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 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.
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.
Modules & structure
Children’s Literature: Theory and Reading Practice Michael Rosen, Maggie Pitfield 30 credits
Children’s Literature and Cultural Diversity Maggie Pitfield, Vicky Macleroy, Julia Hope, Alison Griffiths 30 credits
Dissertation 60 credits
Researching Culture, Language, and Identity in Education Anna Traianou 30 credits
Children’s Literature in Action (project-based module) Michael Rosen, Maggie Pitfield 30 credits
An optional module in the Department of Educational Studies 30 credits
Creative Writing Pathway
Workshop in Creative and Life Writing Francis Gilbert 30 credits
Writing for Children/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.
Skills & careers
Graduates will be well placed to specialize in children’s literature in a range of careers:
Writing texts for children
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.
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, a memoir.
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.
For this programme we require:
IELTS 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing.If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.
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.