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The MSc/MLitt in Gender Studies (Applied) equips students with conceptual and practical skills in gender analysis and research, underpinned by feminist theory. Through core modules Understanding Gender, Feminist Research, and Key Feminist Thinkers students are exposed to a range of theoretical and methodological approaches for studying gender.
We give history and context to the development of key feminist debates, exploring commonalities and differences in the ways they have played out in different disciplines At the heart of the course is a concern about how academic debate informs, is shaped by, and is at times distanced from, how gender works in real world contexts. Students explore these issues through a seminar-based course and are offered the opportunity to apply their learning in real world contexts through the Research Placement module.
This course is interdisciplinary, but, within this, students can emphasise Arts and Humanities (MLitt) or Social Science (MSc) approaches. The MSc places a greater emphasis on research methods and data analysis, and is the recommended route for students interested in PhD study in Social Sciences. The MLitt offers students more optional modules and is better suited to students looking for an all-round education in Gender Studies and/or is interested in PhD study in the Arts and Humanities.
The MSc/MLitt in Gender Studies (Applied) at the University of Stirling is unique in the UK in that it places the application of learning to real-world contexts at the heart of its course. It is housed within the Centre for Gender and Feminist Studies and students have access to its seminar course of visiting academics and practitioners working on gender and feminist issues in a variety of professional contexts.
Students have the opportunity to apply their learning to a real-world research placement and the course team have established links with potential placement providers from the feminist third sector as well as with a number of organisations who are committed to gender equality as part of their work in arts, culture and sport.
The course combines subject-specific knowledge of Gender Studies with transferable skills in research and analysis. These are the skills required to flourish in a range of organisations in the public, private and third sectors, with the subject specialism being particularly advantageous for graduates seeking to work on gender and equality issues. The Research Placement allows students to develop skills in delivering research in real-world contexts and will be valuable in enabling students to build relevant networks in sectors in which they might be seeking employment post graduation.
The course is also flexible enough to allow students to continue their postgraduate studies. Although the MLitt/MSc is new, the MSc in particular builds on successful courses provided by the School of Applied Social Science. Over the past five years, over half of the graduates from the MSc Applied Social Research have entered social research-related careers in the public, voluntary and private sectors, including a manager commissioning research for a local authority, a research fellow at a university and a senior research executive for a European-wide commercial research organisation. Over one third of its graduates continue with academic study and undertake a PhD.
Structure and content
Gender Studies (of 180 credits) combines interdisciplinary core courses on gender theory, feminist research and the history of feminist thought, with optional courses within a range of disciplinary traditions. Its core modules (45 credits) focus on providing students with an interdisciplinary frame for the critical study of gender that is underpinned by feminist theory and acknowledges the ways in which gender informs and is informed by other structural inequalities.
Collectively, they equip students with a knowledge and understanding of key feminist debates about ontology, epistemology and methodology, and enable them to identify both commonalities and differences in the ways these debates have played out in different disciplinary contexts. Students following the MSc route take two further core modules in Quantitative Data Analysis and Qualitative Data Analysis (worth an additional 30 credits), which provide advanced Social Science-oriented research methods training, essential for students considering undertaking further postgraduate research (e.g. at PhD level) in the Social Sciences.
The optional courses of which MLitt students take five (totalling 75 credits) and the MSc students three (totalling 45 credits) offer opportunities for more discipline-based learning, collectively providing a multi-disciplinary perspective for the study of gender issues. The Gender Studies Research Placement module is open to both MLitt and MSc students and allows students the chance to put their learning into practice in diverse real-world contexts.
Students complete the course by producing a 60-credit dissertation (12,000-15,000 words) on a topic of their choice within Gender Studies. Given the disciplinary reach of the course team, we are well qualified to provide expert supervision in a range of fields.
Delivery and assessment
The core modules are delivered in weekly seminars and the assessment is all in the form of coursework. The assessments are designed to allow students to develop and enhance academic skills in writing and research. The Understanding Gender, Feminist Research and Key Feminist Thinkers modules all have more than one assessment point to allow for feedback and improvement. In the Research Placement module, students will deliver their research in a form agreed in advance with the placement provider so as to best meet their needs and give students the opportunity to develop skills in delivering research in real-world contexts.
- Understanding Gender
- Feminist Research
- Key Feminist Thinkers
- Quantitative Data Analysis (core for MSc route only)
- Qualitative Data Analysis (core for MSc route only)
Optional modules include (MSc students choose three; MLitt students choose five):
- Gender Studies Research Placement
- Feminist Film Theory
- Gender and the Labour Market
- Public Affairs and Advocacy
- Advanced Readings in Gender Studies
- The Female Gothic
- Queer Gothic
And/or relevant options in Advanced Social Research, Public Policy, Childrens Literature & Publishing, English Language & Linguistics