This unique course allows you to study children’s literature in a flexible, part-time format. You’ll engage with staff working in the UK’s leading centre in the field and explore a range of landmark texts for young people, from fairy tales and picturebooks to classics and graphic novels.
This programme invites you to explore the exciting and varied world of children’s literature, and to examine how texts aimed at young people convey and challenge ideas about childhood. You will be taught by a team of staff with international reputations and expertise in areas such as philosophy, popular fiction, adolescence, critical theory, landscape, and memory.
As a distance learner you will have access to specialist services, and a wide range of e-books and digitised items from the Children’s Literature Collection at the University Library which contains 3,000 critical, theoretical, bibliographical and reference works and approximately 40 specialist children's literature journals.
As a Children’s Literature student, you will become a member of the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature (NCRCL), regarded as the premier institution for children’s literature research in Britain. The NCRCL has close links with organisations that work to further the study and teaching of children's literature, including The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), Seven Stories (The National Centre for Children’s Books), and Booktrust. The University is also the exclusive Creative Partner of Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, London’s largest event dedicated to children’s writing. You can stay up-to-date with the NCRCL by following their blog.
This programme asks you to think about children’s literature in new ways. In your first year you will be introduced to essential critical approaches, from feminist theory, psychoanalysis, and reader-response criticism, to new ideas about the child, power and ethics. Using these tools, you’ll study fairy tales such as 'Snow White' and 'Puss in Boots,' classic children’s literature including Kenneth Graham’s The Wind in the Willows and Judith Kerr’s landmark picturebook The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and the contemporary innovations of authors like Melvin Burgess, Shaun Tan and Jackie Kay.
In optional modules you can study the history of British children’s literature from its origins to the present day, as well as texts in translation, and visual and verse forms. Throughout the course you will gain knowledge of literary works produced for children, and the social, cultural and historical contexts of their production. The eclectic and rigorous nature of the programme allows you to contribute original work from a variety of perspectives, particularly in the extended critical Dissertation. The creative writing modules, ‘Writing for a Child Audience’ and ‘Creative Dissertation’ represent exciting additions to the programme, recognising the fact that many of our students have ambitions to write for children.
The Distance Learning MA is taught through a mixture of independent study, tutor feedback, and peer support. Most modules on offer include a course pack, with digital materials and links to an online learning environment. You will work through the materials, undertake learning activities, and discuss ideas with other students through online discussion boards and online seminars. At the end of each module, you will complete a piece of coursework, usually an essay, to demonstrate your understanding of the subject.
Here is some of the varied range of modules we currently offer:
Possible careers include teaching and librarianship, children’s publishing and arts management.
This course is your chance to refine your critical skills through analysis of the literature and language of the modern period. During your time with us, you’ll learn in a lively research environment and benefit from the University’s links with local cultural organisations, including the International Anthony Burgess Foundation.
Your studies will focus on key aspects of literary modernity and explore the interaction between literature and theory. The interdisciplinary nature of the course encourages and stimulates debate on cultural, political and historical issues, as well as analysing the relationships between literature and other cultural forms.
MA Literature, Culture and Modernity helps you to acquire specific skills in a number of areas including critical thinking, research methods, cultural and literary theory, analysing literary and cultural texts in the context of debates on modernity.
You will develop your analytical and conceptual thinking skills and gain the expertise to focus on a specific research topic that interests you. During this course you will carry out advanced research and produce original and innovative studies.
The syllabus consists of four taught modules, followed by a dissertation. You will select three option modules from a range which varies from year to year. Modules focus on nineteenth, twentieth and twenty first century literature and culture, exploring literature in relation to popular and working-class culture, analysing the interaction between literature, cinema and theory, and examining issues of identity, gender and power. You will also follow the core module Literary Research Practice which helps prepare for the dissertation and for further study.
Teaching for most modules takes place in weekly, two-hour seminars. Personal supervision is provided throughout the course and in support of the writing of the dissertation. The module Literary Research Practice is taught in three longer block sessions, with additional one-to-one supervisory sessions with a member of staff.
You will be assessed through:
Many graduates of this course have used it as part of their career development in areas as diverse as teaching, librarianship, media, publishing and the arts. Others use it as a means of access to PhD study or further research. You will develop a wide range of skills on this course (writing, communication, presentation and analytical skills) that are transferable to a variety of careers.
This course will suit you if you want to either progress in a career you already have experience in, re-skill for a different career path or continue the studies you took as an undergraduate.
Graduates from this course have progressed onto a number of careers within the arts, museums, libraries, education and others have progressed to PhD study. Graduates have gone on to work for companies including Hello Magazine, the University of Salford, local museums, secondary schools and further education, and to obtain competitive scholarships for PhD study.
The English Subject Directorate has links with the BBC at MediaCityUK. We also have links with local publishers and cultural organisations, including:
Guest speakers from publishers and from other universities across the UK and from abroad regularly visit the Centre for English Literature and Language, as well as making contributions to the module Literary Research Practice. As an MA student on our course you would be encouraged to attend as many of these guest lecturers as possible. Colleagues in English frequently organise international conferences and specialist workshops to which MA students are also warmly invited.
Research in the English Subject Directorate is coordinated by Dr Scott Thurston, Director of the Research Centre for English Literature and Language. There are over 15 research-active academic staff in English and a number of early career researchers engaged in a range of research projects. We welcome PhD applications from MA students. You can find more information and contact details here: http://www.salford.ac.uk/arts-media/research/centre-for-english-literature-and-language.