Skip to main content

Gender Studies

About the major

Gender Studies offers you interdisciplinary perspectives on how gender shapes formal knowledge, social institutions and everyday experience. Historically, Gender Studies draws principally on the fields of Literary Studies, Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology but it now interacts closely with Anthropology, Law, Medicine, the natural sciences and Social Work, and indeed almost every Humanities and Social Science discipline.

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.

A major in Gender Studies will equip you with critical insight and flexible interdisciplinary research and writing skills that provide a complement to degrees in Arts and Social Sciences, Law, Psychology, Nursing and Medicine, preparing you for further research and assisting in enhancing career prospects in these fields and beyond. It will also give you the ability to comprehend diversity issues which is a key workplace competency. It equips you to become informed and engaged critical thinkers in relation to important contemporary cultural issues and everyday experiences related to gender, and encourages good writing skills. We train students in ethical scholarly conduct and appropriate techniques for engaging in critique. 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). You will learn values of intellectual generosity and critical engagement through studying how power operates discursively.

Graduates with a major in Gender Studies generally go on to careers that require an understanding of gender and sexuality, especially but not only in the governmental and NGO sectors, in legal areas, education and in media and communications. Gender Studies complements other majors in Arts and Social Sciences and degrees in Law, Psychology, Social Work, Education, and Health.

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/coursework unit chosen from an approved 4000 level suite.
  • The final assessment involves 60 percent thesis and 40 precent coursework (20 percent ATP + 20 percent elective seminar).
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 Humanitties.