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This three module course will provide you with an overview of the turbulent and unique journey that children's literature has taken since its earliest days to the present from a range of theoretical perspectives. You will acquire the understanding of how texts are constructed using a range of narrative modes and how this aspect of your subject knowledge can be employed in the primary classroom to develop children’s abilities to read a range of texts for pleasure. You will also explore a variety of texts currently available including classic texts; comics; novels in verse form; literature in translation and interactive texts.

Why choose this course?

  • You will be taught by an experienced team of colleagues researching and teaching in the area of children's literature
  • You will explore a variety of texts currently available, including classic texts, comics, novels in verse form, literature in translation and interactive texts.
  • Your learning on the course may lead to better prospects for career advancement and alumni frequently their change role / direction as a result of developing new understandings and skills from their work on the course.
  • We have regular guest lecturers focussing on the four language modes (speaking, listening, reading and writing).
  • We also make full use of the Oxford Brookes specials collections, a new collection of rare and antiquarian children's books and host a session in the Oxford Story Museum.

This course in detail

The three modules are:

Reading for pleasure in the primary classroom

(7 sessions in the Autumn term)

In order to consider the place of reading for pleasure within the current curriculum, this module will develop your knowledge of children’s literature in relation to breadth and depth, with a focus on diversity, translation and equality. The module will enhance your skills in the critical reading of texts and explore the roles and responsibilities of those gatekeepers to children's literature. Alongside text analysis, we will discuss the reader and writer in the text and explore how drama can offer children empathetic steps into worlds beyond their reach. 

Children's literature through the ages: from classic texts to interactive texts and their use in the classroom

(7 sessions in the Spring term)

The profile of children's books has undergone an unparalleled change compared to other fields of literature. From its early days of didactic and moralistic undertones pre-18th century, to the present day where stories are not just written for pleasure but actively encourage children to question the ideologies that surround them, this genre's journey has been fascinating and, arguably, the most diverse. This module will begin with studying some of the early classics and end with children's stories in today's multimedia world. Through a range of theoretical perspectives such as feminism, marxism and post-modernism, this module will explore a range of texts including: classics, novels in verse, literature in translation, apps, traditional tales and comics.

Investigating practice

(3 workshops and tutorial support in the Summer term)

You will develop an inquiry related to your own practice which can then be assessed through either a report or a portfolio of work. This might include the development of pedagogical approaches or curriculum materials, or investigations into the achievement levels or the opportunities provided for particular groups of learners. It could also include the development of professional practice through shadowing others or engaging in collaborative work across organisations.

The inquiry will be supported by a personal tutor. Group seminars and workshops will provide guidance on the development of methodological tools for the inquiry and enable you to share the stages of project development with other members of the group. You will be allocated a personal tutor for this assignment who will signpost you to relevant academic theory and research and support material.

Please note: as our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules available may vary from those shown here.

Teaching and learning

The teaching and learning methods used on the programme are designed to promote constructive and critical reflection on practice and a range of theoretical and research issues. 

Lectures, seminars and workshops provide the format for the timetabled sessions but the modules are structured to ensure students have the opportunities to draw on the knowledge and experience of each other. 

We have regular guest lecturers focussing on the four language modes (speaking, listening, reading and writing). We also make full use of the Oxford Brookes specials collections, a new collection of rare and antiquarian children's books and host a session in the Oxford Story Museum.

Attendance pattern

This course takes place on Wednesday evenings 5.00pm - 8.00pm at the Harcourt Hill Campus.


Visit the PGCert Education - Children's Literature page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!

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