MA Gender Studies


Read more about this programme on the school's website

Programme Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

SOAS MA in Gender Studies is unique in that it refocuses issues of Western Gender Studies on the complex specificities of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing on the expertise of staff across all SOAS faculties, it offers the specialised study of gender in relation to Asian, African and Middle Eastern cultures, together with rigorous training in and questioning of contemporary gender theory.

Students will have access to a wealth of study resources available in the SOAS Library and in nearby institutions such as the British Library, University College London Library and Senate House Library.

The MA in Gender Studies will be administered by the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences. Like the MA Area Studies programmes, it will not have a specific departmental home, reflecting its academic structure as an interdisciplinary degree.

The SOAS MA in Gender Studies will appeal to 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, 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 into their own areas of expertise; and
  • Those having previously trained in particular disciplines, such as Anthropology, Cultural and Media Studies, Religious Studies, Comparative Literature, History, Politics, etc.

By selection of courses to suit the academic needs of each student, this programme can provide:

  • Specialised research training MA in Gender Studies, perhaps including a relevant language. This pathway is suitable for students contemplating advanced postgraduate research in Gender Studies with regard to 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, with or without language study.
  • A special interest MA, which enables students to study in depth gender issues in relation to a particular regional or disciplinary specialisation.

Prospective students should contact the MA Admissions Tutor, Dr Awino Okech (, at an early stage of their application in order to seek advice on the most appropriate options for study.


Students must take 180 credits comprised of 120 taught credits (including core and option modules) and a 60 credit dissertation.

All students take the compulsory course Gender Theory and the Study of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, in addition to Dissertation Methods in Gender Studies. Further options include a wide range of gender and gender-related courses from a comprehensive list offered by the Faculties of Languages and Cultures and Arts and Humanities. Students will write a 12,000-word dissertation based on either the compulsory course or one of the component courses.


  • Dissertation in gender studies

Taught Component

Core Modules

Please Note: Gender theory and the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East (15PGNC002) needs to be completed successfully for the achievement of an exit award.

All students will take the following two core modules:

  • Gender theory and the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East
  • Dissertation Methods for Gender Studies

Guided Option

  • All students will take the modules to the value of 30 credits from List 1.


  • All students will take the modules to the value of 45 credits from List 2

List of Modules (subject to availability)

List 1

Please Note: 15PANH024 Issues in the Anthropology of Gender cannot be combined with 15PDSH010 Gender & Development

  • African Feminisms: Theories, Politics and Action
  • Gender, Armed Conflict and International Law
  • Gendering Migration & Diasporas
  • Gender in the Middle East
  • Queer and Feminist Diaspora Studies
  • From Theory to Practice and Back. Work Placements in Migration Research
  • Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East
  • Gender, Peace and International Law
  • Gender and Development
  • Gender and Security in Africa
  • Gender and Music (MMus)
  • Historical Perspectives on Gender in Africa
  • Gender, law and the family in the history of modern South Asia
  • Issues in the Anthropology of Gender
  • Queer Politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East
  • Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film
  • Judaism and Gender
  • Gender, Sexuality and Law: Theories and Methodologies
  • Gender, Sexuality and Law: Selected Topics

UCL Optional Module
Gender in Policy & Planning (30 Credits)

List 2

Please Note: 30 credits may come from a language module open option.

  • Civil society, social movements and the development process
  • Comparative politics of the Middle East
  • African and Asian Diasporas in the Contemporary World
  • African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World
  • African and Asian Cultures in Britain
  • Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies I: History and Politics
  • Critical Perspectives on Palestine Studies II: Culture and Society
  • Culture and Society of China
  • Culture and Society of East Africa
  • Culture and Society of Japan
  • Culture and Society of Near and Middle East
  • Culture and Society of South Asia
  • Culture and Society of South East Asia
  • Culture and Society of West Africa
  • Law and Society in South Asia
  • Law and Society in The Middle East and North Africa
  • Law, Human Rights and Peace Building: The Israeli-Palestinian Case
  • Modern Trends in Islam
  • Travelling Africa: Writing the Cape to Cairo
  • Indian Cinema: Key Issues
  • Theory and techniques of Comparative Literature
  • Social and Political Dimensions of Modern Arabic Literature
  • Literatures of South Asia
  • Violence, justice and the politics of memory

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

You can apply for this course via the online application form.

We aim to assess a complete application and provide a decision within a 5-week time frame. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa and wish to join SOAS should bear in mind visa applications can take several weeks, so you should apply as soon as possible.

Consideration of Application

The whole application, including transcript and references, is considered before a decision is reached. You are therefore advised to submit a complete application including references and transcript (where required). An incomplete application will add considerable delays to the decision-making process.

Students will receive an acknowledgement of their application. Each application is carefully considered and although we try and respond as quickly as possible, we do ask that students should expect to receive a response within five weeks of receipt.

Candidates who are available in the United Kingdom may be called for an interview. The absence of academic members of staff (or instance on study leave) may affect the timing of decisions.

Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second class (2.1) or above honours degree (or equivalent).

English Language Entry Requirements

You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.

Minimum upper second class (2.1) or above honours degree (or equivalent)

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Last updated Nov 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read Less
London , Singapore + 1 More Less