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Gender and Women's History

This area of specialisation in gender and women's history is the continuation of Royal Holloway's internationally-recognized and prestigious former 'Women, Gender, Culture' programme that was set up in 1990 and was the first of its kind to be established in the UK.  Now in its third decade, this area of specialisation is still proving immensely successful and popular, having produced world-class scholars who are themselves in post in British and American universities, as well as in schools, museums, media, broadcasting, publishing and PR.   It is offered in the History Department, but with the collaboration of other departments at Royal Holloway (e.g. English, Classics), and other History MAs in the University of London. 

This area of specialisation explores the mental and material worlds of European women and men from the Middle Ages to the present, and examines the way the meanings of masculinity and femininity have changed over time. It allows students to address a range of methodological issues from the application of feminist theory to the use of gender-specific historical sources. Together students and tutors aim to set the intellectual agenda of gender history for the next generation.

The Royal Holloway MA is recognised by the AHRC and many of our students have been funded by AHRC awards.


Students will 

Take the two MA History half-unit core courses

Take four optional half units from among the following courses (subject to availability):

  • Women and the Crusades 1000-1300
  • Women in England 1300-1500
  • Material Culture of Domestic Life:  European Households 1400-1800
  • The English Court 1485-1603
  • The Body of the Renaissance and Early Modern Europe
  • Gendering the Modern Islamic World
  • Women in Classical Antiquity
  • Public Decency and Private Morals:  Twentieth-Century British History
  • Fin de Siecle:  Sex, 'Race' and Literary Culture in Britain 1880-1990
  • "Behind the Veil":  The Age of the Victorians
           Intercollegiate courses include:     
    • Women, Gender and British Society in Modern Britain since 1900 (King's)
    • Eighteenth-Century Women in England:  Expressions and Possibilities (Queen Mary)
    • A New World for Women:  Twentieth-Century Feminism and Citizenship (Goldsmiths)

    Write a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words.

    The courses are taken in the autumn and spring terms.

    The bulk of the work for the dissertation is done during the summer. 


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