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MA Children's Literature: Children's Book Illustration

MA Children's Literature: Children's Book Illustration

Different course options

Full time | Goldsmiths, University of London | 1 year | 25-SEP-23

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Illustration Artwork: Publications Literature

Course type


Course Summary

Immerse yourself in exploring professional and practical approaches to children’s book illustration.

Why study MA Children’s Literature: Children’s Book Illustration?

  • Refine your practical illustration skills and ideas by working on projects that focus on materials and their combination, colour, tone, creating atmosphere, addressing the reader, and the relation of illustration to text. At the end of the programme you'll have the opportunity to exhibit your work.
  • You won't only develop your practical skills. We draw on both professional and critical perspectives from art and education, cultural studies, design, and sociology to deliver a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to the subject of illustration. We'll expect you to interrogate the power relations that determine what is published, distributed and selected to be read by children in schools.
  • You'll study a bespoke module in children’s publishing that will help you with promoting your work and establishing dialogues with designers, editors and agents. You'll also have the chance to benefit from exposure to professional networks such as the Association of Illustrators, guest lectures from established illustrators and visits to illustration studios.
  • You'll be taught by leading teaching staff, including established children’s authors and illustrators.


As a graduate of the MA in Children’s Literature: Children’s Book Illustration you will have the skills and knowledge to succeed as a freelance children’s illustrator. In addition to honing your understanding and practice of children’s illustration, this degree will provide you with the professional skills to enter the industry with confidence.

Throughout the course you will benefit from the expertise and networks of renowned practitioners. The Children’s Publishing module will develop your knowledge of the sector and your professional skills, while the degree show and visits to London book fairs to meet publishers and agents will provide you with a platform to build professional relationships in the industry. You will also benefit from Goldsmiths’ networks with other institutions such as the Association of Illustrators.


This course emphasises the pleasures of literature and aims to make students knowledgeable and committed readers of literature for children and young people. In the course we aim to address a range of issues in relation to culture and identity through literature for children. We take a wide definition which includes picture books and graphic novels, media and dramatic texts. We consider historical perspectives and explore children's literature for today, as a distinct form, which is a product of both literary traditions and current ideological contexts. Sessions will include consideration of the nature of literature for children, poetry and oral texts, picture books, media texts, graphic novels and reader response theory, and an exploration of literature about the refugee experience.
Children's Book Illustration: Final Project (60 Credits) - Core

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

For direct entry onto the degree, you should have or expect to achieve an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant area such as graphic design, illustration or art, or have equivalent professional experience. You will also be required to provide a portfolio as part of your application. If you do not have an existing background in illustration we may offer you a place on a pre-sessional conversion course. This will cover foundational elements of illustration, including observational and sequential drawing, introduction to materials, and the psychology of pictorial reading.