MA Gender Studies (2020 curriculum)

The MA programme in Gender Studies at the University of Vienna aims to impart an understanding of how gender constructions, gender codings, gender relations and gender orders affect research and society, where gender is always understood to be part of intersectional relations of power and domination/oppression. On this basis, gender effects that generate inequality are examined in various historical and current as well as in different global contexts.

The inter- and transdisciplinarity that is immanent to Gender Studies makes it possible to transfer methods and epistemes as well as connect different academic cultures and traditions within the entire breadth of approaches within Gender Studies.

How to apply

In order to be admitted to the MA Gender Studies, you need to fulfill both the basic requirements (German proficiency on at least C1 level, a three-year bachelor’s degree or an equivalent academic degree) as well as provide a letter of motivation and proof of prior university-level knowledge of gender theory of at least 10 ECTS credits.

Please carefully read the following information before applying to the MA Gender Stuides:

Structure of the programme

The workload for the MA in Gender Studies is 120 ECTS credits. It consists of four modules as well as the master’s thesis and its defense:

  • Compulsory module 1: Central Topics and Issues (30 ECTS)
  • Compulsory module 2: Theoretical Perspectives and Methodological Approaches (20 ECTS)
  • Compulsory module 3: Individual Specialisation (35 ECTS)
  • Compulsory module 4: Master’s Module (10 ECTS)
  • Master’s Thesis (21 ECTS)
  • Defense (4 ECTS)

Below, you can find more information on all the modules as well as the courses located within them.

Further information

  • Content of the modules
  • Recommended
  • Course types



Important terms and abbreviations

  • semester hours (Semesterwochenstunden – SSt.): The number of semester hours assigned to a course indicate how many in-class units (of 45 minutes each) a given course comprises each week. For example, 2 semester hours translate to 90 minutes of in-class time per week. Every course also includes other activities beyond this in-class time, such as independently engaging with academic literature, working on presentations or essays as well as preparing for exams.
  • ca (course with continuous assessment; prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung): Assessment in courses with continuous assessment (such as Seminare [SE] or Übungen [UE]) is based on two or more verbal and or written tasks that, together, lead to the final grade. Attendance in courses with continuous assessment is usually mandatory. If you take such a course and cannot complete it successfully, you have to re-take the entire course.
  • nca (course with non-continuous assessment; nicht prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung): With courses with non-continous assessment (such as Vorlesungen [VO]), attendance is not mandatory. Grading is usually based on a single exam at the end of the semester (with additional exam dates in the next semester).

You can find further information on important terms and abbreviations in the university’s ABC of terminology.

Modules (120 ECTS)

Compulsory Module 1: Key Topics and Issues (30 ECTS)


Students have a basic understanding of developments in the history of science as well as the thematic range of and current debates in Gender Studies. They know central texts and approaches from different strands and positions within Women’s, Feminist and Gender Studies. They have an interdisciplinary understanding of the place of 'gender' in research and society, and they consider different power relations such as sexism, heteronormativity, racism, ableism and colonialism as interacting with each other. Students can reflexively apply these approaches on the basis of current trans- and interdisciplinary debates and interventions. They have the necessary skills for engaging critically with academic literature as well as for working on and writing about key questions in their own academic work. Particular importance is given to current debates and interventions as well as the linking of research and practice, activism and artistic approaches.

Consists of:

  • VO Key Topics and Questions in Gender Studies (nca; 5 ECTS, 2 semester hours)
  • UE Key Topics and Questions in Gender Studies (ca; 5 ECTS, 2 semester hours)
  • VU Current Debates and Interventions (ca; 5 ECTS, 2 semester hours)
  • UE Guided Reading (ca; 7 ECTS, 2 semester hours)
  • SE Critical Academic Practice (ca; 8 ECTS, 2 semester hours)

Compulsory Module 2: Theoretical Perspectives and Methodological Approaches (20 ECTS)


Students are familiar with key theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches in Gender Studies. They have the capacity to interrogate historical and contemporary reflexive, epistemological, and methodological approaches in Gender Studies and understand their relevance for applications in research and society. Additionally, they can relate theories and methods to each other and apply them independently.

Consists of:

  • VO Theoretical Perspectives (nca; 5 ECTS, 2 semester hours)
  • VO Methodological Approaches (nca; 5 ECTS, 2 semester hours)
  • SE Research Seminar (ca; 10 ECTS, 4 semester hours)

Compulsory Module 3: Individual Specialisation (35 ECTS, at least 16 of which have to be from the MA Gender Studies)


Students have a deepened and broadened interdiscilinary understanding as well as skills regarding topics of inerest to them. These include, for example, critical post- and decolonial, queer and trans as well as intersectional feminist perspectives.

  • Based on the courses offered, you may choose continuous-assessment and/or non-continuous-assessment courses for a total of 35 ECTS credits. (You cannot re-use courses from any course of studies that was the basis for admission to the Master's programme in Gender Studies.)
  • You may also do a internship (Praktikum – PR) for up to 10 ECTS credits as well as the UE Professional Fields in Gender Studies (ca; 6 ECTS / 2 semester hours) as part of the Individual Specialisation.
  • As part of this module, you must complete at least two seminar courses from the MA in Gender Studies that are offered for this module (each seminar course is 8 ECTS credits / 2 semester hours).
  • The courses that can be taken as part of this module can be found online in the course directory for the MA Gender Studies (u:find)
  • Courses from other study programmes and the internship must be individually approved by the Directorate of Studies (SPL) for Gender Studies in advance.

Compulsory module 4: Master’s Module (10 ECTS)


  • successful completion of compulsory module 1


Students have the necessary skills for planning and executing their thesis work. They can present their academic work at any stage and communicate thier arguments stringently in inter- and transdisciplinary contexts.

Consists of:

  • UE Proposal Workshop (ca; 5 ECTS, 2 semester hours)
  • SE Thesis Workshop (ca; 5 ECTS, 2 semester hours)

You must have successfully completed the UE Proposal Workshop before registering for the Thesis Workshop.

Instead of the Thesis Workshop, you can also take an equivalent course with your respective thesis supervisor. This course substitution must be approved by the Directorate of Studies (SPL) in advance.

Master’s Thesis (21 ECTS)

The master’s thesis serves to demonstrate students’ ability to conduct research independently and reasonably regarding both content and methodology. The topic of the master’s thesis must be chosen in such a way that completion within six months is possible and reasonable.

Further information:

Defense (4 ECTS)

Before you can have your defense, you must have completed all required modules and exams. Additionally, your master’s thesis must have been graded positively.

The defense includes a defense of your thesis as well as an examination of its academic context. Grading for the defense is based on §9 of the provisions regarding study law in the statutes.

Further information: