Contemporary Australian Children's Literature

Qualification: Undergraduate unit
Study mode: Online
Payment options: HECS-HELP may be available
FEE-HELP may be available
Duration: 13 weeks
Start date: Enquire now for upcoming start dates
Awarded by: Macquarie University
Course Unit A course unit is a single subject offered as part of a program of study, but can be completed individually. You may receive Recognition of Prior Learning for studying this unit.

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About this unit

In this online unit In Contemporary Australian Children’s Literature, students are encouraged to consider the way that changes in culture and society influence the publication of children’s reading material. Emphasis is placed upon literature published within the last 20 years, with children’s television, drama and film also being discussed.

Delivered online by Open Universities Australia and Macquarie University, students will be asked to consider gender representation in Australian children’s literature, with particular focus on how gender representations in television, drama, film, and literature are changing in accordance with shifting gender roles and expectations.

Students will practise using theoretical approaches to common themes in children’s literature, such as alienation, through textual analysis. Critical thinking and analysis of texts will be encouraged throughout the unit.

Successful students will complete the program with a thorough understanding of literary analysis, along with a knowledge of the conceptual language required to express and discuss such analyses.


To be eligible to enrol, applicants must have successfully completed the following unit:

  • Approaches to English Literature

And one of the following units:

Areas of study

  • Creative Writing: A Practical Introduction
  • Literature and Culture: Representations of the Medieval
  • Gothic Visions from Sublime to Suburban Gothic
  • Children’s Literature

In this literature unit, the topics you will study include:

  • Cultural production and criticism of Australian children’s literature
  • Glocalisation: the interplay between the global and local in Australian adolescent fiction and film
  • Images of Australian childhood
  • Society and setting in Australian picture books
  • Fiction into other genres
  • Australian children’s television and constructions of Australian society
  • Australian children’s poetry
  • Cultural change and transition
  • Coming of age narratives in Australian children’s literature
  • Identity, youth culture, and Aboriginality in Yolngu Boy
  • Social values and varieties of social transgressiveness
  • (Re-)gendering Australian texts
  • Establishing contexts: historical fiction

Course pathways

This unit is an elective option in the following courses:

  • Bachelor of Arts, Macquarie University
  • Bachelor of Arts, Griffith University

Content may also be relevant to other courses, and could qualify you for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for a course offered by another institution.

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Want more information about this unit? Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

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How will this unit advance my career?

This unit enables students to develop a range of transferable skills, with particular emphasis on analytical thinking and effective written communication skills. Students will gain an understanding of the way culture and society is reflected in art, with a focus on children’s literature. Students’ understanding of the unit content will be assessed in a range of ways, including an essay, online discussion, a learning task, and a seminar paper, and will demonstrate not only their understanding of the learning material, but also their ability to use appropriate language to express their ideas. 

Successful students will complete the unit with knowledge of theories of genre, and will have examined the most prominent genres within contemporary Australian children’s literature. Textual analysis will play a key role in the course, with students being required to consider a range of themes and literary elements. Gender roles and representation will be discussed at length, with a section of the unit dedicated to 're-gendering' Australian texts. Notions of high culture and popular culture will also be discussed with regard to adolescence, as will the extent to which literature is produced with the aim of intervening in social constructs.

How else will I benefit from this unit?

  • Upon successful completion of this unit you will receive credit for competencies in Contemporary Australian Children’s Literature from Macquarie University.
  • Studying online means you can study where you want, at your own pace.
  • Gain industry-relevant skills and transferable knowledge.
  • Government financial support through FEE-HELP or HECS-HELP may be available.
  • Studying single units allows you the flexibility to work towards a qualification at your own pace.
  • Receive Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for this unit across a number of OUA’s full degree programs.

Get more information

Want more information about the career benefits of this unit? Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

Financial assistance

If you are an Australian citizen, you may be eligible to receive a government HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan, meaning you can defer payment of your fees.

Get more information

Want more information about financial and student support? Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

You may be eligible to receive HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP for this course!

This course can be paid for through the HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP government loan schemes. If you are an Australian citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa, this means you don’t need to pay upfront.

Instead, the Australian government will pay your course fees on your behalf. You’ll begin repaying your loan through the tax system once you start earning more than the minimum threshold of $54,869 (2016-17 income year).

Find out more about government study loans here.
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Get more information

Want more information about the career benefits of this course?
Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

FREE CALL 1800 063 523

Monday to Friday: 8am - late
Saturday and Sunday: 9am - 5pm

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