The Master of Arts in Children’s Literature Program

The Master of Arts in Children’s Literature (MACL) Program is jointly offered by the Department of English Language and Literatures, the Department of Language and Literacy Education, the School of Creative Writing, and the School of Information (iSchool), with administrative support housed at the iSchool. Our program provides a multidisciplinary approach to the study of children’s and young adult literature and media, offering students an opportunity to study writing and publishing this literature, examine models of sharing its rich heritage with the young, and also to facilitate the literary, social, historic, and psychological analyses of children’s literature as literature. This multi-disciplinary approach exposes students to many schools of literary criticism, educational theory, and professional and creative practice. It acquaints students with the broad literary canon of children’s literature across a spectrum of languages and cultures, and with a variety of critical perspectives and professional application. Across various disciplines, departments, and faculties, a broad range of courses provide disciplined, academic study of children’s and young adult literature and media.

UBC’s MACL Program is the only one of its kind in the world offered from such a broad, multidisciplinary perspective and the only Master’s program in children’s literature in Canada. The program is unique in that the two faculties and the four academic units jointly provide faculty, courses, thesis supervision and committee support to give the graduate academic study of children’s literature a perspective on the full life cycle of the literature – the creation of the literature (through Creative Writing), its critical analysis (through English) and pedagogical approaches to the literature in interaction with children in schools, homes and libraries (Language and Literacy Education; School of Information).

The University Library collections in historical and contemporary children’s books and the critical study of children’s literature are considered among the strongest such collections in an academic library in Canada, including some 4,000 early and rare children’s books and some 50,000 modern children’s books. As well, the Library maintains a large collection of research materials on children’s literature, including histories, criticisms, bibliographies, catalogues, and biographies.

Learn more about UBC and Vancouver.

The MACL Community

Faculty in these departments are authors of both acclaimed children’s books and scholarly guides to the literature. They serve on national and international children’s book juries, lead national research studies, and have received awards for scholarship, service, and teaching. 

MACL students have come from China, England, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Columbia, Peru, the United States, and across Canada. The program provides specialized study of children’s books to those who are, or who intend to be, involved in teaching, school and public library services, writing, editing/publishing, theatre/film, storytelling, or affiliated fields.

The Master of Arts in Children’s Literature extends beyond its four departments and two faculties in a strong outreach to the community across and outside the University. Members of all departments involved in the program sit on the Steering Committee of the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable which plans a series of annual events and conferences to bring award-winning authors, illustrators, editors and publishers such as Philip Pullman, Gregory Maguire, Shaun Tan, Katherine Paterson, and Lois Lowry to speak with students and Vancouver’s dynamic children’s literature community.

Learn more about the structure and components of the Master of Children’s Literature program and our wonderful community members.