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MA Disability and Gender

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  • Entry requirements
    a good honours degree in a social science discipline.
  • Course description

    If you want to evaluate recent debates within disability...
    • And you want to focus on gender...

    If you are a service provider, practitioner or policy maker...
    • And wish to bridge the gap between your understanding of theory and practice...

    ...then the MA in Disability Studies and Gender Studies is the programme for you.

    The MA in Disability Studies and Gender Studies combines two relatively new branches of the Social Sciences and gives you the opportunity to navigate through the various structural and interpersonal forces that shape disability and gender relations.

    The programme explores the numerous theoretical and practical insights and strategies within the two disciplines. You will have to opportunity to investigate the theoretical perspectives, definitions and approaches to impairment and disability, and also explore the social and individual processes involved in the enactment of gender relations.

    The MA in Disability and Gender is the first postgraduate programme that covers these topic areas in the UK, bringing together and drawing on the expertise of scholars from two internationally-recognised centres of excellence: the Centre for Disability Studies and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies.


    MA Disability and Gender is available on a 12-month full-time or 24-month part-time basis. The course has five modules: three compulsory, two elective.

    Compulsory Modules
    Debates on Disability Theory and Research gives you the opportunity to critical evaluate recent debates and developments within social research on disability. Not only will you discuss positivist, interpretative and 'emancipatory' methodologies, alongside associated data collection and analytical strategies, you will also examine their significance for disability research.

    Through the module, you will investigate theoretical perspectives, the various definitions and approaches to impairment and disability, and disability as an equal opportunities and policy issue. You will explore the impact of myths and prejudices, industrialisation and the welfare state upon cultural representations of disability.

    Theorising Gender engages with contemporary theoretical approaches within gender studies. Exploring the social and individual processes involved in the enactment of gender relations, the module investigates alternative, complementary and conflicting explanations for the source and operation of gender.

    Investigating the historical, social and individual significance of gender, you will examine various areas of social life where gender shapes interactions and forms meaning: in particular, you will consider family roles, reproductive technologies, citizenship, sexuality, culture and personal biography.

    Disability and Gender Dissertation allows you to tailor your own programme of training and research in consultation with a member of staff drawn from the department's MA/PhD supervisory panel.

    Through the dissertation, you demonstrate your ability to develop and complete an in-depth analysis, select and use appropriate research methods, deploy advanced theoretical concepts and relate a focused study to broader Disability and Gender debates and concerns.

    Elective Modules
    In addition to the compulsory modules, you also choose two modules from the following list.
    • Fundamental Issues in Sociological Research
    • Research Strategy and Design
    • Researching Gender
    • Social Policy, Politics and Disabled People
    • Disability and Development
    • Gender and Popular Culture
    • Gender and Development
    • Evaluation Research
    • Negotiated Study in Disability Studies

    For more information about both the compulsory and elective modules, please consult the module catalogue .

    Postgraduate Diploma in Disability and Gender
    Available on a 12-month full-time or 24-month part-time basis, the Postgraduate Diploma in Disability and Gender covers similar ground to the MA, but does not include the dissertation module. On the basis of a good performance in a full-time student's first semester, or a part-timer's first year, students initially registered for the Diploma may be transferred onto the corresponding MA.

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