What is Copy-Editing?

The role of the copy-editor is essentially to make a publication readable by the intended audience - free from distracting errors and inconsistencies, and structured in a way that is easily navigable. To achieve this there are seven key topics and this module introduces you to the essence of each.

e-Learning Modules are optimised for desktop and laptop devices and not tablets and smartphones. You will need a PDF reader to view some of the materials for this module.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module you will:

  • understand where copy-editing fits into the publishing workflow
  • understand what the work of a copy-editor involves
  • have had first hand experience of a copy-editing exercise

How does the course work?

What is Copy-Editing? is organised in two sections. The first section covers the editorial process, what a copy-editor does, and the publishing workflow. The second section looks at the elements of a publication, house style, and gives an overview of more specialist editorial subjects. There is also a practical exercise that is accompanied by a model answer and commentary. This gives you your first chance to try out your understanding and to gauge if you have an aptitude for the work.


How to enrol

To enrol, you need to click on the Add to Cart button on this page. You will be asked to register (if you have not already done so). You will, at that point, be asked to pay by credit/debit card.

Important note: You will have access to the course for eight months from the date of your enrolment.

Refunds: Fees for e-Learning Modules are non-refundable, as immediate access is available to all the relevant course material.

What is included?

Course Materials

Full access to the PTC's online learning platform where you will find all the materials you need to complete the course. Where relevant, downloadable materials are provided so you can practise your new skills as many times as you need to feel confident that you have mastered them.


Upon successfully completing the course you will receive a completion certificate from PTC.

Who is it for?

This module is for anyone wanting to gain a full understanding of the work of a copy-editor and to take the first, small step towards acquiring copy-editing skills.

About the author


JaneBuekettJane Buekett is an editor with over 30 years' experience. Her entry into publishing was as a production editor on science journals. Today she manages a team of inhouse and freelance editors producing books, magazines and digital products for the educational market.

As well as training, recruiting and managing editors, she has remained involved in hands-on editorial work, from project management to structural editing. One author described her as ‘a world-class editor’, another wrote ‘I’ve never come across anyone else in the publishing world with such a sympathetic and civilized approach.’

She is also a photographer and blogger.


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This e-Learning Module was developed with the support of the Unwin Charitable Trust.



Study Time

Five to seven hours with eight months access to the module.

Related Courses

PTC e-Learning Modules are concentrated, online courses that focus on specialist topics relevant to an editor's working life. They are designed to build on a foundation of existing skills and experience.

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The Publishing Training Centre is a registered charity. Registered name: The Publishing Training Centre Foundation, a company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales.
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