Teacher reading to children

MEdChildren & Young People's Literacy, Language and Literature

Why this course?

The MEd Children & Young People’s Literacy, Language and Literature is suitable for students looking to pursue part-time study in this area. It's ideal for those seeking a qualification whilst working that will enhance professional practice.

This course will deepen your understanding of the complex research and practice of literacy, language and children’s literature.

You’ll explore how to give children and young people the best start in life by promoting literacy, language and literature and learn to apply different theoretical lenses, to understand practical problems.

You’ll graduate with deep knowledge of the language, literacy and literature research into what matters and for whom. You’ll also develop a diagnostic approach to which designs and interventions work, in which circumstances and why.

You'll address questions such as:

  • Why is the process of becoming literate so complex and how does it relate to spoken language development?
  • Why and how are the pathways to literacy influenced so strongly by poverty and gender?
  • How can literacy teaching be framed to empower learning in other subject disciplines, and what are the research implications?
  • What makes a ‘good’ book for children and young people, and how do creative responses to literature underpin intellectual, emotional and social wellbeing?
  • When children struggle with literacy, what can adults do to help?
  • How can professionals make schooling and the curriculum more effective for students at every stage of their school career?

Who is the course suitable for?

The course is suitable for anyone with an interest in children and young people’s literacy, language and literature, including:

  • school teachers
  • managers in the primary and secondary sector
  • education policy makers
  • speech and language therapists
  • educational psychologists
  • community education workers
  • residential social workers
  • parents

What you’ll study

Our MEd programmes are part-time over three years. You're expected to attain 60 credits per year resulting in 180 credits.

Year 1

You undertake three classes of their choice each worth 20 credits. Normally this will be one class per semester. For on-campus classes, this will involve attending three hours per week, delivered either in the evening or on Saturday morning. In total each class should take 200 hours including self-study.

Students who decide to complete their studies after one year will graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate.

Year 2

You undertake three classes each worth 20 credits. This will usually consist of two optional classes and a compulsory class Research Methods & Reasoning. The compulsory class equips students with the necessary basis for undertaking a dissertation at Masters level.

Research Methods & Reasoning is delivered entirely online via the University Virtual Learning Environment, My Place, during semester 1.

As per year 1, students will normally undertake one class per semester. The expected study time is the same as in year 1.

Students who decide to complete their studies at the end of year 2 will graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma.

Year 3

You’ll carry out a research dissertation in a subject area of your choice worth 60 credits. We'll allocate a supervisor for one-to-one support whilst you carry out and report your dissertation. We endeavour to match you with the best fit for your area of specialism.

You can complete your final dissertation by distance learning. This provides our students with the flexibility to complete their studies around work commitments.

Research projects

You’ll carry out a research dissertation in a subject area of your choice.  We will allocate a supervisor for one-to-one support whilst you carry out and report your dissertation.  We endeavour to match you with the best fit for your area of specialism.

This programme is highly flexible and allows you to tailor your studies around our key themes.

Programme leader

Professor Sue Ellis is the programme leader.

Course content

Compulsory classes

Research Methods & Reasoning

This class provides support in developing a critical and informed understanding of research methods in relation to your own planned dissertation project. It also provides support in understanding research ethics and how they relate to your own research. It provides support in meeting the requirements of the ethical approval process.

Elective classes

Semester 1

Supporting Literacy Development

Develop your professional skills in coaching children to become fluent readers and writers and improve your understanding of the role of cultural scripts, identity and cognition in literacy development.

Explore the complexity of the recent research as it relates to assessment, classroom pedagogy and curriculum theory.

This module runs on Thursday evenings (5pm to 9pm) in Weeks 8-11 and 13 to 15 in the University calendar. In session 2016/17, the class will take place on:

  • 22 September
  • 29 September
  • 6 October
  • 13 October
  • 27 October
  • 3 November
  • 10 November

The assignment is due on 1 December 2016.

Teaching Literacy Across All School Subjects

Learn how to use literacy teaching to improve your students’ understanding and recall of discipline-specific subject knowledge, and how to help them write about it coherently and think about it more critically.

Explore how to select texts, integrate literacy teaching into subject-specific pedagogies and examine research findings about the value of teaching specific reading and writing strategies.

Semester 2

Children’s Literature & Literary Theory

Deepen your knowledge of children’s literature, discuss the latest exciting authors and explore how they are being received by different sectors in society.

Find out about how literary theory informs our understanding of children’s literature from pre-school to mid-teens and learn about the historical and cultural changes in expectations, possibilities and social practices surrounding children’s literature.

This module runs on Thursday evenings (5pm to 9pm) and the tutorials are every fortnight in Weeks 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 38 and 40 in the University calendar. The class will take place on the following dates:

  • 12 January
  • 9 February
  • 23 February
  • 9 March
  • 23 March
  • 20 April
  • 4 May

The assignment is due on 25 May 2017.

Creativity, Literacies & Emotional-Social Development

Discover the cultural and cognitive importance of narrative and story and understand why engagement with literature produces long-term social benefits.

Explore the research on how professionals can use creative approaches and communal experiences of language, literature and social media to promote emotional well-being.

Language & Literacy Development in Childhood

Learn about how children’s language development impacts on their literacy. Understand common developmental trajectories in learning to use the sound systems and grammar of language, what can go wrong with these, and the links to reading and writing.

Discover the patterns of comprehension and linguistic development from birth to 16 years, and explore the research evidence-base on how professionals can usefully intervene when they find children and young people making slow progress.

Environments for Learning Literacy, Language & Literature

Explore the cultural and social influences on literacy and language in the home, school and community, and the evidence-based research into how language and literacy can be fostered in difficult and diverse circumstances.

Consider how education policy, curriculum design, implementation and pedagogical frameworks can impact to benefit disadvantaged groups.

This module runs for one full week during the Easter Holidays (9.30am to 5pm) in University Week 36. The class will take place from Monday 3 April to Friday 7 April 2017. The assignment is due on 1 May 2017.

Dissertation

This class represents the application of the skills and knowledge you've gained throughout your study. You'll carry out and report on a research project in an area relevant to your MEd study up to this point. This class will provide support for the planning, implementation and writing up of a research project in a professionally and academically relevant area.

Learning & teaching

The course is taught through a range of student and staff-led research seminars that you’ll participate in.

You'll be given reading and other reflective activities to carry out in your own time, which will be drawn on in the seminars.

Some classes involve working directly with young people or other professionals.

Assessment

The course is assessed through written coursework that draws on academic study and reflection on practical experiences in education.

Entry requirements

Degree or relevant professional qualification or a combination of qualifications and experience demonstrating capacity for postgraduate study.

Fees & funding

All fees quoted are per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

  • 2017/18 - £1,600

Rest of UK

  • 2017/18 - £3,000

International

  • 2017/18 - £4,500

How can I fund my course?

Fees for this programme can be paid each year of study and split into instalments.

For more information on payments go to our student finance page

Check our Scholarship Search for more help with fees and funding.

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students starting in 2017 can apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England can apply for Postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Wales

Postgraduate students starting in 2017 who are ordinarily resident in Wales can apply for support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. We are waiting on further information being released about this support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students starting in 2017 who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland can apply for support from Student Finance NI. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. We are waiting on further information being released about this support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

International students

We have a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

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Children and Young People's Literacy, Language and Literature

Qualification: MEd, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

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