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MA Gender, Sexuality and Queer Theory

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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, Sexuality and Queer Theory aims to provide an awareness of, and a sensitivity to, gender issues as they relate to sexuality and queer theory.

    The course examines the relationship between genders and sexualities, and explores the histories of sexualities, their medicalisations and political struggles. You will investigate whether queer theory can sufficiently account for power differentials between men and women in their sexual relationships.

    You will consider what transsexuality, transgenderism and intersexuality, as well as anthropological studies of 'third genders', can say about the norms of sexuality we are encouraged to accept.

    This course aims to critically interrogate the ways in which we come to think about sexualities as natural and rooted in biological sex and socially constructed genders.
    Postgraduate Diploma in Gender, Sexuality and Queer Theory
    Available on a 12-month full-time or 24-month part-time basis, the Postgraduate Diploma in Gender, Sexuality and Queer Theory 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 Studies is available on a 12-month full-time or 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.

    Que(e)ring Sexualities examines gender and sexuality as effects of historically specific socio-cultural and geo-political power relations. You will investigate the key theoretical concepts in the study of gender, sexuality and queer theory, and use interdisciplinary approaches to challenge normalisations, hierarchies and relations of domination.

    You will also explore the powerful processes and languages that fix gender and sexuality as 'natural', and examines how these powerful ideas come to affect the lives intimacies and politics of queer subjects.

    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.

    Elective modules
    In addition to the compulsory modules, you also choose a module from the following list. 
    • Post-colonial Representations
    • Global Genders
    • Gender, Race & Culture
    • Contested Bodies
    • Gender, Communications and Popular Culture
    • Gender and Sexuality in World Cinema
    • Issues in Contemporary Musicology
    • Race, Gender and Migration
    • Identity, Ethnicity and 'Race' in the Luso-Hispano World
    • The Regulation of Sexuality in Spain and Latin America
    • 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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