MRes Sexuality and Gender Studies

The MRes in Sexuality and Gender Studies is an example of truly interdisciplinary collaboration, staffed by academics from a range of disciplines, each bringing their specific expertise to bear on the topics under discussion.

The programme introduces you to a range of theoretical and methodological issues and debates, which have characterised the development of sexuality and gender studies in the twentieth century. These include: feminist theory, masculinity studies, queer theory, postcolonial theory, psychoanalysis, ethnography, sexology, and criminology.

Dr Charlotte Ross

Dr Charlotte Ross

“This course offers a strong, interdisciplinary grounding in a wide range of critical theories, helping students to develop their analytical skills and to gain familiarity with a diverse set of methodologies, as well as to explore their own interests in gender and sexuality. The programme opens the door to further doctoral study, or to a broad spectrum of career possibilities.”

The MRes programme focuses on research and, as such, is broken down into three modules and a thesis, totalling 180 credits:

The course aims to ensure that, at the end of the programme, you are able to:

  • Deploy relevant methodologies and theoretical discourses
  • Elaborate critical positions and engage in debate on a broad range of texts and disciplinary fields
  • Carry out independent research, even as a foundation for doctoral study

The programme provides you with sophisticated theoretical frameworks and methodologies with which to approach issues of sexuality and gender in a range of texts (literary, visual, film, dramatic) and in socio-cultural contexts. It ensures a solid methodological foundation for your own exploration of sexuality and/ or gender in your chosen area.

It also gives you the opportunity to specialise in the following (and other) chosen disciplines:

  • History of Art
  • Cultural Studies
  • Modern Languages
  • English
  • History
  • Social Science
  • Education  

Why study this course

  • The combination of a taught component and a long dissertation offers the student both consolidation of knowledge and the opportunity to undertake a sustained piece of independent research which is an ideal first step to a PhD.
  • Unlike many other programmes in this area at other institutions, this course is interdisciplinary in structure.  Many other programmes are ‘gender studies,’ ‘women’s studies’ or a specialised aspect of sexuality studies. The Birmingham programme works to combine these areas.
  • The large and diverse PhD community in Sexuality and Gender Studies operates a thriving network, ROLES, which brings together students from across the University to share ideas and research. It has hosted seminar series and two successful conferences. 

Modules

The MRes programme focuses on research and, as such, is broken down into three modules and a thesis, totalling 180 credits:

Theories, Issues and Methodologies (20 credits) - The fields of Sexuality and Gender Studies are characterised by an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural focus. This module aims to introduce students to a range of theoretical and methodological issues and debates that have characterised the development of sexuality and gender studies in the twentieth century. Students engage with the study of sexuality and gender as both analytical categories and approaches within the social sciences. This module also introduces students to feminist theory, focusing on the ontological, epistemological and methodological issues that arise in feminist scholarship.
Assessment: A 4,000 word essay

Sexuality, Gender and Representation (20 credits) - This module focuses on issues of sexuality and gender representation in theoretical, visual, and literary texts, as well as case studies, drawn from a range of disciplines. It encourages students to reflect critically upon and interrogate received categories of sexuality and gender identity that are constructed, articulated, performed and represented in a variety of texts and socio-cultural contexts. Discussion also centres on representations and embodiments of sexuality and gender that seek specifically to dismantle or to disturb received categories. The module considers sexual and gendered identities as they intersect with other aspects of individual subjectivity, such as race, ethnicity.
Assessment: A 4,000 word essay

Cultural and Gender Studies Research Methodologies  (20 credits) - This module combines generic Research Skills sessions offered by the College of Arts and Law with sessions focussed on the written assessments.
Assessment: A 4,000 word essay which provides a literature review of subject matter related to either/both cultural studies and gender studies and a 500-word research proposal for the thesis topic.

The programme is then completed with a 20,000 word, 120 credit thesis, supported by expert academic supervision.


Please note that the optional module information listed on the website for this programme is intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2018/19 are as follows:

  • UK/EU: £5,850 full-time; £2,925 part-time
  • International: £16,320 full-time

The above fees quoted are for one year only; for those studying over two or more years, tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

Fee status

Eligibility for for UK/EU or international fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students

We can also confirm that EU students who are already studying at the University of Birmingham or who have an offer to start their studies in the 2018-19 academic year will continue to be charged the UK fee rate applicable at the time, provided this continues to be permitted by UK law. The UK Government has also confirmed that students from the EU applying to courses starting in the 2018-19 academic year will not see any changes to their loan eligibility or fee status. This guarantee will apply for the full duration of the course, even if the course finishes after the UK has left the EU.

Paying your fees

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Entry requirements

Our requirements for postgraduate research are dependent on the type of programme you are applying for:

  • For MRes and MA by Research programmes, entry to our programmes usually requires a good (normally a 2:1 or above) Honours degree, or an equivalent qualification if you were educated outside the UK.
  • Applicants for a PhD will also need to hold a Masters qualification at Merit level or above (or its international equivalent).

Any academic and professional qualifications or relevant professional experience you may have are normally taken into account, and in some cases, form an integral part of the entrance requirements.

If you are applying for distance learning research programmes, you will also be required to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study by distance learning.

If your qualifications are non-standard or different from the entry requirements stated here, please contact the admissions tutor.

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

Before you make your application

Please refer to our six step process on applying for PhD, MA by Research and MRes opportunities for Arts subject areas.

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

The interdisciplinary nature of this programme means that there are a wide range of research centres, groups, and seminars across the University to which you have access.

Most obviously, you will be an integral member of the interdisciplinary network of researchers in Sexuality and Gender studies, who are pursuing exciting cutting-edge work. There is a thriving postgraduate-led forum, ROLES, which organises regular seminars, reading groups, and an annual postgraduate conference.

You will also become part of, and contribute to, the lively international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.

Assessment methods

The programme is assessed by coursework, and completed through a 20,000 word thesis.

Related research

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

 

Postgraduate employability: Modern Languages

Birmingham's Modern Languages postgraduates develop excellent communication skills, whilst cultural awareness and foreign language skills are highly sought after by employers. Postgraduates in Modern Languages also have a range of transferable skills including the ability to gather and interpret information, organisational skills and the ability to work well with others. Such skills can be used in a variety of occupations.

In 2015/16, over 95% of Modern Languages postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Some of our language graduates train to become professional linguists such as translators and interpreters. Other graduates enter employment where their language skills may be advantageous but not central to their role - for example, within international organisations or in the travel and hospitality industry - and some go on to teaching or lecturing positions. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: Berlitz Language Centre; TransPerfect Global Business Solutions; KPMG; University of Birmingham; University of Cambridge; and University of Oxford.

Birmingham has been transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Get involved

In addition to the student groups hosted by the Guild of Students, each school runs its own social activities, research fora, seminars and groups for postgraduates.

Accommodation

Coming to Birmingham to study might be your first time living away from home. Our student accommodation will allow you to enjoy your new-found independence in safe, welcoming and sociable surroundings.

Support in your studies

We offer an Academic Writing Advisory Service, which aims to help your transition to postgraduate research. The service offers guidance on organising your ideas and structuring an argument, referencing and avoiding plagiarism, being clear and coherent and editing your work for academic style and linguistic accuracy. Individual support is provided by a professional academic writing advisor via tutorials or email, as well as through the provision of online materials.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and cultures, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work. Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.