Master's Degree Programme in Gender Studies

Learn how gender and sexuality shape and are shaped by history, culture, and society. This programme is built around the interdisciplinary study of gender and sexuality, combining arts and humanities with social sciences.

The programme provides you with advanced and interdisciplinary training in the field of gender studies. You will gain competence on how gender and sexuality shape and are shaped by history, culture, and society, develop strong critical thinking and academic writing skills, and acquire the ability to work independently on issues related to gender, sexuality and production of power and knowledge.

The programme is aimed at both Finnish and international students with a variety of academic backgrounds and career plans. Organized in co-operation with Tampere University, the programme has a strong research connection. At University of Turku, Gender Studies has a distinctive humanities profile, operating within the School of History, Culture and Art Studies, whereas at Tampere University Gender Studies is situated within Faculty of Social Sciences.

At University of Turku we specialize in feminist media and cultural studies, queer and trans studies, history of gender and sexuality, memory studies, art and politics as well as affect and emotion studies. The programme offers versatile learning options that include seminars, lectures, group work, online learning, and independent assignments. Turku is a vibrant city with a large student community and lively student organizations.

Students at Aura river

Entry requirements

GENERAL ADMISSION REQUIREMENT

General Requirement

You are an eligible applicant for Master’s-level studies if

  • you have a nationally recognized first cycle degree – normally a Bachelor’s degree – from an accredited institution of higher education,
  • your degree corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study,
  • your degree is in a relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying to.

Language Requirements

Applicants must have excellent English language skills and a certificate that proves those skills. You can indicate your language skills by taking one of the internationally recognized English language tests. 

Applicants must reach the minimum required test results to be considered eligible to the University of Turku. No exceptions will be made. Read more about the language requirements here.

PROGRAMME-SPECIFIC ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Applying students must provide a completed university level Bachelor's degree or equivalent in the field of Gender Studies or in a closely related subject.

You must provide the following documentation:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Transcript of records
  • Proof of required language skills
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of motivation in English

For more detailed information, see general instruction for applying.

Instructions for the Motivation Letter (max. 4000 characters)

You are expected to cover the following:

  • Who you are and why you are interested in this programme, how your interests reflect the programme’s focus
  • What are the most important skills and knowledge you have acquired in your previous studies
  • How your educational and professional background are relevant and beneficial from the point of view of the Master’s Degree Programme in Gender Studies: what previous skills and knowledge you have of this particular research field
  • Your career plans and how are you going to benefit from the programme in pursuing them
APPLICATION EVALUATION

The decision for admission will be based on:

  • the relevance of the applicant’s previous degree(s)
  • the amount, relevance and grades of the courses in the degree(s)
  • relevant work experience
  • other merits and qualifications
  • language test result (see Language requirements)
  • motivation letter expressing the motivation to study specifically in this programme

Programme in brief

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

The MA in Gender Studies deepens your perspectives on gender studies and feminist thought.  The curriculum incorporates Nordic and cross-cultural and transnational emphases. It will encourage you to develop innovative, intersectional and interdisciplinary ways of expanding knowledge about gender and sexuality in contemporary and historical contexts.

Programme specific mandatory courses provide you with in-depth knowledge of the key debates, concepts and authors thinkers within Gender Studies. Elective courses enable you to specialise in your areas of interest and develop your own specialisation within the wider field of Gender Studies. Courses on Feminist Epistemology, Feminist Methodologies and Research Design and Ethic provide you with tools for thesis work supported by individual and group supervision and by two terms of MA seminars where students read each other's work and present their theses at different stages.

In addition to the courses available through University of Turku, students can take their elective courses via Hilma, the national network of Gender Studies units, or at other Finnish universities, including the Åbo Akademi University as a special local option.

Learn more about Course Contents >

 

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE & EXPERIENCE

The multidisciplinary Master’s degree in gender studies provides you with advanced training in the field of gender studies.  The Programme is aimed at both Finnish and international students with a variety of academic backgrounds and career plans.

It is built around the interdisciplinary study of gender and sexuality, bridging the divide between social sciences and arts and humanities. You will get to address the latest debates, using cutting-edge research from this exciting and growing area of study.

The curriculum incorporates local, cross-cultural and transnational emphases. It will encourage you to develop innovative, intersectional and interdisciplinary ways of expanding knowledge about gender and sexuality in global, local and historical contexts.

The degree engages the wide-ranging and multidisciplinary perspectives associated with gender studies:

  • feminist studies
  • queer studies
  • transgender studies
  • sexuality studies
  • race and ethnicity studies
  • disability studies
  • area and global studies
  • cultural studies
  • postcolonial and transnational studies

The Master’s Degree Programme in Gender Studies will give you competence on gender policies and politics. You will also acquire the ability to work independently on central issues related to gender, feminism, gender equality, and the production of power and knowledge. These competences include the use of gender as an analytic category and a critical perspective on crucial questions within science, politics, art and culture, and social issues.

MASTER'S THESIS & TOPICS

In the Master’s thesis (40 ECTS) the student must prove their ability to do scientific work and manage research methods, knowledge of the research field, and skill of scientific writing.

At University of Turku, Gender Studies offer supervision in feminist media and cultural studies, queer and trans studies, history of gender and sexuality, memory studies, art and politics as well as affect and emotion studies.

Students are encouraged to engage with established and emerging approaches with gender studies:

  • feminist studies
  • queer studies
  • transgender studies
  • sexuality studies
  • race and ethnicity studies
  • disability studies
  • area and global studies
  • cultural studies
  • postcolonial and transnational studies
  • environmental studies

Career prospects

COMPETENCE DESCRIPTION

Master’s Degree Programme in Gender Studies will provide you with a high-quality and extensive expertise on issues related to gender, sexuality, gender equality and equal opportunities in society. In the Programme, you learn:

  • to analyse how gender and sexuality organise social structures, cultural practices, human interaction and people’s identities
  • to apply feminist conceptualisations and research approaches
  • to formulate relevant research problems and to use academic research to solve them
  • to promote gender equality and human rights in various kinds of jobs and tasks
  • to generate new knowledge and to work for gendered and sexualised equality in society
  • skills for critically examining power relations in connection to marginalised or oppressed groups.

You acquire the following practical skills:

  • collecting and using various kinds of research data
  • presenting your analysis textually and orally in an academic manner
  • justifying your methodological choices
  • analytical thinking and problem solving skills
  • written and oral communication skills
  • collaborative work skills and organisational skills.
JOB OPTIONS

This Programme is a great option especially for students who wish to pursue a career in

  • national and international research
  • national and international politics
  • equal opportunities policies
  • human rights institutions and organisations in private and public sectors as well as in non-governmental organisations and civil society
  • national and international memory organizations, such as museusm
  • arts, writing and media careers

Graduates’ knowledge of power relations and social justice issues prepares them for government and jurisprudence positions. Due to the interdisciplinarity and research focus of the Programme, the graduates will be well prepared for research career.

Students will also be encouraged to complete an internship during the Programme. The internship is optional but can be included in the degree.

CAREER IN RESEARCH

You will be closely integrated into on-going research in the area. The Programme provides eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies.

The University of Turku Graduate School (UTUGS) consists of doctoral programmes which cover all disciplines and the approximately 2,000 doctoral candidates of the University. 

Tianrui Pan Gender Studies
Gender Studies is a unique programme with an inter-sectionalized background. Through this programme, I gained experience in communications across cultures and disciplines.
Tianrui Pan
Gender Studies
China
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