Gender and Sexuality Studies MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

Gender and Sexuality Studies is an inter-faculty programme drawing on the unique breadth of disciplines for which UCL is renowned. The degree is offered by the Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry, and involves staff from the faculties of Arts and Humanities, Social and Historical Sciences, Laws, and Built Environment, together with the School of Slavonic and East European Studies and the Institute of Education.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£5,860
£2,930
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£26,200
£13,100
Duration
3 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September.
Applications accepted
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Entry requirements

Applicants need excellent qualifications in a relevant humanities or social science discipline: a first or very good upper second-class (minimum average 65%) Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. We prefer candidates to have a distinction or indication of distinction-level work (e.g. a distinction mark for the dissertation) at Master’s level or equivalent.

In the first instance, candidates should establish a dialogue with a potential supervisor before making a formal application. Admission is normally dependent on the submission of a detailed research project proposal.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Research students can specialise in any aspect of gender or sexuality studies for which suitable supervision is available. Potential supervisors' disciplinary expertise comes from anthropology, architecture, development studies, education, geography, history, history of art, law, literary and film studies, queer studies, sociology and urban studies.

Who this course is for

This MPhil/PhD is for applicants with a strong interest in conducting multi-disciplinary research, who may have completed post-graduate training or study and want to develop an advanced critical analysis in a specific research area. The programme is for graduates with a background or interest in gender or sexuality studies which may include disciplines such as anthropology, development studies, education, history, literary or film studies. It is suitable for both recent Masters graduates as well as early or mid-career professionals.

What this course will give you

As a multi-faculty institution in the heart of cosmopolitan London, covering an exceptionally wide range of disciplines, UCL offers an ideal environment for gender and sexuality studies. Research students normally have a primary and secondary supervisor from different disciplines, so studying at UCL provides an opportunity to take full advantage of these interdisciplinary strengths.

UCL was the first British university to admit women on equal terms with men. Women associated with UCL have included family planning pioneer, Marie Stopes, novelists Stella Gibbons and A.S. Byatt, anthropologist Mary Douglas, architect Eileen Gray, crystallographer Kathleen Lonsdale and artists Rachel Whiteread and Paula Rego. Other former students were celebrated by UCL's Queer Tapestry exhibition; they include Jeffrey Weeks, one of the first UK academics and activists to write about sexuality from a sociological perspective.

Training programmes are designed on an individual basis by the student's supervisor, and generally involve participation in activities offered by the department of the primary supervisor. Students also take advantage of training provided by the UCL Doctoral School and participate in CMII research student seminars.

The foundation of your career

The PhD demonstrates the ability to produce original knowledge and ideas, to work independently and creatively on a substantial research project and to construct convincing and well-founded arguments. Links with the Gender, Society and Representation MA offer teaching assistant opportunities that provide valuable academic experience in skills development, planning and organising learning and teaching, facilitating group-based learning and evaluating student work. PhD candidates can choose Gender Studies or Sexuality Studies as the field of study on statements confirming the degree award; other options may be possible.

Employability

PhD students may go on to academic careers or careers in research. Gender is now an integral aspect of research and planning in a wide range of areas. The need to address different forms of discrimination has created a demand in both public and private sectors for highly qualified graduates with a broad theoretical background in gender and/or sexuality studies, a familiarity with equality issues from an intersectional perspective and a commitment to social change.

Networking

An additional benefit of studying at UCL is the opportunity to meet students from a wide range of national and disciplinary backgrounds. These links create valuable networking opportunities, both in the UK and overseas. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme means that networking opportunities extend to the different contributing departments in which supervisors are based. Those working on gender-related themes can participate in UCL's Gender and Feminism research network; those working on sexualities, the UCL LGBTQ research network.

Teaching and learning

To successfully upgrade to a PhD you are required to submit a piece of writing (this is usually based on one chapter from your thesis and a chapter plan for the remainder). You are also required to present and answer questions about this work to a panel consisting of your subsidiary supervisor and another member of the Faculty who acts as an independent assessor.

Research areas and structure

Potential supervisors have a very varied set of research interests with a focus on different parts of the world in both contemporary and historical perspective. Their interests include nationalism and sexuality; gender and urban development in the Global South; contemporary gay and queer cinema; gender and sexuality in medieval and modern European and world literary or visual culture; feminism and social movements; historical, sociological and legal perspectives on intimacy, sexuality, care and the home; sexuality, migration and health; and cultural discourses of AIDS.

In the first instance, candidates should establish a dialogue with a potential supervisor before making a formal application. The length of registration for the research degree programmes is usually three years for full-time and five years for part-time. You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration.

Upon successful completion of your approved period of registration you may register as a completing research student (CRS) while you write up your thesis.

In the first year, you will be required to take part in a mandatory Skills Seminar Programme. You are expected to agree with your supervisor the basic structure of your research project, an appropriate research method and a realistic plan of work. You will produce and submit a detailed outline of your proposed research to your supervisor for their comments and feedback and be given the opportunity to present your research to UCL academic staff and fellow PhD students.

In the second year, you will be expected to upgrade from MPhil to a PhD. To successfully upgrade to a PhD you are required to submit a piece of writing (this is usually based of one chapter from your thesis and a chapter plan for the remainder). You are also required to present and answer questions about this work to a panel consisting of your subsidiary supervisor and another member of the Faculty who acts as an independent assessor.

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is usually three years for full-time and five years for part-time. You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £5,860 £2,930
Tuition fees (2023/24) £26,200 £13,100

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Additional costs may include expenses such as books, stationery, printing or photocopying, and conference registration fees.

A student planning to undertake fieldwork outside the UK will have to find funding to cover the costs.

The department strives to keep additional costs low. Books and journal articles are usually available via the UCL library (hard copies or via e-journal subscriptions).

The wealth of departmental seminars / colloquiums / symposiums and student organised work in progress sessions give ample opportunities to present research, receive feedback and participate in discussion.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

Applicants may be eligible for funding from the ESRC UBEL Doctoral Training Centre, AHRC London Arts and Humanities Partnership, Commonwealth Scholarship Commission or UCL Overseas/Graduate Research studentships. Anyone applying for funding will normally need a first class first degree from the UK together with a distinction in an already completed UK Master's degree, or equivalent qualifications from elsewhere. We expect similar levels of academic performance from all applicants, together with excellent written English (IELTS 'Advanced' level).

For information about available scholarships please visit the SELCS/CMII Funding and Scholarships website. For information about ESRC or AHRC funding, please visit the UBEL or LAHP websites, respectively. Anyone seeking funding must submit their UCL application by December (earlier than for other SELCS/CMII programmes), after first discussing their plans with the programme director.

Please note that no references can be provided for candidates for Commonwealth Scholarship Commission funding unless they have already applied and been accepted for this programme.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

All prospective applicants must send the programme director an initial research proposal and curriculum vitae so that she can advise on who might supervise. Proposals should be 1,000-1,500 words long, with a title, an overview of existing scholarship related to the research aims and objectives, specific research questions and a indication of the methodology to be employed. They should be sent to Professor Ann Varley, a.varley@ucl.ac.uk.

Those wishing to apply for funding should contact the programme director in October and submit the formal UCL application by 1 December. Those wishing to apply for UBEL funding, however, should submit the UCL application by 1 November, since preliminary applications to UBEL have to be made by the end of November. 

We recommend that you apply in the autumn to start the programme the following September.

For more information see our 'Need to Know' page.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

Year of entry: 2022-2023

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