MA Writing for Children

MA Writing for Children at Winchester explores the dynamic relationship between creative production and critical awareness of children's literature. Students develop their writing skills in a challenging and stimulating environment, supported by teaching staff who are published writers and experts in their field.

MA Writing for Children at University of Winchester

Entry requirements 

A good first degree in any subject - normally a first or second-class Honours degree; a passion for and commitment to contemporary fiction for children and young adults; demonstrable skill in writing for young audiences, assessed by a sample of creative writing submitted with the application. 

If English is not your first language 

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing​

Degree duration

Full-time: 1 year
Part-time: 2 years

Start date: September

Teaching takes place: Evenings (subject to change)

Application process: UKPASS (full-time applicants only) or Direct Entry Application Form (part-time applicants only)

Course Tuition Fees and Additional Costs

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

September 2017  Entry Full-time | £6,100
September 2017 Entry Part-time | £3,050 p/a

Total Cost | £6,100

International Students

September 2017  Entry Full-time | £12,200
September 2017  Entry Part-time | £6,100 p/a

Total Cost | £12,200

Additional costs:


  • Dissertation: Students must pay for printing and binding of dissertations. Cost £20.
  • Printing: Students must pay for printing of sufficient copies of work for weekly workshops. Cost £60.


  • Core texts: Multiple copies of core text are held within the library and e-books are identified where possible, however due to the popularity of some books, there will not be enough availability for every student. It is advised that students look into purchasing second-hand copies. Cost £150. 

To find out what general costs are included or excluded in the course fees, such as textbooks and travel expenses, please click here

Other Information

Work experience: The annual University of Winchester Writers' Festival provides volunteering and hosting opportunities for students

Fact: Students meet editors, literary agents and top authors via our programme of external speakers and the launch of Litmus - an annual anthology of new writing by MA students.

Fact: Students may focus on writing for any age group, from picture books to Young Adult fiction.

Fact: All students participate in weekly writing workshops.

Terms and Conditions

For more information about the University of Winchester's terms and conditions click here

This well-established programme strongly encourages students to develop new creative work, to give and receive feedback in weekly workshops and to experiment with new forms, audiences and voices. Students discuss a range of work by established writers and consider the theoretical, social and cultural contexts of contemporary writing for children and young adults.

All students must complete five modules and choose one optional module from a selection.

The Publishing Project is a module in which all students develop a personal writing project to the point of submission for publication, for example the development of a publishing proposal, initial chapters and letter to agent/publisher. Guest agents, editors and writers provide specific insights while the production and publication of a group anthology, Litmus, helps develop editing skills.

After completion of taught modules, students undertake their independent study with tailored supervisory support leading to the dissertation - usually an extended piece or pieces of fiction for children amounting to 20,000-30,000 words.

  • Fiction for Children
  • The Writer as Researcher
  • The Publishing Project
  • Independent Study Preparation
  • Independent Study

Plus one of the following optional modules:

  • Fantastic Fiction for Children
  • Picture Books
  • Writing Non-fiction for Children
  • Contemporary Non-fiction
  • Contemporary Scriptwriting for Film and Television
  • Advanced Contemporary Poetry
  • Diploma of Postgraduate Studies - Summative Paper

The academics teaching on the programme are all professional novelists, scriptwriters, poets, critics, playwrights or non-fiction writers. They are supported by guests - most recently, children's writers Marcus Sedgwick, Mark Lowery, Sarah Lean and Andrew Weale, Editorial Director Emma Layfield (Hodder), and literary agents Ella Kahn (DKW) and Sallyanne Sweeney (Mulcahy Associates). Weekly workshops develop students' own writing through constructive critical feedback.

Programme Leader

Modules are assessed by a combination of creative and critical work. Students undertake a dissertation of 20,000-30,000 words (or an appropriate equivalent) as part of their independent study, with full tutorial support. This comprises a creative piece, or pieces, of work for children or young adults in the form of fiction, poetry, script, creative non-fiction or picture books.

At the University of Winchester validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Many graduates have gone on to become published writers - some award-winning. These include, most recently: Ally Sherrick, Mark Lowery, Sarah Rubin, Sarah Lean, Meaghan McIsaac and David Owen. Others have careers in teaching, storytelling, publishing and the arts.

Course Enquiries and Applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message

Applications need to be submitted before the 31 May 2017. Late applications can be accepted throughout the remainder of the application year, for more information click here.

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