SOAS University of London

Centre for Gender Studies

Research Degrees (MPhil/PhD) in Gender Studies (2022 entry)

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Overview and entry requirements

The MPhil/PhD in Gender Studies is a unique programme combining cutting edge theorizing in Gender Studies with the special areas expertise related to Africa, Asia and the Middle East which has been a trademark of SOAS. The Centre for Gender Studies welcomes applications from research students for our MPhil/PhD programme in all areas of Gender Studies. The Centre places its emphasis on the acquisition of critical theoretical skills and in-depth regional knowledge across disciplines with specific reference to Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Members of the Centre and current research students work on an exceptionally wide range of topics, both theoretical and empirical. Supervision for research students can be provided across this wide range. The Centre houses a training programme in Gender Studies for research students the work of which is supported by the organisation of regular Centre seminars.

The Centre for Gender Studies especially invites students to apply with interest in researching gender or gender and sexuality, including sub-specialisms in security; law; migration and diasporas; political movements and coalition building; queer theory; transgender studies; critical race theory; transnational feminism; queer/trans of colour critique; decolonial epistemologies. Projects on any area of gender and sexuality and the study of the Asia, Africa and/or the Middle East and/or their diasporas are welcomed.

For further details of the requirements and structure of the programme please contact Dr Alyosxa Tudor, Research and Admissions Tutor in Gender Studies on

See Centre for Gender Studies

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

Featured events

3-4 years

Fees 2022/23

Home students fees:
Overseas students fees:

Fees for 2022/23 entrants. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found on the Postgraduate research tuition fees page




Research will be guided throughout by a research committee of three staff members, consisting of one primary supervisor and two supporting supervisors in an advisory capacity. Depending on the nature of the research joint supervision is sometimes recommended, under the direction of two supervisors.

In the first year, doctoral candidates prepare for research by following an MPhil training programme convened by the Chair of the Centre for Gender Studies. There are certain required courses, the other elements being agreed between the candidate, the Research and Admission Tutor, and the supervisor(s).

MPhil doctoral researchers may attend also specific research methods course offered within both the Faculty of Languages & Cultures and witin the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences. The specific elements of generic research training might vary and will be agreed with your supervisor and the research tutor. The generic research method training includes courses offered by the Academic Development Directorate (ADD) and the library.

Methodologies and Methods in Gender Studies

In addition to generic methods training, MPhil/PhD students in Gender Studies are required to attend a training seminar in methodologies & methods in Gender Studies in terms 1, 2 & 3. The aim of the training programme is to provide a thorough grounding in theory, methods, regional, cultural, linguistic and any special disciplinary expertise that may be required for the research. The training seminar is a weekly to fortnightly course of seminar-classes specially for first year research students consisting of student presentations & discussions thereof, as well as guided tutorials revolving around the following themes:

  • Prevailing Epistemologies in Gender Studies
  • Feminist approaches to research methods
  • Analyzing texts – Content analysis
  • Discourse analysis
  • Quantitative methods (surveys, questionnaires etc.)
  • Oral histories
  • Ethnographies
  • Interdisciplinarity in Gender Studies
  • Activism & research

MPhil/PhD students are in addition expected to attend regularly the Centre’s seminar series, details of which are available on the SOAS website and on the Gender Studies noticeboard on the 3rd floor of the main building next to room 399. MPhil students are also encouraged to attend the MA Gender Studies core course in Gender Theory and the Study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East convened and taught by Dr. Alyosxa Tudor and Dr Awino Okech.

Optional elements may consist of specialist disciplinary, language or regional culture courses, attendance of which can be agreed between the student and the supervisory committee.

Upgrade procedure

In the first week of term 3, year 1, doctoral candidates submit an extended research proposal (of about 10,000 words), including the following elements:

  • Research rationale and context of proposed research
  • Main research questions
  • Literature review
  • Theoretical and methodological framework and considerations
  • Proposed research methods
  • Ethical issues (where applicable)
  • Outlining structure of PhD dissertation
  • Schedule of research and writing
  • Bibliography

This upgrade proposal is assessed by the candidate’s research committee, based on a 20-30 minute oral presentation followed by a discussion also open to other staff and student members of the Centre for Gender Studies. On successful completion of the extended proposal, doctoral researchers are formally upgraded to PhD and proceed to the fieldwork phase, which conventionally lasts up to a year. (If the assessors consider there to be shortcomings in the upgrade proposal, researchers will be asked to revise it to their satisfaction before the upgrade to PhD status can be confirmed.) Candidates are not normally permitted to undertake fieldwork until the upgrade process has been completed.

Year 2 and 3

The second year is normally spent engaged in research. This may be by any combination of fieldwork and research in libraries and archives as agreed between the doctoral researcher and the supervisor(s).

The third year is devoted to writing up research for the PhD thesis. During this time, doctoral candidate will normally give a presentation to the Postgraduate Research Seminar, comprising a small number of staff members with special expertise in the topic and other research students. During this time candidates will present draft chapters to the supervisor(s) for comment, before writing the final draft for examination. The thesis – normally 80,000 words in length - will be examined by two leading authorities on Gender Studies or relevant disciplines/area studies. The external examiner is always a scholar from outside the University of London.

Doctoral candidates studying part-time take the MPhil training seminar in the first year and write the Core Chapter and research proposal in the second year. The length of time for field or other research, and writing up, is adjusted accordingly.

Degrees are awarded by the University of London..

For further details of the requirements and structure of the programme, email or contact Dr Gina Heathcote, Research and Admissions Tutor in Gender Studies (email

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Academic staff and their research areas

Dr Alyosxa Tudor
Trans-feminism, Racism, Migratism and Constructions of Europeanness; Critical European Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Critical Migration Studies, Interdependencies/Intersectionality, Diaspora Studies.

Dr Awino Okech
Africa - Critical gender theory on sexuality, queer politics, security and violent extremism, gender in nation and state making, social movements.

Qualitative research methods and feminist research methodology.

Dr Gina Heathcote
International feminist legal theories, International Law especially laws on the use of force, collective security, political and legal theories, law of the sea, gender and conflict.

Dr Samia Khatun
Feminist History, British Empire, Indian Ocean Knowledges, South Asian history, Islam in South Asia, Settler Colonialism, Diaspora Studies, Politics of Knowledge Production.



Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Fees for 2022/23 entrants per academic year

Home students Overseas students
Full-time £4,670 £20,800
Part-time £2,335 £10,400

Please note that fees go up each year. 

See full details of postgraduate research tuition fees

CHASE AHRC Studentship 2022

Application Deadline: 2022-01-28 12:00

Elisabeth Croll Scholarship for fieldwork in China

Application Deadline: 2021-04-30 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2022-01-28 15:00

JRC Fuwaku Scholarship

JRC Fuwaku Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2022-05-02 00:00

Meiji Jingu Japanese Studies Research Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2022-05-02 00:00

Neil Kreitman Studentship

Application Deadline: 2022-05-02 00:00

SOAS Research Studentships

Application Deadline: 2022-05-02 00:00

SOAS Research Studentships

Application Deadline: 2022-04-17 00:00

SOAS Research Studentships - School of Arts

Application Deadline: 2022-05-06 00:00

Saraswati Dalmia Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2022-05-02 00:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2022-04-05 00:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2022-05-02 00:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section



Graduates leave SOAS with an enhanced knowledge of gender and equality across cultures, as well as a wide range of transferable skills. Gender Studies is highly regarded by employers across many sectors, as increasingly, policy makers, businesses and governing structures understand the need to engage with gender and sexuality.

Recent Gender Studies graduates have been hired by:

  • ActionAid
  • Amnesty International
  • Association for Women’s Rights in Development
  • Commission for Gender Equality
  • Euromet Feminist Initiative
  • International Organization for Migration
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Raising Films
  • The Children’s Society
  • The Guardian

Find out about our Careers Service.

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


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