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MA Women's and Gender Studies (GEMMA)

2024/25 entry (transfer-in only)

Gain an international perspective on gender studies through this unique course.

This course is only available as a transfer-in option for those who have already studied their first year at one of our partner institutions. Our last intake will be September 2024.

Study for a prestigious double Masters degree in Women’s and Gender Studies from two leading European women's studies institutions.

This unique qualification, supported by the European Commission, is the first and only Erasmus Mundus ‘Masters of Excellence’ in Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe.

GEMMA is a geographically and culturally diverse consortium of seven different institutions from six different European countries, bringing together distinguished feminist scholars from a range of disciplines in the arts, humanities and social sciences. 

The programme will provide you with an extensive and highly-varied learning experience where you will enjoy a breadth of module choices. Its comprehensive design is ideal for students working, or intending to work in areas related to Women's Studies, Gender Studies and Equal Opportunities across the world.

Through interdisciplinary internationally-focused teaching, you’ll develop the critical academic understanding and range of practical competencies required of effective active citizens contributing to gender equality. 

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Gain a double degree

This course is an Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degree, meaning that you'll be awarded two MAs at the end of the course - one from each of your chosen institutions.

Learn among the best

Indulge your interests with the wealth of global knowledge embedded in the GEMMA network and consortium universities.

Masters of Excellence

GEMMA is recognised as a ‘Masters of Excellence’ by the European Commission, and has been selected as an Erasmus Mundus course three consecutive times.

Course content

The GEMMA programme is taught over two years, consisting of four semesters. At the end of the programme, you will gain a double Masters degree, issued by the two institutions where you conduct your studies.

You'll start at any one of the European consortium universities - this will be your home institution. In the second year you’ll spend up to a full year at one of the partner universities. Students spending just half the second year at their mobility university will return to their home university for the second half. 

Your choice of specialisation and elective modules will guide your decision in selecting a partner university. The institution's current fields of expertise are: 

  • University of Bologna (Italy): literature
  • University of Granada (Spain): social sciences and literature
  • University of Oviedo (Spain): cultural and literary studies post-colonial studies
  • University of Łódź (Poland): political and social sciences, media studies
  • Central European University: social and political sciences
  • University of Utrecht (The Netherlands): literary visual and cultural studies, historical and philosophical research

Year 1

You'll spend your first year in the 'home' institution, studying modules totalling 120 credits. You'll gain a solid understanding in the fundamentals of women's and gender studies.

Core modules

You will also take a compulsory IT Session and Academic Integrity Module to ensure you have a basic knowledge of academic requirements and the digital literacy skills to optimise your learning and engagement with the course’s resources.

Option modules

You will also study three optional modules. Examples from previous years have included:

Year 2

You'll spend either one or two semesters in your selected partner institution - the 'mobility' institution. Alongside a Dissertation, you will study various option modules to the equivalent of 60 York credits undertaken as part of the study abroad mobility.

You may return to your home institution in the fourth semester to complete your final dissertation. The dissertation should be 20,000 to 30,000 words long, and will be jointly supervised by the home and mobility institutions. Alternatively, you may choose to remain at the partner institution. The dissertation may be written in any of the three official languages of instruction (English, Spanish and Italian), depending on which is your home university for your dissertation.

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

  • Interrogate and explain key feminist ideas and the cultural, historical and inter/national contexts in which they emerge, with a nuanced understanding of the differences among women with regard to categories such as race, ethnicity, class, age, disability, sexuality.
  • Analyse gendered lives and wider socio-political and cultural issues through the application of interdisciplinary feminist approaches to knowledge, with a nuanced understanding of the intersections between feminist thought and wider social and cultural debates.
  • Recognise the complexity of power relations and how these inform one’s critical practice by demonstrating reflexive insight into the ethical and political issues inherent in scholarship.
  • Apply and demonstrate sophisticated knowledge of interdisciplinary research methods, with a nuanced understanding of their strengths and limitations.
  • Plan, design and undertake a substantial independent research project, through the application of appropriate theories and methodologies.
  • Independently locate, manage, synthesise and present complex ideas from multiple sources through the use of digital skills.
  • Communicate complex arguments cogently and with nuance in written and oral form to a standard expected of professionals and scholars.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching format

Teaching is usually in the form of two-hour seminars which include group work and full class discussion. Seminars are led by a single tutor or run collaboratively by a team of academics. Certain modules will include non-assessed oral presentations, helping to develop your academic performance through constructive feedback from tutors and peers.

You will be assigned a personal supervisor and you'll regularly meet with tutors, in seminars and during arranged meetings.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Centre for Women’s Studies on Campus East, where most of your teaching will take place.

Assessment and feedback

You’ll be assessed in a number of different ways, depending on the modules you study.

Forms of assessment include:

  • presentations
  • reflexive journals
  • portfolio work
  • essays

We pride ourselves on delivering detailed written and verbal feedback to all of our students. Whenever you complete an assessment you are encouraged to discuss your work with the tutors to improve your learning.

You’ll also receive feedback on assignments that don’t count towards your final grade, helping you to understand your strengths and identify areas for improvement.

Careers and skills

Our programmes emphasise a feminist sensitivity to difference and power relations, advocating transferable skills applicable in the realms of public engagement and career development. You will learn to analyse your own preconceptions and engage with a wide variety of social/political issues, facilitating your development into responsible global citizens.

Fostering enhanced analytical and critical thinking skills, and the ability to communicate complex ideas with nuance and awareness of difference and diversity, this double MA in Women's and Gender Studies also offers a suitable foundation for graduates wishing to pursue doctoral research.

Career opportunities

  • Domestic violence officer
  • Advocacy support
  • Emergency coordinator
  • Gender consultant and researcher
  • Women's hostel support worker
  • Higher education researcher and lecturer

Transferable skills

  • Reflexive independent learning
  • The ability to research, source and examine information thoroughly
  • The capacity to critically analyse evidence and construct coherent arguments
  • Excellent written and oral skills
  • Intellectual independence and autonomy
  • Teamwork
  • A flexible and open-minded approach to work

Entry requirements

  • Undergraduate degree: 2:1 or equivalent in a related subject
  • IELTS (Academic and Indicator): 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component

How to apply

For more information on applying to this programme at partner universities please email 

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions