British Children's Literature ENGLIT4092

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines literature produced by British writers for children from 1850 to the present. It ranges across genres, from fantasy to school stories, and forms, from poetry to fiction and picture books.


Seven sets of preparatory online materials and activities, including videos, short quizzes and writing exercises.

Seven seminars of 90 minutes

Three workshops of 60 minutes.


This is one of the Honours options in English Literature and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Successful completion of Junior Honours English Literature, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

ENGLIT4018  British Children's Literature


Essay (3000 words) - 50%

Annotated Bibliography (1500 words) - 25%

Seminar contribution (10%)

Presentation (15%) 

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ study a range of children's literature from 1850 to the present day

■ develop critical skills, including close reading and the ability to analyse popular literature

■ consider literature for children in its cultural and historical contexts

■ examine the historical development of the concepts of childhood and young adulthood

■ analyse critically the status of 'children's literature' as a separate genre

■ engage with issues of readership and the marketing and commodification of literature.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ critically assess children's literature from 1850 to the present day

■ trace the historic development of genres and narrative forms

■ critically assess the language and themes of children's literature

■ articulate an understanding of the publishing and marketing circumstances of texts, and their status as commodities

■ explain the cultural and historical factors inherent in constructing a concept of 'childhood' and 'the child'

■ communicate responses to the material studied on the course both orally and in written form through coherent and sustained argument.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.