MA Gender Studies

Full Time
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

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

In their words

Dr Hannah Hamad

Look at the world through the lens of gender. In the wake of the #MeToo movement and a much wider public discourse on many other gender issues, there has never been a better time to study this subject.

On this course, you’ll explore the fundamental debates of gender studies, focusing on gendered aspects of society and culture and its links with other inequalities and social divisions. From literary theory to online activism, you’ll untangle the dynamics of gender that structure the private and public worlds in which women and men, girls and boys operate.

You will 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. What’s more, you’ll learn about feminist research methods, equipping you with the tools to actively participate in the shaping of the field yourself.


Our MA Gender Studies responds to the contemporary moment in which issues of equality and diversity are seen as vital for organisational success and public feminism has a renewed prominence in culture – yet tackling gender inequalities remains a challenge. The programme also has at its core an understanding that the study of gender is enriched and complicated by an emphasis on ethnicity, sexuality and religion.

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 through a diverse range of disciplinary approaches and methods. You’ll learn about the history of ideas and key writings about gender, and 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’ll be taught by experts from across the many disciplines that fall under gender studies – including literature, history, philosophy, languages, film and media studies. And you’ll gain a valuable social science perspective on the subject through input from experts in cultural studies, politics, law and business.

Course Structure

You can take the MA Gender Studies as either a one-year full-time or two-year part-time course.

It begins in the autumn semester with our core modules: Feminist Research Methods and Gender in Study. These are an important introduction 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.

In the spring semester, you will choose three modules from a range of optional modules, focusing in on the specific areas of the field that interest you.

Towards the end of your second semester you will begin work on your dissertation. This is your chance to pursue an area of specialist study of your choice, investigating a specific academic methodology or topic. You’ll get advice from two members of staff as supervisors to support you in researching and writing up your dissertation.

Alongside your dissertation module you’ll take an intensive week-long training programme, allowing you to develop a range of transferrable skills that you can take with you to future research or doctoral-level study.

Teaching and Learning


You’ll be taught by a renowned academic team who bring diverse disciplinary perspectives to the exploration of gender and culture. They have consistently brought gender themes to the fore and have particular strengths in women’s writing, feminist media studies, human rights and gender history.

Our researchers have explored many different 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.

You will be mainly taught through seminars and panel discussions. You’ll usually spend around six hours a week (for full time students) in seminars, which will incorporate small and whole group working.

As part of your Gender in Study module, you’ll attend presentations from staff and research students, allowing you to discuss ideas in development. And you’ll have the opportunity to attend additional lectures from visiting speakers addressing themes in gender studies.

Independent study

Working independently is an important aspect of study at Masters level. You’ll do preparatory reading for each seminar as well as working towards your coursework. You’ll bring your own areas of interest to every module and have the opportunity to define your focus – but this is particularly a feature of the dissertation. Here you have the chance to focus on a subject area that you’re passionate about and potentially see a career path within.


Your achievement on the MA Gender Studies course will be assessed by coursework rather than exams. This will include essays, case-study analyses, research proposals, and your final dissertation.

In all your modules you’ll get frequent formative feedback from your tutors – helping you to develop your knowledge and skills ahead of producing summative work.

After the course

By the end of your MA you will have an in-depth and focused understanding of the gendered aspects of society and culture, particularly in relation to other inequalities and social divisions. With this under your belt, you’ll be suited to careers in research, policy, NGOs, and public sector organisations.

If you’re looking to progress to a PhD, you’ll be well prepared for sustained research into gender. Our MA will ensure you’re fully equipped with the theoretical and practical research skills necessary for advanced level study.

Career destinations

  • Academic research (PhD)
  • Research roles
  • Policy roles
  • Public sector roles
  • Consultancy roles 

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.

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 2020/1

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.




Trolling. Ru Paul's Drag Race UK. Trump. Theresa May as the 'Dancing Queen'. Gender-neutral toilets. Intersectionality. Gender matters in the 21st century: but while for some this realisation marks a fourth wave of feminism, for others the study of gender is a threatening political force. 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. 'Gender in Study' asks how the gendered lives we live now speak to the history of gender study: are we living lives that take us back into that history? Or do we need new modes of thinking and writing gender now? Each week we will examine an aspect of our gendered lives now: these might include love and intimacy; sickness and disability; race; class; fashion and body decoration; the gendering of 'care'; labour; post-feminism; eating; affect and the gendered politics of feeling and emotion; sex and the mind, gendered futures. For each topic we read several kinds of materials including theoretical texts that that have been significant for understanding how that topic has been thought and more recent theoretical and critical work emerging from and responding to contemporary contingencies. Each week also includes a case study devised of materials in contemporary culture to develop our thinking in light of 21st century modes of thinking and experiencing gender. Given the nature of the module and the MA you can also expect materials to be drawn from across relevant disciplines and from fields that are interwined with thinking gender (such as race theory, queer studies, masculinity studies etc). Examples of scholarship we might study includes: Judith Butler, bell hooks, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Catherine Mackinnon, Trinh Min-ha, Andrea Dworkin, Colebrook and Bray, Sara Ahmed, Karen Barad, Joanna Bourke, Roxanne Gay, Kathi Weeks, Juliet Mitchell, Johanna Hedva, Blye Frank, Raewynn Connell, Jennifer C. Nash or Valerie Solanas. While most of our critical and theoretical writers are explicitly addressing gender, some of the work we study is useful because of the ways it, itself, is gendered - we are not only interested in the question of gender has been studied, but how the study of our critical concerns has, itself, been gendered. You should see the module readings as a starting point for discussion and we'd encouraged you to contribute other examples to the module either from further reading or drawn from personal experience.




This 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 will undertake a 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 will also help design and run a 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 problematize 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, you will examine 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, sociology, politics and cultural studies, the module explores the extent to which feminist theory informs gender-based 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.




How has the gendered body been presented historically? How does this compare with contemporary issues surrounding gendering the body? How has the body been gendered in times of violence and war? What role have specific contexts, theological and theoretical frameworks played in shaping societal attitudes to gender? These are just some of the key ideas and contexts explored in this module. Ranging from the foundations of western thought in the ancient world to post-humanist media platforms and cybernetics, this module investigates how the body has been gendered by humanity in thought, through performance and in representation. You will discover the historical and interdisciplinary approaches to gender, how attitudes to gender and the body have changed over time and how they inform contemporary society.




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 or Social Sciences subject area
  • Degree Classification Bachelors (Hons) degree - 2.2 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: 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)
•    PTE (Pearson): 58 (minimum 42 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 2020/21 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,850 (full time)
  • International Students: £16,400 (full time)

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).


Living Expenses

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.

To apply please use our online application form.

Further Information

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

    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: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515