This unique course allows you to study children's literature in an online, flexible and part-time format from wherever you are in the world.
2 years (part-time)
Number of credits:
Specific entry requirements
A good second-class honours degree in English Literature, or a combined honours of English Literature plus another subject. If you have a degree in another discipline, please provide evidence of literary studies in your transcript or personal statement.
Global appeal and flexibility: study from anywhere in the world at times that suit you.
A Creative Writing Pathway has been designed for those with an ambition to write for children, allowing you to study writing from a practitioner's perspective.
This MA is taught by children’s literature specialists from the award-winning National Centre for Research in Children's Literature, which is based at Roehampton.
Course and Module Details
This unique course allows you to study children's literature in a flexible, part-time format from wherever you are in the world.
You will explore the exciting and varied world of children's literature, and examine how texts aimed at young people convey and challenge ideas about childhood. You will work with staff who have international reputations in areas such as philosophy in children's literature, popular fiction, adolescence and young adult fiction, early children's books, and writing for young people.
As a distance learner you will have support from the Department, regular contact with your tutors, access to specialist services, and a wide range of e-books and digitised items from the Children's Literature Collection at the University Library which contains 3,000 critical, theoretical, bibliographical and reference works and approximately 40 specialist children's literature journals.
Through this programme you will become a member of the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature (NCRCL), regarded as the premier institution for children's literature research in Britain. The NCRCL has close links with organisations that work to further the study and teaching of children's literature, including The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), Seven Stories (The National Centre for Children's Books), and Booktrust. The University is also the exclusive Creative Partner of Barnes Children's Literature Festival, London’s largest event dedicated to children's writing. You can stay up-to-date with the NCRCL by following their blog.
The programme is taught through a mixture of independent study, tutor feedback, and peer support. You will have access to an online learning environment, allowing you to work with digital materials, watch video lectures, and engage in learning activities. You will have the chance to discuss ideas with other students through discussion boards and interact with your tutor in online seminars. At the end of each module, you will complete a piece of coursework, usually an essay, to demonstrate your understanding of the subject.
This programme asks you to think about children’s literature in new ways. In your first year you will be introduced to essential critical approaches, from postcolonial theory, psychoanalysis, and reader-response criticism, to new ideas about the child, power and ethics. Using these tools, you'll study a selection of fairy tales, picture books and short stories, including classics and contemporary and innovative texts.
In optional modules you can study the history of British children's literature from its origins to the present day, as well as texts in translation, and elements of form and genre. Throughout the course you will gain knowledge of literary works produced for children, and the social, cultural and historical contexts of their production. The eclectic and rigorous nature of the programme allows you to contribute original work from a variety of perspectives, particularly in the extended critical Dissertation. The creative writing modules, 'Writing for a Child Audience' and 'Creative Dissertation' represent exciting additions to the programme, recognising the fact that many of our students have ambitions to write for children.
These modules are those we currently offer and may be subject to change each year.
Graduates of this master's programme typically pursue careers in teaching, writing, children's publishing, librarianship and arts management.
How to apply
You can now apply for any programme for any entry point in 2023.
All postgraduate taught applications can be made via our online application form.
- Check our application deadlines
- View our entry requirements for postgraduate programmes
- View our general entry criteria and application FAQs below
If you need any help or advice with your application, or just want to ask us a question before you apply, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Please note that most international applicants have to pay a deposit before securing their place.
- See our Finance pages for more details
Postgraduate application process FAQs
No, you can save and revisit your application form and can contact us directly at any time if you need advice or assistance.
If you are a prospective postgraduate student who has home fee status, then you can apply close to the start of the course of study. However, if you have international fee status and require a Tier 4 Visa, then you will normally need to apply much earlier. Please see our application deadlines for postgraduate study.
We encourage all students to apply as early as possible, as some programmes have limited numbers.
Yes, we offer a range of scholarships, alongside support on managing your finances while you are with us.
Yes, we have a wide range of high quality and competitively priced on-campus student residences. We are able to offer quiet rooms and can adjust for those with specific access needs.
Find out more on our accommodation pages.
Doing all we can to support our students' lives at Roehampton
At Roehampton, we can offer all new students the opportunity to live in accommodation on our beautiful parkland campus, including affordable and high-end options.
We offer scholarships, provide hardship funding and help you find advice on managing your finances while you study.
We provide plenty of opportunities for you to get involved, through volunteering, playing sport or music, or joining one of our many active student societies.