Key information

One calendar year (full-time), two or three years (part-time, daytime only)
Start of programme
Attendance mode
Full-time or part-time
Russell Square, College Buildings

Home student fees: £12,220 per year
Overseas student fees: £25,320 per year

Please note that fees go up each year.
See postgraduate fees for further details.

Course code
Entry requirements

A 2:1 degree in a relevant undergraduate degree.  

If you have a lower degree classification, your application may be considered if you can present a strong case, either through relevant work experience, other legal qualifications, or a strong supporting statement. References are not required, but can help build a stronger application if you fall below the 2:1 requirement or have non-traditional qualifications. 

See international entry requirements and English language requirements.

Course overview

The MA Gender Studies and Law at SOAS is a unique programme, its principal aim being to re-focus issues prioritised in western Gender Studies and Legal Theory on the complex specificities of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East.

Jointly housed by the Centre for Gender Studies and the School of Law, the programme offers the specialised study of gender and law 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.

The MA Gender Studies and Law at SOAS caters for students with a variety of backgrounds and objectives, including 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 legal knowledge, especially, but not exclusively, the societies of Asia, Africa and the Middle East
  • coming from Asian, African or Middle Eastern Studies who wish to incorporate the study of gender and law into their own areas of expertise
  • having previously trained in particular disciplines, such as Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Cultural and Media Studies, History, Politics, Religious Studies, Sociology, Refugee/Diaspora Studies etc.

Why study MA Gender Studies and Law at SOAS?

  • SOAS is ranked top 20 in the UK (QS World University Rankings 2023).
  • We are ranked 6th in the UK for employability (QS World University Rankings 2023).
  • Our research publications have been rated first in the UK - and our School of Law rated sixth in the UK - in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

For more information email:


Students take courses to the value of 120 credits and a dissertation worth 60 credits which amounts to the total 180 credits required to complete the degree programme.

All students take the Preliminary course in law, legal reasoning and legal methods. This is a compulsory component which runs as an intensive two-week course in September, prior to the start of term.

All students take the compulsory core courses Gender Theory and the Study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Dissertation Methods for Gender Studies, and Gender Sexuality and Law: Theories and Methodologies. Further options include a wide range of gender and gender-related courses from a comprehensive list. Students also choose one Law option from the general MA in Law list (subject to course convenor approval).

Upon completion of coursework and written examinations in May/June, students will write a 12,000 word dissertation based on material acquired from their courses.

Important notice

The information on the website reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. The modules are indicative options of the content students can expect and are/have been previously taught as part of these programmes.

However, this information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.


Students must complete a Dissertation (10,000 words) in Gender Studies, which should be based on material acquired from their courses


Choose modules from List A below to the value of 45 credits


Choose a module(s) from List B or the Open Options List to the value of 30 credits


List B

Module Credits
International Law: Contemporary Problems of World Order 15
Gender and the Law of War 15
Gender and the Law of Peace 15
Human Rights of Women 30
Human Rights of Women 15
International Protection of Human Rights (15Cr) 15
Justice, Reconciliation and Reconstruction in Post-Conflict Societies 15
Law and Natural Resources 30
Law, Religion, and the State in South Asia 30
Israel, Palestine, and International Law (30Cr) 30
International Human Rights Clinic 30
Human Rights and Islamic Law 30
International Commercial Arbitration 30
Law and Development in Africa 30
Intellectual Property Law (PG) 30
International laws on the use of force 15
Foundations of International Law 15
The Law of Armed Conflict 15
Colonialism, Empire and International Law 15
Water Justice: Rights, Access and Movements 15
Comparative Constitutional Law 15
Law and Society in Southeast Asia 15
Law and Postcolonial Theory 15
International Criminal Law 15
Gender, Law and Society in The Middle East and North Africa 15
International Investment Law 15
Law, Rights & Social Change 15
Law, Environment and Social Justice 15
International Migration Law 15
International Refugee Law 15
Law, Environment, and the Global Commons: Ice, Sea, Space and Beyond 15
International Environmental Law 15
Biodiversity, Nature and Wildlife Law and Policy 15
The Prohibition of Torture in International Law 15
Water and Development: Commodification, Ecology and Globalisation 15
Multinational Enterprises and the Law I 15
Multinational Enterprises and the Law II 15
Business and Human Rights in the Global Economy 15
Comparative Company Law 15
Palestine, Resistance, and the Law 15
Alternative Dispute Resolution II 15
Law and the Climate Crisis 15
International Protection of Human Rights (15Cr) 15
Islamic Family Law 15
Islamic Legal Theory 15
Transnational Law, Finance and Technology 15
Colonial Geographies of International Law 15
Israel, Palestine, and International Law (15Cr) 15

Teaching and learning

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 .

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.

Learning resources

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.


Title Deadline date
Felix Non-Indian Scholarship
Felix Scholarships
Tibawi Trust Award
Sasakawa Studentships
SOAS Master's Scholarships


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