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University of Otago
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Bachelor of Arts (BA) Majoring in Gender Studies

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Jul 2024


University of Otago


The Bachelor of Arts (BA) is Otago's most flexible undergraduate degree programme, enabling students to study from a selection of more than 40 arts and social science subjects, as well as papers offered elsewhere in the University. Academic breadth is complemented by in-depth knowledge gained through majoring in one or two subjects with the option of minors in one or two others.

Students are taught by research-active scholars, are expected to undertake a diverse range of learning tasks and are challenged to develop their intellectual independence. Graduates of the programme are well-informed, versatile, independent thinkers with the information literacy, communication, research and interpersonal skills necessary for a career or further academic study. The completed BA is an possible qualification for the PGDipArts in the major subject of the degree.

Why study Gender Studies?

At New Zealand’s leading Gender Studies programme, we’ll surprise you. You’ll be introduced to different perspectives on things you’ve always taken for granted, while you explore television, film, social media, public debate, photography, subculture and fashion as well as scholarly reading.

The staff are enthusiastic! They work interactively, and involve students actively in their own learning. Students are encouraged to think independently and to relate their academic learning to the world they encounter daily.

Gender Studies consistently gains high ratings for student satisfaction with their learning experience.

Topics covered in the core programme include:

bodies in popular culture

cultural construction of sexuality

consumer culture and work

family life

gender in the media

social justice



gender, sexuality and state power

Gender Studies runs a core programme but also introduces you to a whole range of disciplines. A Gender Studies degree can include papers in Sociology, Criminology, Anthropology, Education, English, Film and Media, Geography, History, Law, Politics, and Religion. It’s up to you!

Many Gender Studies papers can be credited towards other degree programmes, including majors in Sociology, Film and Media, Politics, Philosophy, and the minor in Criminology.

Career opportunities

Realise your ideas to create value in the real world by working in:

Gender Studies will also enable you to develop personal and professional skills that are highly valued by employers:

The ability to think broadly, critically and creatively

Appreciation of diverse points of view

The ability to analyse and participate in debate

Research skills

Clear and effective written expression

Verbal reasoning, verbal address

Team work

The critical perspectives and knowledges gained through training in Gender Studies are also applicable well beyond specific career contexts.

A Gender Studies major or minor provides you with skills that will prove useful through all aspects of your life.

Programme Requirements


  • GEND 101 Gender in Everyday Life
  • GEND 102 Bodies, Sexualities and Selves


  • GEND 201 Introduction to Feminist Theory
  • Two other 200-level GEND papers, one of which may be replaced with ANTH 206, CHIN 241, GEOG 210, HIST 215, HIST 234, MFCO 212, POLS 202, RELS 209, or any 200-level SOCI paper


Four of 300-level GEND papers, one of which may be replaced with ANTH 322, ANTH 327, EDUC 318, ENGL 331, MFCO 301, RELS 309, or any 300-level SOCI paper


198 further points; must include 54 points at 200-level or above.

Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Arts

Entry criteria

We recognise many other qualifications as equivalent to the New Zealand qualification for entrance.

We also accept the following international qualifications:

  • International Baccalaureate: IB Diploma with a minimum of 24 points.
  • Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) GCE Advanced Levels: minimum Numerical Score of 8
  • A minimum of CCC across the NCUK IFY
  • Satisfactory completion of one year's study at a recognised tertiary institution.

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic module) (including IELTS Online) - Overall score of 6.0, no individual band below 5.5.
  • TOEFL iBT - Overall score of 80 and a writing score of 20.
  • C1 Advanced (previously Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) or C2 Proficiency (previously Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)) - Overall score of 169 (with no individual band below 162)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 50 with no communicative skills score below 42.
  • LanguageCert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 4 Academic endorsement
  • English New Zealand's Accredited Pathway Assessment - Assessment Level 2 (with no skill lower than Level 1)
  • APIEL Advanced Placement International English Language Examination - Grade 3 or higher

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