Why study this course

Current, interdisciplinary, and research-led modules.

The ability to pursue your interests throughout your assignments not just your MA dissertation.

An innovative course with a dedicated Teaching Team that ensure individualised support and personalised feedback.

A vibrant academic community led by research specialists.

Course summary

The MA in Children's Literature and Literacies gives you an opportunity to deepen your passion for literature written for children through research-led modules that engage with emerging frameworks and debates. Supported by a team of academic specialists, you will investigate theories of literacy development, and the learning and reading experiences of children and young people through interdisciplinary, inclusive, and current approaches. You will critically explore ‘classic’ texts and contemporary publications across a range of genres, ranging from poetry, picture books and non-fiction to graphic novels and digital applications, aimed at readers from 0-18. You will examine the nature of literacy and literature in a digital age, their current existence and future directions. This MA will foster your academic capabilities and individual interests through conceptual and empirical research.


Key facts




1 or 2 years

Mode of study


Start date


Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code


Apply for this course

When you're ready to apply, the route you take will depend on your personal circumstances and preferred method of study. Click the relevant button below to start your application journey.

About this course

The MA Children’s Literature and Literacies is a vibrant, wide-ranging degree course that offers professional development and academic progression by enhancing subject and research expertise in these interdisciplinary fields of study. Informed by current scholarship, research, and practice, it provides you an opportunity to develop in-depth and advanced knowledge and understanding of children’s literature and literacy through both wide-ranging and diverse specialist modules, culminating in an independent research project (MA dissertation) that reflects your individual ambition and aspirations, your engagement with conceptual and empirical research; and critical reflective approaches to research methods and professional situations, both practical and theoretical.

This MA aims to develop a broad, inclusive, critical, and contemporary understanding of literacies, including the range of digital, visual and interactive texts available to children and young people and the influence of these on their learning experiences. It gives you an opportunity to deepen your passion for literature written for children through research-led modules that engage with emerging frameworks and debates. It equips you with a wider understanding of current research methodologies and critical and theoretical frameworks, to sustain and further your independent research and topic interests and questions.

We have an established research culture, and you will be invited to join our staff at regular literary events, workshops, and presentations. You will be encouraged to participate in the research seminar series, conferences, and other public events. The institutional strength in children’s literature and literacy is interdisciplinary and demonstrated by Literature and Literacies Research Knowledge Exchange Unit (RKEU), a cross-disciplinary Research and Knowledge Exchange Unit whose activities and events will be of interest and open to you.

The English team is committed to producing high quality academic outputs, and this is acknowledged in the recent outcome of REF 2021. The publications of the department are an expression of the thematic range of the team’s work, the richness of its research, and the character of its public impact projects. REF 2021 recognised the quality of the engagement of English staff in public impact, as represented in projects extending locally, nationally, and internationally. Some of the published outputs assessed through REF 2021 included those reflecting our research interests in women writers, life stories, and the Victorian and Edwardian period, nineteenth-century literature and culture, and research on the popular media relating to the Falklands War. To these subjects, we now add expertise in travel writing, identity, migration and postcolonial studies.

BGU alumni receive a 30% discount on our master's programmes. For more information, visit: www.bgu.ac.uk/tuition-fees

What you will study

You will study the following modules:

This module studies current discourses and debates surrounding children’s and young people’s encounters with literature from the foundation of their ‘literate lives’ at home and at school. It is part of a suite of four fifteen-credit modules complementing the literary critical approaches and methodologies outlined in the core thirty-credit module, ELI70921.

Children’s Literate Lives begins by debating the perception of children as readers drawing on individual memories of childhood reading to explore discourses about the nature, function and definition of children’s literature and literacy. This exploration will involve examining how texts aimed at young people convey, complicate and challenge ideas about children and childhood.

The module fosters a broad, current and inclusive critical understanding of ‘literacies’ and being ‘literate’ by investigating how children and childhood are shaped by embodied literacies. It investigates and critiques different arguments, drawing upon discourses from the sociology of childhood, children’s literature studies, and literacy and language development to reflect on how children and childhood are perceived and represented in texts which are created for them, and on the influence of schooling on children’s literacies.

The module examines the history of literature written for children as well as critical debates in children’s literature. It is part of a suite of four fifteen-credits modules complementing the literary critical approaches and methodologies outlined in the core thirty-credit module, ELI70921.

This module investigates a range of texts written for children, including fiction, poetry, picture books, and non-fiction. It will explore different perspectives on diversity and representation in children’s texts and consider how texts and their interpretations are influenced by different political, social, historical and cultural contexts.

The module promotes an awareness of patterns of stylistic experiment and revision in the development of literature for children. It further develops students’ ability to recognise and define characteristic literary features, subjects and styles of this literary genre. It also offers opportunities to reflect on the development of literary genres, their theorisation, and their reception

This module explores a range of research methodologies and methods appropriate for researching children’s literature and literacies. It is part of a suite of four fifteen-credits modules complementing the literary critical approaches and methodologies outlined in the core thirty-credit module, ELI70921.

Researching Children’s Literature and Literacies considers conducting research with children. It addresses research ethics and integrity to investigate the complexities and challenges of practitioner research, with specific attention to notions of power when working with children, young people, families and communities. It further develops the students’ understanding of how to apply theoretical perspectives in researching children’s literature and how to plan ethical research focused on literacies.

The module enables students to develop a critical understanding of research design and explore a variety of ways of answering research questions and reporting and representing findings, and their ethical challenges.

This module engages with key trends, issues and genres connected to children’s literacies and literature to consider their current existence and future directions. It is part of a suite of four fifteen-credits modules complementing the literary critical approaches and methodologies outlined in the core thirty-credit module, ELI70921.

In the twenty-first century children’s literacies and literature are increasingly contested and complex concepts that are defined by divergence and multiplicity and continue to be transformed by a plurality of text types including digitally afforded cultural practices. There is an ongoing tension between their traditional, (written) textcentred origins and the current reality where ‘texts’ are conceived in the broadest possible sense and books are transformed into visual, lived, literary experiences.

Connecting to current cultures of digital literacies, this module examines visual literacy and children’s experiences of texts in a range of formats and media such as picture books, films and digital applications. It looks into current movements for increased diversity in children’s literature and considers key publishing trends tied to the commodification of childhood by going ‘beyond the book’ to explore the various ways in which publishers present and re-present texts for modern-day young readers.

This module investigates the complexities of the poetics and politics of representing identity in English Studies through current and up-and-coming theories and critical perspectives that expand literary studies. It explores relationships between identity formation and the aesthetic and semantic qualities of narrative, poetry, and dramaturgy. Identity studies offers an interdisciplinary framework to re-examine sex, gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, culture and nation with an emphasis upon issues of equality, diversity and inclusion.

Poetics and Politics of Identity furthers and deepens students’ knowledge of models of research strategies and literary scholarship, which are introduced during the core module ELI70921 Critiquing and Theorising Literature, and their interactions with and applications of evolving theories, inquiries, and proposals and methods relevant to rethinking being human and reshaping the poetics and politics of identity in English. It promotes an active critical engagement with recent challenges and evolving areas of exploration in this field of studies and consolidate students’ ability to synthesise and interrogate a range of sources.

This module investigates how integrating interdisciplinary research methods and digital Humanities have challenged, changed and stretched English Studies. It explores the critical and methodological approaches at the core of contemporary literary studies by engaging with developing, recent, and up-and-coming theories and research methods that shape current research and those that are emerging and will shape future trends and open new possibilities to further knowledge.

Critiquing and Theorising Literature aims to keep students’ scholarship and interaction with the discipline current debates through contemporary scholarly inquiries, theories, and proposals. It advances and consolidates their awareness of the models of research and theoretical frameworks and their role as researchers in terms of ethics and integrity. It will engage students with a range of theoretical approaches and critical frameworks to reflect on research methodology and scholarship

This module represents the culmination of the MA degree programme. Drawing on the scholarly frameworks, theories and practices established in previous modules, the MA Dissertation gives students the opportunity to undertake an extensive piece of independent research based upon a topic of their own choosing. It builds on the
knowledge and skills acquired throughout the programme and challenges students to demonstrate their capacities for sustained research, scholarly evaluation, critical positioning, high level academic production and research ethics and integrity.

After initial group sessions covering the scholarly, research, and communication skills that are necessary to the realisation of an independent, extended written project, the students’ dissertations will be supervised by an individual supervisor, chosen according to the topic of their individual projects. The group sessions will highlight the importance of transferable skills such as an advanced level of competence in formulating, planning and executing an extended written project.

Students will reflect on potential challenges and provide guidance on motivation, adaptability, problem-solving, autonomy and resilience. They will also gain a refreshed understanding of the support, resources, and institutional facilities available to support them. After the submission of a research proposal outline, students will work independently on their approved topic, under the guidance of a supervisor, to produce a dissertation.

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: courseenquiries@bishopg.ac.uk.

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

Students will be taught by a variety of experienced researchers and practitioners who are active in the field to enhance your learning experience. The course provides diversity in both content and structure, with longer modules offering breadth and scope, complemented by specialist modules providing depth and focus. You will be able to tailor the assessment according to your own interests and produce your individual dissertation.

This course has an established part-time route that facilitates your learning and engagement through evening classes. Our modules run in the evening and you can attend them after your working schedule.


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.

What Our Students Say

Discover what life is like at Bishop Grosseteste University from our students.


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 & Funding

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.