Research Masters in Gender Studies

Research Masters in Gender Studies

Admission requirements

1. Faculty Rule FM3 and University General Rules apply (See UCT Postgraduate Handbook p15)

2. Applicants must have an academic background, in the Social Sciences and Humanities, of a minimum of 4 years of study, having passed all components of that study at an overall average of 68%. Applicants from the University of Cape Town's Honours Programme in Gender and Transformation must have successfully completed the programme with an overall average result of not less than 68%.

How to apply

In order to be accepted for study within UCT’s Graduate School of Humanities as a postgraduate student, you will need acceptance BOTH from the department in which you choose to undertake research AND from the Graduate School of Humanities. It is advisable to contact the department in which you would like to work first, in order to establish whether they can accept your application as a Masters candidate. Once this is established, you will need to contact the Graduate School of Humanities for information on how to register within the University of Cape Town as a Masters student.

Once you have established the above, a preliminary research proposal must be submitted with the application, and applicants will be accepted only where an acceptable proposal for which supervision within the African Gender Institute is available. Guidelines on writing a preliminary research proposal are available on request from the African Gender Institute. Only applicants with some demonstrated experience of undertaking successful research projects will be considered.

Submission of a proposal for Masters Research

In order to be accepted into the Masters Research Programme run by the African Gender Institute, in the Graduate Faculty of Humanities, University of Cape Town, you will need to submit TWO documents.

Document 1: Please submit a copy of research you have already undertaken as part of your undergraduate or Honours-level degree work. This research can be comprised of any one of the following (a) an essay in response to a question set within a senior-level (3rd year and above) course you have taken (b) a literature review of material written about a particular topic (c) a short research project which may have been a component of a course you have taken (d) an Honours level research project

This document should be accompanied by a signed statement form you that you are submitting your own work.

Document 2: Please submit a proposal document of at least 3,000 words which outlines the research topic on which you plan to concentrate if you are accepted into the African Gender Institute’s Masters Research programme. Your proposal should cover:

  • Your disciplinary and/of professional background
  • Your interest in gender as a tool of analysis in social research – what do you think gender analysis offers to social scientists and researchers?
  • The topic(s) you plan to explore as a researcher
  • The full motivation for choosing these topics
  • Some indication of background experience in addressing these topics (a literature review, a discussion of the main theories you have encountered concerning the topics, and a description of your own experience in connection to the topics)
  • Some discussion of how you would plan to go about your research
  • A brief description of some of the challenges you expect to encounter in doing your research

All documents and enquiries should be sent to the Gender Studies Academic Programme Assistant, Wardah Daniels (wardah.daniels[at]uct.ac.za); African Gender Institute, University of Cape Town, P.O. Rondebosch, Cape Town, 7700; Phone: +27 (0) 21 6504207; Fax: +27 (0) 21 6504840

When your portfolios have been received by the African Gender Institute, your application will be considered by the Graduate Programme Convenor within AGI. You will be informed about the decision as soon as possible.

About the Research Dissertation at Masters level

The Research Master degree comprises a dissertation not exceeding 50,000 words, undertaken through intensive supervision within the African Gender Institute. An original research project, in a specific area or discipline is undertaken. Supervision includes engagement with appropriate literature, methodologies, and critical feedback on process of the implementation and written analysis of the research project. Research Masters students are expected to attend and participate in Departmental Seminars. Research Masters students are also required to complete the six-week module on gender and research offered. For detailed information, please click here.

Past research topics undertaken by AGI Masters in Gender Studies students

  • The meanings of gender in the development of "safer cities" in local Cape Town government processes
  •  Analysis of the media campaigns of loveLife
  •  Histories of the women's movement of Zimbabwe, 1995-2000

Useful Links

Information for international students

Link for accommodation

UCT Humanities Postgraduate Handbook

UCT Handbooks (2014)

Faculty of Humanities website