MA Gender Studies


Attendance
Full Time
Award
Degree of Master of Arts



"CRITICALLY ANALYSING THE WAYS IN WHICH GENDER OPERATES IS CRUCIAL FOR ANYONE SEEKING TO ADDRESS SOCIAL INEQUALITIES AND AFFECT CHANGE.”

In their words

Dr Helen Warner

“STUDYING GENDER PROVIDES A WAY TO UNDERSTAND – AND TO CHALLENGE – THE CIRCULATION OF IDEAS ABOUT WHAT IT IS TO BE MALE AND FEMALE.”

In their words

Professor Yvonne Tasker – Course Director

“Gender is a global and universal issue, and one which informs the practice of everyday life for all.”

In their words

Dr Hannah Hamad

Gain in-depth understanding of gendered aspects of society and culture, particularly in relation to other inequalities and social divisions, with UEA’s MA in Gender Studies. From literary theory to online activism, you will explore the dynamics of gender that structure the private and public worlds in which women and men, girls and boys operate.

You will be introduced to all the fundamental debates of gender studies and feminist research methods, equipping you with the tools to actively participate in the shaping of the field. Our teaching is conducted by experts from across the many disciplines that fall under the gender studies remit, including literature, history, philosophy, languages, film and media studies. And you will gain a valuable social science perspective on the subject through input from experts in cultural studies, politics, law and business.

Overview

Julian of Norwich was the first woman known to have written a book in English. Today UEA has particular strengths in women’s writing, in feminist media studies, human rights and gender history. Our researchers have explored themes from tween girl culture and online fandom to historical and cultural perspectives on women and slavery. At UEA, academics across the arts and humanities have published influential work around gender and culture for decades. Our teaching too has consistently brought gender themes to the fore.

Understanding how the study of gender is enriched and complicated by an emphasis on ethnicity, sexuality and religion, this programme responds to a contemporary moment in which issues of equality and diversity are understood as vital for organisational success, in which public feminism has a renewed prominence in culture, and in which tackling gender inequalities remains a challenge.

Against this background, the MA Gender Studies develops the centrality of gender to humanities disciplines – literature, history, philosophy – while drawing on UEA’s strengths in interdisciplinary fields such as film and media studies, American studies and intercultural communication. On this course you will explore culture, society and history via a diverse range of disciplinary approaches and methods. In addition to learning about the history of ideas, and key writings about gender, you will think critically about the direction of contemporary gender studies and the kinds of questions we should be asking about gender equality in arts, society and culture. You will also benefit from UEA’s expertise in politics and sociology – vital to understanding social change, women’s rights and equality issues more broadly – as well as law, business and development studies.

Course structure

The MA Gender Studies is taught as either a one-year full-time or two-year part-time course. Our core modules, Feminist Research Methods, and Gender in Study, will introduce you to the fundamental debates in gender studies and feminist research methods, equipping you with the tools to actively participate in the shaping of the field. You will also cover the history of ideas and key writings about gender, and be encouraged to think critically about the direction of contemporary gender studies and gender equality more broadly.

You will be mainly taught through seminars and panel discussions. In addition to the core modules, you will be able to choose 2 modules from a range of optional modules, focusing in on the specific areas of the field that interest you: Gender and Power; Critically Queer: Sex, Gender, and Sexuality; Feminisms and Television from Wonder Woman to Hannah Horvath; and Good Good Girls and Good Bad Boys? American Fictions of Innocence.

Towards the end of your second semester you will begin work on your dissertation. This is a chance to pursue an area of specialist study of your choice, investigating a specific academic methodology or topic. You will be assigned two members of staff as supervisors to advise you on the research and writing up of your dissertation. The dissertation module is also supported by an intensive week-long training programme, allowing you to develop a range of transferrable skills that you can take with you to future research and/or doctoral-level study.

Skills and experience

You will learn through seminars, panel discussions, reading groups and tutorials. You will have an opportunity to put ideas into practice via work with external partners. You will be able to participate in an intensive week-long training programme, Gender Beyond the Classroom, as part of your dissertation module, allowing you to learn from your peers, hear presentations from academics and doctoral researchers, and take part in workshops with potential employers.

Assessment

There is no written examination for the MA Gender Studies. You will be assessed on the basis of coursework, such as essays, case study analyses, research proposals and the final dissertation. In all your modules you will have the opportunity to obtain frequent formative feedback, to help you develop your knowledge and skills.

Course tutors and research interests

Academics and postgraduate students across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are active in a wide range of research areas related to gender studies, including gender and power; gender and trauma; gender, feminism and ‘post-feminism’; queer theory; men and masculinity studies; feminist media studies; gender and generations; and humanities and human rights.

Across these areas, we explore in our research and teaching how gender plays a part in cultures of inequality; how girls position themselves and are positioned by a media culture for which they are a sign of anxiety and optimism simultaneously; how women’s historical struggles around suffrage frame contemporary experience; how austerity and recession culture have reinstated gender hierarchies; how women’s fiction opens up and challenges cultural assumptions; how hierarchies of gender and race are complexly intertwined; how women’s intellectual contributions can be understood as central to a history of ideas; how analysing men and masculinity is a vital component of gender studies; and how queer and transgender activism has transformed the field of gender and cultural theory.

Teaching and Assessment

There is no written examination for the MA Gender Studies. Assessment is on the basis of course work such as essays, case-study analyses, research proposals, and the final dissertation. All modules will provide students with the opportunity to obtain frequent formative feedback to help them develop their knowledge and skills.

Course Modules

Compulsory modules: Autumn

Gender in Study
20 credits 
Module Organisers: Dr Liz PowellDr Karen Schaller
Everyday Sexism. Transparent. Lemonade. Trump. Clinton’s pant-suits and ‘likeability problem’. Twerking. Unisex toilets. Intersectionality. Gender still matters in the 21st century: but while for some this realisation marks a fourth wave of feminism, for others gender study has had its day. Recently gender study has in many academic departments been consigned to the late 20th century, or folded into other modes of thought – gender study, we’re told, has ‘moved on’. How then do we understand – and how do we negotiate, politicise or protest – the gendered lives we live now? In this module we ask how the history of gender study can help us to study gender now. Rather than produce a chronological history of gender study, we work instead from the contemporary out. And we approach each issue through a constellation of materials – theoretical, critical, and case-study – drawn from the history of gender studies and from contemporary work happening across scholarly and public contexts.

Feminist Research Methods
20 credits
Module Organisers: Dr Victoria CannDr Helen Warner
This module introduces students to the interdisciplinary feminist research methods and epistemologies in the humanities. We will question patriarchal power structures and reflect on how feminist researchers negotiate them in empirical research. 

Compulsory module: Spring

Gender Studies Dissertation
80 Credits
Organiser: Professor Yvonne Tasker
The module provides the opportunity for Master’s students to develop a small interdisciplinary research project under the guidance of two supervisors. As part of the module ‘Gender Studies Beyond the Classroom’ fosters discussion of the relevance of gender research in different disciplinary and professional contexts.

Optional modules Spring: students choose three of the following

Good Good Girls and Good Bad Boys? American Fictions of Innocence
20 Credits
Module Organiser: Dr Rachael McLennan
Oscar Wilde wrote that 'The youth of America is their oldest tradition; it has been going on now for three hundred years'. Is this true? If so, why? This module will seek to account for the preoccupation with youth in America by focusing particularly on the concept of 'innocence', and by examining how various models of innocence are invoked and questioned in American literary texts. 

Gender and Power
20 Credits
Module Organiser: Dr Helen Warner
Providing a conceptual overview of feminist research approaches, this module examines contemporary gender and power relations. It examines both the formal and informal power structures that shape the experience of gender. 

Feminisms and Television from Wonder Woman to Hannah Horvath
20 Credits
Module Organiser: Dr Hannah Hamad
This module is about the relationship between feminisms and the cultural history of (primarily) US and UK television from second wave feminism to the present. 

Critically Queer: Sex, Gender and Sexuality
20 Credits
Module Organiser: Dr Francisco Costa
With queer theory as its focus and drawing on case studies from different fields – literature, film, drama and performance, politics, history, among others – this interdisciplinary module aims to examine sex, gender, and sexuality as effects of historically specific socio-cultural and geo-political power relations. 

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Arts or Humanities
  • Degree Classification Degree Classification UK BA (Hons) 2.1 or equivalent

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

•    IELTS: 7.0 (minimum 6.5 in each component)
•    PTE (Pearson): 68 (minimum 62 in each component)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests.

Intakes

This course's annual intake is in September of each year.

Alternative Qualifications

If you have alternative qualifications that have not been mentioned above then please contact university directly for further information.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515