Gender Studies Major

Current students: To see the requirements for your major please see the Faculty Handbook for the year in which you enrolled.
- Current year's handbook
- Handbook archive


Gender Studies offers you a unique interdisciplinary perspective on how gender shapes both formal knowledge and everyday experience. Not a day passes where issues of gender and sexuality are not contested, in parliament, in sports, in religion, in schools, in everyday life. As a foundational concept in all human societies, past and present, gender has emerged as one of the most important areas of enquiry in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Students will gain research, critical analysis and writing skills that will assist in opening up a range of career prospects, such as law, the sciences, the arts, government and policy-making, advocacy and international relations.

About the Gender Studies Major

A major in Gender Studies enriches our understanding of the practices, performances, knowledge systems and representations that inform our understanding of masculinity, femininity, transgender, sexuality and identity. It provides a framework for considering wide-ranging social issues, from debates about marriage equality and new forms of intimacy, to gendered forms of labour, violence, and media practices. Importantly, we also focus on how gender intersects with other salient experiences such as race, coloniality, sexuality, class, ability, and species. A major in Gender Studies will equip you with flexible interdisciplinary research and writing skills that complement degrees in Arts and Social Sciences, Law, Psychology, Nursing and Medicine, and will assist in enhancing career prospects in these fields and beyond.

Pathways through the major

A major in Gender Studies requires 48 credit points, including 6 credit points from core units and 6 credit points from selective units of study at 1000 level, 12 credit points of units at 2000 level, 18 credit points of units of study at 3000 level, and 6 credit points of a 3000-level interdisciplinary project unit.

A minor in Gender Studies requires 36 credit points, including 6 credit points from core units and 6 credit points from selective units of study at 1000 level, 12 credit points of units at 2000 level, and 12 credit points of 3000 level units of study.

Units of study for these pathways are listed in the Gender Studies subject area table in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Undergraduate Handbook. The table shows units of study on offer in the current handbook year. You may find information regarding a full list of units of study available on the Departmental website

First year units (1000 level)

In first year you will complete GCST1602 Introduction to Gender Studies plus at least one of the other units below:

  • GCST1601: Introduction to Cultural Studies demonstrates how media representations and cultural practices convey meanings that inform our everyday social and cultural world. While drawing upon students’ existing cultural literacies and providing contextual information about Cultural Studies approaches, it provides students with concepts and techniques of analysis that enable them to debate critical issues through the interpretation of cultural texts.
  • GCST1603: Screen Cultures and Gender: Film to Apps traces the history of screen cultures from film to apps, focusing on how popular media is used to produce and represent masculinity and femininity. Students will consider cinema, television, videogames, the internet and mobile devices, asking how changing media forms and practices impact on our gendered identities and everyday lives.
  • GCST1604: Introduction to Diversity Studies acquaints students with a range of debates on diversity informed by dis/ability, race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality. It will appeal to students interested in social, economic and cultural marginalisation and new social demands for inclusion.
Second year units (2000 level)

You can choose from a range of 2000 level units of study that are designed to broaden your knowledge of issues related to the study of gender, including sexuality and identity, theories of intimacy and friendship, sexuality and violence, constructions of masculinity and the intersection of gender with environmental issues. Progression is achieved through both breadth and depth, allowing you to explore the diversity of approaches to the study of gender, sexuality and identity while developing analytical and critical thinking skills.

Third year units (3000 level)

3000 level units of study extend the research and learning experience for students. These options build on first and second year areas of study, and include examination of sexuality, queer theory, the body and ideas of intimacy, community and belonging, but allow for a greater depth of focus either through the use of sophisticated theoretical tools or research methods, or both.

Fourth year - Honours or Advanced Coursework in Gender Studies

For fourth year Honours or Advanced Coursework in Gender Studies, you will need to complete the major in Gender Studies with a (70+) average and a second major in another program of study.