and cultural heritage of Scotland. The Awards are heralded as Scotland’s foremost literary awards.

Leah is a graduate of MSc Publishing and joined Floris Books immediately after graduating, where she is now Design and Production Manager. Floris Books won the Saltire Publisher of the Year Award!

Leah saw off competition from 4 other nominees for this new award, which aims to … Continue reading “Leah wins Emerging Publisher of the Year Award!”