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 processes 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, anthropology, sociology, history and philosophy.
- We want you to be critical. You’ll interrogate why certain texts appear on the national curriculum while others don’t, and what this tells us about the way children are expected to learn.
- Students on this programme's creative writing pathway will be able to work with published creative writing lecturers to create short stories, novels, and poems for children. Award-winning author Michael Rosen is just one of the leading teaching staff on this programme. All of our staff are actively involved in research in the fields of education and children’s literature.
- The programme aims to incorporate and respond to your unique background as an individual with an interest in children’s literature, and strives to remain open and responsive to the experiences students bring with them. You may come from a publishing background or work in education or children's media. If you have a passion for the academic study of children's literature then this is the course for you.
We also offer an MA Children's Literature: Children's 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
|Core modules||Module title||Credits|
|Children's Literature: Theory and Reading Practice||30 credits|
|Children's Literature and Cultural Diversity||30 credits|
|Research Methods||Module title||Credits|
|Researching Children's Literature||30 credits|
|Optional Modules||Module title||Credits|
|Children's Literature in Action||30 credits|
You may also choose an optional 30 credit module offered by the department of Educational Studies.
|Creative Writing Pathway||Module title||Credits|
|Workshop in Creative and Life Writing||30 credits|
|Writing for Children and Young Adults||30 credits|
Coursework, essays, project, 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
Find out more about tuition fees.
We produce reading packs electronically and in hard copy format. There’s a small charge for the hard copy reading packs. You may also be asked to contribute towards trips and some materials for your modules.
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 140 books and was the fifth British Children's Laureate, is one of the leading teaching staff on the programme. Michael’s appointment at Goldsmiths has a personal element to it. He is following in his mother’s footsteps as she taught in the same department (Educational Studies) from 1963-1966.
"It's been very exciting developing an MA in Children's Literature at Goldsmiths, especially as there's a huge appetite for it in inner London. 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 doing.
Goldsmiths has been on my radar for a long time. My mother taught there in the 1960s at a time when Goldsmiths was becoming an incredibly prominent Higher Education institution."
Staff who teach on the programme include:
- Professor Len Platt
- Dr Julia Hope
- Dr Vicky Macleroy
- Maggie Pitfield
- Dr Laura Teague
- Alison Griffiths
- Dr Sarah Pearce
- Ardashir Vakil
- Sara Grant