The main approaches in the course are drawn from literary theory and cultural studies. The taught syllabus consists of six units. The three core modules consist of the theoretical basis (research methods and approaches) for the study of Children's Literature, together with detailed study of nineteenth and twentieth century Children's Literature; Three additional components are drawn from the following list of modules:
-North American Children's Literature
-Commonwealth Children's Literature
-Children's Radio, Film and Television
-Myth and Folktale in Children's Literature
-Popular Forms of Children's Fiction
Teaching is by seminars, lectures and tutorials, (with regular research talks by visiting academics organised under the aegis of CIRCL), followed by a period of independent research for a dissertation of 20,000 words. For the dissertation, students have the unique opportunity to be supervised on a one-to-one basis by one of the CIRCL staff who is expert in the student's chosen dissertation topic. Students are also required to submit six essays (of approximately 3000 words) during the taught phase of the course. The course begins in October each year and is completed in 12 (full-time) or 24 (part-time) months.
CIRCL: The Centre of Research for International Research in Childhood: Literature, Culture, Media.
The MA in Children's Literature is run under the aegis of CIRCL (Centre for International Research in Childhood).
There are also details on the CIRCL site of reading lists for the MA course, as well as further links to other web-sites of relevance to research in this field, and of activities that CIRCL organises.
General and Library information
There are two major collections on Children's Literature in the University of Reading Libraries: one covering the period of the early seventeenth century to 1939, the other an outstanding collection of books published from 1950 to the present day.
In addition, the Library's 'Treasure Islands' Archive contains a unique collection of BBC audio tapes, including interviews with contemporary children's writers.
The BBC's Written Archive Centre in Caversham, Reading, is an outstanding resource for research into aspects of the media in the twentieth century.
Training in finding resources for the study of Children's Literature is given at the beginning of the MA course and is supplemented by a five-hour unit specifically directed at research for the dissertation. Students also receive training in how to use archives in their research on the Nineteenth century core module using the University special collections.
Further research and job opportunities
After completing your MA in Children's Literature, there are excellent opportunities to continue with research within both Children's Literature, but also Literary and Social Sciences more widely:
MA students who choose to continue in jobs after the MA have found the MA has helped them to obtain work in (children's) publishing, teaching, and marketing and advertising, as well as students reporting back to us that the MA has helped them to communicate and analyse better in a wide variety of other kinds of work not specifically connected to Children's Literature.
Further details of the application process can be found on the CIRCL website.
Students wishing to apply for funding to attend the MA, please note that the MA is officially registered in Britain as an MA (Research) meaning that it is a taught MA that offers training appropriate to continuing with PhD research after the MA