Copyediting 2: Headway

Who is this course suitable for?

This course is for people who have tried their hand at some straightforward copyediting work and know that they want to continue. It takes you on to the next stage from the CIEP's Copyediting 1: introduction (CE1). Specifically designed to sit between CE1: Introduction and CE3: Progress, Copyediting Headway expands your knowledge and understanding of principles and practice.

We recommend that you take CE1 before you attempt this course. At a minimum, before tackling CE2 you should be able to answer confidently 'Yes' to the following questions.

  • Do you understand the basic role of a copyeditor, and what to look out for when copyediting a text?
  • Can you follow a client's brief?
  • Do you know how to identify the different elements of a document (such as headings and lists)?
  • Do you have a basic working knowledge of Microsoft Word and of how to mark up text on paper using the British Standard symbols for copy preparation and proof correction?

Course description

This course guides you through the technicalities of copyediting displayed matter and bibliographies, and introduces you to photographs and figures. The exercises cover a variety of texts, from public information to academic books, and give a lot of scope for practice.

CE2 is an assessed course. Two upgrade points are awarded for completing the course, and a further three for passing the final assignment. Achieving a pass indicates that you are ready, should you want to, to move on to the more advanced CE3: Progress.

What you should know after the course

After taking this course you should be confident in your knowledge of how to deal with more complex material that is routinely encountered in the copyediting world – or should know where to look if something unusual crops up. As a result of your tutor’s marks and comments, you should also know exactly where you need to work hardest to improve.

I now feel far more confident in my abilities to copyedit a range of materials. Having feedback and support from an experienced professional has been invaluable.


I found it much more challenging than I had expected, but I have gained a lot of confidence and learned so much. The advice and support of my tutor has also been invaluable.


The course has been very useful in understanding that copyediting is not just about technically correcting the text, but it is equally important to understand what the author is trying to convey.


Availability, prices and upgrade points

Price (members)  
Price (non members)  
CIEP upgrade points 5
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Other price discounts are available. See the fees page.

Online courses take between 10 and 45 hours to complete, depending on the course, but you have access to the course materials for 6 months.

Online course structure

Time allowed for access: 6 months CIEP upgrade points: completion 2; pass 3
Approximate study time needed to complete the course: 20–25 hours

This is an assessed course. You will be assigned a tutor who will be available for up to 1 hour of support (usually by email), and the tutor will also mark and provide feedback on three assignments. The first two assignments are marked so that both you and your tutor can assess whether you are at about the right level for the course (if you are struggling, you can put the course 'on hold' and come back to it later, after more training or experience). See also 'Time management' below.

A further two exercises can be self-assessed against model answers.

Your overall performance on the final assignment determines whether you have passed the course. When you have finished the course you can download and print a certificate that states either that you have 'Passed' the course, or if you are unlucky enough not to have passed, that you have 'Completed' it.


Time management

  • When you are planning your coursework, allow time for your tutor to respond to any queries you raise and for your three assignments to be marked.
  • Tutors usually respond to ad hoc queries about the course within a day or so.
  • All CIEP tutors are also full-time editors, so they are unlikely to be able to mark your work immediately.
  • Tutors will guarantee to mark and return your assignments within three weeks of you submitting them, except in exceptional circumstances. In such circumstances, your tutor will contact you to explain the delay.
  • Marking turnaround is usually considerably shorter than three weeks.
  • We strongly recommend that you wait for the return of your marked work before attempting the next section of the course.

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