Taught course

Children's Literature

Trinity College Dublin - the University of Dublin · School of English

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a good honours degree (at least an upper second or a GPA of at least 3.3). A sample of the candidate's own critical writing (3,000-5,000 words) is also required.

Months of entry


Course content

Children's literature is recognised as a remarkable and dynamic part of literary and social culture. This course, the first full-time one year taught Masters programme in an Irish university, offers graduates in English or related disciplines the opportunity to study a broad range of children's literature in English. It addresses chronologies, genres, modes of criticism, publishing trends and the full apparatus of literary investigation across four centuries, while addressing the unique power dynamics that arise from adult authors writing for child readers. It is particularly concerned with multidisciplinary study because of the unique integration of words and images through the medium of picture books and graphic novels, and because its readership is more likely than any other to be 'technological natives', to have grown up taking multimedia approaches to texts for granted. Complete in itself, the course may also serve as preparation for those intending to proceed to further research in the field. Unique opportunities exist to work with the Pollard Collection of Children’s Books, the bequest of more than 10,000 children's books left to the College by Mary 'Paul' Pollard, one time keeper of Early Printed Books, in 2005, as well as to work with the National Collection of Children’s Books (nccb.tcd.ie).

Course Content:

There are three elements:

i) Perspectives and Case Studies in Children's Literature (core module),

ii) Optional modules:

  • Agency and Empowerment in Literature for Young Adults
  • Material Culture in Children’s Literature
  • Modern Fantasy: defining and redefining a genre
  • The Victorian Child
  • Time and Place in Children's Fiction

Students choose one optional module in Michaelmas term and a second in Hilary term. Some of the options are shared with the MPhil in Popular Literature. The options listed above were offered in 2016/17 and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

iii) Dissertation

Please note: This is a postgraduate degree programme. However, candidates who satisfy the examiner in all but the dissertation may be considered for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Children’s Literature.

Assessment is through four 5,000-7,000 word essays and a 15,000-20,000 word dissertation

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Dr Amanda Piesse Dr Pádraic Whyte
+353 1 896 1934 / 1224