My MA application finally went in the post yesterday so should be landing on UCL’s graduate admissions doormat today!  I went for UCL in the end as the course content seemed to be more what I am after – see here for a description of the modules.  The fact that over half the course is dedicated to exploring and understanding the key skills and processes of Publishing as a business was a big bonus to me, and I also think the Publishing, Culture and Society module sounds very interesting. The Publishing Process module also requires you to work in groups to give a presentation in front of top industry professionals, which would be excellent experience.  They condense their taught classes into two days a week, giving you time to work or do work experience alongside it, and a 5 week work placement is compulsory, as is a dissertation.  For me personally, their location in Euston is far more convenient, and they have a lovely campus.

So I should be getting confirmation of my application from the Graduate Admissions Department within 5 weeks, and from the Publishing Admissions Tutor a few weeks after that, then interviews will be in the new year.  I’m glad I managed to get it sent off before term has really got going here, because now I don’t need to worry about it too much until I know if I get an interview or not!

I’m also now starting to look at the very few in-house Publishing Graduate Training Schemes available.  HarperCollins run one, but no information seems to be available yet for 2009 applications, so I can’t really tell you how their scheme works. Macmillan‘s scheme puts you straight into a real job with real responsibilities, giving you an opportunity to learn about the business from the inside and providing you with support and mentorship at the same time.  They only have 5 or 6 places available and their scheme seems quite prestigious, so I will be tackling the rather long, detailed and slightly intimidating application form this weekend!  Penguin have in the past run a scheme in which you spend three months each in six different departments, gaining on-the-job insights into the company and how different departments work, whilst also completing individual project work and participating in a business skills development programme.  However, the only information I could find on their website dates from 2004/5 and I have not yet received a reply to the email I sent asking if they are running the scheme for 2009/10, so I will probably have to try and ring to find out.  The advantage of these schemes in general is, of course, that you are doing a real job and getting paid for it whilst receiving training; the advantage of an MA is being able to gain a thorough theoretical, academic knowlege of the business before being thrown in the deep end!

At any rate, I feel very positive that I will have something interesting to do next year, and if all else fails, I’ll be going down the more traditional work experience plus hundreds of applications for entry-level assistant jobs next summer after I’ve graduated!