The study of children's literature has a long history at DCU, as the English Department based on the St. Patrick's Campus was the first to offer a taught Masters programme on the subject in Ireland (from 1997). In the years since, the programme has benefitted enormously from the participation of key experts in the field, as well as from the enthusiastic commitment of its students. A series of significant conferences and publications as well as various initiatives have occurred as a result of the programme, including the establishment of a Centre for Children's Literature and Culture in 2006.
Since September 2017, students are able to study for a Masters in Children's and Young Adult Literature, which marks an exciting departure for both the programme and the School of English, DCU.
Why Do This Programme?
Participants on this programme often express a long-standing fascination with children's and/or young adult literature, and enrol for a variety of reasons. Some, for example, undertake the programme purely to find an outlet for their love of such literature, while others do so because they see it as a pathway to career development.
Some of our graduates have used the programme as a means of furthering their ambitions as writers, while others again have gone on to doctoral study. The programme facilitates these several motivations/aims, offering students a wide-ranging course of study in the history and development of children's and young adult literature, and introducing them to crucial areas of research.
The modules consider the art and politics of children's literature from the late seventeenth century right up until the present moment, and explores issues related to genre as well as how notions of what is 'suitable' reading for children and young adults continue to evolve. Students read widely during the course of their first year, examining, both didactic and fantasy writing, for example, as well as multi-modal texts (films, picture books, and graphic novels), and contemporary Young Adult literature. In the second year, students concentrate on a specific area of research and, with guided supervision, write their dissertation.