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Study Gender Studies at Otago

What does gender mean to you?

What is gender identity?

Why is there a gender pay gap?

Why are the All Blacks the “national team”?

Gender is a complex element of social and cultural existence with far-reaching implications for the course of our lives. It shapes the work we do and how we spend our leisure time. It affects not only our identities, but our income, our family relationships and friendships, the value and meanings we attach to other people and activities, what we eat and how we dress, and even how we speak. Gender Studies explores categories such as “women”, “men”, “trans”, or “non-binary” and how they can be fundamental to our own and others’ understandings of who we are.

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Why study Gender Studies?

At New Zealand's leading Gender Studies programme, we'll surprise you. You'll be introduced to different perspectives on things you've always taken for granted, while you explore television, film, social media, public debate, photography, subculture and fashion as well as scholarly reading.

The staff are enthusiastic! They work interactively, and involve students actively in their own learning. Students are encouraged to think independently and to relate their academic learning to the world they encounter daily.

Gender Studies consistently gains high ratings for student satisfaction with their learning experience.

Topics covered in the core programme include:

  • bodies in popular culture
  • cultural construction of sexuality
  • consumer culture and work
  • family life
  • gender in the media
  • social justice
  • intersectionality
  • violence
  • gender, sexuality and state power

Gender Studies runs a core programme but also introduces you to a whole range of disciplines. A Gender Studies degree can include papers in Sociology, Criminology, Anthropology, Education, English, Film and Media, Geography, History, Law, Politics, and Religion. It's up to you!

Many Gender Studies papers can be credited towards other degree programmes, including majors in Sociology, Film and Media, Politics, Philosophy, and the minor in Criminology.

Gender Studies can be included as a major for a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Arts and Commerce, or a Bachelor of Arts and Science. It is available as a minor subject for several qualifications, including a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Commerce.

Career opportunities

Realise your ideas to create value in the real world by working in:

  • Policy development and analysis
  • Human rights
  • Trade union and EEO work
  • Education
  • Human resources
  • Health and community advocacy
  • Business and management
  • Journalism and the media
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Arts, entertainment and museum work

Gender Studies will also enable you to develop personal and professional skills that are highly valued by employers:

  • The ability to think broadly, critically and creatively
  • Appreciation of diverse points of view
  • The ability to analyse and participate in debate
  • Research skills
  • Clear and effective written expression
  • Verbal reasoning, verbal address
  • Team work

The critical perspectives and knowledges gained through training in Gender Studies are also applicable well beyond specific career contexts.

A Gender Studies major or minor provides you with skills that will prove useful through all aspects of your life.

Background required

All students are welcome to study Gender Studies at Otago. No prior knowledge is required.


Gender Studies as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BCom, BEntr, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (BEntr), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree


Five GEND papers, at least three of which must be above 100-level, including at least one above 200-level


 One 100- or 200-level GEND paper may be replaced by one of the following: ANTH 205, CRIM 201, GEOG 210, HIST 215, HIST 226, HIST 234, MFCO 212, RELS 209, ANTH 322, ANTH 327, EDUC 318, ENGL 331, MFCO 301, RELS 309, any 200 or 300-level SOCI paper 
Total 90

GEND papers

Paper Code Year Title Points Teaching period
GEND101 2024 Gender in Everyday Life 18 Semester 1
GEND102 2024 Bodies, Sexualities and Society 18 Semester 2
GEND201 2024 Introduction to Feminist Theory 18 Semester 2
GEND205 2024 Gender and the Media 18 Semester 1
GEND206 2024 Gender, Work and Consumer Culture 18 Semester 2
GEND207 2024 Masculinities 18 Semester 1
GEND208 2024 Governing Bodies 18 Not offered in 2024
GEND209 2024 Critical Victimology 18 Semester 1
GEND210 2024 Gender, Crime and Justice 18 Semester 1
GEND234 2024 Special Topic 18 Not offered in 2024
GEND305 2024 Gender and the Media 18 Semester 1
GEND306 2024 Gender, Work and Consumer Culture 18 Semester 2
GEND307 2024 Masculinities 18 Semester 1
GEND308 2024 Governing Bodies 18 Not offered in 2024
GEND309 2024 Critical Victimology (Advanced) 18 Semester 1
GEND310 2024 Gender, Crime and Justice 18 Semester 1
GEND311 2024 Interventions in Sexual Violence 18 Semester 2
GEND334 2024 Special Topic 18 Not offered in 2024
GEND401 2024 Debates in Gender and Sexuality 20 Semester 1
GEND490 2024 Dissertation 60 Full Year
GEND590 2024 Research Dissertation 60 Full Year, 1st Non standard period

More information

Contact us

Sociology, Gender Studies and Criminology Programme
Tel +64 3 479 7951

Studying at Otago

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Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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