SOAS University of London

Academic Summer School at SOAS

Gender and Conflict (2020 entry)

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Apply


Programme Description 

This course offers insight into key issues in the study of gender and conflict, interrogating Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security, including conflict-related sexual violence, while also analysing transnational feminist approaches beyond the resolutions. The course provides a focus for students interested in feminism and masculinity studies, sexuality and gender, alongside the tools to use gender analysis in the study of peacebuilding and peacekeeping, post-conflict initiatives, security and armed conflict.

The module uses interdisciplinary materials and research to examine the various dimensions of gender and conflict, in terms of the experiences of gendered subjects, as well as the legal and political frameworks that operate in conflict settings. Students will develop a nuanced understanding of various approaches to gender and sexuality and apply these to key issues across the spectrum of conflict. 

For more information, please see the course handbook:  Gender and Conflict Handbook (pdf; 105kb)  

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Understand and explain the relevance theories on gender and sexuality to the study of conflict and security
  • Be able to discuss and analyse the different roles women take up during armed conflicts and how these have different meanings within different cultural contexts
  • Be aware of the international legal framework on women, peace and security
  • To develop an understanding of feminist theories on peace and war, including contemporary understanding of gender diversity and transgendered subjects, male victims and the need for intersectional approaches to a feminist peace project


This course is worth 15 credits in the UK system. 15 credits is equivalent to 4 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to transfer credit to your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you apply. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to transfer credit rests with your home institution.

Current SOAS students selecting this course as an open option module will not be charged the tuition-fee. For further information and assistance, please contact

"The Academic Summer School has been extremely crucial in consolidating my academic path. I am hoping in the near future, after the completion of my graduate studies, to pursue my research on gender studies, hopefully at SOAS." Nangsel Sherpa, 2019


For more information, please fill out our Enquiries form.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: 20 July – 7 August 2020

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.

Featured events

3 weeks

Tuition Fees 2020

Credit assessed: £1,750

Non-assessed: £1,600



Programme structure:

Week 1: Gender and conflict
Week one introduces contemporary scholarship on gender and conflict – examining interdisciplinary developments and working to build skills in how to use gender as an analytical tool beyond approaches that simply focus on women/ adding women to existing debates. We examine key feminist tensions, as well as legal developments such as the women, peace and security resolutions and initiatives to challenge conflict-related sexual violence. We end the week with a walking tour of London that looks at various feminist peace monuments and contrasts these with public art and memorials. In advance of this week it is recommended that students read the introduction to one of the key texts (listed below).

Week 2: Gendered Experiences of Conflict
Week two examines key gender and conflict work in greater detail – asking how intersectionality works beyond gender and race through the examination of gender and disability in conflict. We will look at the end of conflict to examine women’s participation in peacekeeping, peacebuilding and peace agreements. Students will also learn about postconflict justice mechanisms such as the international criminal court. Mid-week we will think through knowledge production and contemporary decolonising knowledge work through participating in archiving activity about conflict. In your tutorials you will study a number of case studies to apply the gender knowledge you have learnt. We end the week with a public event – an activist’s roundtable. Before the class have a look at some of the following journal special issues: International Affairs – edited by Laura Shepherd and Paul Kirby Feminist Journal of International Politics – edited by Nicola Pratt and Sophie Richter-Devroe

Week 3: Contemporary Debates
In the final week we map cutting edge debates to examine where next for gender and conflict research – including feminist studies of counterterrorism and the role of new technologies in conflict. We also look at the work of transnational feminism and how knowledge is produced locally, transregionally and, often, outside of formal structures. Students will have the opportunity to present their essay topic to the group and receive feedback from the module convenor and tutor. Before week three you might like to look at the Boston Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights– a fantastic resource and worth a good browse! You will also find the Special Issue of the Australian Feminist Law Journal on Gender, War and Technology good preparation for this week.

Additional activities: In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, the course will offer a range of activities relating to the academic content to support and enhance the learning objectives (e.g. a visit to the protest archives, a walking tour etc.). The Summer School office will arrange various social activities throughout the three weeks.

Sample Reading list:

You will find it useful to purchase at least one of the books prior to the module.

  • Carol Cohn (ed) Women and Wars, Polity Press, 2012
  • Ní Aoláin, Fionnuala, Haynes, Dina and Cahn, Naomi, On the Frontlines: Gender, War and the Post-Conflict Process, OUP, 2011
  • Gina Heathcote and Dianne Otto, Rethinking Peacekeeping, Gender Equality and Collective Security, Palgrave, 2014

*** also read Joshua Goldstein’s first chapter in War and Gender available here

General Readings
  • Cockburn, Cynthia, From Where We Stand: War, Women's Activism and Feminist Analysis, 2007
  • Cockburn, C., and Zarkov, D, The Postwar Moment: Militaries, Masculinities and International Peacekeeping, Lawrence and Wishhart, 2002
  • Enloe, Cynthia, Globalization and Militarisation, 2007
  • Aoláin, FN, Cahn, N, Haynes, D, and Valji, N (eds), The Oxford Handbook on Gender and Conflict (Oxford, 2018)
  • O’Rourke, Catherine, Gender Politics in Transitional Justice, Routledge, 2013
  • Shepherd, Laura, Gender, Violence and Security: Discourse as Practice, Zed Books, 2008
  • True, Jacqui, The Political Economy of Violence Against Women, OUP, 2012
  • Woodward, R, and Duncanson, C (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Gender and the Military (Palgrave 2018) 403
  • Davies, Sara, Stamnes, Eli and Teitt, Sarah, Responsibility to Protect and Women, Peace and Security, Brill, 2013

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

Course Convenor: 

Dr Gina Heathcote

Module Tutor:

Alice Finden

Contact hours:

50 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.

Core hours:

Monday - Friday 10am-3pm. In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course is composed of a range of activities relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc). 


If you have opted to study for credit, you will be required to complete all course assessments. Should you complete the assessments with success, you will receive a transcript confirming your marks and credits. If you have not chosen to study for credit, you will be exempt from any course assignments and not receive a mark.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Credit-assessed: £1,750

Non-assessed: £1,600

Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.


10% early-bird discount when you apply by 31 March

10% discount if you apply for two courses over 6 weeks

15% discount for SOAS Alumni (including Academic Summer School alumni)

20% discount for our partner institutions

Other discounts are available for groups. Please contact us for more information.


For more information, please see our accommodation page.

Academic Summer School Ambassador Scholarship 2020

The SOAS Academic Summer School is delighted to offer six tuition-fee waiver scholarships to passionate students with a desire to make a difference in the world.

The scholarships will cover the tuition-fee for one Academic Summer School course in 2020. 

Application Deadline: 2020-03-02 00:00

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


How to Apply

Application Form

Entry Requirements

In order to join the Academic Summer School, students should meet the following entry requirements:

  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
  • Participants must be 18 or over at the time of attendance.
  • Fluency in English language is recommended for non-credit courses, but essential for SOAS Accredited courses. Proficiency can be demonstrated through:
  • IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all sub scores.
  • TOEFL Paper based test we require a minimum of 583 with minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with minimum 20 in all skills. 
  • Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B
  • If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses) you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university. 
  • If you are unsure whether you meet the above entry requirements, please contact us to discuss your application.

Enrolment of applicants who do not meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us about your application and we will be happy to help. 

Application Procedure

Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.

Application Deadline

Applications now accepted on a rolling basis for all courses

Quick Links