Taught course

Writing for Children

University of Winchester · Department of English and Creative Writing

Entry requirements

Normally a first or second-class Honours degree or professional experience in the area of study. Applicants are required to submit a sample of their creative writing.

Months of entry


Course content

MA Writing for Children at Winchester explores the dynamic relationship between creative production and critical awareness of children's literature. Students develop their writing skills in a challenging and stimulating environment, supported by teaching staff who are published writers and experts in their field.

This well-established programme strongly encourages students to develop new creative work, to give and receive feedback in weekly workshops and to experiment with new forms, audiences and voices. Students discuss a range of work by established writers and consider the theoretical, social and cultural contexts of contemporary writing for children and young adults.

All students must complete five modules including Fiction for Children and The Publishing Project and, as an alternative, students may choose one module from MA Creative and Critical Writing, which includes modules on writing poetry and scripts.

The Publishing Project is a module in which all students develop a personal writing project to the point of submission for publication, for example the development of a publishing proposal, initial chapters and letter to agent/publisher. Guest agents, editors and writers provide specific insights while the production and publication of a group anthology, Litmus, helps develop editing skills.

After completion of taught modules, students undertake their independent study with tailored supervisory support leading to the dissertation - usually an extended piece or pieces of fiction for children.


  • Fiction for Children
  • Writer as Researcher
  • The Publishing Project
  • Independent Study Preparation

Plus one of the following optional modules:

  • Fantastic Fiction
  • Picture Books
  • Writing Non-fiction for Children

The academics teaching on the programme are all professional novelists, scriptwriters, poets, critics, playwrights or non-fiction writers. They are supported by guests - most recently, children's writers Marcus Sedgwick, Mark Lowery, Sarah Lean and Andrew Weale, Editorial Director Emma Layfield (Hodder), and literary agents Ella Kahn (DKW) and Sallyanne Sweeney (Mulcahy Associates). Weekly workshops develop students' own writing through constructive critical feedback.

Modules are assessed by a combination of creative and critical work. Students undertake a dissertation of 20,000-30,000 words (or an appropriate equivalent) as part of their independent study, with full tutorial support. This comprises a creative piece, or pieces, of work for children or young adults in the form of fiction, poetry, script, creative non-fiction or picture books.

Many graduates have gone on to become published writers - some award-winning. Others have careers in teaching, storytelling, publishing and the arts.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language: IELTS 6.5 (including 6.5 in academic writing) or equivalent approved test. International students seeking additional information about this programme can email International@winchester.ac.uk or call +44 (0) 1962 827023.

Fees and funding

UK students
September 2017 Entry Full-time | £6,100
International students
September 2017 Entry Full-time | £12,200

Limited bursaries, scholarships and discounts are available - please see our website under 'Students and Money' for more details.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Further details of qualification

Teaching takes place: Evenings Work experience: The annual University of Winchester Writers' Festival provides volunteering and hosting opportunities for students.

Course contact details

Course Enquiries and Applications
+44 (0) 1962 827234