MA Gender and Sexuality

Programme Code: TBC

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

Minimum Entry Requirements: Upper second (2:1) UK BA degree in a relevant subject, 3.6 (USA) or equivalent. Relevant professional and activist experience will be taken into account.

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

Who is this programme for?:

The MA Gender and Sexuality at SOAS aims to cater 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 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 sexuality 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.

The programme provides:

  • specialised research training in Gender Studies, in addition to a focused study of sexuality as well as gender and sexual diversity. 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 issues raised by appreciation of the relationship between gender and sexuality in various legal and political contexts;
  • 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 emergent and contemporary study of sexuality in cross-cultural contexts.

The MA Gender and Sexuality at SOAS is a unique programme, its principal aim being to re-focus issues prioritised in western Gender Studies and the study of sexuality on the complex specificities of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East. The programme offers the specialised study of gender and sexuality 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.

Gender Studies is widely regarded by a range of employers as an excellent training, equipping holders of the degree with a range of relevant employable skills. Increasingly policy makers and governing structures understand the need to engage with gender and sexuality, such that graduates with a disciplinary understanding of gender and sexuality, especially as sites of rights and responsibility are required in policy, research and legal environments. The value and relevance of the discipline are evidenced by the great variety and distinction of careers gender studies graduates have embarked upon with success. These include employment in international organizations, NGOs, think tanks, research organizations, the media (newspapers, radio & TV), as well as government ministries and programmes. There are growing numbers of gender studies programmes at universities throughout the world, although very few that combine study of gender and sexuality in a global context.


Students take courses to the value of three units and complete a dissertation as a fourth module. All students take Gender Theory and the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East (full unit) and Queer Politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East (half unit) as core courses. A further 1.5 units are chosen from a wide range of gender and gender-related courses included in Gender Studies List 1. Students will write a 10,000-word dissertation based on either the compulsory course or one of the component courses.

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.

As part of the course, the Centre for Gender Studies offers integrated work experiences in the form of internships with relevant organizations such as Women Living Under Muslim World (WLUML), the Council for the Assistance of Academic Refugees (CARA) and other organizations as well as with the Centre for Gender Studies itself.

Core Courses

  • Gender theory and the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East 15PGNC002 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Queer Politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East 15PGNH007 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Queer and Feminist Diaspora Studies 15PGNH011 (15 credits) Full Year - Term 1
  • Dissertation Methods for Gender Studies 15PGNH008 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Dissertation in gender studies 15PGNC999 (60 credits) Full Year

One and a half units must be chosen from this list

  • Gender, Sexuality and Law: Theories and Methodologies 15PLAH062 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Gender, Sexuality and Law: Selected Topics 15PLAH061 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Architectural Boundaries and the Body 15PARH063 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Ethnicity, Religion and Gender in Middle Eastern Musical cultures 15PMUH024 (15 credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Gendering Migration & Diasporas 15PGNH002 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film 15PSEH011 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Gender, Armed Conflict and International Law 15PGNH005 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Gender and Development 15PDSH010 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Gender and Music (MMus) 15PMUH009 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Gender in the Middle East 15PGNH001 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East 15PGNH012 (15 credits) Term 2 - Gender in the Middle East (15PGNH001) is a pre-requisite for this course.
  • Historical Perspectives on Gender in Africa 15PHIH029 (15 credits) Term 1
  • Issues in the Anthropology of Gender 15PANH024 (15 credits) Term 2
  • Judaism and Gender 15PSRH029 (15 credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • The Body and the Making of Colonial Difference in British India 15PHIH033 (15 credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • 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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