MRes Sexuality and Gender Studies

Start date
September
Duration
Full time: 1 year
Course Type
Postgraduate, Combined research and taught
Fees

Annual tuition fee for 2020/21: £6,120
International: £17,880
More detail.

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 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.

College of Arts and Law postgraduate scholarships available

The College of Arts and Law is offering a range of scholarships for our postgraduate taught and research programmes to ensure that the very best talent is nurtured and supported.

Learn more about our scholarships

My supervisors are extremely supportive and understanding, while there is a great sense of community on campus. The research culture here at Birmingham is thriving and it is exciting to be part of that.

Daisy

Why Study this Course?

  • The combination of a taught component and a thesis offers students 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. 

The postgraduate experience

The College of Arts and Law offers excellent support to its postgraduates, from libraries and research spaces, to careers support and funding opportunities. Learn more about your postgraduate experience.


Modules

The MRes programme features three taught modules, followed by a 20,000-word thesis. 

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.

Taught modules

Theories, Issues and Methodologies of Sexuality and Gender

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: 4,000-word essay

Sexuality, Gender and Representation

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: 4,000-word essay

Cultural and Gender Studies Research Methodologies

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.

Thesis

The programme is completed with a 20,000-word 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

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:

  • UK/EU: £6,120 full-time; £3,060 part-time
  • International: £17,880 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 UK/EU or international fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students


For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

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.

How To Apply

Application deadlines

The deadline for International students to apply is Wednesday 1 July 2020. The deadline for UK/EU students is Thursday 10 September 2020.

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, which includes detailed advice on research proposals and how to write them.

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


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, usually in a relevant area.
  • Applicants for a PhD will also need to hold a Masters qualification at Merit level or above (or its international equivalent), usually in a relevant area.

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

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries - use our handy guide below to see what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements: standard language requirements apply for this course - IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band. If you are made an offer of a place to study and you do not meet the language requirement, you have the option to enrol on our English for Academic Purposes Presessional Course - if you successfully complete the course, you will be able to fulfil the language requirement without retaking a language qualification.

IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 21 Listening, 22 Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced - minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

Learn more about international entry requirements

Enquiries about PhD Sexuality and Gender Studies in the Humanities (e.g. Cultural Studies, History, Literary/ Film Studies, etc.) should be addressed to Prof. Lisa Downing:

Enquiries about PhD Sexuality and Gender Studies in the Social Sciences (e.g. Politics, Sociology, Psychology, etc.) should be addressed to Dr Emma Foster.

Academic staff with interests in sexuality and gender studies include:

Related research

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.

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for your future career, but this can also be enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University and the College of Arts and Law.

The University's Careers Network provides expert guidance and activities especially for postgraduates, which will help you achieve your career goals. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated  careers and employability team who offer tailored advice and a programme of College-specific careers events.

You will be encouraged to make the most of your postgraduate experience and will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive one-to-one careers advice, including guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique, whether you are looking for a career inside or outside of academia
  • Meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs and employer presentations
  • Attend an annual programme of careers fairs, skills workshops and conferences, including bespoke events for postgraduates in the College of Arts and Law
  • Take part in a range of activities to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers and enhance your CV

What’s more, you will be able to access our full range of careers support for up to 2 years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Modern Languages

Our Modern Languages postgraduates develop excellent communication skills, cultural awareness and foreign language skills - all highly sought after by employers at home or abroad. 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.

The latest data shows that 85% of Modern Languages postgraduates were in work and/or further study 6 months after graduation (DLHE 2017). Many of our graduates enter roles for which their programme prepared them, such as language teaching oe translation. Others use their transferable skills in a wide range of occupations including publishing, executive research and project management. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include Language Connect, RWS Group, TransPerfect Global Business Solutions, University of Birmingham, University of Cambridge and University of Oxford.