This exciting new programme is ideal if you have an interest in the academic study of children’s literature, or work in education (e.g. as a teacher or librarian), publishing or children's media. It's also aimed at authors and illustrators who want to create texts for children.
Award-winning author Michael Rosen is just one of the leading teaching staff on this programme, which is taught mainly in the Department of Educational Studies at Goldsmiths, although those pursuing the Creative Writing pathway will also study modules in the Department of English and Comparative Literature and those pursuing the Children's Illustration pathway will also study modules in the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies.
From classic works to contemporary texts
You will deepen your familiarity with the range and diversity of genres for children from ‘classic’ works to contemporary texts and develop detailed knowledge and critical understanding of issues and debates in the field. Studying children’s literature at Goldsmiths will also involve examining how texts for children reflect contested constructions of childhood.
Creative writing opportunities
If you are already a committed writer, although you may not have experience of writing for children/young adults, the MA in Children's Literature offers a Creative Writing pathway which is taught in partnership with the Department of English and Comparative Literature. You can select modules that will support creative writing practices and enable you to work with practising and published creative writing lecturers and education lecturers to study and explore the nature of writing for children/young adults, creating original texts in the genres of short story, novel and poetry (but not script/screenwriting or picture books/graphic novels).
The sociopolitical contexts of children's literature
Goldsmiths' MA in Children’s Literature is unique in its focus on inclusive practices and social justice. We will question the sociopolitical contexts in which texts are produced and interpreted and you will be encouraged to explore how texts for children can challenge or reinforce dominant ideological constructions. We interrogate the power relations that determine what is published, distributed and selected to be read by children in schools.
You will explore the relationship between reader, writer, text and context, and consider the processes that underpin those interactions. We will also examine the inherent paradox that studying children’s literature will involve adults' writing, selecting and responding to texts that are normally intended for children.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Julia Hope
What you'll study
|Children’s Literature: Theory and Reading Practice||Michael Rosen, Maggie Pitfield||30 credits||Educational Studies|
|Children’s Literature, Culture and Diversity||Maggie Pitfield, Vicky Macleroy, Julia Hope, Alison Griffiths||30 credits||Educational Studies|
|Dissertation||60 credits||Educational Studies or English and Comparative Literature|
|Researching Culture, Language and Identity in Education||Anna Traianou||30 credits||Educational Studies|
|Children’s Literature in Action (project-based module)||Michael Rosen, Maggie Pitfield||30 credits||Educational Studies|
|An optional module in the Department of Educational Studies||30 credits||Educational Studies|
Creative Writing Pathway
|Workshop in Creative and Life Writing||Francis Gilbert||30 credits||English and Comparative Literature|
|Writing for Children/Young Adults||tbc||30 credits||English and Comparative Literature|
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.
"I'm very excited about the idea of 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