Dissertation in gender studies

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 1
Module code
FHEQ Level
Centre for Gender Studies

Module overview

A 12,000 word dissertation must be submitted in the final year of study.

Dissertations are wide-ranging in terms of disciplines and topics, including the fields of gender & development, feminist legal theory, area studies, cultural studies, queer studies, literature, film and media studies, politics, anthropology, history,  theory as well as diaspora and migration studies.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The research and writing of the MA dissertation is a crucial component of research-based Masters training. At the end of the course, students should have a solid foundational knowledge of gender theory and its application to a particular area of Asian, African and/or Middle Eastern studies and its diasporas. They will have developed the skills to pursue independent research from secondary and in some cases primary sources in this field. They will also have learned how to organise their data and articulate their arguments coherently and clearly.

Scope and syllabus

The dissertation is a core component of the MA in Gender Studies. Following on from the MA core course in the study of gender theory with reference to Asia, Africa and the Middle East and from the additional, region-specific courses taken on the programme, the students will extend their regional knowledge with reference to theoretical frameworks taught in the core course.

The topic must be approved by both the convenor of the MA Gender Studies programme and the supervisor of the dissertation. On the basis of supervised research the student is expected to write a 12,000 word dissertation which:

  • meets acceptable standards of academic writing and presentation;
  • shows a critical understanding of the relevant literature;
  • develops a focussed and clear argument, supported by the relevant use of theoretical material and evidence;
  • makes an original contribution to the area of research.

The original component of the dissertation can be satisfied in a number of ways, among them, the presentation of new data/evidence, (re)analysis or further development of existing analyses, and the critical re-evaluation or re-interpretation of existing theoretical material with reference to Asia and/or Africa


Learning will be largely autonomous and independent, and will be carried out between June and September. Three 1hr supervision sessions will take place once the topic has been agreed between the student and their supervisor.

Method of assessment

100% dissertation. Each student will be expected to submit one dissertation of no more than 12,000 words. Resubmission of coursework regulations apply.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules