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MA Gender and Culture

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  • Entry requirements
    If you wish to apply for these programmes, you should normally hold a good honours degree (upper second class or first class), or an equivalent professional qualification. Relevant experience will be taken into account where appropriate.

    Postgraduate diploma routes are available for candidates that do not wish to take the full MA programme. It is also possible to consider candidates for the Diploma who are not appropriately qualified for immediate MA study. Such candidates may be considered for subsequent transfer to an MA programme, depending on performance.

    Language Requirements

    Successful completion of a postgraduate degree demands facility in English. It is a requirement that essays and dissertations be well-written.

    Prospective and intending students whose first language is not English will need to ensure that their linguistic proficiency is adequate. They may need to undertake some language training in the University or elsewhere.

    Minimum requirements

    * TOEFL score on the paper-based test: at least, 580 with 4.0 on the Test of Written English (TWE).

    * TOEFL score on the computer-based test: at least, 240 with 4.0 on essay rating.

    * TOEFL score on the internet-based test: at least 94 with, at least, 20 in listening, 23 in reading, 23 in speaking and 24 in writing

    * A minimum IELTS (academic) score of 6.5 with at least 6.0 in all components.

    The School keeps its requirements under review and may request a higher level of proficiency. The University's Language Centre offers courses in English and can provide more details on your English requirements.
  • Course description
    MA Gender and Culture explores cultural forms, practices and theories as they relate to ideas around gender and sexuality.

    You will examine gender theories from perspectives in both the humanities and the social sciences, and theorists from Freud to Butler.

    This course allows you to explore aspects of culture from a gender perspective, and covers feminist debate in the visual arts, film studies, literature, history and music.

    You can also investigate gender as it relates to fine art, literature or musical composition, or cultural practices such as shopping, interior decorating or going clubbing.

    You will have access to cutting-edge feminist, queer, and postcolonial thinking around issues of identity, representation and self-representation. You will also consider sexuality, class, postcoloniality, diaspora, subjectivity, desire and difference within this framework.

    The programme combines key theoretical ideas with a radically new way of approaching culture in the 20th century.

    MA Gender and Culture gives you the opportunity to move from the study of femininity, modernity and representation in the culture of the twentieth century through to related studies such as film analysis, musicology and literary criticism.

    Postgraduate Diploma in Gender and Culture
    Available on a 12-month full-time or 24-month part-time basis, the Postgraduate Diploma in Gender and Culture 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.

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

    Compulsory modules
    Researching Gender provides you with the opportunity to focus on researching gender with a particular emphasis on feminist research practices. In exploring a range of disciplinary perspectives, you will focus on epistemological, methodological and ethical considerations. In particular, the course looks at these considerations with relation to research design and methods.

    The module also encourages you to think beyond disciplinary boundaries and develop an understanding of the possibilities of interdisciplinary research. You will critically analyse research practice from a gender and feminist perspective, review and appraise research findings, and synthesise information and knowledge from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary sources and perspectives.

    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.

    Dissertation allows you to tailor your own programme of training and research in consultation with a member of staff drawn from the centre'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 debates and concerns. 

    Feminist cultural theory introduces and assesses the main theoretical resources mobilised by feminist cultural analysis, including historical materialism, structuralism, semiotics, poststructuralism, discourse theory, postcolonial theory, deconstruction and psychoanalysis.

    You will examine theories of difference, gender, cultural identity and sexuality, race and class formations in relation to sexual difference and the exchange of women. The module will trace a history of the development of the main theoretical debates in feminist analysis of culture.

    Elective Modules
    In addition to the compulsory modules, you also choose a module from the following list.
    • Revisioning Histories of Modernism (Femininity, Modernity, Representation)
    • Feminist Criticism and Practice in the Contemporary Visual Arts
    • Global Genders
    • Que(e)rying Sexualities
    • Gender, Race and Culture
    • Contested Bodies
    • Gender, Communications and Popular Culture
    • German Cinema Into the New Millenium
    • Representing Women in Medieval Literature
    • Issues in Contemporary Musicology
    • Contemporary Issues in Religion and Gender

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

    Full-time students may take either three modules in Semester 1 and one in Semester 2, as well as the dissertation, or two modules in Semester 1 and two in Semester 2, as well as the dissertation.

    Part-time students have some flexibility as to when they take their modules, but we do advise candidates to consider the credit load between semesters. One pattern may be to take three modules in the first year, with two in Semester 1 and one in Semester 2. This leaves one module and the dissertation for the second year.

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