Women's and Gender Studies
The Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) program gives students the opportunity to achieve a gender balance in their university studies by exploring the crossdisciplinary academic study of women, gender and sexualities. Studying WGS will extend your awareness of feminism, and of women's issues in Australia and around the world, in the past and present. It will also illustrate how gender has intersected with racism, heteronormativity and other discriminatory categories of difference to sustain unequal social relations.
Women's and Gender Studies at UNSW
WGS is one of a number of faculty-wide interdisciplinary programs in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Courses within the program are offered by a number of different areas, including History, Philosophy, English, Politics, Sociology, Languages and Linguistics. The program includes a range of courses focusing on feminist scholarship, debates and issues, both historical and contemporary, within local and global contexts. Some courses focus specifi cally upon women (women's changing social situation, women's roles, women's issues etc), while others study gender and sexualities. In feminist scholarship `gender' refers to social constructions of femininity and masculinity. Studying gender illustrates some parallels and continuities but also reveals how these constructs vary with time and cultural context.
Visit the Women's and Gender Studies website
Download the Women's and Gender Studies brochure (PDF) (467 Kb)
An understanding of women's or gender issues will benefi t graduates in a wide range of careers, especially those concerned with social policy and justice. Potential employers may include The Commonwealth Office for the Status of Women and state government equivalents, and non- government organisations centrally or vitally concerned with women's and gender issues. More broadly, the combination of WGS with other areas of study provides valuable expertise for careers in advocacy, anthropology, arts, counselling, education, history, humanities, international studies, law, philosophy, psychology, public health, public policy, social work, and sociology.
As one of Australia's most international universities UNSW encourages students to spend a session or two overseas studying at one of our partner institutions as part of your degree. UNSW manages a large and active exchange program with over 180 different student exchange opportunities in 32 countries.
WGS may be taken as a minor in the Bachelor of Arts. The minor gives you the opportunity to complete six courses from the WGS program, including one introductory core course in fi rst year, at least two in second year and at least one in third year. Course selection may change each year.
Combining with other Programs
WGS can be combined with other majors, or taken as elective subjects to complement other disciplines. Popular combinations include Social Work, Law, Social Policy, Sociology, Criminology, Politics, History, English and Media studies.
A sound understanding of social constructions of gender and social problems such as the high rates of violence against women, or women's greater dependence upon welfare and their high representation in poverty statistics, will stand graduates in good stead with prospective employers in a range of areas. Apart from the Commonwealth Office for the Status of Women and state government equivalents, there are also many non-government organisations centrally or vitally concerned with women's and gender issues. It therefore makes sense for students to combine WGS with Social Work, Sociology, Law or Criminology. For the student with an interest in cultural studies, a major in English, Media or the Performing Arts can be paired with WGS.
Program Coordinator: Dr Helene Bowen Raddeker
View your course options in the UNSW Handbook
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Media (Communication & Journalism)
- Bachelor of Media (Media Production)
- Bachelor of Media (Screen & Sound)
Courses available are listed at the UNSW Handbook.