This course is aimed at applicants who already have knowledge of and interest in children's literature and who want to develop expertise in the subject at masters' level. In this route students will meet old favourites and make new exciting acquaintances. They will be introduced to the most recent debates on the nature and social function of this controversial and multifaceted kind of literature. They will also be provided with the tools for critical assessment of books written and marketed for a young audience. Students will follow modules covering: researching picturebooks and their readers; texts, contexts and childhoods; and what makes this Masters in Children's Literature.
As well as considering picture-books, poetry, media texts and writing for children, this thematic route concentrates on a wide range of fiction for children, including the 'classics', texts for very young readers, international literature and novels for young adults. Close textual study and the history of children's literature are embedded within the route, which also concerns itself with exciting new texts, (sometimes using sound and image) produced by ever changing new technologies. Qualitative action research involving empirical work with children on visual literacy will be undertaken during the route. Participants are encouraged to keep a working journal and to include references to their own reading autobiographies.
The route focuses throughout on different representations of childhood in the texts that are studied and examines what is meant by the contested term 'children' literature'. Participants will be expected to engage with some of the key debates in the field and to consider a range of theoretical perspectives - from Romanticism to reader-response theory; gender issues to post-modernism; historical studies to new historicism; sociocultural viewpoints to semiotics - as well as examining critically views of young readers and their reading choices.
By the end of the programme, students will have:
Students wishing to continue from the Master of Education to PhD or EdD are required to achieve a mark of 70 or higher for the thesis.
The course is assessed through three assignments, each designed to be personally rewarding as well as professionally enlightening and intellectually challenging: a theorised reading autobiography, focusing on texts for children with particular reference to changing constructions of childhood; an empirical study of children responding to a selected picturebook; and a thesis on a topic of the student's own choosing, which may be either a purely literary study or a small empirical research project. Students joining in the second year of the course do the thesis but not the essays.
Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).
Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.
All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.
Please note: If you are applying for the MPhil or the 2-year MEd, please complete the task below. If you have done or are currently doing the PGCE at the Faculty, it is not necessary to upload this task with your application.
Please write an essay or a piece of original critical research around 2,000 words. Choose a children's or young adult text (picturebook, poetry collection, fairy tale, novel, film, comic) that would allow an interesting discussion. (Do not choose texts which may portray young people, but are not explicitly addressed to young readers, such as To Kill a Mockingbird). Please avoid obvious choices, for instance, Roald Dahl or J K Rowling, unless you are confident that you have something original to say about them. You are expected to use a reasonable number of critical sources to support your argument.
Focus on one or two aspects of the text and explore them in depth rather than trying to cover many different aspects. Some features that you may want to examine, include, but are not limited to:
You are welcome to draw on your childhood memories of the text or your experience of using it with children; however, this should not be the primary focus of your essay.