Postgraduate Course

MA Gender and Sexuality Studies

MA Gender and Sexuality Studies

Overview

The details
Gender and Sexuality Studies
October 2022
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

Our MA in Gender and Sexuality Studies is an innovative, interdisciplinary programme located in the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (PPS). Our approach is highly interdisciplinary and intersectional, combining elements of sociology, psychology, literature, history, politics, human rights, philosophy, and art. On this course, you will gain a strong grounding in the theories and concepts that have been essential to the study of gender and sexuality while also being supported in the exploration of your own unique cross-disciplinary research interests through our wide range of optional modules from across the University.

In PPS we value the fact that your choice of study is often deeply motivated by your life experience as well future ambitions -- this is perhaps especially the case with Gender and Sexuality studies. Our expertise in psychosocial approaches means that, in studying with us, you will be encouraged to recognise and explore the many ways that issues relating to gender and sexuality bring together personal, social, and political questions (for example, questions of identity and subjectivity, equality and justice, history and global politics). You will learn from scholars whose current research projects demonstrate their own interests and commitments in the field; our specialisms include intersectional feminist theory and methods; LGBTQ+ politics and activism; gendered childhoods; masculinities and youth work; sexuality and health activism; global perspectives on reproductive justice; human rights and refugee communities.

You will also learn from your peers and the wider community. In PPS, we are explicit in our commitment to trans-inclusivity and to ensuring a learning environment in which everyone can flourish. We will offer you a transformative educational experience that will deepen your understanding of gender, sexuality and equality as well as empower you to contribute to future social and cultural challenges.

Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to develop your understanding of key sites of psychosocial life, including:

  • Gender
  • Sexuality
  • Identity
  • Race
  • Class
  • Family
  • Work
  • Psychology
  • Environment
  • Normativity
  • Objectivity
  • Nation
  • Capital
  • Colonialism
  • Violence
  • Politics
  • Health

Why we're great.
  • You’ll be taught by internationally renowned scholars and teachers, committed to helping you understand how social, historical and psychological factors shape the experience of gender
  • You’ll be joining a diverse postgraduate community with students from over 29 countries
  • You’ll learn a range of transferrable skills, theories, and methods that will transform your personal and professional life beyond the university

Our expert staff

The University of Essex has a long and luminous tradition as one of the pioneering universities for the study of gender and sexuality. Recognizing this, we draw from the wide range of expertise from scholars across the university and combine it with a unique focus on ‘psychosocial’ life. In this way, our staff support a unique, interdisciplinary degree that works across sociology, psychology, and the humanities.

The Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies is internationally recognised as one of the leading departments in its field. Our expertise in psychosocial approaches combined with our strengths in psychoanalysis and depth psychology provides a vibrant intellectual backdrop for students of Gender and Sexuality Studies to pursue research that is underpinned by a commitment to thinking the social and the personal together.

The Department consistently achieves top ten rankings in the UK’s research assessments, most recently in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Being located within the UK’s leading university of the study of social sciences means you are surrounded by strong departments that fully support and enhance our work. This allows you to gain the opportunity to work with and be taught by world-class scholars in their fields.

Specialist facilities

As a student on the MA in Gender and Sexuality Studies, you will have access to our extensive facilities to aid your learning and research. In particular, our Albert Sloman Library is well stocked with books, journals, electronic resources and major archives relevant to our work and, in addition, the department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies has its own library of specialist books and journals.

The Department holds free evening Open Seminars on a range of interesting topics and there are a number of active student societies to support your extra-curricular engagement. Elsewhere in the University, the Centre for Sexual and Intimate Citizenship, directed by Professor Roisin Ryan-Flood (Sociology), hosts a bi-monthly lunchtime speaker series and reading group on a wide-range of topics in gender and sexuality studies; and the Human Rights Centre (School of Law) holds a regular speaker series with expert academics and related social events.

Your future

You will develop key employability skills including analytical thinking, public speaking, research methods, and professional writing that are applicable to many professional spheres. Our MA Gender and Sexuality Studies course will equip you for a career in sectors including activist and NGO work; law; health and social care; education; and clinical work. This course also acts as a stepping stone to further PhD study

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2:2 degree or equivalent.

With your online application you must submit a personal statement; this should detail the reasons for wanting to study the course, including any relevant experience (work or voluntary) that may support your application.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Course structure

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Dissertation: Gender and Sexuality Studies
(60 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

The Psychic Life of Gender: Explorations in the Case Study
(15 CREDITS)

This module introduces students to some of the ways in which psychoanalytic thought has animated different feminist, trans, and queer accounts of gender since Freud’s time of writing. We will avoid a polarised presentation of psychoanalysis as either friend or foe to progressive accounts of gender, but rather commit to investigating how psychoanalysis – both as theory and as praxis – can productively disrupt our stable knowledge economies, and lend itself to encounters with gender that feature resistance, interruption, revelation, and impasse.

View The Psychic Life of Gender: Explorations in the Case Study on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Topics in Critical Race and Transnational Feminisms
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

Queering Childhood
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 06: COMPULSORY

Gender, Race, Identity and Human Rights
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 07: OPTIONAL

Option from list
(20 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 08: OPTIONAL

Option from list
(20 CREDITS)

Dissertation

  • You develop a dissertation of 12,000 words, in which you define and research into an area of special interest to you
  • We provide you with advice and guidance on researching and writing your dissertation
  • Your dissertation is submitted mid-September in your final year of study

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£9,200

International fee

£19,740

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2022 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, September 17, 2022
  • Saturday, October 22, 2022

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

Set within the 200-acre award-winning beautiful parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

Whether you are planning to visit us at one of our Open Days, or coming to an Applicant day. Our campus conveniently located and easy to reach by car, train or bus.

View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Ask us a question
Ask us a question

Want to quiz us about your course? Got a question that just needs answering? Get in touch and we’ll do our best to email you back shortly.