For 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of this programme are delivered. Find out more
The academic study of children’s literature has developed over the past 30 years, and is now a recognised multidisciplinary field of enquiry. This programme will enable you to explore the relationship between reader, writer, text and context, and consider the critical perspectives that underpin those interactions.
Why study MA Children's Literature at Goldsmiths?
- This course will deepen your familiarity with a range of children's literature, from 'classic' works, to contemporary texts. Through this, you'll develop a detailed knowledge of the issues and debates in the field, analysing children's literature using theories from education, cultural studies, literary theory, psychology, sociology, history and philosophy.
- We foster a critical stance towards children's literature, academic reading, and ideological underpinning. All of our staff are actively involved in research in the fields of education and children's literature. Award-winning author Michael Rosen is part of the leading team on this programme.
- The programme aims to incorporate and respond to your unique background as an individual. we encourage you to use this to address the challenging issues of representation and diversity in children's literature. You may come from a publishing background or work in education or children's media. If you have a passion for children's literature then this is the course for you.
- Students on this programme's creative writing pathway will be able to work with published creative writing lecturers, including the novelists Ardashir Vakil and Sara Grant, to create short stories, novels, and poems for children and young adults. Creative writing alumni have had their work published, including a recent book by Dashe Roberts 'The Bigwoof Conspiracy (2020); a creative writing handbook co-authored by Harry Oulton 'The Writing Deck: 53 Prompts for Putting Pen to Paper (2019); and Anna Dempsey won the Costa Short Story Award (2019).
We also offer an MA Children's Literature: Children's Book Illustration for those who want to illustrate children's books.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Julia Hope.
What you'll study
For 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the Programme Changes page
Common Compulsory Modules
Whether you choose the Issues and Debates, or the Creative Writing pathway, you will take the following two compulsory modules.
|Common modules||Module title||Credits|
|Children's Literature: Theory and Criticism||30 credits|
|Children’s Literature, Culture and Diversity||30 credits|
Issues and Debates pathway
Students on this pathway will study the following compulsory modules.
|Compulsory modules (I&D pathway)||Module title||Credits|
|Researching Children's Literature||30 credits|
You will also take a 30-credit option module offered by the Department of Educational Studies, including the following.
|Option modules (I&D)||Module title||Credits|
|Children's Literature in Action||30 credits|
Creative writing pathway
Students on this pathway will take the following modules, as well as completing a final project portfolio worth 60 credits.
|Compulsory modules (Creative writing pathway)||Module title||Credits|
|Workshop in Creative and Life Writing||30 credits|
|Writing for Children and Young Adults||30 credits|
Some of these modules are also available to be taken as part of a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.
Book studies, assignments, project (optional), dissertation, creative writing (optional).
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in a related field.
You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.
Additional Entry Requirement for the Creative Writing Pathway
To apply to study on the Creative Writing Pathway you should follow the usual application process, submitting a substantial piece or pieces of original creative writing, up to a maximum of 3,000 words, with your application. This work does not have to be in the form of writing for children/young adults. It will be considered by the Module Leader of the Workshop in Creative and Life Writing.
Your submission should include one item from the following list: 1 short story; 7-10 poems; 1 or 2 extracts from a novel; 1 or 2 extracts from non-fiction writing, for example, memoir.
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing and no element lower than 6.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.
Fees, funding & scholarships
Annual tuition fees
These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2021/2022 academic year.
- Home - full-time: £8990
- Home - part-time: £4495
- International - full-time: £15360
It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Tier 4 student visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.
If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.
In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.
There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.
Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.
Funding may be available from schools’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD) budgets.
How to apply
You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system.
Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:
- Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
- The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
- A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
- If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)
You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.
When to apply
We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September.
We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification.
Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.
If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.
Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.
Find out more about applying.
Graduates will be well placed to specialise in children’s literature in a range of careers:
- Children’s media
- Writing texts for children
- Academic study
- Youth and community work
You will acquire a wide-ranging understanding of the field of children’s literature and the social, political cultural processes that surround it. You will also develop your critical thinking, communication and research skills.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
Award-winning author Michael Rosen, who has written more than 200 books and was the fifth British Children's Laureate, is one of the leading lights on the programme.
“It's been very exciting developing an MA in Children's Literature at Goldsmiths, especially as there's a huge appetite for it in recent years. We have potentially a huge number of people who want to study this fascinating subject.
There are so many interesting elements to Children's Literature that perhaps aren't obvious; psychological and anthropological elements for example. Children's Literature is essentially a human practice, it's part of how we initiate our children into life, but also how we begin to shape how they think about and question what they are ”.
Staff who teach on the programme include:
- Dr Julia Hope
- Dr Vicky Macleroy
- Dr Laura Teague
- Alison Griffiths
- Dr Sarah Pearce
- Vicki Ryf
- Ardashir Vakil
- Sara Grant