skip to primary navigationskip to content

PhD Overview


The PhD programme in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies (PhD-MGS) introduces students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds to the traditions, methods and front-line research that shape gender analyses at an advanced level through a series of seminars and lectures as well as close personal supervision. Those who have not read the MPhil in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies will follow a series of lectures and seminars throughout the Michaelmas and Lent terms of their first year:

  •      Theory and Controversy (MGS 1)
  •      Research Methodologies (MGS 2)
  •      Multi-disciplinary Gender Research Seminar
  •      PhD Gender Seminar
  •      Multi-disciplinary Speaker Programme

[NB: Students who have completed the MPhil in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies need not follow MGS 1 and MGS 2]. 

Each PhD student will work with a Principal Supervisor who will guide their research.

Students are encouraged to debate ideas and concepts throughout the course and will have the opportunity to interact with world-leading experts in gender theory hosted by the Centre throughout the year through the Diane Middlebrook and Carl Djerassi Visiting Professorship.

Theory and Controversy

This survey course of lectures introduces key areas of contemporary gender theory. It gives students the chance to analyse why gender scholars (or other relevant thinkers) disagree and what it is they disagree about. There is an emphasis on fostering students' abilities to critically assess the ontological and epistemological assumptions characteristic of different theoretical approaches and to critically evaluate their empirical research potential.

Gender Studies Research Methodologies

This course is designed to prepare students for primary research. The course includes general methods sessions on for example, research design; the collection, management and analysis of data (quantitative and qualitative); and research ethics and how to present research in dissertation form. Additionally, students are taught to critically evaluate various research methods and to compare the value of different methodological techniques and approaches to gender analysis.

There are 2 main components:

  1. Social Science Research Methods (SSRM) modules taught centrally within the University.
  2. Research Methodologies sessions conducted within the University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies including individual guidance on each of the student's research projects.

Gender Research Seminar

In addition to the two core courses above, the Multi-disciplinary Gender Research Seminar will convene at least four times a term Michaelmas (Autumn) and Lent (Spring) only. The purpose of this seminar series is to present front-line research in the multi-disciplinary study of Gender by senior scholars within and beyond Cambridge, as well as by junior academics, post-doctoral research fellows and advanced graduate students. These seminars will also be a compulsory component of the PhD. For a list of upcoming Research Seminars, see...


ARB Tall Pic