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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Course in Publishing Studies




   The Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies (OICPS) at Oxford Brookes University, UK, is one of the leading centres for publishing education in the world, with a reputation for innovation and excellence in teaching and research. "Publishing is one of today's leading creative industries, and at OICPS we cover a broad range of the industry to include books, magazines, journals and digital publishing," says Adrian Bullock, director of international development at the centre. 
   The centre has the longest record of degree-level publishing education in the UK, and is one of the largest departments in Europe. Says Bullock: "The fact that our programmes continue to attract students from all over the world in increasing numbers is an indication of the value students attach to what we do and how we do it. And the fact that all our graduates are able to find good jobs is an indication of the confidence the international publishing industry has in what we produce." 
   He adds: "Our courses provide a challenging and intellectually exciting combination of the academic, practical, and professional, which makes it possible to study publishing from a business as well as a cultural and historical perspective. Our graduates can be found throughout the world in all sectors of book, magazine and digital publishing, as editors, project managers, designers, rights managers and marketers." 
   According to Bullock, the centre is international in what it teaches and the way it teaches it. The faculty has been part of the publishing industry, working in trade, educational, and academic publishing. Besides, the centre's location also offers many benefits. For example, the city is home to the operations of many global publishing companies, including Oxford University Press, Pearson and Macmillan. Oxford Brookes is also the permanent home of the Booker Prize Archive. 
   "Apart from the fact that Oxford is a lovely place to live in, OICPS would be my first and only recommendation to students looking for publishing programmes because of the course structure and the teaching standards," says Ankit Vij, who went to OICPS in 2005 to pursue a BA (honours) in publishing. He elaborates: "My father runs a publishing company and I always knew that it was the field I would love to be a part of. After some research, I realised that the course at Brookes was the only one that focussed completely on publishing, while others focussed on different topics such as printing, etc." The other reason for choosing Brookes, says Vij, was the faculty. "I knew that I would understand the concept of publishing better from people who have actually spent time in this industry." 
   On the other hand, Deepthi Talwar had worked with a publishing consultancy in Bangalore and was looking for exposure to international publishing. "There were a few of places I applied to and I liked the programme offered by OICPS best," says Talwar, who completed her MA in publishing in 2003. She points out that the number of courses offered by Brookes has considerably increased since she studied there. "When I was there (2002-2003), only the MA in publishing was offered." 
   Today, the centre offers publishing programmes at both the graduate and postgraduate level. At the Bachelor's level students can either opt for single honours or combined honours programme. The latter allows students to study publishing as a joint degree with a variety of subjects including English, film, and modern languages. Further, the centre offers PhD and MPhil supervision in history and culture of publishing and contemporary publishing in domestic and international contexts. 
   Elaborating on how Indian students fare, Bullock says: "Our Indian students have developed an enviable reputation as high achievers, adapting quickly and confidently to the demands of studying a challenging subject abroad, and in English. Their main aim is to develop their skills so that they can go back to India and use them in the rapidly expanding publishing industry there." Similarly, Talwar elaborates: "The publishing industry in India has grown at an incredible pace in the last couple of years. But, at OICPS, I was given exposure to an industry that had already seen that growth many years back. So, one can learn a lot from their marketing, commissioning and production strategies." 
   Highlighting the opportunities available, Vij comments: "Once you define the gap in the market, publishing is quite profitable. Bloomsbury, for example, was a small time publisher before the Harry Potter script came their way. And considering, today, J K Rowling makes 30 pounds a minute, imagine what the publishing company makes."






   Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group


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