Duration: 1 year full time
Institution code: R72
UK fees*: £10,600
International/EU fees**: £19,100
Gender Studies: International Relations pathway (MSc)
MSc Gender Studies is a unique interdisciplinary degree that provides you with critical, advanced knowledge of gender research, theory and practice, based in contemporary intersectional gender and sexuality studies, while also allowing you to develop specialist knowledge in international relations.
Studying MSc Gender Studies & International Relations will help you understand how gender, sexuality and identity constitute global politics. Studying this inter-disciplinary degree closely aligned with our Gender Institute and our Department of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy means that you will learn from internationally renowned experts specialised in gender research and IR. You’ll have close contact with the academic staff teaching on the course and you’ll receive individual support from your personal tutor from the gender studies teaching team whilst being able to tailor your degree to your interests. You will be able to choose from a range of optional modules covering a range of topics such gender and protest, international security, analysing international politics, to name a few. Through the MSc Gender Studies & International Relations you will:
- Gain a critical awareness of gender activism
- Study general gender studies modules and specialise in your subject of choice
- Explore how gender inequalities operate in global politics, international security and conflict, in international settings and across various regions of the world
- Learn about gender and IR while gaining research skills tailored to your interests and future projects
This module is designed to provide an intersectional understanding of gender theory, attending to inequalities between women as well as between women and men, and the structures, ideas, and practices that (re)produce them. Students will gain an understanding from a variety of different disciplinary perspectives, across the humanities, arts, social sciences, and sciences and will engage with how genders and sexualities matter in everyday contexts; how gender is lived and experienced; the conceptual and practical interdependence of genders and other key social and political concepts; the dimensions of gender-based and sexual violence; women’s agency; and the social construction of masculinities and femininities.
This interdisciplinary module will introduce students to gender studies research and discuss the diverse methodological approaches undertaken by gender studies scholars. It examines the ontological and epistemological commitments that underpin feminist approaches to methodology as well as provides an introduction to research design and quantitative and qualitative methods and feminist critiques thereof. The modules is structured themes around knowing and researching gender, designing a research project in gender studies, which kind of questions to ask, ethical gender research including general ethics principles and feminist ethics, and sex and gender as a variable, discourse, narrative and a social construct.
The module will address the practices of gender research, gender activism and the practices of living gender and gendering across a wide variety of professional situations. Teaching will include the unique ways in which gender perspectives, feminist theory and queer theory combine theory and methodology into practice. Students will be provided with the opportunity to individually and collectively perform several practices of gender theories and gender research that are discussed in the classroom.
This module is designed for you to carry out a piece of independent research supervised by a member of the gender studies academic staff. The 10,000 – 12,000 words dissertation should engage in-depth with a topic or question in gender studies from a theoretical, empirical or practice-based point of view. You will submit a short research outline in the spring term, which is used to assign a supervisor with relevant expertise. Workshops will be arranged during the academic year to discuss requirements and how to manage a dissertation project and best-practice for writing. The dissertation will be submitted at the end of August.
This module will describe the key principles of academic integrity, focusing on university assignments. Plagiarism, collusion and commissioning will be described as activities that undermine academic integrity, and the possible consequences of engaging in such activities will be described. Activities, with feedback, will provide you with opportunities to reflect and develop your understanding of academic integrity principles.
There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.
You will choose 15 credits/one module from the three optional Gender Studies modules (two will be run each year)
- Body and Embodiment
- Gender, Power and Protest
- Gender and Technologies
and 60 credits from International Relations themed optional modules offered by the Department of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy (PIRP).
Indicative modules offered by PIRP include:
This module will provide you with an advanced grounding in the key concepts and idea employed in the analysis of international relations. You will explore the ways in which the international system in which we live is not a timeless reality, but rather a particular, socially and historically constructed way of organising human affairs. You will develop an understanding of the key concepts, problems and theories of International Relations and how they inform our normative understanding of world politics, seeing how far these ideas measure up to historical events and processes which they claim to describe and explain. You will also assess the claims made today that world politics is now undergoing fundamental change as the ‘Westphalian system’ is dissolved by the forces of globalisation.
This module introduces you to how the area of security studies has evolved to include ever more transnational dynamics. You will see how scholars have traditionally understood security and how the study of security has developed. You will develop a theoretical and conceptual awareness of the practical issues and problems in Transnational Security Studies, exploring why security has become transnational. You will also look at security communities, alliances and collective security; global security governance; and cyber warfare.
The module aims to give an advanced grounding in the central ideas and concepts in contemporary Anglo-American political theory, enabling you to engage in its ongoing debates, and to acquire a sense of the state of the discipline as a whole. Attention will be paid to some of the main ideas and concepts of contemporary political theory, including political obligation, punishment, egalitarianism, meritocracy, human rights, and global justice. Throughout, we will explore how different thinkers have offered different theoretical articulations of these ideas, as well as their practical implications. The module aims to enable you to offer critiques and commentary of various positions in contemporary political theory, and to develop your own ideas.
- Gender and Global Politics
- Gender and Nationalism in the Middle East and South Asia
This module will introduce you to advanced quantitative methods that address common problems such as non-linearity of data, multicollinearity in time-series data, causality and experiments. Through the seminar exercises and the assignments, you will gain not only a theoretical but also a practical understanding of quantitative methods and how these can be used in research. In this way, the module is envisaged to set you up for success in your MSc dissertation.
This module expands on the qualitative methods taught in the first term. It explores the ways in which scholars in politics and International Relations engage in qualitative research. Each week we will explore one type of object for analysis and several methods of analysing it. We will explore grounded research, discourse and narrative analysis, case studies, visuals, emotions and archives and we will ask questions about knowledge and power, decolonisation and critical explication.
Teaching & assessment
Teaching and learning are mostly by means of lectures; seminars; workshops and tutorials. Depending on your choice of optional modules assessment of knowledge and understanding is typically by essays, formal examinations and review papers, as well as your dissertation.
UK Lower Class Honours (2:2) or equivalent degree in an essay-based subject.
Professional experience as a gender advisor or in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion may also be considered.
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
MSc Gender Studies: International Relations requires:
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
- TOEFL iBT: 88 overall, with Reading 18 Listening 17 Speaking 20 Writing 26.
- Duolingo: 120 overall, 135 in Literacy, 135 in Production and no sub-score below 100.
Your future career
Upon completion of the programme, you’ll be equipped for doctoral studies as well as careers in various sectors that centre gender, inclusion, diversity and equality. This includes jobs in government as well as the private sector, within the UK and internationally.
Fees, funding & scholarships
Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £10,600
EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £19,100
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course
* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year.
All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. Please be aware that tuition fees can rise during your degree (if longer than one year’s duration). This means that the overall cost of studying the course part-time will be slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year.
** This figure is the fee for EU and international students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25. Find out more
*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2024/25 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.