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Essential Copy-Editing: Editorial Skills Two (Copy)

This computer-based course covers the entire copy-editing process and trains you to work effectively as a professional copy-editor, to prepare documents for publication.
Gain the fundamental skills, theoretical knowledge and in-depth experience to tackle more challenging editorial tasks. Prior experience of proofreading is recommended.

Essential Copy Editing: Editorial Skills Two

Essential Copy Editing: Editorial Skills Two

STUDY TIME: at least 70 hours and up to 18 months to complete

“The course was thorough and comprehensive, and the exercises helpful in practising the skills taught. Tutor feedback for the assignments was excellent and the most useful part. I have learnt a great deal about copy-editing after beginning as a novice, and have also become a better proofreader. I feel my work is more professional, especially in my responses to authors and clients.” Susie, Ammanford, Wales, UK

Who is it for?

  • Editorial staff, working in publishing houses, who want to build or refresh their skills, or learn from the beginning
  • Freelance proofreaders who are interested in editing
  • Those who copy-edit as part of their job and lack formal training

No specific qualifications are required, but you should have experience of proofreading principles and symbols, and ideally an understanding of the publishing process. You will also need:

  • An eye for detail and the ability to concentrate
  • A good command of UK English grammar, spelling and punctuation
  • Good general knowledge and an enquiring mind

What will you achieve?

On completing this course you’ll be able to:

  • Use fundamental copy-editing skills to work on fiction and non-fiction, and on many styles of text and websites
  • Use the particular aspects of copy-editing that are relevant mainly to books and journals, giving you the tools needed to work in either field
  • Work on-screen and on paper
  • Manage more complex non-fiction projects
  • Deal efficiently with detailed tables, technical drawings, figures and endmatter
  • Brief an illustrator and editor
  • Cover the requirements of the wider business world as well as publishing

What are the key benefits?

  • Convenient and flexible – study from home, in your own time, at your own pace
  • The support of a personal tutor at every stage of assessment
  • 36 self-check exercises to help you learn and practise
  • Benefit from the most widely recognised industry qualification
  • Career advice and recommendations for further training
  • Entry into the PTC’s Freelance Finder, which can be used by publishers when looking for a qualified copy-editor who is trained to a high standard
  • Points towards upgrading your membership of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP)

Course contents

  • Welcome to Essential Copy-Editing
  • Unit 1: Queries, comments and marking up
  • Unit 2: Preparation, grammar and punctuation 
  • Unit 3: Cover to cover
  • Unit 4: Style and level
  • Unit 5: Specialist texts
  • Unit 6: Tables, technical figures and copy-fitting
  • Unit 7: Endmatter
  • Next steps

Enrol now by choosing your payment method at the top of the page. The price of this course has been held since December 2019.

Invoice request form

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Save up to £120
with the Freelance Package
Enrol on Essential Copy-Editing and buy Essential Grammar for half-price and receive two free e-learning modules (worth £35 or £50) to complement your training.
Find out more

Good grammar is essential for a copy-editor. We strongly recommend you also work through Essential Grammar. This normally costs £70 but if booked at the same time as Essential Copy-Editing the price is reduced to £35.


The PQB is responsible for the development, delivery and assessment of these self-study tutor-guided courses.

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