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Masters in Research in Gender Studies


Admission requirements

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

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 for your application to be considered, you need to complete the online application HERE.

In addition to completing the application form you will be required to upload the following documents:

A CV, letter of motivation, writing sample and research proposal. See below for further information.

Guidelines on writing sample:

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.

Guidelines on the Research Proposal

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.


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. 


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
  • Power and performativity in prison: exploring male sex workers' experiences and performances of gender and sexuality pre/during/post-incarceration ‘ ; "Half a Man? Still a Human": Narratives on the impact of a spinal cord injury among coloured men living with paraplegia

Useful Links

UCT Humanities Postgraduate Handbook

Faculty of Humanities website

UCT Postgraduate Studies Brochure

2021 Fees booklet