MA Gender Studies

Full Time
Degree of Master of Arts


In their words

Dr Helen Warner


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.


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.


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 2018/9

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


This module introduces you to interdisciplinary feminist research methods and epistemologies in the humanities. You will question patriarchal power structures and reflect on how feminist researchers negotiate them in their empirical research. In weekly discussions, we will explore the ways in which feminist theory shapes our research design, the issues we explore, the data we examine, and the politics of the relationships we form with our subjects. This module encourages you to critically reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of each approach as well as consider how you might employ them within your own empirical research.




This module will map the history of the field from the 1960s towards the concept of "gender". We will explore the breadth and depth of gender studies through reflection on a variety of theoretical developments - including Masculinity studies, Queer Theory, and Postcolonial Feminism - and identify the key concerns that shape gender studies today. Our aim is to establish a dialogue amongst students and UEA academics about the field, and consider not only how academia has sought to study gender but also how that study has itself been gendered. This is supported by the innovative delivery of the module. Each week students will participate in a two-hour seminar where they will focus on a particular issue relating to gender. An additional one hour session will draw on the expertise of gender researchers from across the University, presenting students with diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives on the study of gender.




The module provides the opportunity for Master's students to develop a small research project under the guidance of two supervisors from within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (or if appropriate, one supervisor from Humanities and one from the Faculty of Social Sciences). Interdisciplinary in nature, the topic should be chosen with a view to substantially extend the work completed on earlier modules and/or in previous study, and allow the student to pursue a specific area of interest within Gender Studies. The topic must be devised and adjusted in consultation with the Course Director/Module Convenor and the proposed supervisors. If no supervisors can be found for the project, then another topic must be identified. As part of this module you'll undertake a unique week-long training programme focusing on 'Gender Studies Beyond the Classroom'. This programme invites you to prepare for your dissertation by developing your research and employability skills. You'll also help to design and run a two-day symposium held at the end of the week. 'Gender Studies Beyond the Classroom' will allow you to discuss research in depth with the leading academics in Gender Studies at UEA - and the research students who are breaking new ground. It will prepare you for your dissertation and enhance your planning, communication and time management skills.



Students will select 60 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


How are sex, gender and sexuality brought together to ensure the normative privileging of heterosexuality and the sex/gender binary? What possibilities are there for resistance to these norms? How does such resistance situate us socially, culturally, and politically? With queer theory as its focus and drawing on case studies from different fields - literature, film, drama and performance, politics, history, among others - in this interdisciplinary module, you'll examine sex, gender, and sexuality as effects of historically specific socio-cultural and geo-political power relations. Rather than approaching queer studies as a singular or coherent school of thought, you'll be encouraged to continuously problematise queer studies as a field and a mode of analysis, asking: What does it mean for theory, in particular, to be queer? What is involved in queering theory and being critically queer? What kinds of bodies or desires does queer describe? What are the promises of queer theory, and what are its perils? What is the future of queer? While doing so, you'll explore a variety of topics, such as politics of difference, representation and cultural production, performance and performativity, temporality and spatiality, subjectivity and embodiment. Overall, in this module, you'll problematise and challenge normalisations, hierarchies and relations of domination and explore the powerful processes and languages that attempt to fix sex, gender and sexuality as unchanging and universal.




You will learn about the relationship between feminisms and the cultural history of (primarily) US and UK television from second wave feminism to the present. Your module charts the dialogue between feminism and television in Anglophone contexts from the 1970s through to the 2010s, focussing on flashpoint moments for feminism (e.g. the women's liberation movement; millennial postfeminism; the global financial crisis) and touchstone texts (e.g. The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Prime Suspect, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sex and the City, Girls, Scandal) that have resonated particularly strongly with female audiences (e.g. soap operas; lifestyle TV; women centred dramas), struck a chord with feminist concerns (e.g. work/life balance, sexual freedoms, empowerment, the politics of relationships/singlehood/friendship), and generated foundational criticism by feminist television scholars. It will be structured chronologically, and topics may include feminism and female audiences; action heroines on television; the figure of the female detective; women's work; intersectional identities (queerness, post-racial discourse, masculinities) and recessionary culture.




Providing a conceptual overview of feminist research approaches, this module examines contemporary gender and power relations. You will examine both the formal and informal power structures that shape the experience of gender. Bringing together the fields of media and sociology, politics and cultural studies, you will explore the relationship between feminist theory and activism.




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 aims to account for the preoccupation with youth in America, focusing particularly on the concept of 'innocence'. Drawing on a wide array of fictional and theoretical works, you'll consider the following questions: What is at stake in America's investment in innocence? What power interests and ideologies are maintained by repeatedly describing America as 'innocent'? How is this investment in innocence revised in different historical moments? How is it challenged? How is innocence (and loss of innocence) depicted differently for female, male, white and non-white protagonists? At the end of this module, you'll have had the opportunity to reflect on these questions in seminars, and pursued your own interests in assessed work (presentation and essay). You will also have developed your communication, writing and research skills.




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. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

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.


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.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees for the academic year 2018/19 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,550
  • International Students: £15,800

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for UK/EU students).

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.

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

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

    Next Steps

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