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University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies



The University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies offers a full-time and part-time PhD programme in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies. Through lectures, seminars, workshops, public events, and especially work with a supervisor from any department or faculty at the University of Cambridge, students will develop both general knowledge of the field(s) of gender studies as well as specific knowledge related to their own research project. Students will gain advanced methodological training suitable to conduct their own research from both in-house seminars and workshops and from supporting programmes around Cambridge. PhD students receive training in a wide variety of academic skills such as engagement with other scholars in seminars, and preparation for academic publishing and the job market. They will also have the opportunity to gain teaching skills, to organise their own conferences, and to participate in various forms of public engagement and other aspects of academic life as part of a lively and supportive community of scholars from UCCGS, and around the University and beyond. 

The PhD in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies is structured as a three year programme with an expectation that PhD students will submit a full draft of their thesis at the end of the third year or soon after. Students should submit their thesis for examination by viva during their 4th year, if not before. From 2023, the PhD in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies will also be offered as a part-time programme, which students will be expected to complete over the course of 5-7 years.

The PhD in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies programme includes a PhD seminar, a Multi-disciplinary gender research seminar, a series of speaker events and for those who have not read the MPhil in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies, two further courses:

  • Theory, Controversy and Methodology (MGS 1)
  • Gender and Methods (MGS 2)

Theory, Controversy and Methodology is organised as a set of lectures that will focus on examples of key thinkers. The lectures will be followed by seminars organised around group discussion of texts that either draw methodologically on the approaches portrayed in the lectures, or texts that critique them. In this way, and across the course, the aim is for students to see how ideas travel through texts, theoretical debates and disciplines enabling development of innovative approaches.

Gender and Methods provides students with practical training for their thesis research. This element of the programme is organised as a combination of both internal and centrally run methods sessions tailored to research interests.

 [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 required to successfully complete their first year assessment in order to register fully for the PhD programme and are required to undergo two further annual reviews.

PhDs in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies emerge prepared for a wide variety of careers in academia and related fields such as governments, NGOs, media, advocacy, and more.

Throughout the programme, students are encouraged to debate ideas and concepts and will have the opportunity to interact with world-leading experts in gender theory including the Diane Middlebrook and Carl Djerassi Visiting Professorship.

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.