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Writing for Children (MA/PgDip/PgCert)

Course Description

MA Writing for Children at Winchester explores the dynamic relationship between creative production and critical awareness of children's literature. Students develop their writing skills in a challenging and stimulating environment, supported by teaching staff who are published writers and experts in their field.

Programme Content

This well-established programme strongly encourages students to develop new creative work, to give and receive feedback in weekly workshops and to experiment with new forms, audiences and voices. Students discuss a range of work by established writers and consider the theoretical, social and cultural contexts of contemporary writing for children and young adults.

All students must complete five modules including Fiction for Children and The Publishing Project and, as an alternative, students may choose one module from MA Creative and Critical Writing, which includes modules on writing poetry and scripts.

The Publishing Project is a module in which all students develop a personal writing project to the point of submission for publication, for example the development of a publishing proposal, initial chapters and letter to agent/publisher. Guest agents, editors and writers provide specific insights while the production and publication of a group anthology, Litmus, helps develop editing skills.

After completion of taught modules, students undertake their independent study with tailored supervisory support leading to the dissertation - usually an extended piece or pieces of fiction for children.

See the website http://www.winchester.ac.uk/Studyhere/Pages/ma-writing-for-children.aspx


- Fiction for Children
- Writer as Researcher
- The Publishing Project
- Independent Study Preparation

Plus one of the following optional modules:
- Fantastic Fiction
- Picture Books
- Writing Non-fiction for Children

Learning and Teaching

The academics teaching on the programme are all professional novelists, scriptwriters, poets, critics, playwrights or non-fiction writers. They are supported by guests - most recently, children's writers Marcus Sedgwick, Mark Lowery, Sarah Lean and Andrew Weale, Editorial Director Emma Layfield (Hodder), and literary agents Ella Kahn (DKW) and Sallyanne Sweeney (Mulcahy Associates). Weekly workshops develop students' own writing through constructive critical feedback.


Modules are assessed by a combination of creative and critical work. Students undertake a dissertation of 20,000-30,000 words (or an appropriate equivalent) as part of their independent study, with full tutorial support. This comprises a creative piece, or pieces, of work for children or young adults in the form of fiction, poetry, script, creative non-fiction or picture books.

At the University of Winchester validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.


Many graduates have gone on to become published writers - some award-winning. Others have careers in teaching, storytelling, publishing and the arts.

Visit the Writing for Children (MA/PgDip/PgCert) page on the University of Winchester website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally a first or second-class Honours degree or professional experience in the area of study. If English is not your first language: IELTS 6.5 (including 6.5 in academic writing) or equivalent

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