MA Gender, Sexuality & Culture

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

MA Gender Sexuality & Culture offers students an exciting and challenging range of modules where they will explore the theory, history and representation of gender and sexuality in literature, film, drama and popular culture


Applications for the 2021/22 term have closed.

  • Innovative MA on the literary and cultural study of gender & sexuality
  • Opportunities for developing inter-disciplinary research
  • Wide range of literary and cultural texts studied

Careers & Employability

For students who are inspired to continue their study in Gender Studies, Sexuality Studies, Literature and Cultural Studies, this MA is an ideal preparation for the PhD.
However, the quality and flexibility of the MA has allowed the majority of our graduates to pursue careers in a wide range of professions, including teaching, publishing, advertising, public relations, media, public service, librarianship, development and advocacy work.

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

This MA is suitable for Humanities graduates, particularly graduates of Literature, Cultural Studies, Film and/or Visual Culture with a particular interest in gender and sexuality studies.

The MA in Gender, Sexuality & Culture is a dynamic, interdisciplinary programme designed for students with a strong interest in examining gender and sexuality in culture. Our programme is the first, pioneering MA programme in the analysis of gender and sexuality in culture in the Humanities in Ireland, and it attracts students from all over the world and from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds. Drawing on the internationally recognised expertise in gender and sexuality studies from across the Humanities and Social Sciences in UCD, we provide our students with a rigorous training in the analysis of gender and sexuality in literature, film, television, media, performance, visual culture, digital culture and more. We enable our students to develop as theoretically sophisticated researchers, writers and critics equipped with cutting-edge critical skills and methods for understanding and analysing the formations of gender and sexuality in culture and society. Our programme values deeply informed, rigorous and innovative analysis, an openness to new perspectives, and self-reflective, socially and politically engaged critical practice. We foster and model these values in seminars and individual supervisions that prioritise challenging, high level discussion and debate within a mutually supportive and respectful environment. 

  • - adept readers and thinkers, able to understand, analyse and critically evaluate cultural production and cultural theory in relation to gender and sexuality as well as in relation to other intersecting power structures, such as race, ethnicity, class and migration.
  • - effective independent researchers, who can identify a research topic and develop this into a minor thesis project.
  • - equipped to understand and also challenge current understandings of gender and sexuality by interrogating cultural identities, such as queer, heterosexual, homosexual, gay, straight, bisexual, transgendered.
  • - socially and politically engaged readers, writers and critics who understand and can advocate for the importance of systems of representation in both the maintenance and transformation of gendered systems of power.
  • - well-grounded in a diverse range of theoretical, analytical and methodological frameworks for understanding gender, sexuality and culture transnationally and across different societies and geo-political regions.
  • Open completion of the programme, students of the MA in Gender, Sexuality & Culture should be: - highly proficient in both established and new approaches to gender studies and sexuality studies as theoretical, cultural, social, political and historical fields of investigation.

MA Gender, Sexuality & Culture (Z162) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 9100
nonEU    fee per year - € 22600

MA Gender, Sexuality & Culture (Z337) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 4550
nonEU    fee per year - € 11300

***Fees are subject to change
Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

This programme is intended for applicants with a background in the humanities, or literature, film studies, cultural studies, visual culture, sociology, anthropology, psychology, psychoanalysis as well as women’s studies, gender studies and sexuality studies. A keen interest in gender and sexuality and an ability to analyse textual representations are the key characteristics required.

  • An upper second class honours degree (NFQ Level 8), or the international equivalent is normally required. However, all applicants will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and relevant work experience will be taken into account, so that in certain exceptional cases candidates with a 2.2 or an award at a lower NFQ level, together with experiential learning, may be admitted.
  • Applicants wishing to have experiential learning taken into consideration must show evidence of significant appropriate levels of such learning – a CV, portfolio and/or interview may be required.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.
  • These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes 

Katherine Maller
Cultural Programmer
MA 2016
Pursuing a Masters in Literature helped me a great deal in publishing as it put me on the path to a higher-paying and more prestigious job. The gender and sexuality lens I cultivated in my degree has been helpful at both my last job as editor with Routledge and my current job as cultural programmer at the Goethe Institute in New York. The focus on writing and analysis is strong at UCD, helped by the truly stellar faculty and academic support. I feel that in general my master’s education has made me a more considerate and thoughtful person, which is invaluable professionally and fulfilling personally.


Crescent Rainwater, USA,
PhD Candidate UCLA

UCD offered a specialised programme that allowed me to combine my undergraduate English degree with my growing interest in gender and sexuality. I planned to pursue a PhD programme following this MA, and I knew it would offer a unique opportunity to help me to stand out from my fellow PhD applicants. The coursework is primarily based in literary studies, but it helped me to quickly acquire a specialisation and offered diverse range of courses.
The dissertation aspect of the MA was a wonderful opportunity to develop my research interests and write a piece of work that really prepared me for doing a PhD. It gave me an excellent writing sample, pushed me to build on the confidence I had started to cultivate as an undergraduate student, and challenged me to take on the role of a scholar with a voice. Doing my MA at UCD absolutely made all the difference in my acceptance to UCLA’s PhD in English.

The following entry routes are available:

MA Gender Sexuality & Culture FT (Z162)
1 Years
Full Time
MA Gender Sexuality & Culture PT (Z337)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised