Sexuality and Gender Studies PGCert (Distance Learning)

Start date
Part time; 1 year
Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Distance learning, Taught

Fees for 2024 entry:
UK: £3,780
International: £7,770


The PGCert in Sexuality and Gender Studies offers a truly interdisciplinary approach to Sexuality and Gender Studies via online learning, designed and delivered by world-leading experts in the field.

The programme introduces you to all the main currents of thought, both historical and contemporary, covering feminist, sexuality, gender, intersectionality, critical race, and related branches of studies. Equal weight is given to Sexuality Studies and Gender Studies, enabling you to explore both areas in depth.

You will also access training in methods and skills to improve your ability and confidence in essay writing, presentation of ideas, scholarly research, and critical thinking.

My supervisors are extremely supportive and understanding, while there is a great sense of community.


Why study this course?

  • Explore both Sexuality and Gender: Our unique programme enables you to study equal amounts of Sexuality Studies and Gender Studies. You'll gain an in-depth, interdisciplinary understanding of both areas. 
  • Range of critical theories: all main currents of thought, both historical and contemporary, are covered. This includes: feminist, sexuality, gender, intersectionality, critical race, and related branches of studies. 
  • Flexibility: All our learning materials and methods are available online so you can study at home and achieve a qualification alongside other commitments. You also have the benefit of developing your career without leaving employment.
  • Study from anywhere in the world: You can access the online course material from anywhere in the world, so if you change jobs or even move countries, you can continue your studies. Find out more about distance learning in the College of Arts and Law. 

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.


The PGCert consists of three core modules:

Core 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 you to a range of theoretical and methodological issues and debates that have characterised the development of sexuality and gender studies in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. 
Assessment: 4,000-word essay (100%)

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 where ‘representation’ has political meaning. 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.
Assessment: 4,000-word essay (100%)

Research Methods in Sexuality and Gender Studies

This module is designed to equip you with the academic writing, research and related skills required to thrive in postgraduate study. The material is designed to give you confidence in your methodological approach. This module is taught in term 1 and assessed in term 2, also supporting you with the assessments for modules 1 and 2.
Assessment: 10 - 15 minute recorded presentation (100%)


We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2024 entry are as follows:
UK: £3,780
International: £7,770

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.

How To Apply


Application deadlines

The deadline for International students (requiring a VISA) to apply is 30 June 2024. The deadline for UK students is 30 August 2024.

Making your application

Our Standard Requirements

We usually ask for a good bachelors degree in any subject (normally a 2.1 or above), or an equivalent qualification if you were educated outside of the UK. A writing sample may be required for applicants who have a lower qualification.

International/EU students

Academic requirements: 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, 20 Listening, 22 Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 67 with no less than 64 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

International Requirements

Our study materials are produced by academic staff in our department and are available online through the University's 'virtual learning environment', Canvas.

These include: asynchronous lectures, short videos and guided reading. Support from your tutors and opportunities to interact with your peers will be available through the discussion forums on Canvas. 

Although much of the course is delivered through the virtual learning environment, support is always available. You will have a personal tutor to guide you and answer any questions, and you will be able to consult academic staff in Birmingham via video software such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

Each module represents up to 200 hours of study time, including preparatory reading, assignment preparation and independent study.

The University of Birmingham is the top choice for the UK's major employers searching for graduate recruits, according to The Graduate Market 2024 report.

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: Sexuality and Gender Studies

The modules on this programme embed the relevance of theories and issues studied in a range of contemporary contexts which will help you see how your training might fit in the world of work: for instance in the not-for-profit sector or EDI training professions.  

The training in presenting information, critical thinking, and independent time management offer transferable skills for many professional contexts. Such skills are also beneficial for further academic study. Tutors will offer advice and support to those wishing to pursue Masters or doctoral level study.