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Course content

Immerse yourself in exploring professional and practical approaches to children’s illustration as well as engaging in the academic study of children's literature, to gain an in-depth understanding of the relationships between image, text, readers and context in the world of children’s literature.

Developed and taught by leading teaching staff including children’s authors, this degree draws on both professional and critical perspectives from art and education, cultural studies, design and sociology to deliver a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to the subject.

Guidance from tutors and a choice of modules and assignments will enable you to develop personal projects, culminating in a practice-based dissertation. At the end of the programme you will have the opportunity to exhibit your work.

Illustration skills

Throughout the programme you will develop and refine your practical illustration skills and ideas, working within short and longer project formats. These projects focus on materials and their combination, colour, tone, creating atmosphere, addressing the reader and the relation of illustration to text. You will have the opportunity to work in collaboration with students on the MA in Children’s Literature. This is an opportunity to develop and refine your work and ideas within the project format.

The sociopolitical context of children’s illustration

This degree not only develops your practical skills, but also challenges you to question the context in which children’s books are produced and interpreted, and how they can challenge or reinforce dominant ideologies. You will interrogate the power relations that determine what is published, distributed and selected to be read by children in schools.

Understanding the publishing landscape

You will gain knowledge and insight into the professional world of children’s publishing through exposure to professional networks such as the Association of Illustrators, guest lectures from established illustrators, studio visits, and a bespoke module in Children’s Publishing. This module develops an in-depth understanding of the children’s publishing landscape and your skills in self-publishing and establishing dialogue with designers, editors and agents.

Modules & structure

The core modules of this degree cover both the theoretical and the practical aspects of illustrating for children’s literature, with a module dedicated to learning the skills needed to successfully navigate the world of children’s publishing as a freelance illustrator.

Core modules

The core modules you will study are:

  • Children’s Literature and Cultural Diversity (30 credits)
  • Children’s Book Illustration Practice (30 credits)
  • Children’s Publishing (30 credits)
  • Children’s Book Illustration Final Project – portfolio and reflective essay (60 credits)

Option modules

In addition to the core modules, you will also have the opportunity to tailor your studies to your personal interests by choosing a 30 credit option module from the Department of Educational Studies, such as:

  • Children’s Literature in Action
  • Race, Culture and Education
  • Early Childhood Education for a Diverse Society
  • Revisiting Practice

Skills & careers

As a graduate of the MA in Children’s Literature: Children’s Illustration you will have the skills and knowledge to succeed as a freelance children’s illustrator. In addition to honing your understanding and practice of children’s illustration, this degree will provide you with the professional skills to enter the industry with confidence.

Throughout the course you will benefit from the expertise and networks of renowned practitioners. The Children’s Publishing module will develop your knowledge of the sector and your professional skills, while the degree show and visits to London book fairs to meet publishers and agents will provide you with a platform to build professional relationships in the industry. You will also benefit from Goldsmiths’ networks with other institutions such as the Association of Illustrators.


Visit the Children's Literature: Children's Illustration - MA page on the Goldsmiths, University of London website for more details!

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Recipient: Goldsmiths, University of London

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