This degree provides a rigorous course that interrogates the literary, creative, social, cultural, political and historical contexts in the field of 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 with staff who have international reputations in areas such as philosophy in children's literature, popular fiction, adolescence and Young Adult, early children's books, and writing for young people. You will also benefit from a series of guest speakers, extra-curricular activities and field trips that will enhance your student experience and ensure you get the most out of your studies, and 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. 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 centre also hosts and co-organises an annual one-day British IBBY/NCRCL MA Conference and runs a regular NCRCL Conference, showcasing themes from members' research interests. Keynote speakers have included Michael Rosen, Matthew Grenby, Emer O'Sullivan, Neil Gaiman, and Julia Eccleshare.
Due to the reputation of our long-standing programme, our graduates are very attractive to employers, particularly publishers who have previously offered internships to our students and graduates. 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. We also have an on-going relationship with Hodder Children's Books and connections with other literary employers in the local community, including Wimbledon Bookfest, and Battersea Arts Centre.
Roehampton hosts a number of Children's' Literature collections in our library containing 6,000 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 Island, The Tale of Peter Rabbit or The Eagle of the Ninth, to the contemporary innovations of Mark Haddon, Shaun Tan or Jackie Kay. You will examine the dynamic relationship between children's books, other media, and social constructions of childhood.
You will study a range of critical and theoretical approaches and learn about key ideas that have shaped literary criticism, particularly those that resonate with children's literature studies. You will pay special attention to archives, and what impact they have on textual culture, and will be trained in using them as a resource.
If you have the ambition to write for children, you will have the opportunity to take creative writing modules as part of your degree. 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.
Children's literature can also be studied by distance learning.
Here are some of the modules we offer:
Compulsory (MA students only)
Compulsory and Required modules
Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.
Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.
Teaching, children’s publishing and arts management.
Visit the Children's Literature - MA/PGDip page on the University of Roehampton website for more details!
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