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Centre for Gender Studies

MA Gender and Sexuality

Programme Code: TBC Duration: One calendar year (full-time). Two or three years (part-time, daytime only)

Overview

Minimum Entry Requirements: Upper second (2:1) UK BA degree in a relevant subject, 3.6 (USA) or equivalent. Relevant professional and activist experience will be taken into account.

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

Who is this programme for?:

The MA Gender and Sexuality at SOAS aims to cater for students with a variety of backgrounds and objectives:

  • those coming from Women’s Studies or Gender Studies who wish to engage more deeply with gender theory in relation to regional specialisation and to connect this with the societies of Asia, Africa and the Middle East;
  • those coming from Asian, African or Middle Eastern  Studies who wish to incorporate the study of gender and sexuality into their own areas of expertise; and
  • those having previously trained in particular disciplines, such as Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Cultural and Media Studies, History, Politics, Religious Studies, Sociology, Refugee/Diaspora Studies.

The programme provides:

  • specialised research training in Gender Studies, in addition to focused study of sexuality as well as gender and sexual diversity. This pathway is suitable for students considering advanced postgraduate research in Gender Studies with a regional specialisation;
  • a broad MA programme for students with some background in Women’s Studies, Gender Studies, and Area Studies etc. who wish to enhance their knowledge of gender in relation to cross-cultural issues raised by appreciation of the relationship between gender and sexuality in various legal and political contexts;
  • a special interest MA, which enables students to study gender issues in depth in relation to a particular regional or disciplinary specialisation alongside the acquisition of knowledge of emergent and contemporary study of sexuality in cross-cultural contexts.

The MA Gender and Sexuality at SOAS is a unique programme, its principal aim being to re-focus issues prioritised in western Gender Studies and the study of sexuality on the complex specificities of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East. The programme offers the specialised study of gender and sexuality in relation to the cultures of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, together with rigorous training in, and questioning of, contemporary gender theory. In terms of gender theory, it offers a solid foundation with sufficient breadth and depth to facilitate a range of specialist pathways. In terms of specialisation, it draws on the expertise of internationally recognised scholars of Asian, African and Middle Eastern Studies at SOAS.

Gender Studies is widely regarded by a range of employers as an excellent training, equipping holders of the degree with a range of relevant employable skills. Increasingly policy makers and governing structures understand the need to engage with gender and sexuality, such that graduates with disciplinary understanding of gender and sexuality, especially as sites of rights and responsibility are required in policy, research and legal environments. The value and relevance of the discipline are evidenced by the great variety and distinction of careers gender studies graduates have embarked upon with success. These include employment in international organizations, NGOs, think tanks, research organizations, the media (newspapers, radio & TV), as well as government ministries and programmes. There are growing numbers of gender studies programmes at universities throughout the world, although very few that combine study of gender and sexuality in a global context.

Structure

Students take courses to the value of three units and complete a dissertation as a fourth module. All students take Gender Theory and the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East (full unit) and Queer Politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East (half unit) as core courses. A further 1.5 units are chosen from a wide range of gender and gender-related courses included in Gender Studies List 1. Students will write a 10,000 word dissertation based on either the compulsory course or one of the component courses.

Students are also required to attend regular seminars organised by the Centre for Gender Studies, details of which are included in the handbook and further details of which are advertised on the Centre’s website and notice board.

As part of the course, the Centre for Gender Studies offers integrated work experiences in the form of internships with relevant organizations such as Women Living Under Muslim World (WLUML), the Council for the Assistance of Academic Refugees (CARA) and other organizations as well as with the Centre for Gender Studies itself.

Core Courses
One and a half units must be chosen from this list

Teaching & Learning

Materials

Students will have access to a wealth of study resources available in the SOAS Library and in nearby institutions such as the British Library, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University College London Library and Senate House Library.

Teaching & Learning

Courses are taught by a combination of methods, principally lectures, tutorial classes, seminars and supervised individual study projects.

Each taught course has its own approved methods of assessment, designed to address the particular learning outcomes of that course. Assessment methods may include essays, weekly reaction papers, unseen, seen or take-home examinations, research projects, individual or group presentations, translations, learning journals, oral examinations etc., as appropriate.

Students are also required to attend regular seminars organised by the Centre for Gender Studies, details of which are included in the handbook and further details of which are advertised on the Centre’s website and notice board.

A Student's Perspective

The knowledge and skills I learnt from my supervisors and the friendship I established in SOAS give me strength to work in the field.

Isabella Fung Sheung Ng