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Gender Studies

About the major

Gender Studies offers you perspectives on how gender shapes knowledge, social institutions and everyday experience. 

Gender Studies has transformed the study of social life in all fields by its interdisciplinary focus on sex, gender and sexuality and it is a crucial foundation for fields like Film and Media Studies or more policy oriented pursuits. It draws on and influences Literary Studies, Philosophy, Sociology and indeed almost every Humanities and Social Science discipline as gender is of central importance to human experience and social relations.

A major in Gender Studies will equip you with critical insight and flexible interdisciplinary research and writing skills that provide a complement not only to degrees in Arts and Social Sciences, but fields such as Law, Psychology, Nursing and Medicine. It can prepare you for further research and enhance careers in a range of fields by cultivating your ability to comprehend diversity issues, which is a key workplace competency today. It equips you to become well-informed thinkers able to engage with important contemporary cultural issues related to identity, and encourages good writing skills. Students will understand what cultural competence means in different contexts. (Students interested in engaging with cultural diversity in particular have the option of pursuing a minor in Diversity Studies, also coordinated by the Discipline of Gender and Cultural Studies).  We train students in ethical scholarly conduct and appropriate techniques for engaging in critique while maintaining intellectual generosity by understanding the dynamics of identity and difference and how power operates discursively.

Graduates with a major in Gender Studies generally go on to careers that benefit from an understanding of gender and sexuality, especially but not only in the governmental and NGO sectors, in legal areas, education, health, social work and roles in the culture, media and communications sector. 

Requirements for completion

The Gender Studies major and minor requirements are listed in the Gender Studies unit of study table.

Advanced coursework

Requirements and units of study for advanced coursework can be found on the advanced coursework units of study page.


The Honours program gives students an opportunity to refine their thinking to a very high degree, pursuing an independent research topic that will be of deep interest to them. The thesis is an extended piece of research on an approved topic of the student's choosing, and is written under the individual supervision of a member of staff who will be an active researcher in their own right. The thesis gives students the experience of formulating and conducting a substantial piece of independent research, working closely with a supervisor who helps to bring their reflections and research into sharper focus. It is thus a key means of demonstrating the attributes required for further study.

The Honours year consists of:

  • 18000-20000 word thesis on a topic devised by the student in consultation with a supervisor appointed by the discipline;
  • Participation in an Honours mini-conference where constructive peer review is given and received on a 20 minute thesis presentation;
  • Completion of Arguing the Point (ATP), a unit which provides training in thesis research and writing and includes a series of practical research skills; and
  • A seminar unit SOFH4001 Breakthroughs in the Humanities
  • The final assessment involves 60 percent thesis and 40 precent coursework 20% WMST6902  + 20% SOFH4001.
Honours admission requirements

Admission to Honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies or Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and requires the completion of a major in Gender Studies with an average of 70 percent or above.

Prior to commencing honours, you will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Arts or other bachelor degree, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and a second major (which may be Cultural Studies).

Requirements and units of study for honours can be found on the Gender Studies honours units of study page.

Contacts and further information

More information and current contact details for academic coordinators may be found on the Discipline of Gender and Cultural Studies website.

The Discipline of Gender and Cultural Studies is administered by the School of Humanities.