Universiteit van Amsterdam
Gender, Sexuality and Society
The master's programme in Gender, Sexuality and Society seeks students with a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in a field of Social Sciences. Applicants need to have sufficient background in research methodology and some academic experience with Gender and/or Sexuality.
Gender and sexuality studies are devoted to enhancing our understanding of the differences among certain groups of women and certain groups of men - as well as between women and men - in an era of globalisation and transnational migration. Regimes of gender relations and organisations of sexuality will be explored from a comparative, cross-cultural and/or transnational perspective. A range of social distinctions among and between women and men, and the particular forms of agency and sexual desire, are grounded in their ethnic and religious identities, age categories, class location, sexual orientation, or access to political power. These distinctions produce different experiences and entitlements in civil society and citizenship; they endow most human beings with contrasting perspectives on their options in the environment in which they live, work, and forge social and sexual bonds. This scholarly endeavour represents a systematic attempt to address structurally embedded prescriptions concerning gender relations and sexual behaviour on a par with other analytical variables such as class, ethnicity, religion, age, or political ideology. It is generally accepted that differences between rich and poor, between white-skinned and black or brown-skinned people, or between Christians and Muslims are undeniable factors in people's lives. Functioning as a woman or a man, with particular sexual dispositions, holds comparable significance. The intellectual initiative of gender and sexuality studies aims to integrate the social and cultural imperatives that shape gendered identities and sexual behaviour and relationships into the normal research repertoire of social scientists. Accordingly, in the MSc-programme students will learn how to incorporate a multi-disciplinary and transnational approach to the assessment of the shifting influences of ethnicity, class, age, nationality, and power structures on gender and sexual behaviour and vice versa.
The master's programme in Gender, Sexuality and Society provides the student with a solid theoretical, conceptual, and methodological foundation in the social sciences. It offers students an interdisciplinary approach to the main concerns of our time. The historical and comparative dimensions emphasized in the majority of the courses train the student to analyse issues in society and culture from various perspectives and to put them in their wide-ranging sociological, political and cultural contexts. The combination of empirical studies with theoretical reflection and reading will provide the intellectual tools and abilities that students need to better understand, analyse and cope with the world's contemporary problems and complexities.
Through regular contact with the academic advisor and the programme manager the student's progress will be reviewed and discussed both individually and during group meetings. During the writing of the thesis, students are expected to participate actively in the thesis seminar and to present their thesis proposals and one or more chapters.
Upon completion of the programme, students will have acquired profound knowledge of theories and concepts used to research and analyse specific social and/or political problems. They will have learned how to critically analyse and evaluate social science theories, research methods, and results. In addition to this, students will have acquired advanced skills for reading, analysing, and summarising literature within their field of specialisation, and for placing that literature within larger historical and intellectual contexts. They will have learned how to conduct literature and data searches, to design research projects, to write argumentative texts and to present their research findings, scientific papers, and/or policy papers. In order to complete their degree, students will have applied their knowledge in writing a research proposal and in conducting empirical research for their master's thesis.
Being part of an international programme will help the student to acquire the linguistic and social skills necessary to be able to work in an international, multicultural environment.
- Grade Average
For enrolment in one of the master's programmes we expect our students to have completed their previous studies with an overall grade average equivalent to at least a:
- B/3.0 (American system)
- Second class, lower division Honours degree (British system)
- C (ECTS system)
- 7.0 (Dutch system)
For enrolment in one of the research master's programmes, we expect our students to have completed their first-degree studies with an overall grade average of at least an:
- B+/A- / 3.5 (American system)
- First class Honours degree (British system)
- B (ECTS system)
- 7.5 (Dutch system)
- Academic Level and Background
Applicants should have completed an academic bachelor degree or an equivalent degree in a field relevant to the desired (research) master's programme. Educational systems vary considerably across the world: some academic bachelor degrees are valued at being equivalent to three years of Dutch academic/university education, while others are evaluated at two years or less. The minimum entry level for a (reseacrh) master's programme is three years of Dutch academic/university education.
- Enlish Language Proficiency
The language of instruction at the ISHSS is English. All students must be able to read textbooks, understand lectures, take part in classroom discussions and undertake written work in English. Therefore, all non-native speakers of English applying to the ISHSS are required to demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English. Applicants can show their proficiency in English by submutting an English language test such as TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge CAE/CPE, and an assessment of English language skills may be part of the application procedure. During the process, applicants are expected to correspond with the staff in English.
The master's programme in Gender, Sexuality and Society prepares students for further research, and jobs in a variety of sectors, including advisory organisations, government institutions, non-governmental organisations and journalism.