Course summary

This MA supports the development of a broad, inclusive, critical and contemporary understanding of Literature written for children. It will also consider children’s Literacies and the influence of these on the reading and learning experiences of children and young people.

Key facts




1 or 2 years

Mode of study


Start date


Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code


Course details

About this course

The MA in Children's Literature and Literacies is a specialised Master's degree which aims to provide professional development and academic progression in this subject by enhancing subject expertise for related careers and further research qualifications. The MA aims to develop the knowledge and expertise of participants from a range of related disciplines including recent graduates, qualified teachers, librarians or anyone with a passion in children's literature and literacy.

This course will enhance specialist knowledge of Children’s Literature and Literacies in the context of current theory and research. The modules will analyse the use and impact of Children’s Literature in children’s homes and educational settings, exploring the social functions of Literature and Literacies within their historical and cultural contexts. It will support understanding of the nature of Literacy and Literature in a digital age and develop transferable skills for individual research within these fields. The modules will engage both critically and creatively with all aspects of Literacy and will explore the ways in which we read and understand the world, in a variety of forms. Texts to be studied will include well known, ‘classic’ texts and books by contemporary authors across a range of genres, ranging from poetry, picture books and non-fiction to graphic novels and digital presentations, aimed at readers from 0-18.

By undertaking this Master's degree you will study five core modules:

  • Children’s Literate Lives
  • Children’s Literature: Words, Pictures, Voices
  • Children’s Literacies: Now, New, Next?
  • Researching Children's Literacy and Literacies
  • Dissertation

These modules aim to enable you to develop a broad, inclusive, critical and contemporary understanding of ‘literacies’ and the influence of these on the learning experiences of children and young people. Throughout this course you will develop specialist knowledge of children’s ‘literacies’ and current theory and research relating to literacy development and literacy education.

By analysing the impact of children’s home and educational experiences, you will be able to explore and understand the social functions of literature and literacy. You will also gain an understanding of the nature of literacy in a digital age and develop transferable skills for your own research within this field.

You can find more information in our FAQs document and Course Flyer.

The course is linked to BGU's Literature and Literacies Research Knowledge Exchange Unit (RKEU). A concrete example of the kind of work LiLi aspires to do is the Annual LiLi Lectures, a series which started in 2019. The latest ‘Power-up Literacy’ is available to view by clicking here.

What will you study

Students on this course currently study some or all of the following modules

Starting from our own memories of childhood, we explore the nature, function and definition of children’s literature and literacy.

An introduction to the history of literature written for children and an investigation of classic and contemporary texts from different perspectives and critical frameworks.

A focus on digital literacies: students will analyse and create new text types for a range of different audiences and purposes.

This module prepares students for their dissertation by providing opportunities to explore a range of research methodologies and methods appropriate for researching children’s literature and literacies.

An opportunity to undertake an extensive piece of independent research based upon a topic of your own choosing, either through a text based approach or through conducting an empirical study.

Entry requirements

Students looking to study this course will need to have obtained or be predicted to obtain an undergraduate honours degree with a minimum of lower second class honours (or equivalent).

Prospective students may be required to attend a consultation with the programme leader or a member of the academic team before commencing the course (this may be a telephone conversation if appropriate), and all are welcome to arrange a campus visit before enrolment.

If you have any questions about the entry requirements for this course, please contact our Enquiries Team for advice on +44 (0)1522 583658 or by emailing:

Bishop Grosseteste University is committed to widening access and participation and we adhere to a strict policy of non-discrimination

How you will be taught

Please note that due to COVID-19 our delivery methods may be subject to change in 2021. You will be informed of any changes at the earliest opportunity.

Students will be taught using a variety of methods such as interactive lectures, workshops, tutorials and seminars which are all used to promote engagement and independent learning within the various topics and modules that are studied throughout the programme.

Students will be taught by a variety of experienced practitioners who are active in the field to enhance the learning and teaching of certain modules and sector-specific content.


Here at BGU we aim to make assessment an integral part of your learning, with each assignment outline is developed to reflect your own working reality and the precise format is negotiated with a tutor. Students looking to study the MA Children’s Literature and Literacies course can expect to undertake a range of assessment which include written essays, presentations, portfolios and reports, as well as practical tasks.

Each of the module assessments will focus on the skills required for the elements contributing to the undertaking of a research project and the writing of a research report, ensuring that students are developing their power of critical inquiry, independent judgement and a creative application to their learning.

Careers & Further study

This course, which is specialised and interdisciplinary, has a strong professional and research development component and has been designed to meet the needs of a wide variety of learners, including Primary and Secondary school teachers, librarians and other professionals as well as enthusiasts to develop their knowledge and skills in relation to children’s literature and literacies. It is designed to enhance employability and academic progression in these subjects.


Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests. We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

Fees & Finance

A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.

Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.