MA Gender Studies and Law

Programme Code: PGTF0038/PGTP0057/PGTP0058

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

Minimum Entry Requirements: Minimum upper second class (II.1) or above honours degree (or equivalent)

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

Who is this programme for?:

The MA Gender Studies and Law at SOAS caters 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 legal knowledge, especially, but not exclusively, 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 law 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 etc.

This programme provides:

  • specialised research training in Gender Studies, in addition to the focused study of feminist legal theories and a particular area of law. 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 legal issues;
  • 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 feminist legal approaches and a study of a legal sub-discipline.

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.


Students take courses to the value of four units and complete a dissertation (which is also the assessment for the fourth course Feminist Legal Theory).

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 and Feminist Legal Theory (Dissertation). 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 10,000-word dissertation based on material acquired from Feminist Legal Theory.

Core Courses

  • Preliminary Law, Legal Reasoning and Legal Methods 15PLAC162 0 Term 1
  • Gender theory and the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East 15PGNC002 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Gender, Sexuality and Law: Theories and Methodologies 15PLAH062 (15credits) Term 1
  • Dissertation Methods for Gender Studies 15PGNH008 (15credits) Term 1

List 1- Optional Course

At least one unit (one or two courses) must be chosen from this list.

  • Gender, Sexuality and Law: Selected Topics 15PLAH061 (15credits) Term 2
  • Gender in the Middle East 15PGNH001 (15credits) Term 1
  • Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East 15PGNH012 (15credits) Term 2 - Gender in the Middle East (15PGNH001) is a pre-requisite for this course.
  • Gendering Migration & Diasporas 15PGNH002 (15credits) Term 2
  • Gender and Development 15PDSH010 (15credits) Term 1
  • Queer Politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East 15PGNH007 (15credits) Term 2
  • Issues in the Anthropology of Gender 15PANH024 (15credits) Term 2
  • Gender, Armed Conflict and International Law 15PGNH005 (15credits) Term 1
  • Queer and Feminist Diaspora Studies 15PGNH011 (15credits) Full Year - Term 1
  • Historical Perspectives on Gender in Africa 15PHIH029 (15credits) Term 1
  • Gender and Music (MMus) 15PMUH009 (15credits) Term 2
  • Judaism and Gender 15PSRH029 (15credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film 15PSEH011 (15credits) Term 2
  • Architectural Boundaries and the Body 15PARH063 (15credits) Term 1
  • The Body and the Making of Colonial Difference in British India 15PHIH033 (15credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Ethnicity, Religion and Gender in Middle Eastern Musical cultures 15PMUH024 (15credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018

List 2- Optional Course

Remaining units must be taken from this list.

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution 15PLAC104 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Colonialism, Empire and International Law 15PLAH025 (15credits) Term 2
  • Comparative Constitutional Law 15PLAH046 (15credits) Term 2
  • Foundations of International Law 15PLAH021 (15credits) Term 1
  • Human Rights and Islamic Law 15PLAC150 (30 credits) Full Year
  • International Protection of Human Rights 15PLAC119 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Law and Development in Africa 15PLAC160 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Law and Postcolonial Theory 15PLAH050 (15credits) Term 1
  • Law and Society in The Middle East and North Africa 15PLAC130 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Law and Society in South Asia 15PLAC129 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Law, Human Rights and Peace Building: The Israeli-Palestinian Case 15PLAC133 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Modern Chinese Law and Institutions 15PLAC139 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Water and Development: Conflict and Governance 15PDSH049 (15credits) Term 2
  • Water Law: Justice and Governance 15PLAH044 (15credits) Term 1
  • Arabic Women's Writing: Theories and Practices 15PNMC411 (30 credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
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Last updated January 22, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
1 - 3 years
11,545 GBP
Full-time UK/EU Fees: £11,545; Full-time Overseas Fees: £19,730 per academic year
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