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Qualification - Advanced Certificate In Applied Management (Publishing And Journalism)

Course CodeVBS001
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

Study publishing and journalism - move forward in your career or business

The Advanced Certificate In Applied Management (Publishing And Journalism) is a 900 hour course requiring completion of a total of seven Modules plus a Workplace (Industry) Project.  The Modules comprise:

Four Core Modules: -  Management, Office Practices, Business Operations and Marketing Foundations.

Three Stream Modules covering : - Publishing, Freelance Writing, and Editing.

A workplace project on the publishing industry completes the final 200 hours of study.



The Advanced Certificate In Applied Management (Publishing And Journalism) requires the completion of the following four Core Modules:

1. Office Practices VBS102

Develops basic office skills covering use of equipment, communication systems (telephone, fax, etc) and office procedures such as filing, security, workplace organisations, etc.

2. Business Operations VBS006

Develops knowledge of basic business operations and procedures (eg. types of businesses, financial management, business analysis, staffing, productivity, etc) and the skills to develop a 12 month business plan.

3. Management VBS105

Develops knowledge of management structures, terminology, supervision, recruitment
and workplace health and safety.

5. Marketing Foundations VBS109

Develops a broad understanding of marketing and specific skills in writing advertisements, undertaking market research, developing an appropriate marketing plan and selling.


Following on from the Core Modules, students will complete the following three Stream Modules:

1. Publishing I BWR107

There are ten lessons as outlined below:

1. The Publishing World
Nature & scope of publishing, types of publishers, how books are published, market research.

2. Publishing Procedures and Techniques
Colour or black & white; film or digital imaging, types of printing, alternative ways of doing layout (eg. typesetting, paste up, electronic layout with Adobe products or MS publisher), comparing types of digital graphic files, printing costs, etc.

3. Desktop Publishing

Word Processing, Alternative publishing methods: Printing on a Computer Printer; Supplying a "Master" to a commercial printer, or publishing electronically (eg. Internet or CD).

4. Desktop Publishing
Software options, use of colour, black and white, use of graphics, putting it together, etc.

5. Illustration: Graphics
Line illustrations, cartoons, photos etc. Freehand work, Computer graphics, etc.

6. Illustration: Photography

Photographic Equipment & Materials; Composition; Development of Photographic Style Portraiture, Posing for Photographs, Planning a Photo Session, Studio Photography, Fault Finding, etc.

7. Researching
Types of Research (Exploratory, Experimental etc), Primary & Secondary Data sources, Planning a survey, Conducting an interview.

8. Marketing in Publishing

Understanding marketing & publicity –what makes a publication succeed or fail, launches, press releases, etc.

9. Publishing: Ethics and The Law
Public attitudes, accuracy of writing, bias, monopolies, media ownership concerns, etc.

10. Publishing Project
Your opportunity to actually publish something.


2. Freelance Writing BWR102

The ten lessons cover:

1. Introduction to Freelancing
Scope of freelance writing (types of writing, where to begin, styles, etc). getting help, finding resources and contacts, understanding industry terminology.

2. Basic Writing Skills
What is communication, types of communication, types of language, clear wording, concise wording, parts of speech, grammar, punctuation.

3. The Publishing World
Periodicals, books, remaindering, copyright, publishers advertising conditions,  public lending rights, contracts, selling.

4. Manuscripts
Types of printing, preparing a type script, etc.

5. Planning What You Write
Mechanics of writing, developing an idea, sentence structure, precis, planning what you write, building a paragraph.

6. Newspaper Writing
Newspapers, regular columns, fillers, short features, etc.

7. Magazine Writing
Travel writing, magazine articles/features, determining potentially marketable articles.

8. Writing Books
Non fiction, fiction, short stories, determining what to write and developing an idea.

9. Writing Advertising
Writing a press release, writing an advertisement, writing for public relations, etc.

10. Special Project
Planning and developing a manuscript for a small book.


3. Editing I BWR106

There are eight lessons as follows:

1. Introduction To Editing
The role and scope of editing; tools for editing; editing skills; the production process: an overview; who does what in publishing.

2. The Mechanics Of Clear Writing
Spelling, punctuation, grammar, language; style; tense.

3. Assessing Manuscripts
Readability; word length; structure; consistencies and inaccuracies; the reader’s report; substantive editing; the author’s responsibilities; the author/editor relationship.

4. Copy Editing I
What the copy editor does; the procedure; house style; style sheets.

5. Copy Editing II
Marking up; parts of a publication; editing non-text material; illustrations.

6. Preparing Copy For Printing
Type design and page layout; proof stages.

7. Proof Reading

8. The Final Stages
Indexes; blurbs; checking final proofs.



This is normally done after completing all of the other modules. It is intended as a "learning experience" that brings a perspective and element of reality to the Modules you have studied. The school is very flexible in terms of how you achieve this requirement, and can negotiate to approve virtually any situation which can be seen as "learning through involvement in real life situations that have a relevance to your studies"

Some of the options, for example might be:


Option 1. Work Experience

This involves working in a job that has relevance to what you have been studying. For some students this may be a job they already have. (In some instances, credit may be even granted for work prior to studies). In other instances, this may be either paid or voluntary work which is found and undertaken after completing the other modules. Proof must be provided, and normally this is done by submitting one or more references or statements from an employer. It may also be satisfied by a discussion between the employer and the school in person or on the phone. The must be an indication that you have skills and an awareness of your industry, which is sufficient for you to work in a position of responsibility.

Option 2. Project

This project may be based on applications in the work place and specifically aims to provide the student with the opportunity to apply and integrate skills and knowledge developed through various areas of formal study.


Students will design this project in consultation with a tutor to involve industry based activities in the area of specialized study which they select to follow in the course. The project outcomes may take the form of a written report, folio, visuals or a mixture of forms. Participants with relevant, current or past work experience will be given exemption from this project if they can provide suitable references from employers that show they have already fulfilled the requirements of this project.


Students will be assessed on how well they achieve the goals and outcomes they originally set as part of their negotiations with their tutor. During a project, students will present three short progress reports. These progress reports will be taken into account when evaluating the final submission. The tutor must be satisfied that the work submitted is original.


Other Options

Workplace learning hours may also be satisfied through attending or being involved with meetings conducted by industry bodies such as professional associations; or attending seminars which are attended by industry professionals. Any opportunity for observation and networking may be seen as a valid option.

What You Will Do

  • Plan and write at least 3 major articles and one short story manuscript.
  • Analyse at least 15 articles.
  • Survey the scope and current status of the publishing industry and interpret a range of indicators to the viability of different existing or proposed publications.
  • Explain the publishing industry, the procedures (stages) in bringing a publication to print and the different people (& jobs) involved.
  • Explain how to present a manuscript to a publisher.
  • List the differences between audiences for different types of publications.
  • Explain the differences between types of writing required for newspaper publishing compared with magazine or book.
  • Prepare or select appropriate illustrations (graphic or photographic) for publishing.
  • Explain the processes involved in the production and use of these illustrations.
  • Conduct and report on several interviews.
  • Take a number of photographs with the intention to use them to illustrate a publication.
  • Plan the contents and publishing procedure for ten (10) different types of articles.
  • Plan the contents and publication of a small book, booklet or magazine.
  • List the scope of statistical information available through government agencies and report on the relevance of such information to the publishing industry.
  • Write copy for ten (10) different advertisements and five (5) different promotional leaflets or brochures.
  • Design the layout for two promotional brochures, and determine the cost of typesetting, paste up and printing each.
  • Compare the scope and nature of business conducted by four (4) different publishers.
  • Plan and determine costs for the publication of a new newspaper, newsletter or magazine.
  • Use prescribed reference books and other resources to gain relevant information.

Scope and Nature of Publishing

Some publishing businesses are small with multi-skilled staff. Most medium to large publishing businesses, however, employ a team of people, each with a well-defined role. Following are some of the people that typically work in a publishing business:


The publisher is concerned with planning and management of the publishing business. The publisher is often, but not always, the boss or CEO. The publisher’s particular concerns are to commission new work, negotiate the acquisition of existing work (eg. out-of-print titles that have been released from another publisher), assess and decide on the future of existing titles, and develop new areas of work. The publisher also needs to deal with unsolicited submissions, and with agents of authors. The publisher should maintain contact with authors (though the extent of such contact varies between publishers). The publisher needs to liaise with other sections of a publishing business in order to do their job properly: the editor, the marketing department, etc.


Note: The term ‘publisher’ is used for both the company which publishes the book or magazine, and for the person responsible for selecting material for publication.


The business manager may be responsible for the day-to-day management of either part or all of a publishing business. Some large publishers employ a team of business managers, putting each one in charge of a different group of publications (eg. a business manager for non-fiction and another for fiction, one for women’s magazines and another for business magazines).


The production manager or production assistant is responsible for coordinating and overseeing each of the physical stages in the production of a publication. A small publishing business may assign this task to an editor, or the publisher. A large business may employ several production managers.


The editor is responsible for overseeing the creation of the publication, from inception to the finished product. Different editors have different roles; for example an acquisitions editor seeks work from writers and reviews manuscript submissions, while a copy editor subedits a manuscript, ensuring it is logical, lucid and meets the needs of the target audience. The editor checks the text for language and grammar to ensure consistency and readability. The editor also liaises with writers, production staff and printers so that the publication stays within budget and meets projected deadlines.


The designer has the task of taking instructions from the editor and producing the final layout.


Marketing staff have the task of selling a publication. The editor should explain to these people the concept of the publication. The editor and author will have developed the book with a particular market in mind, and those thoughts must be conveyed to the marketing staff.




The Publisher’s role is to decide what will be published, where it will be published and the quantity that will be published. A publisher is a visionary risk-taker who finds new books and commissions them.

Publishers aim to develop a stable of publications which suit the company image and strengthen its identity. Being recognised in the marketplace is important to profits, and maintaining a recognisable style and identity assists in achieving this. This is why publishers usually have clear set categories of books that they will take on for publication.

The Publisher is in the business of book publication to make a profit. So the costs of producing each book are carefully weighed up with projected sales. A book will only be produced if it is very likely to turn over a good profit. When a publishing company takes on a new book, they are effectively investing in that author and that title.

Here is a brief overview of what the publisher actually does:

  •  Create and maintain policies on what can be accepted for publication
  •  Review potential manuscripts for publication
  •  Select suitable titles
  •  Create new titles/products required by commissioning writers
  •  Develop publishing schedules and timelines including organization of distribution
  •  Work with the marketing department to create a publicity program
  •  Negotiate contracts which take account of libel and copyright laws.
  •  Find and develop opportunities in the marketplace both nationally and globally
  •  Consider financial projections and reports in making decisions
  •  Manage the editorial and production processes

Publishing companies can be small (from a two person office) or large (hundreds of staff worldwide) and can operate in either one or a multitude of markets.

Learning Facilities

ACS follows the old fashioned idea that “the student comes first”. Our staff are told to treat every student as an individual and respond promptly to their enquiries; and the facilities we have developed and continue to develop, are all focused on that goal. Facilities include:

  • Offices in two time zones (UK and Australia) –which means an international team of academics are responding to students 5 days a week and 16 hours a day.
  • An online student room with unique resources that are only available to students studying our courses, including online library.
  • Bookshop offering quality downloadable e books.
  • A data base of 20 million words of unique information written by our staff over 3 decades that can be drawn upon if needed by academics for use in supporting our students.
  • Systems that ensure assignments are tracked, marked and returned to students, fast -commonly within a round 1 week & rarely more than 2 weeks (note: many other colleges take longer).
  • The school is active in social networking and encourages students to connect with us and each other.
  • No automated handling of student phone enquiries. When you call you get a real person; or leave a message and a real person will call you back within a day, but more commonly within an hour or two.
  • No additional charges for extra tutor support over the phone or email.
  • Free careers advice for graduates – It is our policy to provide support and advice to our students even after they graduate. If a graduate needs help with getting a CV together, or advice on setting up a business or looking for work; they only need ask.
  • The quality of our academic staff is higher than many other colleges.


 How our Courses Differ

  • Courses are continually improved – we invite feedback from all graduates and change courses immediately the need is detected.
  • Courses are relevant to the whole world – we try hard to teach make the learning transferable to any region or country because the world is increasingly a global economy.
  • Courses written by our staff, teach different skills to standard courses; giving a unique mix of skills and knowledge to provide a career advantage. Do you want an accredited certificate and the same skills as 100 other job applicants; or one of our courses with skills that no other applicants have?
  • Certificates and diplomas are longer. They teach you more, and our qualifications have built a reputation amongst academics and industry as being a very high standard for this reason.
  • We are focused on helping you learn in a way that improves your capacity to understand your discipline, apply knowledge, and continue learning and developing your capabilities beyond your course.

These things cannot be always said of other colleges.


Career Opportunities

Study alone can never guarantee career success; but a good education is an important starting point.

Success in a career depends upon many things. A course like this is an excellent starting point because it provides a foundation for continued learning, and the means of understanding and dealing with issues you encounter in the workplace.

When you have completed an ACS course, you will have not only learnt about the subject, but you will have been prompted to start networking with experts in the discipline and shown how to approach problems that confront you in this field.

This and every other industry in today’s world is developing in unforeseen ways; and while that is unsettling for anyone who wants to be guaranteed a particular job at the end of a particular course; for others, this rapidly changing career environment is offering new and exciting opportunities almost every month.

If you want to do the best that you can in this industry, you need to recognise that the opportunities that confront you at the end of a course, are probably different to anything that has even been thought of when you commence a course.



" Thanks for the tips you gave me on the journalist job... I was given the job of writing an article... the experience was great and at least I will be published for the first time"
- Gavin, studying journalism



Visit our School bookshop at

  • Downloadable ebooks that can be read on ipads, PC’s, Laptops, or readers like a Kindle.
  • Titles are written by our principal and staff.
  • Anyone can purchase books –ACS students are offered a student discount.






If you have any questions about the course,

please click here

to contact one of our tutors.






Meet some of our academics

Rosemary Davies Journalist, Editor, Broadcaster, Teacher and Consultant for over 30 years. Rosemary is former gardening editor for the Weekly Times (a Weekly Farming Newspaper in Australia); and author of six books in her own right. She has written articles for many magazines across Australia, and has since 2008 worked as a tutor and freelance writer with ACS; contributing to books a range of genres.
John Mason John Mason is one of Australia's most prolific writers. He saw his first work published when at secondary school, where he worked on the school magazine. In 1973 he was writing a weekly column for his local newspaper and by 1975 he was a regular contributor to Australia's national magazine "Your Garden". John was engaged by Victoria's Dept of Youth, Sport and Recreation to write a book on Fun and Fitness Trails in 1978. In 1981 he saw two more books published (one in America, another in Australia), and commenced writing regularly for the Self Sufficiency Magazine, Grass Roots. John is a long term member of the Australian Society of Authors, the Garden Media Guild (UK) and the Horticultural Media Association (Australia). He has written or contributed to over 100 books, many published by international publishers and published more than 2,000 articles across a range of genres (Gardening, Education, Business, Farming, Fitness). In addition, John has contributed to and overseen the development of more than 600 distance education courses which encompass around 20 million words. He has been an avid photographer for 40 years, building a collection of over 100,000 images, which are used to illustrate his work. His marine animal photos are even used by Legoland in England, on their Atlantis ride! Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.

Check out our eBooks

Business OperationsExplore how to improve the management and profitability of an existing business. Businesses do not run themselves - goals need to be set and decisions need to be made in order to achieve business goals. This book talks you through all of the different aspects involved in running a business from finance and forecasting to staffing changes and legal issues. Six chapters cover the daily challenges of running a business, people, the law, finance, product management, and risk management. 73 pages
Professional WritingHow many people dream about becoming a professional writer? Professional writing is any writing that you are being paid for. It can include fiction writing, a best-selling book, articles in a magazine, articles in a newspaper, blogs for companies, technical manuals, copy for catalogues, newsletters, text books, other academic material and so on. However, many people just write for sheer pleasure. A must read for anyone wanting to make money from writing. 63 pages
Creative WritingCreative writing is relevant for both fiction and non fiction, and in any place where you write, from business writing to technical reports and children's books. Writing that is creative will usually be more interesting, communicative and effective. Through this book you explore both how to be more creative, as well as how and where to use it.
Project ManagementLearn to manage any type of project, in any industry. Six chapters cover the nature and scope of project management, risk and uncertainty, maintaining control, interpersonal relationships, the end game, and golden rules. This is a very concise text - easy to follow, with much of the information presented in bulleted lists. 72 pages