Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time
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 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 the study of gender and sexuality in a global context.
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 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 an 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.
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 12,000-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.
- Dissertation in gender studies
All students will take the following modules:
- Gender theory and the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East
- Dissertation Methods for Gender Studies
- Queer Politics in Asia, Africa and the Middle East
- Queer and Feminist Diaspora Studies
- Guided Options
All students will take the modules to the value of 60 credits from the list of modules.
List of modules (subject to availability)
- Gendering Migration & Diasporas
- From Theory to Practice and Back. Work Placements in Migration Research
- Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East
- Gender, Peace and International Law
- Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film
- Gender, Armed Conflict and International Law
- Gender and Development
- Gender and Music (MMus)
- Gender in the Middle East
- Historical Perspectives on Gender in Africa
- Gender, law and the family in the history of modern South Asia
- Issues in the Anthropology of Gender
- Judaism and Gender
- Gender, Sexuality and Law: Theories and Methodologies
- Gender, Sexuality and Law: Selected Topics
Note: 15PANH024 Issues in the Anthropology of Gender is not to be combined with 15PDSH010 Gender & Development
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.
Applicants should have a first or good second class honours bachelors degree from a UK university, or equivalent, in a subject appropriate to that of the programme to be followed. As an approximate comparison, an equivalent BA from a US university would have a Grade Point Average of either 3.3 or 3.5 depending on the awarding university. If an applicant does not have a bachelors degree in an appropriate field s/he may be required to complete a qualifying year or a one-year diploma before entering the master's programme. Relevant work experience may also be taken into consideration. Individual courses may have specific entry requirements, so you are advised to consult the postgraduate prospectus for further information.
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.
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.
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.
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.