Module code: ELI3048

Module Overview

The module offers students the opportunity to learn about children’s literature across a variety of genres, ages, as well as about its historical development and socio-cultural contexts. The module will require students to engage the critical thinking skills and theoretical knowledge that they have acquired in modules across their first and second years in a new context, enabling them to think deeply about the ways in which children’s literature should be studied with the same rigorous approach that they would apply to texts written for adults. In particular, students will be encouraged to consider how genre, form, gender, race, identity, setting, temporality,. They will also confront their own relationship to texts that they read as children or young adults and consider what components result in effective writing for children which will enable them to engage with complex critical concepts, and develop their own writing both creative and critical. Through participating in group discussions in the lecture-seminars, students will develop a detailed understanding of how to analyse children’s literature and how to write for children. The module will also afford students the opportunity to develop their critical thinking, research, writing, and communication skills in ways that will benefit them on their chosen career path.

At the end of the semester students will produce a work of children’s literature alongside a commentary reflecting upon their creative work OR a critical essay that focusses on two works of children’s literature using the theories, concepts and practices studied.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

MORGAN Amy (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 80

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 67

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 55

Captured Content: 6

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content will include:



Beginnings: Fairytales

Beginnings: Classics

Early Years: Picturebooks

Early Years: Short Stories

Intermediate: Historical Fiction

Intermediate: Fantasy

Young Adult: Dystopia/Speculative Fiction

Young Adult: Romance

Young Adult: Webcomics and Graphic Novels

Revision and Conclusion

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Creative piece (2400 words or equivalent) plus critical essay and commentary (600 words) OR Critical Essay (3000 words) 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the module learning outcomes in addition to the development of employability skills, digital capabilities, global and cultural capabilities, and resourcefulness and resilience.

Seminar discussion with ongoing tutor feedback is designed mainly to assess transferable skills including independent learning, time management, and the ability to structure and communicate complex arguments in written and oral communication. It also assesses subject knowledge in the different forms and nuances of children’s literature and cognitive and analytical skills in critical thinking in developing writing for children.

The essay OR the creative piece plus critical commentary assess subject knowledge in the different forms of writing for children and cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking and in using the theories of children’s literature to analyse texts. They also assess practical/professional skills in expressing ideas about children’s literature AND/OR writing their own creative work for children and in written communication and transferable skills in working independently and as part of a group.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

 End of semester Creative Piece (2400 words or equivalent in poetry) plus critical essay and commentary (600 words) (100%) OR Critical Essay (3000 words) (100%)


Formative assessment and feedback

Seminar discussion with ongoing tutor feedback and written feedback on one piece of writing (maximum of 1,000 words or the equivalent).

Formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through seminar discussions and tutor feedback in lecture-seminars.

Students receive both written feedback and verbal feedback in seminars that informs the final essay OR creative piece

Module aims

  • This module will: allow students to develop a thorough critical understanding of children¿s literature and strengthen their skills in close reading and analysis
  • deepen and expand the ability in students to apply critical thinking skills to their own creative writing or the writing of others
  • enhance students' ability to engage in inclusive discussions about children¿s literature and develop an understanding of the impact these works have on society and respond to current debates
  • develop students' ability to analyse and appraise styles and techniques used in children¿s literature and to apply these insights to their own writing practices or analysis of the writing of others
  • enhance students' ability to undertake independent research as well as to work effectively as part of a group during the lecture-seminars
  • allow students to think across global and cultural thresholds, deepening their understanding of the canon and how this is related to children's literature
  • introduce students to viable career pathways for those interested in children¿s literature including publishing, archival work, and writing for children

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Over the course of this module, students will: demonstrate in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of a diverse range of children's literature and related significant historical and socio-cultural contexts KC
002 Have acquired advanced skills in close reading and analysis of children¿s literary texts CPT
003 Have gained the ability to analyse and appraise styles and techniques used in children¿s literature and effectively applied these insight to their own writing practices or analysis of the writing of others KC
004 Demonstrate independent research skills and organisation including using digital tools and materials for researching children's literature PT
005 Develop their ability to effectively communicate complex ideas and arguments concerning the production and study of children's literature in written and oral formats PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to ensure that students achieve the module learning outcomes and develop competencies in employability, digital capabilities, global and cultural intelligence, and resourcefulness and resilience. It will enable students to continue on their journey as independent researchers and will support them in strengthening transferable, practical, and professional skills which will prove essential across numerous career pathways.

The delivery of the module through two-hour weekly lecture-seminars places an emphasis on student-led discussions that further develop cognitive/analytical skills in analysing children’s literature and its contexts, specifically those relating to diversity and identity. The lecture-seminars will feature a range of different individual and group tasks that will further develop students’ skills in critical thinking and effective communication. Students will also be given the opportunity to respond to each week’s text critically or creatively which will allow them to engage with different aspects of the course and develop agency in choosing to hone their analytical or creative skills.

Guidance throughout the module will equip students with the research and writing skills they will need to produce critically informed academic writing and/or creative writing (writing for children) and creative criticism by helping them gain significant confidence and ability in critical analysis and thinking and/or an ability to use specific compositional skills that will have practical application to their practices as writers of children’s literature. The lecture-seminars also provide students with instruction on planning and implementing timetables for work and on presenting ideas coherently under time constraints. Students will have the opportunity to submit part of their draft for formative feedback which will increase their resilience and further develop their analytical and writing skills. It will also enable them to fortify the argument of their final essay and focus their ideas.

The learning and teaching methods include: a combination of lecture-seminar content and materials, guided learning, and independent learning. There will also be optional sessions with the library archives and a children’s literature author to allow for communication with industry professionals and to broaden student’s understandings of the production of, and engagement with, children’s literature.

The virtual learning environment, SurreyLearn, will be fully utilised to capture content, guide learning, introduce additional materials, and help student to navigate their independent study.


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELI3048

Other information

The School of Literature and Languages is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

Employability: Over the course of the module, students’ will develop their critical thinking and analytical skills in ways which will benefit their future career goals. They will be required to engage intellectually with a range of complex theories and ideas relating to producing or studying children’s literature and will be guided on how to construct an effective argument or narrative. Additionally, through peer discussion and ongoing verbal and written feedback, they will learn the most efficient ways to communicate their ideas in their writing and their seminar discussions. On this module, students will be offered the opportunity to engage with the library archives and a published children’s literature author which will introduce students to viable career pathways for those interested in children’s literature including publishing, archival work, and writing for children

Digital Capabilities: The university’s virtual learning platform, SurreyLearn, requires students to engage with digital learning material and resources. As part of their independent research and during lecture-seminars, students will be required to engage with captured content, along with other multi-media resources, such as online archives, scholarly websites, documentaries, adaptations, and podcasts to support individual and collaborative learning and research. Learning how to locate, access, analyse, and use online resources and digital tools will allow students to develop their digital literacy as well as their research skills. Additionally, a large part of the module focuses on the multimodality of children’s literature so students will be required to assess the ways in which children are engaging with literature in a variety of formats such as adaptations, e-books, audiobooks, apps etc. and students will need to be engaged with these digital mediums.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: The variety of children’s literature studied on the module will require students to consider the specific political, social, and cultural ways that we engage with literature written for children and how this is affected by our individual experiences and background. Through an examination of global and cultural historical contexts, students will learn to communicate their ideas thoughtfully with their peers, considering the diverse student community and the effect that children’s literature has in shaping our understanding of ourselves, other communities, and the world around us.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: The lecture-seminars are scaffolded by pre-class requirements in the form of a to-do-list including the completion of set reading and pre-seminar questions or tasks to help guide students’ learning. By engaging with these tasks and questions, students will further develop their individual resourcefulness. This will also be developed through the creation of their own critical or creative project for assessment. Peer and tutor feedback in seminar discussions will develop students’ confidence in communicating analytical and critical ideas and group work will also provide opportunities for students to develop their thinking both independently and in conjunction with others.


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature and Spanish BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with German BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and French BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.