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Childrens Literature (M.Phil. / P.Grad.Dip.)

1 Year Full Time or 2 years Part Time ; 24 places

Get In Touch

Course Director

Dr Pádraic Whyte and Dr Jane Carroll

Telephone Number

+353-1-896 1839

whytepa@tcd.ie

Website

www.tcd.ie/English/postgraduate/childrens-literature/

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.

Course Description

Course Description

This postgraduate degree programme offers an exciting opportunity to study a wide range of children's literature – a broad category that encompasses everything from picture books through to Young Adult fiction. Examining texts from the seventeenth century to the present day, the course addresses chronologies, genres, modes of criticism, readerships, publishing trends and the full apparatus of literary investigation, while exploring the unique power dynamics that arise from adult authors creating texts for younger readers. While the focus is on literary analysis, the programme also currently offers a creative writing element.

Situated in Dublin, a UNESCO City of Literature, this is the only full-time one-year taught master’s programme in children's literature in Ireland and pays special attention to the role of the Irish contribution to the development of children's literature in English. It offers unique opportunities to engage in archival research, to explore the Pollard Collection of Children’s Books – the largest collection of children’s books in Ireland – as well as to work with the National Collection of Children’s Books (nccb.tcd.ie).

Students of different nationalities and from diverse backgrounds and disciplines have successfully completed the programme since it was established in 2011. Many graduates have careers in areas such as editing, publishing, arts management, journalism, curation, teaching, librarianship, and academia. Over the years, students have worked with leading academics in the field, attended guest lectures by local and international scholars and authors, applied for funding opportunities to research archives at Yale University and at Trinity, collaborated with Children’s Books Ireland on their ‘Bold Girls’ initiative, curated an exhibition in Trinity Library’s Long Room (see Story Spinners: Irish Women and Children’s Books), and immersed themselves in the vibrant children’s literature community at the School of English.

The course consists of five modules: a core module ‘Perspectives and Case Studies in Children’s Literature’ that runs in the first and the second semester, as well as option modules. Students take one option module in each of the semesters, choosing from a variety of special subjects on offer each year. In recent years these have included: ‘The Victorian Child’, ‘The City and Children’s Literature’, ‘Material Culture and Children’s Literature’, and ‘Creative Writing for Children’.

Further information on the contents of the course is available here: https://www.tcd.ie/English/postgraduate/childrens-literature/

 

Brian McManus (Student 2012-13)
"What most appealed to me about the M.Phil. in Children’s Literature was the opportunity to study the history and development of children’s books over the past three hundred years in a socio-historical and literary context rather than an educational and pedagogical context, which is so often the case in postgraduate courses in which children’s books feature prominently.  The M.Phil. in Children’s Literature was admirably comprehensive in charting the course of children’s literature as a distinct form of writing from its beginnings in the eighteenth century to the present day, whilst identifying the major milestones of the Anglophone tradition along the way and focussing on movements and sub-genres of particular importance. My MPhil class were immediately made aware of how recently children’s literature became an accepted academic discipline in its own right and this made for a palpably exciting and hugely invigorating year of journeying into undiscovered country, particularly in terms of Irish children’s books, and of feeling empowered to both enrich existing scholarly arguments and construct entirely new ones. It was fascinating to look afresh at children’s books with which I had long-standing relationships, whether I loved or loathed them, and re-appraise them by placing them in the context of the development of children’s literature, appreciating for the first time how certain texts that have been condemned to cosy classic status were pioneering, subversive and even radical when first published. One of my favourite aspects of the MPhil programme was the revelation of wonderful children’s texts of which I was entirely ignorant, despite many having achieved huge success within sub-genres with which I never previously felt a great affinity, such as picturebooks and Young Adult, but now respect and value highly. Exploring the extensive Pollard Collection of Children’s Books, which is housed in Trinity College, felt like accessing a portal to the past and that amazing insight into what children of the eighteenth, nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries saw and felt and experienced is something that I will always treasure. The diversity in expertise and insight amongst the teaching staff on the MPhil in Children’s Literature meant that I felt that I would be extremely well-supported in whatever direction I chose to take my independent research projects when the time came to choose a thesis topic and, ultimately, to undertake doctoral research on completion of the MPhil."

Esther Reilly (Student 2018-19)
"The year dedicated to the MPhil in Children’s Literature has been the most enriching and enjoyable experience I’ve had as a student so far. The program has unique opton modules, my favourites being ‘The Victorian Child’ and ‘Material Culture’, and explores a comprehensive range of interesting genres and time periods in Children's Literature. The focus on individual research is fostered by lecturers who are experts in their field, enthusiastic about their work, and helped guide me through the challenges of essay and dissertation writing. Overall, the support and mentoring of the faculty and the friendships I made within my cohort have been invaluable to me as I move forward in the PhD program in English Literature at Trinity College Dublin."

 

Course Details

Duration

1 Year Full Time or 2 years Part Time

Number of Places

24

Next Intake

September 2021

Closing Date

31st May 2021

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.

Course Fees

Click here for a full list of postgraduate fees.

Get In Touch

Course Director

Dr Pádraic Whyte and Dr Jane Carroll

Telephone Number

+353-1-896 1839

whytepa@tcd.ie

Website

www.tcd.ie/English/postgraduate/childrens-literature/