Gender Studies


A major in Gender Studies offers you a unique interdisciplinary perspective on how gender shapes both formal knowledge and everyday experience. Since Simone de Beauvoir first announced, ‘One is not born a woman, one becomes one’, the study of gender has emerged as one of the most important areas of enquiry in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

A major in Gender Studies enriches our knowledge of the practices, performances and representations that inform our understanding of masculinity, femininity, sexuality and identity and provides an important framework for considering social issues, ranging from debates about marriage equality and new forms of intimacy to gendered forms of labour, violence and representational practices. A major in Gender Studies will equip you with interdisciplinary research and writing skills that provide an important complement to degrees in Arts and Social Sciences, Law, Psychology, Nursing and Medicine and will assist in enhancing career prospects in these disciplines and fields.

Major outline

A major in Gender Studies requires 36 senior credit points, including at least 12 credit points from core units of study at 2000 level and at least 6 credit points of core units of study at 3000 level.

Junior units of study (1000 level):
In first year you will complete GCST1602 Introduction to Gender Studies and GCST1601 Introduction to Cultural Studies. You may replace one or both of these units with any junior units from Anthropology or Sociology or PHIL1011 Reality, Ethics and Beauty, PHIL1013 Society, Knowledge and Self, ENGL1008 Australian Texts: International Contexts or ENGL1026 Constructing the Fictive Self.

GCST1602 Introduction to Gender Studies familiarises students with foundational concepts in the study of gender, including how gender organises our lives, bodies, sexualities and desires.

Senior units of study (2000 and 3000 level):
You can choose from a range of senior intermediate (2000 level) units of study that are designed to broaden your knowledge of issues related to the study of gender, including sexuality and identity, sexuality and violence, theories of intimacy and friendship and masculinity. You complete a minimum of 12 credit points at 2000 level from core units of study.

Progression is achieved through both breadth and depth, allowing you to explore the diversity of approaches to the study of gender, sexuality and identity.

Senior-advanced (3000 level) units of study extend the research and learning experience for students. These options build on junior and senior-intermediate areas of study, including 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. For a major in Gender Studies you complete a minimum of 6 credit points of core units at 3000 level.

Graduate opportunities

Sydney Arts and Social Sciences graduates work in government departments at all levels, and major private sector consultancies and corporations, locally and overseas. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers a range of subject areas that prepare graduates for careers in administration, education, business research, marketing, media, management consultancy, public relations, gallery and museum curatorship, hospitality and tourism, community and welfare. Our graduates are proficient in research and inquiry, and demonstrate personal and intellectual autonomy, and ethical, social and professional understanding, qualities sought after by leading employers all over the world.

Further study for major

Eligible candidates may proceed to an Honours year in the Bachelor of Arts, or apply for admission to a rich postgraduate program in the humanities and social sciences, comprising advanced learning and professional courses. Master degrees include capstone projects ranging from internships with government and non-government organisations in Australia and overseas, the gallery and museum sector, and leading media organisations, to opportunities for independent research projects which prepare students for higher degrees by research.

Related subject areas

Cultural Studies, Performance Studies, History, Philosophy

Our courses that offer this major

Not available in 2014