Postgraduate Publishing studies at Edinburgh Napier University. INDUSTRY APPROVED Publishing courses (accredited by the Professional Publishers Association and Creative Skillset). MSc Publishing was the first Publishing programme in the UK to be approved by the Professional Publishers Association. It is one of only two UK courses to be accredited by Creative Skillset. MSc Magazine Publishing is the only course of its kind in Scotland.
As an MSc Publishing student with little or no experience in the industry, I was pleased to discover an opportunity to assist at the Teaching Fellows Journal within a few weeks of starting the course.
Never ones to shy away from being thrown in at the deep end, myself [Rhiannon] and Alessia were given a template for the magazine, a long list of articles, some pictures and a deadline! The 2014 Autumn issue was enjoyable and challenging. It was important for us to maintain the look and quality of the tfj to provide an issue of the magazine that would fit seamlessly into the back catalogue.
When we started, we had not worked with house styles and had only managed a couple of Creative Toolkit sessions in the weeks prior to starting. Learning how the magazine is put together, liaising with a variety of external sources, choosing between a plethora of delightful images and writing by all the contributors, all made for a complete learning experience as we worked towards the deadline.
As students, we were confronted with the difficulties of being in several places at once whilst managing our time effectively between lectures, tutorials, assessments and the placement. Thankfully we were well enough equipped on the course to be able to work remotely and request advice from tutors where the technicalities of software may have otherwise defeated us!
A crash course in layouts, proofreading and InDesign, this early placement was valuable and insightful. As we reach the end of semester two, it is interesting to reflect on the publication and think about how our approach may have differed with the additional knowledge we have attained. It was great to have a placement so early on and it’s a great way to exercise some of those early skills and develop relationships within the University.
One of the major draws of the MSc Publishing course at Napier is the exciting prospect of a work placement: the opportunity to gain a personal impression of the industry through working productively in support of a publisher’s business.
Complementing my academic studies this trimester has been a two-week placement at Teaching Fellows Journal — a biannual publication and part of the Teaching Fellows Scheme. The Fellowship exists to recognise and support good learning, teaching and assessment throughout the University and this ethos is reflected in the journal’s content. It reports on the activities of the teaching community and includes regular columns such as conference reports, diary dates and updates from various departments.
During my time there I was afforded the opportunity to make a valuable contribution to the March 2013 edition and was involved in many of the processes required for its publication. Áine — another MSc Publishing student — and I were keen to develop both editorial and production skills and TFJ facilitated their development in a professional setting. Our main activities encompassed copy-editing, collating proofs and arranging text and images within InDesign. We also corresponded with printers and co-wrote an article for the Student Focus section.
I thoroughly enjoyed working as part of a small team and would recommend this placement to anyone interested in developing industry-specific skills in a friendly setting. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and would like to extend my thanks to Anastasia Dragona, Angela Benzies and Kirsteen Wright for being so welcoming and helpful.
The Teaching Fellows Journal is a bi-annually printed publication, documenting the work of Teaching Fellows in providing excellence in student mentoring and teaching throughout the year. Based in Sighthill campus, it is organised by the Office of the Vice Principal (Academic) and the current and back copies of the Journal are also available online.
I completed a placement at the journal for two weeks during March and it provided an enjoyable and practical experience of a working publishing environment. Initial fears of being a tea-runner/ photocopier were immediately quashed as I was made to feel an integral part of the team immediately. On our first day, we congregated for a team meeting which outlined the roles we would assume while there and the tasks that needed to be completed for the impending publication date. Although slightly overwhelming at first, I quickly became accustomed to the workflow and was extremely grateful to have an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution.
During my time there, I was given the chance to participate in all aspects of the production process including the layout and design of the journal, corresponding with printers, copy-editing and proofreading. Myself and Tom, an MSc Publishing student also completing a placement there, even had a chance to write an article and create a Student Focus page to be included in the journal!
Receiving a copy of the printed journal and seeing my name in print was an exciting and rewarding experience. My placement at the journal has not only provided me with invaluable working experience within a fun and friendly environment, but also validated my choice to enter the Publishing industry. The Teaching Fellows Journal has provided a fantastic placement opportunity and I am grateful to Angela Benzies, Kirsteen Wright and Anastasia Dragona for making my time there so worthwhile and enjoyable. Plus we were often treated to cake and fudge which was great!
To find out more about the Teaching Fellows Journal, please visit their website
It’s the smell of ink, that moment when you open the box for the first time and peer inside, which just adds to the excitement. Picking out that first copy and holding it up to the light thinking, I helped make this. I finally held in my hands the finished product. A mix of emotions of pride, happiness and just a little relief making the weeks of hard work, the stress and frustration, just melt away into memory. At the end of the day, it was all worth it.
My placement at The Teaching Fellows Journal (tfj) has been an exciting experience. The tfj is part of the Teaching Fellows Scheme at Edinburgh Napier University, created in 1997 and exists to better promote the importance of learning and teaching at the university. The journal is distributed throughout the university to inform the Teaching Fellows community on the activities of their colleagues, including conference reports, diary dates and other important information.
My role within the tfj has been to help in the production of the latest issue of the journal. This involved a variety of tasks such as, designing the layouts of the articles, liaising with the editors, contributors and external printers, alongside making recommendations on how the production process of future journals can be improved. What attracted me to this placement was the chance to get involved with a project comprised of a small team. I felt this would give me more opportunities to test out and further broaden the skills the MSc Publishing course has equipped me with. As the journal needed to be produced in a very short period of time, it was like being thrown into the deep end! Whilst this caused stress, having to juggle university, placement and a part-time job, my experience at the tfj has been an invaluable one. The chance to work on a project and hold the finished product in my hands is ultimately why I want to work in publishing.
I remember the time when I was browsing the website of MSc Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University deciding whether to sign on the course, hesitant a bit whether I’d be able to manage my studies and my full time job at the same time. There was, however, a piece of information which particularly grabbed my attention – work placement module, where students can experience a real publishing workplace and put to practice the skills they learned during their studies – I believe this might have given that final push and I made my decision…
So you can imagine how excited I was when the time came for us to chose an organisation to do our placement with. Excited and concerned. Concerned whether I’d be able to take full advantage of the work placement while not compromising my job by being absent during workdays, and at the same time meet expectations of the host company.
I was lucky I was given the opportunity by Teaching Fellows at Edinburgh Napier University to help them put together their March edition of Teaching Fellows Journal. They were very accommodating of my other commitments and let me work from home as long as I would manage to meet production deadlines.
I soon realised I was more then lucky because the work proved to be very interesting. I was a full member of the production team, attending editorial meetings, encouraged to speak up my opinion on matters such as design and layout of the new edition, production schedule or production management. Moreover, my opinion was listened to and some ideas even implemented.
As far as the production of the journal itself, I was working along with my course mate also undertaking his placement with Teaching Fellows, and our day to day tasks comprised actions from typesetting and laying out pages, to liaising with editors and proofreaders as well as printers to make sure the journal was progressing on schedule.
The placement with Teaching Fellows exceeded my expectations and settled my concerns. It was an excellent opportunity to apply relevant skills and knowledge in the work context. The amount of self-initiative we were given felt initially slightly overwhelming but made me to prepare myself to every task very responsibly, carefully evaluate my decisions, and be well organised.
I’m grateful I was given a chance to work together with such inspiring people as the members of the editorial & production team of Teaching Fellows Journal and to fully contribute to the real project – production of tfj March 2012!