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Course content

Why study at Roehampton

  • Work with internationally-renowned scholars at the NCRCL and Roehampton's Chancellor, Professor Dame Jacqueline Wilson.
  • Option to specialise in creative writing on the MA/PGDip by taking a creative pathway.
  • The Department is ranked in the top three in London and top 20 in the UK for English and Creative Writing (Guardian University Guide 2016).

Course summary

Now running for over twenty five years, the MA in Children’s Literature is recognised internationally as a benchmark programme in the field and is delivered by the award-winning National Centre of Research in Children’s Literature.

On this acclaimed MA/PG Dip in Children’s Literature you will explore landmark books such as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or The Railway Children, alongside the contemporary innovations of Patrick Ness or Emily Gravett. 

You will work alongside staff with international reputations in areas such as adolescence, critical theory, landscape, and philosophy. Plus, many of you will have the chance of working with Roehampton's Chancellor and renowned author Professor Dame Jacqueline Wilson.

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. 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 centre also hosts and co-organises an annual one-day British IBBY/NCRCL MA Conference and runs a biennial NCRCL Conference, showcasing themes from members' research interests. Keynote speakers have included Michael Rosen, Matthew Grenby, Emer O’Sullivan, Neil Gaiman, and Julia Eccleshare. 

The University is the exclusive Creative Partner of Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, London’s largest event dedicated to children’s writing. The partnership provides paid and voluntary work experience opportunities for students at the festival, as well as opportunities to attend events for free. 

Roehampton also hosts a number of Children’s' Literature collections in our library containing 3,000 critical, theoretical, bibliographical and reference works and approximately 40 specialist children's literature journals. We are also home to the Richmal Crompton Collection. This includes her personal library, editions and translations of her famous Just William stories and scripts including short stories and radio plays.


This stimulating programme allows for the exploration of a range of literary texts from medieval learning materials, through landmark books such as Treasure IslandThe Tale of Peter Rabbit or The Eagle of the Ninth, to the contemporary innovations of Mark Haddon, Shaun Tan or Jackie Kay.

Although this is a literature programme, study is not limited to children’s books. You will also examine the relationship (both historical and ongoing) between children’s books and social constructions of childhood. 

The creative writing modules, which currently include ‘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.

MA students will complete the course by undertaking either a dissertation or creative dissertation. The dissertation is a supervised research project involving an in-depth study of an aspect of children’s literature that interests you. For the creative dissertation, you will produce a creative portfolio that could include short stories, picturebook scripts, poems, or a novella, alongside a critical reflections of your work.


Here is some of the varied range of modules we currently offer:

  • Critical and Theoretical Perspectives
  • Visual Texts
  • Origins and Development of Children's Literature
  • British Children's Literature 1960 to the Present Day
  • Time and History in Children’s Literature
  • Travels in Children's Literature
  • Verse and Voice
  • Writing for a Child Audience
  • Screening the Child
  • Creative Arts in the Community: Literature in Action
  • Research Methods
  • Fiction for Young Readers

Career options

Teaching, children’s publishing and arts management.

Email Now

Visit the Children's Literature - MA/PGDip page on the University of Roehampton website for more details!




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