Honours in Gender Studies
To proceed to fourth year Honours in Gender Studies students must have a credit average in Senior level Gender Studies units (including cross-listed units) totalling at least 48 Senior Credit Points.
From 2015 onwards, applicants will need an average of 70 or above.
The Honours year consists of: a 15000 word thesis on a topic devised by the student in consultation with a supervisor appointed by the department; a methods unit that provides training in thesis research and writing and includes a series of practical research skills workshops; participation in the Honours mini-conference; and at least six research skills seminars chosen from a list that changes from semester to semester.
You apply to undertake Honours via Sydney Student, and your Honours program must also be approved by the Honours co-ordinator.
Important note: meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee you entry into the Honours programme. Honours places can only be granted where there is supervisory capacity.
For Honours in Gender Studies, students should enroll in:
|Core Units of Study
||Time and Location
|GCST4015||Gender Studies Honours A
(Arguing the Point)
|GCST4016||Gender Studies Honours B
||Choose from semesters and
seminars listed below
|GCST4017||Gender Studies Honours C
||Choose from semesters and
seminars listed below
|GCST4018||Gender Studies Honours D
||Thesis unit (no seminar)|
In 2014, students choose from the following seminar options:
Arguing the Point (compulsory for Honours students)
Dr Ruth Barcan
This seminar aims to introduce students to a range of research practices and methods, writing styles and forms of argumentation. Through the study of different examples of Gender and Cultural Studies research, we will seek to encourage students to develop their own research practices and writing skills. Students who are writing their thesis will be encouraged to experiment with different ways of arguing and writing their research. Students who are just starting will have the opportunity to develop their ideas.
Gender in Cultural Theory
Prof Elspeth Probyn
For Honours students, enrolment in this unit is by permission only. Please email Prof Probyn to make a request.
What is the relation between femininity, masculinity and culture? Does sexual difference affect our identity and, if so, how and in what circumstances? Does it affect our relations with others? Is there any link between cultural and racial difference and sexual difference? What contexts may shape such links? Where does equality fit into all this? Drawing on the work of major cultural theorists and feminist thinkers this unit examines various theoretical conceptualizations and popular representations of gender; the issue of embodiment; and how sex and race are articulated within gendered conceptual frames.
Dr Anthea Taylor
This unit examines cultural policy across a range of sectors such as museums and heritage, the arts, media, and the 'cultural industries'. It will provide theoretical perspectives and practical insight into policy formation processes in Australia and internationally. The multiple actors and rationales that shape policy and ground claims for its relevance amid social change and cultural diversity are considered. Students learn how to analyse policies in relation to the institutional, social and political contexts of their emergence.
Key Thinkers for Cultural Studies
Based on close reading of individual authors, this unit introduces students with limited background in cultural theory to key thinkers for contemporary cultural studies. Students will learn about the influence of such theoretical fields as Western Marxism, psychoanalysis and feminism on cultural studies as well as how to relate cultural research to the cross-disciplinary traditions of structuralism and post-structuralism as these have been taken up in different intellectual contexts around the world.
Gender, Media and Consumer Societies
Dr Jane Park
This unit examines theories of consumption in regards to cultural and media products and practices. From the basis of sociology, cultural studies and gender theories, we will critically analyse different forms of belonging and identity that are created through these practices. We will also pay close attention to the critiques of globalisation and consumption, theories of the 'citizen consumer' and the realities of geo-political and economic inequalities that underpin many forms of consumption. The unit focuses on theories of culture, media and consumption, principally through the analyses of case studies.
Modernism, Modernity and Modern Culture
Dr Catherine Driscoll
This unit examines ideas about the modern and modernity as they continue to impact on contemporary cultural analysis. Beginning with post-Enlightenment philosophy, we will consider a range of roughly twentieth-century ideas we have come to identify with 'modernity', 'modernism' and 'postmodernism'. The unit focuses on how these concepts are used in a wide range of academic disciplines and other cultural fields, including popular culture, media, practices of museums and galleries, literature, philosophy, and the social sciences.
Identity Place and Culture
This unit familiarises students with contemporary ideas and debates concerning cultural identity, community and location, with an emphasis on diversity and difference in contemporary Australian culture but placed in an international context by the wider field of cultural studies. It will focus on contemporary case studies to enable students to explore theories of identity, community and cultural location and develop appropriate and effective means of analysing contemporary cultural identities and practices.
Natures and Cultures of Bodies
Dr Kane Race
This advanced unit explores new approaches to embodiment in the wake of contemporary theories of biopolitics, or the politics of life. Drawing on new work in science studies as well as theories of embodiment, it equips students with a fully materialist approach to the analysis of nature, culture and bodies. The body is approached as an object of knowledge and power, as always implicated with technologies, as an organisation of affects and as a medium of experimentation. We also develop ways of accounting for the activity of nonhuman actors in the worlds and practices in which humans participate. The unit combines theoretical reflection with case studies of bodily practices, cultures, subcultures and technologies.
Debates in Cultural Studies
Dr Guy Redden
For Honours students, enrolment in this unit is by permission only. Please email to make a request.
This unit explores key debates in cultural studies as an exploration of its core concepts. Unit content will vary from year to year in response to current issues in Australian cultural studies, but will also cover foundational debates in the discipline, including the relation between ideology and mass culture, between taste and habitus, and between changing media technologies and models of subjectivity. It will also consider ethical debates over theory and practice and the institutionalisation of cultural studies.
Mid year entry and part time enrolment
Mid-year entry is allowed for this degree, and it is also possible to take Honours part time.
All students wishing to apply for Honours must to apply via the Courses online website. Instructions can be found here.
If you are interested in applying, you are encouraged to discuss your application with the departmental Honours coordinator before submitting your application
Registration with the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies
Students also need to register with the Department itself. Each student’s program of seminars and thesis topic must be approved by the Honours co-ordinator, who will sign the student’s registration form. The completed form should be emailed to the co-ordinator by Wednesday 23 April 2014 (for entry in July 2014) or Wednesday 22 October 2014 (for entry in 2015). It’s possible to change your seminar choices before semester begins, but we do need an indication of what your program will be. Download registration form here
The Department complies with the Faculty’s Honours grade descriptors which apply to all Honours work.
Faculty Honours Grade Descriptors
80-100: First Class (I)
Work demonstrating the highest levels of accomplishment and intellectual autonomy that can be expected from an undergraduate student. An overall Honours mark of 90 or higher is a requirement for the award of a University Medal, though Medals are not automatically awarded to students with overall results of 90 or more.
In many fields of the humanities and social sciences, a mark in this range indicates substantial and innovative research; wide and deep reading in the scholarly literature; sophisticated, perceptive, and original interpretations of data, documentary evidence, fieldwork, literary texts, or works of art; and a very high level of independent thought and argument.
In work written in a language other than English, a mark in this range indicates an excellent level of grammatical accuracy, syntactical sophistication, and nuance in use of vocabulary and register.
Work that demonstrates a very high level of proficiency in the methodologies, subject matter, and modes of expression and argumentation appropriate to the field or fields studied. Work in this range shows strong promise for doctoral study.
In many fields of the humanities and social sciences, a mark in this range indicates substantial original research; wide and deep reading in the scholarly literature; a very high level of skill in interpreting data, documentary evidence, fieldwork, literary texts, or works of art; and a high level of independent thought.
In work written in a language other than English, a mark in this range indicates a very high level of grammatical accuracy with only some mistakes, as well as syntactical sophistication, and nuance in use of vocabulary and register.
Work that demonstrates a high level of proficiency in the methodologies, subject matter, and modes of expression and argumentation appropriate to the field or fields studied, and shows potential for doctoral study.
In many fields of the humanities and social sciences, a mark in this range can indicate thorough research; a firm grasp of the relevant scholarly literature; and a high level of skill in interpreting data, documentary evidence, fieldwork, literary texts, or works of art.
In work written in a language other than English, a mark in this range indicates a very high level of grammatical accuracy with few mistakes and only very rare basic errors, with vocabulary and syntax varied and expression highly coherent and well structured.
75-79: Second Class, First Division (II.1)
Work that demonstrates a generally sound knowledge of the methodologies, subject matter, and modes of expression and argumentation appropriate to the field or fields studied.
In many fields of the humanities and social sciences, a mark in this range can indicate solid research; a firm grasp of the relevant scholarly literature; and competent interpretations of data, documentary evidence, fieldwork, literary texts, or works of art. However, work in this range may also show evidence of a higher level of independent thought combined with some significant lapses in research or expression.
In work written in a language other than English, a mark in this range indicates a high standard of grammatical accuracy with few mistakes and only very rare basic errors, with vocabulary and syntax varied and expression highly coherent and well structured.
70-74: Second Class, Second Division (II.2)
Work that demonstrates an adequate but limited performance in the methodologies, subjects, and/or languages studied.
In many fields of the humanities and social sciences, a mark in this range can indicate an adequate general knowledge of the subject from the reading of both primary material and secondary literature, straightforward argumentation, and clear expression. A mark in this range may also reflect a superior performance in one or more of these areas combined with serious lapses in others.
In work written in a language other than English, a mark in this range indicates a good standard of grammatical accuracy, albeit with some mistakes, including occasional basic ones; the work shows a good grasp of complex sentence structures and an appropriately varied vocabulary.
65-69: Third Class (III)
Work only barely above the standard of pass-degree work in the field studied. A mark in this range indicates a basic but limited understanding of the methodologies and subject matter of the field or fields studied, and skills in argument and expression that are only just adequate for Honours-level study and research.
Honours not awarded.