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Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

MA in Children's and Young Adult Literature

MA in Children's & Young Adult Literature

  • PAC CodeDC696
  • Course Type Postgraduate
  • NFQ Level 9
  • Delivery Modes Part-time
  • Duration 2 Years

Beginning in September 2017, the newly formed School of English, DCU, will for the first time offer a Master’s Degree in Children’s and Young Adult Literature.

The study of children’s literature has a long history at DCU—from its launch in 1997, the English Department’s St. Patrick’s Campus was the first in Ireland to offer a taught Master’s on the subject. In the years since, the programme has benefitted enormously from the participation of key experts in the field and from enthusiastic students.

Graduate View


“It is testament to the thought-provoking and engaging lectures which consistently challenged and inspired us that I was always excited by the prospect of our evening lectures, no matter how tiring the day. From the symmetry of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are to the sanctuary of Frances Hodgson-Burnett’s The Secret Garden, I was encouraged for the first time to think critically about the issues that affect both children and literature.

“Since completing the course, my newfound fascination with the interplay of words and images in picturebooks has changed me as a reader and challenged me as a school librarian. Beyond the walls of the school library, my research has led to beginning a PhD programme and to multiple invitations to lecture on the topic of visual literacy at educational conferences and in universities. Like Alice in Wonderland or Lucy in Narnia, this is a programme that will take you on a magical journey and all sorts of unexpected adventures (both personally and professionally) are sure to follow.”


Mairead Duggan, Graduate


Why Do This Programme?

  • The MA in Children’s and Young Adult Literature’s wide variety of modules is designed to ensure you’ll have the opportunity to study your particular interests.
  • You’ll develop your practical skills, enabling you to approach both research and critical writing with a greater confidence
  • This programme has germinated a series of significant conferences and publications, as well as various initiatives, including the establishment of a Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture in 2006.

Programme Structure and Content

The course can be completed in two years on a part-time basis, with classes taught two evenings per week.

Year One’s six taught modules are assessed by means of essays. In Year Two, you’ll produce a minor thesis of 15,000-20,000 words, enriched by sessions with a research supervisor, research and writing seminars, student presentations, and visits by occasional guest speakers.

Programme Aims and Objectives

  •  To illuminate children’s and Young Adult literature, in all of its guises, and demonstrate its literary and cultural significance
  • To deepen your appreciation of children’s and Young Adult literature, and enable you to engage with it on a critical as well as imaginative and/or emotional level
  • To encourage you to recognize the transferrable nature of the skills that you develop during the course of this programme



View the current course structure →


Why Choose DCU?

  •  Small class sizes promote a close and mutually supportive relationship between students and ensure that everyone has a voice
  • Academic staff are experts in their fields, and hugely committed to the teaching of children’s and Young Adult literature
  • Teaching styles are lively, varied and promote an interactive and participative environment


Programme Chairperson: Dr. Sharon Murphy

Tel: +353 (0)1 700 6098

Email: sharon.murphy@dcu.ie

Fees: www.dcu.ie/fees/index.shtml


This programme may prove useful in the career development of teachers of English at both first and second level, school librarians, and librarians working in public libraries. We also have graduates working in publishing and administration.

Some graduates have used the programme as a springboard into doctoral study and academia.

One of our graduates was recently appointed President of IBBY Ireland, which is the Irish section of the international non-profit organisation aiming to bring children and books together.

A more recent graduate published her first work for children in 2015.

Potential Careers

Literary Editor






General Entry Requirements

This programme is open to applicants with an honours primary degree, minimum H2.1 (Level 8 NFQ) in a related subject.  Applicants with an honours degree who do not meet the minimum entry of a H2.1 but can show substancial and demonstrable experience related to Children's and/or Young Adult literature may be considered for a place on the programme.

As part of your application through the Posgraduate Applications Centre (PAC) please submit a personal statement (maximum 1.000 words), outlining why you wish to study for a Master's Degree in Children's and Young Adult Literature.

As part of the selection process you may also be required to attend for interview. 

International Applications
International applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such applicants are non-native speakers of the English language, they must satisfy the university of their compentency in the English language.  For further information in relation to international applicants, please click here

How to Apply and Closing Dates

Make an Application

All Applicants must submit

  • Certified academic transcripts for each and every year of study, with certified English translations if applicable
  • Personal statement of 1,000 words maximum

Non Native English Speakers

  • Evidence of English competency which meets DCU entry requirements - see link


Application Process

EU Applicants:

Apply online through the Postgraduate Application Centre www.pac.ie by 31st July 2018.

Non EU Applicants:

Apply online through the Postgraduate Application Center www.pac.ie by 10th July 2018. Applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of gaining entry into Ireland are advised to apply as early as possible.