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University of Otago
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Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA(Coursework)) in Gender Studies

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024


University of Otago


The Master of Arts (Coursework) programme is designed to give students the skills sought-after by employers around the globe, with a balance of specific subject knowledge plus broad-based transferable skills – such as oral and written communication, and analytical skills.

The degree is also an possible qualification for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

The MA(Coursework) normally requires either 12 months or three semesters of full-time, or equivalent part-time, study and entails completion of papers and a dissertation.

The dissertation is a major piece of supervised research of up to 20,000 words.

The primary aim of the MA(Coursework) is to provide candidates with a grounding in their chosen subject area within a wider disciplinary frame. The degree cultivates the skills needed to identify a significant topic, design and implement a significant piece of research, and present the findings in a form acceptable to an expert readership.

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.

Entry criteria

Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).

Every applicant must either

  • be a graduate, or
  • have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).

In considering an applicant's qualifications, regard will be had to the detail of the course of study followed to gain the qualification, as well as the applicant's performance in the programme. Applicants must normally have achieved an average grade of at least B in the papers at the highest level in the programme.

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic module) (including IELTS Online) - Overall score of 6.5, no individual band below 6.0.
  • TOEFL iBT - Overall score of 90 and a writing score of 21.
  • C1 Advanced (previously Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) or C2 Proficiency (previously Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)) - Overall score of 176 (with no individual band below 169).
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50.
  • Language Cert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a high pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill OR C2 Mastery (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill.
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 5 Academic endorsement
  • English New Zealand's Accredited Pathway Assessment - Assessment Level 3 (with no skill lower than Level 2).
  • APIEL Advanced Placement International English Language Examination - Grade 4 or higher.

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