How do gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, dis/ability and/or religion contribute to the formation of social identities? What role do ensuing power differences between these vectors play in our globalised and mediatised world? In the two-year Research MA in Gender Studies, you will approach a myriad of questions related to gender and other social categories through an intersectional approach.

The program combines a thorough grounding in the historiography and contemporary state of Gender Studies as a discipline with intensive training in the critical practice of cultural theories and epistemologies from feminist, postcolonial, critical race, and queer perspectives. In a highly interdisciplinary setting and with academic staff and fellow students representing a range of fields from anthropology to literary studies, you will be trained to apply these theories to the analysis of representations of gender in artistic practices, literary texts, political discourses and (new) media and technology. The international and intellectually challenging setting of this program offers you the opportunity to broaden your horizon and to build an academic and professional network.


During the courses and seminars, you will approach theories about subjectivity and representation from epistemological, political, and ethical perspectives. How have feminist theorists rethought Freud’s and Lacan’s ideas on (female) subjectivity, for instance? What differences do you see constructed between the East and the West in films, literature, and artworks

You will also investigate the development of feminist theories and the history and current statuses of colonial, post-colonial, and multicultural societies. In addition, you will explore the representation of gender and ethnicity in literature, new media, and new technologies.


Utrecht University’s Research Master in Gender Studies is one of Europe’s most advanced interdisciplinary teaching and research program in Gender Studies. Our research-focussed program prepares students for postgraduate or PhD work in Gender Studies and related fields.

You will benefit from engaging in a challenging and international setting that offers multiple avenues of investigation into complex social phenomena. The program is closely allied with academics and institutions both within and outside Europe and offers an internationally recognised degree.


After successfully completing this program, you will possess advanced knowledge of an insight into the field of women’s, gender, and postcolonial studies.

You will also have the academic skills to:

  • Critically investigate the multiple approaches, methods, and topics currently addressed by scholars in this field.
  • Analyse factors of identity making such as gender, class, ethnicity, age, and sexuality in different globalized contexts.
  • Analyse power differences and processes of inclusion and exclusion, discrimination, and emancipation.
  • Reflect on how academic, cultural, artistic, journalistic, and policy-making institutions respond to societal challenges.
  • Formulate research questions, locate and interpret sources, assess the significance of your own research within the framework of current debates, and report your findings.

In your program, you will have the opportunity to actively work on your career development.


After completing the Research Master in Gender Studies you are qualified to apply for a postgraduate or doctoral research program in the field of women’s, gender, and postcolonial studies. Furthermore, gender experts can also work at governmental organisations, NGO's, national and international women's organisations, and cultural institutions.

Gender researchers usually work at universities or research institutes, and it is likely that your first step after completing the Master’s program will consist of PhD research. Those who complete a Reserach Master in Gender Studies are qualified to apply for a postgraduate or doctoral research program in the field of women’s, gender, and postcolonial studies.

Gender experts can also work at governmental organisations, NGO's, national and international women's organisations, and cultural institutions. There, your critical approach to sociocultural processes will help to set up policies with attention to processes of in- and exclusion. You can also use your analytical skills in the field of (research) journalism, such as in the arts and media sector.


After successfully completing the Research Master in Gender Studies, you will be able to formulate a research proposal for a PhD project in a specialisation within the field of gender. You will have an overview of the position that your own research plan occupies in the context of international research in women’s, gender, and postcolonial studies.

  • One of our alumni, Evelien Geerts, is a PhD student at the University of California. Under the supervision of Karen Barad, she will be working on the crossroads of feminist theory and philosophy.
  • Another former student, Katharina Karcher is Schröder Research Associate at the University of Cambridge.

Graduates of this program have started PhD programs at universities such as:

  • University of British Columbia
  • Linkoping University
  • Open University of Catalunya
  • KU Leuven
  • Radboud University, Nijmegen
  • University of Warwick
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • European University Institute, Florence
  • University of Edinburgh
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Last updated December 1, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
2 years
2,083 EUR
Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee 2019-2020): € 2,083. Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee): 2018-19: € 15,575, 2019-20: € 16,600
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