Centre for Women's Studies MA Student Prizes

The CWS MA Programmes are tough, demanding a great deal from students in terms of interdisciplinary insight, theoretical acumen, and cultural discernment; they also provide wonderful opportunities to develop research practices that extend ways of knowing and concomitant means to work towards feminist change in scholarly and societal contexts. While we deeply value all work undertaken by CWS students, these prizes are offered as small tokens of particular achievement, as a fun but meaningful way to encourage and recognise different kinds of women’s studies work.

 We offer three prizes for students on the taught MA programmes, in the form of a small book token and a public record of award holders on the CWS website.

 All prizes are awarded by, and at the discretion of the CWS Board of Studies. The criteria are outlined below.

The Journal of Gender Studies Women’s Studies Prize

This prize is awarded to a student for their overall work in CWS. In this context ‘work’ refers to assessments, class participation and good citizenship. The prize is awarded to:

  • A student who has contributed generously to the research and social culture of CWS, supporting others and making the most of the opportunity for themselves OR
  • A student who has made extraordinary progress in their MA studies.

The Susan Anderson History Prize

This prize is in memory of Susan Anderson who undertook postgraduate work in CWS in the 1990s; after she died her family and friends wished to honour her life by offering a prize for work in the field she loved. The recipients of this award are recorded on a plaque situated in the CWS foyer (designed by alumna Hilary Kay Doran), as well as on the CWS website.

This prize is awarded for the best dissertation which employs historical methods or perspectives to expand knowledge of women’s lives.  

The Prize for Adventurous Academic Work

This prize is awarded for a Dissertation that investigates uncharted or daunting territory.

While we recognise that for every student a dissertation is an adventure, this prize is awarded for work that is especially daring in some way. The definition of ‘adventurous dissertation’ is quite broad, and at the discretion of the BOS. However, in this context an ‘adventurous dissertation’ will tend to fall into one of these categories:

  • Employing experimental methods or methodologies  
  • Investigating a particularly risky or unusual topic
  • Forging clear new connection between academic and activist work
  • OR, in exceptional circumstances, demonstrating evidence of a sizeable disciplinary leap by the student.