Gender Studies - UTU Masters
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Master's Degree Programme in

Gender Studies

Faculty of Humanities, University of Turku

Get advanced and interdisciplinary training in the field of gender studies!

The Master’s Degree Programme in Gender Studies is built around the interdisciplinary study of gender and sexuality, combining social sciences and arts and humanities.

You will gain competence on gender policies and politics, and acquire the ability to work independently on central issues related to gender, feminism, gender equality, production of power and knowledge.

This Programme is a great choice especially for students who wish to pursue a career in research, politics, equal opportunities policies and human rights institutions. Also, organisations in private and public sector as well as non-governmental organisations and civil society are possible career paths.

The Programme is organised in co-operation with the University of Tampere.


Programme structure

General studies

Coordination: Language Centre & UTU


1. Study skills & personal study planning 2 ECTS
2. Elementary Finnish 3 ECTS
3. Scientific writing 5 ECTS
4. Quantitative research methods 5 ECTS
5. Qualitative research methods 5 ECTS

ECTS: 20

Programme-specific studies (advanced studies in Gender Studies)

Coordination: UTU Master’s degree programme or partner universities


Feminist theory 10 ETCS
Feminist methodology 10 ETCS
Gendered and sexualized society 5-10 ETCS
Feminist Art Studies 5-10 ETCS
Feminist Postcolonialism 5-10 ETCS

ECTS: 40

Master’s thesis and seminar

Coordination: Master’s degree programme

Contents: Master’s thesis and seminar

ECTS: 40+20


Academic excellence & experience

The multidisciplinary Master’s degree in gender studies provides you with advanced training in the field of gender studies.  The Programme is aimed at both Finnish and international students with a variety of academic backgrounds and career plans.

It is built around the interdisciplinary study of gender and sexuality, bridging the divide between social sciences and arts and humanities. You will get to address the latest debates, using cutting-edge research from this exciting and growing area of study.

The curriculum incorporates local, cross-cultural and transnational emphases. It will encourage you to develop innovative, intersectional and interdisciplinary ways of expanding knowledge about gender and sexuality in global, local and historical contexts.

The degree engages the wide-ranging and multidisciplinary perspectives associated with gender studies:

  • feminist studies
  • queer studies
  • transgender studies
  • sexuality studies
  • race and ethnicity studies
  • disability studies
  • area and global studies
  • cultural studies
  • postcolonial and transnational studies

The Master’s Degree Programme in Gender Studies will give you competence on gender policies and politics. You will also acquire the ability to work independently on central issues related to gender, feminism, gender equality, and the production of power and knowledge. These competences include the use of gender as an analytic category and a critical perspective on crucial questions within science, politics, art and culture, and social issues.

Master's thesis & topics

In the Master’s thesis the student must prove their ability to do scientific work and manage research methods, knowledge of the research field, and skill of scientific writing.

Examples of thesis topics are:

  • Transforming bodies, wandering desires: intra-actions of gender and sexuality in non-heterosexual transgender embodiment
  • Feminist Gerontology: A study on the gender of aging women
  • Child’s Play: A gender-aware perspective on nursery school life


Joint programme

The scope and extent of this Programme is unique. As a joint degree co-operation of two universities, the University of Turku and the University of Tampere, it combines two special research and teaching profiles of gender studies. This guarantees a wide, interdisciplinary expertise.

At the University of Turku, the Master’s Degree Programme in Gender Studies is organised in the Faculty of Humanities. Students also have the possibility to benefit from many other courses offered by the other programmes within the University. The main research areas are:

  • academic feminism
  • research on affects
  • new materialism
  • trans studies

At the University of Tampere, the Programme is a part of the Global Society framework of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities. Within this framework, students have the possibility to benefit from many other courses offered by other programmes. In addition, a network of gender researchers organises regular research seminars. The key research and teaching themes are

  • gender and embodiment
  • gendering practices in changing society
  • the local and global orders of knowledge production on gender, nature and environment
  • ecological choices in everyday life;
  • lesbian and queer studies
  • new materialism
  • affective inequalities in intimate relationships


Competence description

Master’s Degree Programme in Gender Studies will provide you with a high-quality and extensive expertise on issues related to gender, sexuality, gender equality and equal opportunities in society. In the Programme, you learn:

  • to analyse how gender and sexuality organise social structures, cultural practices, human interaction and people’s identities
  • to apply feminist conceptualisations and research approaches
  • to formulate relevant research problems
  • to promote gender equality and human rights in various kinds of jobs and tasks
  • to generate new knowledge and to work for gendered and sexualised equality in society
  • skills for critically examining power relations in connection to marginalised or oppressed groups

You acquire the following practical skills:

  • collecting and using various kinds of research data
  • presenting your analysis textually and orally in a scientific way
  • justifying your analytical choices
  • analytical thinking and problem solving skills
  • written and oral communication skills
  • collaborative work skills and organisational skills
Job options

This Programme is a great option especially for students who wish to pursue a career in

  • national and international research
  • national and international politics
  • equal opportunities policies
  • human rights institutions and organisations in private and public sectors as well as in non-governmental organisations and civil society
  • arts, writing and media careers

Graduates’ knowledge of power relations and social justice issues prepares them for government and jurisprudence positions. Due to the interdisciplinarity of the Programme, the graduates will be well prepared for research career.

Working life connections are realised by inviting visiting lecturers to the courses, for example, from Finnish, Nordic and European governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Students will also be encouraged to complete an internship during the Programme. The internship is optional but can be included in the degree.

Career in research

You will be closely integrated into on-going research in the area. The Programme provides eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Degrees can be completed at the University of Turku.


General degree requirements

Applying students must provide a completed university level Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the field of gender studies.

The decision for admission will be based on:

  • the relevance of the applicant’s previous degree(s)
  • the amount, relevance and grades of the courses in the degree(s)
  • relevant work experience
  • other merits and qualifications
  • language test result (see Language requirements)
  • motivation letter expressing the motivation to study specifically in this programme
Language Requirements

The applicants are required to have a very good knowledge of English. Additional knowledge of at least one language of the region is advantageous.

Applicants are required to prove their knowledge of English in one of the following ways accepted by the Faculty of Humanities:

  • Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent degree conducted in English in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States
  • Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent degree conducted in an English language programme in EU/EEA countries including studies in English language
  • One of the following language tests. In the University of Turku, the minimum scores to be approved are:
  • TOEFL: 575 points from the paper-based test, 92 points from the internet-based test, no individual scores below 20 (i.e. Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing)
  • IELTS Academic: the minimum overall band score is 6.5 and no individual scores below 6.0 (i.e. Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking)
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic, PTE Academic, minimum score 62, and no subtest score under 54 (i.e. Communication Skills: Listening, Reading, Speaking, Writing)
  • The Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): pass grades A, B or C
  • The Certificate In Advanced English (CAE): pass grades A, B or C
  • The test for the National Certificate of Language Proficiency in English set by the Finnish National Board of Education: minimum score 5 for each part

No other language tests or statements of the applicant’s language skills will be accepted.


Application Form and Enclosures

The application period for the Programme is biennially around the turn of the year. The studies start in the following August-September. There is only one intake every two years and studies can be started only in the following autumn.

Student selection is made on the basis of application documents; there is no entrance exam. Please read carefully all the application instructions and detailed admission requirements before applying. Make sure that you fulfil both the admission and language requirements before applying.

Applications are done on the Studyinfo portal ( Search for the Master’s Degree Programme in Gender Studies, University of Turku.


The application form is available to be filled and submitted at the Studyinfo portal during the application period. The documents must be scanned and attached to the application (in pdf format).

When filling in the application form, be prepared to:

  • write a motivation letter
  • describe the grading scale used at your institution at the time of your studies. The grading scale must include all the grades and marks appearing on your transcript of records and their relation to each other. You should also provide a link to an official website where this information can be verified. (In many cases this information is already included in the transcript of records.)

Collect the required application documents.


Fill in the online application form. The online application is open only during the application period.

Additional information

The Master’s Degree Programme in Gender Studies is a co-operation between the University of Turku and the University of Tampere. An applicant is allowed to apply to both or either of the universities within the Programme. If an applicant applies to both universities, the applicant’s preference for home university must be indicated in the application form.

Biennially, 5 students are admitted to the Programme in the University of Turku. All students are required to start at the beginning of the autumn term, and there is no separate admission for the spring term.

Because of the limited admission quota, possession of the degree requirements does not guarantee admission. Only those applicants who have attained a high level of academic performance in their previous studies will be admitted.

Students graduating after the application deadline may apply on the condition that the following attachements are submitted:

  • a temporary (provisional) degree certificate issued by the educational institution to a student who has successfully completed all studies included in the degree (the student has graduated), OR
  • a statement of the institution that the degree will be completed by the given date (July 15), and a transcript of studies
  • a translation of the document in English

In case of admittance, an official and certified copy of the degree certificate or a temporary (provisional) degree certificate issued by the institution must be received by the Faculty of Humanities by 15 July 2017 at 15:00 (local time in Finland). Address: Faculty of Humanities, FI – 20014 University of Turku Finland, (Visiting address: Koskenniemenkatu 4).

The general and country specific requirements concerning the way of certifying and submitting the documents must be followed also after the expiry of the application period.

In general, the application documents required as officially certified copies must bear the official stamp and signature of an authorised university official from the degree awarding institution or a notary public.

All translations must be made by an authorised translator. If copies of translations are submitted, those must also be officially certified.

The following document is optional and does not affect the application in any way. It is simply asked for identification purposes when handling the applicant’s documents, which sometimes contain the applicant’s name in different forms:

  • Copy of information page of the passport or identification card containing the applicant’s name, date of birth and photo.

During the application round, a secondary/high school certificate may be requested from the applicant, if this is necessary for determining the length of the applicant’s previous education (this concerns degrees from a minority of countries).

An applicant should enroll to a language test early enough, e.g., 1-2 months before a test day. This is important because the test results are needed at the end of the application period and tests might be full for a late applicant.

Application documents will not be returned to the applicant nor is it possible to apply with the same submitted documents in later application periods.

Applications sent by e-mail or fax are not accepted.  Incomplete applications will not be processed.


Master’s Degree Programme in



Degree: Master of Arts

Duration: 2 academic years, 120 ECTS credits

Mode of study: Full-time

Faculty / Department: Faculty of Humanities

Location: Turku, Finland

Language of instruction: English

Start date: August 2019

Application period: Intake every two years. Next application period: 3 Dec 2018 – 31 Jan 2019.

Tuition fee for citizens of EU/EEA countries or Switzerland:  None

Tuition fee for citizens of non-EU/EEA countries:  €10,000 / academic year

Scholarships available: check the website



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