Sex, Gender and Sexualities MSc – 2023 entry

Key information

Start date: September 2023

Study mode and duration
Full-time: 1 year
Part-time: 2 years

Why choose this course

The Sex, Gender and Sexualities MSc programme is an innovative and interdisciplinary masters which aims to engage students with cutting edge and research-led learning. The University holds a wealth of experience and knowledge in relation to the study of gender, sex and sexuality across multiple facilities and departments.

This masters takes advantage of the knowledge and experience of staff already here at the University and includes members from the Department of Sociology, the School of Literature and Languages and the School of Psychology. Our masters programme will be a truly interdisciplinary experience that allows students more freedom in module choices and in topics for their dissertations.

The Sex, Gender and Sexualities MSc has been carefully designed to capitalise on the wealth of research and teaching occurring at the University of Surrey about these topics from across a wide range of disciplines in order to offer this exciting and innovative programme. The programme has three broad aims:

  1. To provide an inclusive, welcoming and supportive learning environment in which to engage students in interdisciplinary studies of sex, gender and sexuality  
  2. To foster both a supportive cohort identity and group cohesion alongside flexibility, allowing students to make choices about their education  
  3. To produce graduates who have advanced critical, analytical, and professional skills with a high level of sophisticated knowledge about sex, gender and sexuality.

Five reasons to study Sex, Gender and Sexualities MSc

What you will study

Students begin the course in Semester 1 with three compulsory modules:

  • The year-long dissertation 
  • Histories of Sex/uality  
  • A compulsory methods module.

Students are given the option of selecting either Field Methods (a social science methods-based module) or Research and Writing Skills (a humanities-methods based module). Students are recommended to select the module which aligns best with their methodological intentions for their dissertation.

Alongside these, students also select two of the five optional modules:

  1. Women Behind the Screen: Gender and Labour in Film
  2. Families and Society
  3. Social Psychology of Language and Communication
  4. Queer Ecologies
  5. Travel-Writing Past and Present: Themes, Forms and Critical Perspectives
  6. Writing Gaming.

In Semester 2 students continue to take the dissertation module and, alongside this, have another two compulsory modules:

  • Trans/scending Gender
  • Queer Feminist Approaches.

They also select two of the six optional modules:

  1. The Social Psychology of Gender
  2. Medieval Women’s Writing
  3. Sociology of Mental Health
  4. Understanding Sexualities
  5. Cultures of Race and Racism.

Course specific

Our masters programme allows a tailored to approach allow for students to have greater agency, flexibility and freedom in choosing what their masters looks like overall.

The optional modules have been selected to provide students with opportunities to view sex, gender and sexuality within and across various other areas and/or contexts. There is also additional consideration of intersecting issues (for example, with mental health and race/racism) and key areas in which sex, gender and sexuality are pertinent to the application of a specific area (e.g. in writing gaming, travel writing, film-making).

The Sex, Gender and Sexualities MSc Programme has been designed with student experience at the centre. A key underpinning objective of the programme is to instil a strong community of learning, at the same time as offering options that will allow students to shape their focus in various ways. Together, there is the development of a supportive, inclusive and engaging environment for learning.

We welcome applicants from a wide range of disciplines on this programme and understand that every student will arrive with their own experiences and from various disciplinary backgrounds. The programme is therefore designed with this in mind to ensure everyone gains the necessary academic skills and knowledge to succeed.

The Dissertation module (which runs throughout the entire year-long course) has five weeks of workshops at the beginning of Semester 1 in order to ensure all students are comfortable with essential academic skills required at masters level. These workshops introduce, clarify and outline key scholarly elements required for the programme overall and are critical for the dissertation (e.g. literature searches, referencing, academic practice). They will also provide a clear understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of research in the areas of sex, gender and sexuality. 

Careers and graduate prospects

We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University. Our graduates have lifetime access to Surrey Pathfinder, our online portal for appointment and events bookings, jobs, placements and interactive development tools.

We are committed to developing graduates with strengths in employability, digital capabilities, global and cultural capabilities, sustainability and resourcefulness and resilience. Graduates from this programme will be fully equipped to a sophisticated master's level to fulfil their future potential in their chosen careers based on these key strengths.

The interdisciplinary nature of this master's means that graduates from the programme will have broad appeal to a wide range of potential recruiters and graduates would be able to articulate applicability to a vast range of roles. This master's programme allows students to engage with specialist content for around the topics of sex, gender and sexuality suitable in a vast variety of careers.

Naturally, students will be especially equipped to engage in further doctoral study but graduates would also suit careers in many other sectors, including but not limited to: charity sectors, civil service, social services, archive and collections/museums, teaching and pedagogy / education sectors, media/ journalism, publishing.

Academic year structure

For full-time students the programme is one academic year long (starting in September).

For part-time students the programme is two years long (starting in September). Part-time students will undertake all compulsory modules in the first year and therefore maintain their sense of shared identity with the cohort, and in the second year embark on their optional modules by which time they have greater familiarity and confidence navigating the University and its systems.


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.

The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:

Optional modules for Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Students must select one of the two methods modules in Semester 1: either Field Methods (SOCM006) or Research and Writing Skills (ELIM005). It is highly recommended that they select the methods module that best suits the methodologies they expect to use in their dissertation. For Social Sciences based dissertations (using, for example, interviews) they would be expected and advised to select Field Methods. For Humanities based dissertations (using, for example, literary analysis) they would be expected and advised to select Research and Writing Skills. In addition, students select two options modules each semester (so a total of four optional modules) which they take alongside their compulsory modules.

Optional modules for Year 1 (part-time) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Students must select one of the two methods modules in Semester 1: either Field Methods (SOCM006) or Research and Writing Skills (ELIM005). It is highly recommended that they select the methods module that best suits the methodologies they expect to use in their dissertation. For Social Sciences based dissertations (using, for example, interviews) they would be expected and advised to select Field Methods. For Humanities based dissertations (using, for example, literary analysis) they would be expected and advised to select Research and Writing Skills. In addition, students select two options modules each semester (so a total of four optional modules) which they take alongside their compulsory modules.


Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the Academic Hive. View our Code of practice for the scheduling of teaching and assessment (PDF).

Contact hours

Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree, or recognised equivalent international qualification, in a relevant discipline within the social sciences and humanities.

Applicants who do not meet these requirements may be considered if they have several years of relevant demonstrable work experience related to the programme content (e.g., archivist experience in the areas of gender and sexuality studies).

If you have at least one year of relevant experience in a full-time graduate-level role (or a minimum of two years’ experience in a relevant graduate-level part-time role) please provide full details of your role and responsibilities in your personal statement and CV when you submit your application.

Do I meet the requirements for this course?

We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).

International entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and 6.0 in each other element.

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Credit transfer

The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If your experience exceeds the typical requirements for entry to the programme, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience. If you can demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for specific modules through your previous learning, it may be possible to exempt you from those modules, and for you to be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.

In some cases, prior knowledge and skills may allow applicants to join the start of a course without meeting the formal entry requirements.

Please see our code transfer and recognition of prior learning guide (PDF) and recognition of prior learning and prior credit web page for further information. Please email Admissions ( with any queries.

Fees per year

Start date: September 2023

Full-time - 1 year


Part-time - 2 years


Please note:

  • These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2023-24 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually
  • If you are on a two-year full-time MFA programme, or a two-year or three-year part-time masters programme (excluding modular/self-paced/distance learning), the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme
  • Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught courses.

Payment schedule

  • Students in receipt of a tuition fee loan: Will have their fees paid by the Student Loans Company in line with their schedule
  • International students, or UK/EU students who have not taken out a tuition fee loan: Are required to pay their fees either in full at the beginning of the programme or in two instalments as follows:
    • 50% payable 10 days after the invoice date (expected to be early October of each academic year)
    • 50% in January of the same academic year.

The exact date(s) will be detailed on invoices. Students on certain part-time programmes, where fees are paid on a modular or stage basis, are not eligible to pay their fees by instalment.

  • If you are sponsored: You will provide us with valid sponsorship information that covers the period of your study.

Admission information

Our postgraduate admissions policy* provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students. You can also read our postgraduate applicant guidance.

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our Charter, Statutes, Ordinances, Policies, Regulations and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2022/2023 academic year as a guide as to what to expect.

Please note: the offer terms and conditions and registration terms and conditions which you will be asked to agree to may be different from those detailed in the examples. Our offer terms and conditions will generally be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will be available at the start of each academic year and will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.


This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing but changes (for example, to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read our full disclaimer.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Stag Hill

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 

University of Surrey Admissions

Contact Admissions Team


University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH