Course Content and Coursework
The coursework for children's literature master's degree programs is usually flexible and apart from a few mandatory modules, it may be structured according to the student's areas of interest from the elective modules that are available. Required courses include critical theory and methodology, history of children's literature, and classes on analytical skills and awareness deemed necessary for a graduate student of literature.
Elective courses range from genre studies (the picture book, science fiction and fantasy, realist fiction, poetry, non-fiction) to the in-depth study of the children's literature of a particular period (Victorian, modern, post-modern) to children's literature across cultures and the translation and migration of archetypes through disparate diasporas.
Also possible are exciting interdisciplinary or comparative modules that combine the study of art, psychology, sociology, media or education with the analysis of children's literature.
A student could take a class that delves into the effects of children's literature on society's constructions and perceptions of childhood. She could attend a course that researches the role of children's literature in endorsing or refuting the standard majority ideology and values of social relationships. She could enroll into a class that debates the semiology, messages and values transmitted by children's literature through the ages. She could grapple with questions about the validity of an adult-created, adult-run, adult-regulated industry that controls and prescribes what children should read and when—are children mere pawns of adult marketing strategies and public relations machineries?
After the coursework is completed, the student must write a thesis or undertake an independent study project that applies her newfound knowledge to practical use in publishing, education, media or other industries where she can make a career.