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What is Gender Studies about?

Gender Studies matters because every single human being is always being interpreted by others in a gendered manner. Are you masculine enough? Are you feminine enough? Are you straight enough, or gay enough? All of us live within a gender order in which we are constantly bombarded with messages telling us how we ought to ‘do’ our gender and our sexuality.

Accordingly, to study gender and sexuality is to become more aware of the possibilities and constraints of the gender order within which you dwell.

Gender Studies wrestles with questions of gender and power, as well as changing understandings of human bodies and human sexuality. It is an exploration of the meaning and impact of gender and sexual difference upon all aspects of our lives.

We analyse the ways masculinity and femininity are enacted in the world, and develop a critical awareness of the gender orders within which these identities circulate.


"Come and explore historical and contemporary representations of gender and sexuality, and the tangled relations between gender, race, class, sexuality, ethnicity and religion."

— Dr Lucy Tatman, Gender Studies Coordinator

Recognising differences without denying them

A new book by Dr Louise Richardson-Self investigates the issue of same-sex marriage through a philosophical lens.

Read more about Louise’s research

Why study Gender Studies with us?

As one of the University of Tasmania’s longest running interdisciplinary programs, you will explore gender and sexuality from a range of meaningful perspectives.


Learn from staff whose philosophical approach to Gender Studies has contributed to the University of Tasmania's research in Philosophy ranking above world standard*.


Undertake a major (eight units) or minor (four units) in Gender Studies on-campus in Hobart, or from anywhere online.


Develop critical thinking, communication and writing skills, and expertise on gender relevant to careers in business, health, social work, education, media and policy-making.


Choose from overseas study opportunities – one week to one year – to get a global perspective on Gender Studies.

What careers relate to Gender Studies?

Modern workplaces are invariably changing; responding to economic, political and social forces, including issues of gender and sexuality. Employers value the insight into gendered assumptions that are so pervasive, they're nearly invisible to those who have not been trained to see them.

Employers depend on people who are effective communicators and decision-makers, with demonstrable skills in critical thinking, problem solving, research and investigation. These abilities are fundamental for graduates in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, which includes Gender Studies.


  • Advocacy
  • Communications Manager
  • Counsellor
  • Diplomat
  • Education
  • Heathcare
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Journalist
  • Manager in private and public enterprises
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Media Analyst
  • Not-for-profit or Volunteer Manager
  • Politics or public policy-making
  • Psychology
  • Public health and welfare
  • Public relations
  • Researcher
  • Social worker

How can I learn about Gender Studies?

Many people who undertake a major or minor in Gender Studies treat it as valuable adjunct to another major in their undergraduate degree. It is also a popular choice as the Arts major in combined degrees such as the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law, or the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business.

Because Gender Studies is an inter-disciplinary field, the major or minor is composed of core units (which can be identified with HAF in the unit code) and non-core units drawn from other disciplines that explore gender and sexuality. This allows you to explore gender in differing contexts including in Asian Studies, History and Sociology.

Interested in studying with us? Explore our course and research opportunities below.

Your learning experience in Gender Studies goes beyond the lecture and tutorials.

You will be taught by experts, and gain perspective from guest lecturers and forums; gain a competitive advantage with real-world experience prior to graduation; study abroad for a fortnight, a month, a semester or a year, as part of your degree; have options to complete your studies your way, whether on-campus, online, part-time or full-time;  pursue your passion or specialisation with a range of scholarships, bursaries and financial assistance programs, or meet your career goals with our pathway options.

The College of Arts, Law and Education, including the School of Humanities, offers a growing collection of units that are available to be completed either wholly or partially online to enable flexible study.

* The online availability for each unit is indicated on each individual unit page under ‘Availability’, then ‘Attendance options’ by the ‘Off-Campus’ icon .

Read more about Online Study options

As a student of Humanities both the University and the School provide access to a variety of scholarships and bursaries at a University, College of Arts, Law and Education and Discipline level. The main application period begins in August, and closes on the 31st October the year prior to study commencing.

Browse Scholarships

The College also offers a financial assistance program for students wishing to undertake Short Term Overseas Study Programs.

Short Term Overseas Study Program College assistance and mobility grants

Don't meet the traditional entry requirements? The School of Humanities offers an alternative entry pathway into our undergraduate programs. The Arts pathway is a great introduction into university study, and can assist you in gaining the qualifications and experience you need for your chosen career. This foundation year of study provides students with the skills and knowledge related to studying the arts and social sciences, with additional support and guidance to help you succeed.

If you would like to study a Bachelor of Arts, completing this year of foundation study in Diploma of University Studies (Arts Specialisation) (21A) will assist you in achieving your goals.

Pathway Programs at the University

An overseas study program gives you the opportunity to experience different cultures, study languages, undertake work placement or internships, make new friends and explore the world while receiving credit toward your degree. It provides a 'total immersion' experience in a variety of study areas and locations. You can choose a program length that suits you, from a 2-week fieldtrip, a short-term summer program to a full semester (or two).

Overseas Study opportunities at the College of Arts, Law and Education

Take your passion for ideas further than you ever imagined.

We offer a collegial, supportive environment, with experienced supervision, regular seminar series, research skills training, and many opportunities to work with peers and academics on your areas of interest. We supervise across a range of methodologies and conceptual/theoretical approaches, and encourage scholarship that draws on ideas from across diverse fields.

Choose a research topic that reflects your interests and identify a supervisor with the expertise to guide you in your research. Search for a discipline staff member via our staff profiles, or by their area or expertise through the University Research page.

Degrees

The School of Humanities welcomes qualified applicants to undertake a research degree with us in any of our areas of research strengths and interests.

Masters by Research
Doctorates (PhD)

To find out about application procedures, entry requirements, and scholarships, please visit the Research Degrees web page.

Our research in Philosophy & Gender Studies

The program in Philosophy and Gender Studies has particular research strengths in feminist philosophy, Heidegger, Buddhist philosophy, applied epistemology, Ancient Greek philosophy, logic, and philosophy of religion. We conduct research on same-sex marriage, hate speech, and on prominent women in the history of philosophy including Hannah Arendt and Iris Murdoch. Our internationally recognised research expertise spans:


  • Ancient Greek philosophy
  • Applied epistemology
  • Applied ethics, bioethics and neuroethics
  • Asian Philosophy
  • Continental philosophy
  • Feminist philosophy
  • Meta-philosophy
  • Philosophy and religion
  • Epistemology
  • Metaphysics and philosophy of science
  • Moral and political philosophy

The University of Tasmania is ranked above world standard in the field of Philosophy*. Our research in Philosophy and Gender Studies is published by leading journals and academic presses, with many members of our team having received, or currently holding, prestigious research grants.

We welcome proposals from qualified applicants to undertake research degrees at both the Masters and PhD levels, and are pleased to discuss proposals that cross disciplinary boundaries.

*State Of Australian University Research 2015–16, Australian Research Council.

Read more about our research


Dr Louise Richardson-Self

Featured Researcher | Dr Louise Richardson-Self

Can legalizing same-sex marriage contribute to ending the discrimination and social stigma faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women (LGBT) in the Western world? Louise points out that this question prompts further questions that the usual case for legalizing same-sex marriage has difficulty answering.


Read more about Louise's book


View Louise's full researcher profile Browse our academic staff profiles