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Major: Gender Studies

Major Details

Gender Studies


Department of Sociology
Faculty of Arts

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

100 level

Foundations in Gender Studies (3)

200 level

Reading Gender in Everyday Life (3)
one of
Food Across Cultures (3)
Science of Sex (3)
Gothic Visions: From Sublime to Suburban Gothic (3)
Gender and Crime: Spotlight on Masculinities (3)
The Ecological Humanities: Australians and their Environment (3)
Introduction to Sociolinguistics (3)
Travel, Tourism and Cultural Production (3)
Contemporary Issues in Australian Politics: Race, Nation, Class and Gender (3)
Power, Difference and Recognition (3)
Sociology of Media (3)
3cp from
Food Across Cultures (3)
Science of Sex (3)
Health, Bodies, Identities (3)
Gothic Visions: From Sublime to Suburban Gothic (3)
The Ecological Humanities: Australians and their Environment (3)
Sex, Race and Rock (3)
The Ecological Humanities: Australians and their Environment (3)
Manga, Anime and Representation of Identity (3)
Introduction to Sociolinguistics (3)
War and Peace in World History (3)
Travel, Tourism and Cultural Production (3)
Contemporary Issues in Australian Politics: Race, Nation, Class and Gender (3)
Gender and the State (3)
Power, Difference and Recognition (3)
Sociology of Media (3)
I Shop, Therefore I Am: Global Consumer Society (3)

300 level

Gendered Intersections (3)
'Family Values' in the 21st Century (3)
Naughty Boys, Bad Girls: Gender and Discipline at Home and at School (3)
Gender and Crime (3)


6cp from
Women and Gender in the Ancient World (3)
Ecological Anthropology: Body and Place (3)
Culture, Health and Sexuality in the Developing World (3)
Ab/Normal Bodies (3)
Gender and Education (3)
Feminism and Literature (3)
Asia-Pacific Development (3)
Asia-Pacific Development (3)
Family Law (3)
Discrimination and the Law (3)
Advanced Topics in Criminal Justice (3)
Pleasure and Danger: Sex and the Law (3)
Family Law (3)
Discrimination and the Law (3)
Advanced Topics in Criminal Justice (3)
Pleasure and Danger: Sex and the Law (3)
Culture and Language (3)
Media Identities (3)
Telling True Stories 1 (3)
The Philosophy of Race and Identity (3)
The Psychology of Human Relationships (3)
Philosophy of Psychoanalysis (3)
Women in Russian Culture (3)
The Global Politics of Food and Eating (3)
Love, Sex and Friendship (3)
Human Services in the 21st Century: Care, Gender and Institutions (3)
Activism and Social Change (3)
Social Change Placement (6)


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Additional Information
Overview and Aims of the Program The Gender Studies program offers interdisciplinary teaching and research expertise at Macquarie University. It is hosted by the Department of Sociology in the Faculty of Arts.

As a discipline, Gender Studies investigates what it means to be a woman or a man in different times and different places. Our focus is on masculinity as well as femininity. We look closely at the impact of gender, sex and sexuality on our lives in a variety of arenas: at home, at work, on the streets, in the classroom, in the media, in pulpits and in prison. Who are we? Why are we the ways we are? What directions is society taking and how can it be transformed? Gender Studies offer new approaches to untangling these questions. We bring together units in Anthropology, Asian Studies, Biology, Education, English, History, Law, Media, Psychology, Human Geography, Philosophy, Sociology and more. We also offer units focused solely on Gender Studies, building the foundations of our specialist knowledge, and using it to peer into some surprising new fields of thought and everyday practices. Studying the discipline involves encounters with political forebears and visionary thinkers (Mary Wollstoncroft, Frederick Engels, Sigmund Freud, Simone de Beauvoir and others, through to contemporary gender theorists like Judith Butler). Our students are women and men, new entry and ‘mature’ age, full-time and part-time, internal and external, local and international.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. identify the key features, figures and texts of Gender Studies (K)
2. investigate the points of connection and disconnection between Gender Studies as an interdisciplinary field of study, and the social movement of feminism (K, T, J)
3. explain how gendered social institutions and practices (family forms, workplaces, cultural norms, media technologies) influence and shape individual values, decisions, and behaviour (K, T, C, I)
4. articulate a coherent, developed argument on the question of a gendered symbolic order of power (K, P, C)

5. access any number of Gender Studies resources (print, oral, film, multimedia) and critically analyse such information within their historical, social and theoretical contexts (K, T, P, C)
6. explore the complexity and significance of a number of key issues in contemporary Gender Studies (K, T, P, E)
7. explore the complexity and importance of cross-cultural dialogue on gender issues (K, T, P, E)
8. formulate meaningful and practical solutions and policy responses to gender-related social problems by drawing on interdisciplinary knowledge and theories (K, T, P, I, C, E, A, J)
9. communicate knowledge and skills effectively to a range of audiences, including academics, professionals and fellow students using a variety of communication media (C, I, J)

10. use independent study and research skills relevant to Gender Studies (K, T, P, L)
11. examine the relationship between forms of knowledge and forms of everyday living (K, T, C, E, J, L)
12. think critically about gender-related social problems and their ethical, political and cultural consequences (K, T, J, P, L).
Learning and Teaching Methods Units in the Gender Studies program use a mix of learning and teaching methods. The teaching is informed by the educational philosophy of Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) which encourages students to consider themselves, from the start, as active researchers. In tutorials and in assessment, students are given the opportunity to define an issue and to draw on their own resources and those of the course to find the means to respond to it adequately. They are positioned as active participants in the creation and re-creation of knowledge, rather than passive recipients. Modes of instruction include formal lectures but students are not expected to listen in silence and absorb knowledge mechanically. In tutorials students may be organised into small groups, and in-class activities may include joint internet research (tutorials are mostly held in a computer laboratory with flexible seating arrangements) In EBL, the scene of learning is open to all of the situations in which knowledge has value, including knowledge for an ethical engagement in the world of self and others, and knowledge for its own sake. Here there will be more than one correct answer, and sometimes no answer, for the question itself may be the point of the study. This is where the notion of Enquiry comes in: EBL celebrates the educational values of open-ended, exploratory learning with a focus on the process of thinking and co-creation of knowledge rather than the reduction of knowledge to a given set of products. An openness to the dynamics of thought and imagination means also that the purity of disciplinary truths is tempered with interdisciplinary cross-fertilisations and the possibility of new ideas. A high value is put on democracy within education, particularly in relation to overcoming the hierarchy of teacher (as expert in possession of knowledge) and learner (as novice lacking in knowledge). Here the design of new learning spaces becomes a priority so that flexibility, peer collaboration, and teacher interaction more than podium-delivered lecturing can take place.*

*See the paper of the Director of the Gender Studies program (Inaugural Macquarie University Learning and Teaching Fellow, 2008): Lattas, J. "Inquiry Based Learning: a Tertiary Perspective" in Agora (the quarterly journal of the History Teachers' Association of Victoria), February 2009
Assessment Assessment forms range from on-line multiple choice quizzes, to essays with self-designed questions, incorporating summaries of set academic texts and/or media resources, to research projects including proposals for a workplace research project or higher degree research thesis. Except for the capstone, each unit offers formative (mid-semester) as well as summative (end-semester) assessment tasks designed to build strength on a key component of the final piece of work on the back of customised feedback. Collaborative projects have been incorporated into assessment in some unit offerings (for example group wiki creation) and remain an option where technical support is available and staff workloads allow. Active student participation in the form of regular contributions to discussion in-class and/or on iLearn is a crucially important part of learning in Gender Studies and it is features in assessment in all units.

Students are encouraged to acquire and demonstrate the learning outcomes of the Gender Studies program in the different types of assessment. Knowledge of the discipline of Gender Studies is achieved firstly through the weekly quizzes that test comprehension of key readings and lecture content in all units. The regular tutorials and/or topic-focused online discussion on the unit websites enable students to practise their formulation of responses to unit material, developing skills in interpersonal communication and contributing to an open-ended, media-enriched exploration of gender issues. Through the specifically media-focused assessment tasks, students are guided in their analysis of any number of Gender Studies resources (print, oral, film, multimedia) and shown how to contextualise and assess the value of such information within their historical, social and theoretical contexts. The complexity of cross-cultural dialogue on gender-related social problems, and the importance of meaningful, practical solutions and policy responses to them, is stressed in tasks designed to encourage independent research while students draw on the disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge and theories introduced in each unit (staggered from beginner to advanced levels throughout the program). A developed sense of how gendered social institutions and practices (family forms, workplaces, cultural norms, media technologies) influence and shape individual values, decisions, and behaviour is fostered in students. Here they come to appreciate and find ways to explain to others the relationship between forms of knowledge and forms of everyday living, in all their ethical, political and cultural dimensions. The assessment regime across all levels in the program encourages and rewards independent thought strengthened by critical, intellectual and ethical engagements with the carefully selected material offering a comprehensive grasp of the discipline.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. For recognition of prior informal and non-formal learning, please refer to the relevant RPL Plan, which describes the evidential requirements and approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit in this program.

For undergraduate RPL plans visit
For postgraduate RPL plans visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability This program offers expertise on a wide range of matters that specifically involve gender (the relations between men and women, both interpersonal and institutional; the shaping of identity and body image, the intersections of gender with class and race; the impact of discrimination, and the possibility of social change), which concern many fields of employment. These include:
• education (classroom teaching and curriculum development on a primary, secondary and tertiary level, policy and management issues)
• health and welfare
• political or public policy-making
• media writing and advertising
• management of private and public enterprises (sexual harassment and equal opportunity policy, issues of power, personnel management and office culture), and more.

From our experience, the Gender Studies major has proved useful to students – male as well as female - in a range of employment opportunities.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit