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The Stories, the People and the Magic of BCBF

Master Children’s Books & Co.

The First Master's in Children's and Young Adult Publishing in Italy

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"The training of professionals for the children's book sector is a subject that BCBF has long felt it was time to commit to. The value of this project and the excellence of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore fascinated us from our very first meeting, and it was with great enthusiasm that we agreed to join the project, imagining that our experience of over half a century in the sector and our network of continuous relationships with its worldwide community could bring an effective contribution to the contents of the new Master's degree. A new chapter is beginning for BCBF and it is a gift to be able to inaugurate it in the very year in which we our celebrating our 60th anniversary." - Elena Pasoli, Exhibition Manager, Bologna Children's Book Fair.

Children's literature is a varied and innovative sector of Italian publishing. A quick glance at bookshop, TV series and film box office rankings is all you need to realise how vital the entire sector of productions for the youngest has become and that it is, therefore, also a great job opportunity for those who know how to illustrate, narrate, produce, edit and work with content intended for the world of the youngest, whether traditional or digital.

The new Master's degree course in Children's Books & Co. Publishing for Children and Cross-media was thus born from the collaboration between the Bologna Children's Book Fair and Università Cattolica, from an idea by Pierdomenico Baccalario and Book On a Tree. The aim is to provide, for the first time in Italy, all the professional tools and experience in the field needed to form solid, enthusiastic and informed skills for the minds destined to work in the sector.

"The idea behind this Master's programme, therefore, is to provide, finally and for the first time in Italy, all the professional, academic and field experience tools necessary to form solid, enthusiastic and informed skills, for the minds destined to work in the sector." - Pierdomenico Baccalario, Founder of Book On a Tree

Moreover, thanks to the educational experience of the other Master’s degrees in Publishing at the Università Cattolica, Professione Editoria and BookTelling, and the collaboration with many publishing houses, agencies, bookshops and promotional networks, the students will be involved in an engaging educational experience, made up of practical lessons and workshops, visits and mini-courses held by Italian and international professionals in the industry, professors from the Università Cattolica and other universities, an internship resulting from a personalised orientation pathway, and, finally, substantial post-graduate support.

"Along with the other two Master's programmes, the new course we have designed has some of the features that have led to excellent placement results over the years, with about 95% of the students working just one month after graduation." - Luca Rivali, Director of the Children's Books & Co. Master's programme.

The whole project takes an interdisciplinary and transmedia approach, paying attention to content and communication, economic and legal aspects, but also to psychological, pedagogical and cognitive ones.

What is the purpose? To train professionals in the production of content for children and young adults: scouts, editors, literary agents, rights officers, production management, communication, promotion and marketing, event organisation, creatives involved in the conception of books and their adaptations for the cinema, animated series, comics and video games.

As such, Bachelor's and Master's graduates from every course of study and every faculty, as well as curious and enthusiastic readers, are welcome. Graduating students are also eligible for the Master's course, provided that their degree is completed by the last term of the 2022/2023 academic year (by March/April 2024).

Further requirements: excellent general knowledge, creativity, motivation to work in the world of books and the cultural industry for children and young adults; interest in the aspects of communication-promotion-sales, digital technologies and graphics; good knowledge of English and preferably of other languages; curiosity and intellectual vivacity, willingness to get involved, willingness to commit one's personal resources to teamwork with other students, professional teachers and companies. 


The Master's programme lasts one year, and provides 60 credits equivalent to a total of 1,500 hours of teaching commitment.

Classes are held from September 2023 to April 2024.

Attendance: Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Internships will take place from May 2024 and will last a minimum of 550 hours.

Course programme

The programme consists of a series of interconnected courses for each of the teaching areas:

  • History of children's literature
  • History of illustration
  • Understanding children, between developmental psychology and performing practices
  • Scenarios and trends in children's publishing, including books, games and educational
  • Storytelling. The art of storytelling to an audience of children and young people (by Book on a tree)
  • Publishing production for the children's world
  • Marketing and promotion in children's publishing
  • Cross-media communication, from traditional media to digital and social platforms
  • International children's publishing. Trends, rights, licences and co-editions (organised by the Bologna Children's Book Fair) + Visit to the Bologna Children's Book Fair
  • Cross-over with other media: cinema, TV, videogames, comics and new media
  • Career development and employment contracts
  • Group exercise (organised by Book on a tree)
  • Internship


Candidates must complete the application through the application form on the website by the 4th of July, attaching:

  • Curriculum vitae, including a photo
  • ISEE (to be uploaded by December 2023, if you want to compete for a possible scholarship)

Application fee: €50 to be paid according to the terms specified in the online application form. The fee is non-refundable.


Admission to the Master's programme is based on the evaluation of various parameters (qualifications from the CV, results of the written test and interviews).

Written test: Thursday the 13th of July 2023, room C.114 (via Carducci 28/30, Milan), 9.30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The written test consists of a test of general knowledge and computer skills, a written paper in Italian and a reading comprehension.

Online interview: Tuesday the 18th of July 2023, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

The interview consists of an online interview of approximately 15 minutes with a board of Master's teachers and another, shorter interview with the Director. One part of the interview will be held in English.

At the end of the selections, a ranking list will be drawn up with a list of admitted candidates and a waiting list, whose members will be contacted in the event of admissions being withdrawn.

Maximum number of individuals admitted: 26

Participation fee and scholarships

The participation fee is €6,000. The Board of Directors of the Master’s programme intend to award:

  • a scholarship of €2,000 to partially cover tuition fees for a student who is available to carry out technical support activities for the Master’s programme. 
  • scholarships from partner companies to partially cover tuition fees. These scholarships will be awarded during the course of the Master's course on the basis of merit (ranking drawn up during the admission selection phase) and income, calculated on the basis of the ISEE model.

For further information on the organisation of the Master’s programme, the courses and the internship, email: master.childrensbooks@unicatt.it 

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