MA in Gender Studies

Programme Description

The Masters programme in Gender Studies in AUD is envisaged as a thoroughly interdisciplinary course drawing upon gendered analysis from the sciences, social sciences and the humanities.

It would enable students to understand the ‘situatedness’ of an individual within a family, society, culture, nation-state and global politics. It considers the understanding subjective of psycho-social of the and aspects gendered experience along with the development aspects to be integral to any gender studies programme. This is also one of the unique strengths of this programme.

The course will combine theory, method and contemporary context to develop sensitivity towards the workings of gender in wide ranging domains. It will challenge students to think about the operation of gender at multiple levels through an exhaustive set of readings and stimulating experiences. Alternative pedagogical devices will be employed to make the learning experience enriching and enjoyable.

Programme Structure

The programme is an integral part of the inter-disciplinary, intersectional and dynamic vision of AUD, which conceives of academic learning as providing students with a critical conceptual framework in its engagement with social realities and issues.

Consistent with this ideal, the MA Programme is envisaged as a thoroughly interdisciplinary one, drawing upon gendered analyses from the sciences, social sciences and the humanities.


The pedagogies of teaching and learning employed at Gender Studies are intended to inculcate a feminist sensibility in our students, in ways that balance academic rigour with intellectual freedom. We encourage them to experience the personal as political by bringing into the classroom spaces, critical reflection on their own and others’ life histories and activism in conjunction with feminist texts and theorisation and offer multiple sites of assessment.


The MA in Gender Studies is a 64 credits programme. Core areas like South Asia and Global Feminisms offer both a historical and methodological analysis of the movements around gender and women. Elective options build on faculty specialisations to encourage students to take up specialisations both amenable to employability and furthering the key research agendas of the ?eld. The students also have the freedom of being able to choose Electives across the different Schools and Programmes of the university, which adds to the depth of varied perspectives that they bring to the Gender Studies courses.

DURATION: 2 years (4 semesters) Full time



The Programme equips students with the degree that would be able to intervene in multiple settings which require a gendered analysis such as governmental and non-governmental organisations, educational settings, mental health and disability, media and definitely the academia. .

Program Structure M.A Gender Studies

Programme Outline

The objectives of this 2-year programme are:

  • To understand social reality from a gender sensitive perspective
  • To unravel the biases that operate within the traditional disciplines whether in the sciences, social sciences or humanities
  • To develop analytical skills and critical thinking about the operation of gender at multiple levels
  • To intervene in multiple settings – governmental and non-governmental organizations, educational, mental health and disability, media and academia – requiring a focus on inequities associated with gender
  • To question and re-imagine disciplines and knowledge from a feminist lens
  • To study the history and politics of women’s activism and social change
  • To appreciate the intersections between the personal and the political.

The MA in Gender Studies is placed in the School of Human Studies (SHS). The uniqueness of MA in Gender Studies is its focus on inter-disciplinarity. The programme comprises of:

  1. Three interdisciplinary core courses of 4 credits each which is common to all MA programmes of the School of Human Studies.
  2. Eleven core courses specific to MA Gender Studies of which six are of 4 credits each and five are of 2 credits each.
  3. Six electives courses of which two are 2 credits each and the other four are of 4 credits each.
  4. One course of 2 credits in Introduction to Research Methods followed by 2 credits course of Feminist Research Methods.
  5. One course of Dissertation workshop for 2 credits.
  6. Summer internship/Fieldwork carries 2 credits and the Dissertation in the 4th semester carries 4 credits.

Course Preambles

MA Gender Studies Structure


Course Credits
SEM 1 Ideas, Knowledge, Ethics (foundation) 4
Introduction to Gender 4
Family 4
Feminist Movements in South Asia 4
SEM 2 Ways of Humans (foundation) 4
Gender Work and Labour 4
Sexualities 2
Introducion to Research Methods 2
Global Feminisms 4
SEM 3 Experiencing the Self/Politics, Resistance, Transformation (foundation with choice between the two) 4
Health 4
Masculinities 2
Feminist Research Methods 2
Violence 2
Dissertation Workshop 2


Bodies 2
State, Nationa, Citizenship, Law 2
Reading Feminist Texts 2
ELECTIVE: not decided 4
Dissertation 4

1. Ideas, Knowledge and Ethics (IKE) (Foundational – 4 Credits)

This core course in the School of Human Studies presents some of the finest ideas in philosophy. Philosophy takes a first look at the making of an object; it is an intellectual behind-the-scenes. The scene of the course, and its object, is the human. As a core course it carries a concern at the very heart of this School in which all the programs offered revolve around newly constituted objects. Our interest in the exploited-oppressed-marginalized human (for instance the gendered human) or the suffering human (suffering at times in a clinical sense), requires us to return to philosophy to see how it prepares the ground for asking new questions on the human but also sets a limit on the answers that are given. This return is as much political as it is intellectual. As we read about questions philosophers have repeatedly asked we will also think of those they have rarely asked.

A renowned philosopher once wrote of it: philosophy is the deepest cultural form available to us today within which to reflect upon the human condition. We will study some of these deep issues first and then reflect upon the possible limits culture may have set on the answers philosophers have tried to give us. This demands of us a sense of history and indeed the course presents ideas around the human in a quasi-historical mode, that is, we study the history of philosophy, usually western philosophy, through some of its greatest moments in their contexts. The course thus traces a history of ideas, or a history of the philosophy of the human, in an attempt to examine some of the fundamental questions of human existence. Three vast questions, reflecting three big domains of philosophy (ontology, epistemology and ethics), also reflected in the title of the course, will be taken on: Who are we? How do we know? What must we do? The course is premised on the idea that this tripod of questions will create conditions for a reflexive form of psycho-social-clinical studies and gender studies.

2. Introduction to Gender (ITG)

The course introduces students to some of the central categories employed in a gendered analysis of human existence. The themes of patriarchy, sexuality and their intersections with caste and religion are fore-grounded. 3. Family

This course will introduce students to the family as a social construction that is central in the process of formation of identities. The different relationships of intimacies and attachments and associated complexities will be interrogated.

4. Feminist Movements in South Asia (FMSA)

The course explores significant issues, events and ideas in the histories of women’s struggles and feminism in South Asia, with a particular focus on India.

5. Ways of Humans (WOH)

This is the second foundational course of the School of Human Studies, it develops on the first, and attempts to capture certain essential aspects of human beings across time and space. We talk of the ways in which humans situate themselves ontologically, experientially, cognitively and societally in the world around them and among themselves. The course looks at the ways in which human beings organize and form structures through which they operate, experience and situate themselves in their daily lives. It therefore moves from everyday articulations of human practices to abstract notions about such practices, that is, from practice to theory, and back, in the attempt to open up both the similarities and the differences, across time and space, in how humans think, feel and act collectively.

6. Gender, Work and Labour (GWL)

The course will take up ‘work,’ ‘labour,’ ‘gender’ as critical terms, as categories of analysis that open up our understanding of caste, sexuality, citizenship to name a few objects of enquiry.

7. Sexualities  

The course aims to move away from the popular conceptualisation of sexuality in the plural as 'sexualities,' an approach that sees sexuality as a set of practices, as sexual practices, as expressions of erotic desire and thus within the registers of governmentality. Instead, the attempt would be to unhinge these various concepts from each other and show how disturbing sexuality is, how difficult it is to capture and how complicated our relationship to 'it' is, and what such a destabilization may mean for a feminist politics

 8. Introduction to Research Methodology (IRM)

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the fundamentals of research in the social sciences and humanities.

9. Global Feminisms (GF)

The course begins by tracing some of the important moments in the making of “global feminism” as a category – the radical feminist moment of the 70s USA, the U.N. development decades of the 60s and 70s which “added” women globally into development goals for the globe etc. It will attempt to understand the unintended/intended effects of the global on the local/national/regional feminisms and the relationship between these strands.

10. Summer Internship (Fieldwork)

The students will be expected to spend 30 days in the summer doing internship. The aim of the fieldwork is to facilitate an understanding of the gendered quality of lived experience as well as to promote ways of negotiating with it.

11. Experiencing the Self (ETS)

This course hopes to direct the participants towards a more focused yet free flowing awareness and experience of personal selfhood. The course content includes enriching insights from five major perspectives- Psychoanalysis, Feminist, Existential, Engaged Buddhist & Critical Psychology. The course is geared towards helping potential students/psychologists or Gender Professionals develop a self reflexive relationship with themselves and to enter the challenges of young adulthood in a more free flowing, vibrant & alive manner. The course proceeds with the help of experiential workshops, readings of selected texts & theoretical writings, review & analysis of films & literary stories and participative group work. Students are required to submit reflective and analytical writings on their journey through the course.

12. Health

What do we understand by the concept called ‘health?’ Dominant definition of ‘health’ is the absence of disease. Modern medicine’s promise of curing all that is pathological or dysfunctional has enabled a certain way of understanding the human body. What happens when the concepts of normality and abnormality extends its judgment to behaviour, life style and mental health? Medicine and medical practice can then become both caring and controlling. Modern medicine and science have infact provided the specific knowledge or a guide to understanding and looking at our body. The course will seek to understand health care and systems of health care delivery developed on the basis of science and modern medicine. We will explore critiques, by both public health and feminist activists and scholars, of this conceptual understanding of health and health care systems. It will also look at the critiques of modern medicine and regimes of scientific knowledge and technology that frame the human body in specific ways and generate forms of governmentality that (self) regulate activities of individuals and populations.

The course will give an overview of critical issues in public health and will foreground women, especially the more vulnerable strata of women, to mark an entry point into debates around science, modern medicine, illness, well-being and offer critiques and alternatives to the current challenges of envisioning a people oriented health care system. It will look at ways in which bio-medical discourse produces race, gender, caste and class and differentially structures women and men’s experiences of health. The course will cover a broad range of health issues for which gender has been of specific importance. It will also locate the concerns of women’s health and well being in the larger context of socio historical, economic and political realities. It seeks to understand the biological, psychosocial and political factors affecting women's health and also analyze the ways in which this understanding is integrated into existing public health initiatives.

13. Masculinities

The discourse of masculinity as a dominant and privileged gender position is produced at a number of sites and has specific consequences for women as well as men. This course will explore various cultural, political and social contexts through which ideas of masculinity / masculinities circulate and take shape.

14. Violence: Feminist Critiques and Resistance (VFCR)

This course attempts to unpack why “violence against women” has become the dominant way to critique patriarchy and enter feminist politics. A purely negative relation to violence hinders us from seeing subject formation itself as a violent act. This is most urgent for an engaging and responsible feminist critique and resistance to violence.

15. Feminist Research Methods (FRM)

This course continues the issues and debates from the IRM course. We will turn to feminist problematizations and elaborations of the basic research paradigms presented in the earlier course: The course will introduce students to feminist critiques of and debates about research methodologies across the spectrum of disciplines in the natural and social sciences as well as in the humanities.

16. Dissertation Workshop

This course will facilitate students to think about their areas of research interest and arrive at a specific research question.

17. Bodies 

This course will explore the concept of the body from a gendered perspective. It will ask the question what is the body? Is it a biological base of the self that is irreducible further?, Isn’t it the right material of study for disciplines like biology or medical science? What does Human Studies, veering right now, towards Humanities and Social Sciences, have to do with Bodies?

The course further asks the question, is this “base” available to us apart from the stories that make us see the body in particular ways? How does one hear these stories? What are the meanings sent out by different bodies? Are bodies saying gendered stories? Always?

18. State, Nation and Citizenship and Law (SNCL)

This course would help us journey through critical gendered and anti-caste perspectives on state, nation, nation-state, citizenship and law. Such a journey would mean understanding these terms as concepts, historical constructions and practices which have social, economic, political and cultural consequences. These consequences would be understood using a bunch of eclectic secondary reading sources (literary productions such as poems and autobiographies, translations of regional scholars, blog posts, newspaper articles etc.) connecting them with the lived experience/s of the classroom. The course would work around the axis of gender, caste, sexuality, region, religion and language. The course will contemplate over the following key questions – (a) how do we understand the terms used in the ‘title of the course’, what are their histories and how are they distinct from or similar to each other? (b) How have feminists and anti-caste scholars explored nation, state, citizenship and law in theory and praxis? (c) How did/do scholars, thinkers understand and interrogate the ‘idea of India’ in colonial and post-colonial period? What are the continuities and changes? (d) What is our relationship to the Nation-State? Do relationships and claims to citizenship differ based on our socio-cultural, spatial, linguistic locations?   

19a. Gendered World: Memory and Politics in Northeast India (GWNEI) (Elective)

The course will introduce students to Northeast India through a gendered lens.

19b. The Political (Elective)

The course attempts to unpack the conflation of the political with politics and move away from the sovereign to the non-sovereign conceptions of the political. It is specifically focussed on feminist and queer theorizations of the political and across locations and histories – continental, non-western, transnational and planetary.

20. Reading Feminist Texts (RFT)

This course aims to challenge the writing of the history of feminism as moving from privileged women – White/ First World/ Bourgeois/ Bhadrolok women – to critiques by marginalized positions. The course argues that the category 'women' or the analytic 'gender' have never stabilized into one subject, rather the history of feminism has been a history of contestation, performative contradiction and a subject-to-come.

21. Dissertation (Project)

The course will allow students to do independent work under the guidance of a supervisor on any area of their interest.

Please note: The courses are going through course restructuring and are subject to change


Eligible candidates should have a Bachelors degree from a recognised University, with 45% marks (or equivalent  grade) in any subject. Relaxation of 5% will be given to candidates belonging to SC, ST and Physically Disabled  (PD) categories. Meeting the eligibility criteria will not ensure a seat for any candidate. Admissions will be  strictly on the basis of marks obtained in admission test and interview. However, eligibility is essential for  appearing for the admission test and interview.

Merely qualifying in the entrance test and the interview will not entitle candidates to claim the right to admission. They will have to satisfy all the eligibility conditions laid down by the University.

Note: Candidates appearing in the final year examination of Bachelors / Postgraduate Degree Examinations are eligible to apply irrespective of their percentage of scores obtained till the time of application, provided that they fulfill the eligibility criteria when their results are declared, which must be submitted to the AUD Office before 31 July 2012.

Eligibility to Foreign Students

Eligibility: The eligibility in terms of academic qualifications for foreign students will be the same as for Indian students. However, they must produce evidence of proficiency
in English. In addition, foreign students should fulfill the following conditions before finalisation of admission:

1. They must hold a student visa endorsed by the Ministry of External Affairs to Ambedkar University, Delhi. The visa should be valid for the entire period of study.

2. Their eligibility equivalence must be recognised by the Association of Indian Universities.

3. They must meet the conditions specified by the UGC and the Ministry of External Affairs from time to time.

Reservation of Seats
Reservations are provided to the candidates as per the guidelines based on the norms applicable to educational institutions in the NCT of Delhi (subject to change as per Government notifications):

Programme MA
  Total 36
  D -SC (15%) 5
DELHI QUOTA (NCT) 1 (85%) D-ST (7.5%) 3
  D-OBC (27%) 10
  D-General (not reserved) 18
  Total 10
  O-SC (15%) 1
Open to non-Delhi candidates O-ST (7.5%) 0
(outside NCT) (15%) O-General (not reserved) 5

Some seats have been kept aside for the following categories of students. These will be over and above the sanctioned seats in the different programmes of study as per details below 2.

Categories For MA (in each class)
Foreign National3  
Single Girl Child 1
Extra Curricular Activities/ Sports 1
Kashmiri Migrants 1
Physically Disabled (PD)4 1
Wards of Armed Forces Personnel killed or disabled in action (WAFP)5 1

1. NCT will mean that the applicant should satisfy at least one of the following conditions:

a. The qualifying degree for admission to the programme is from an institution in Delhi.

b. The residence of the applicant is in Delhi.

2. Subject to fulfillment of the eligibility criterion to get admission.

3. A maximum of 2 seats per programme would be allowed for Foreign Nationals in each MA programme.

4. 3% of total number of sanctioned seats.

5. 3% of total number of sanctioned seats.

1. They must hold a student visa endorsed by the Ministry of External Affairs to Ambedkar University, Delhi. The visa should be valid for the entire period of study.

2. Their eligibility equivalence must be recognised by the Association of Indian Universities.

3. They must meet the conditions specified by the UGC and the Ministry of External Affairs from time to time.


Fee Structure

Content Awaited

Admission Procedure

1. The Bulletin of Information and facilities for on-site filling of application forms will be available from 25 May to 20 June 2012 on all working days at the Kashmere Gate and Dwarka offices of the University from 10 am to 4 pm for Rs. 70 and Rs. 300 respectively. The price of the application form for SC / ST / PD applicants will be Rs. 100.

2. Application forms can also be downloaded from the website of the University ( and also submitted online.

3. Completed application forms that have been downloaded will have to be submitted along with Rs. 300 for General candidates. For SC / ST / PD candidates the application forms will have to be submitted along with Rs. 100. Those sending applications by post must enclose a demand draft in the name of “Ambedkar University, Delhi” for the aforementioned amounts.

4. Completed application can be submitted in person at the Kashmere Gate as well as the Dwarka offices of the University or sent by post.

5. The last date for submission of applications is 20 June 2012. Those applying by post must ensure that their application along with enclosures reaches in time. The University shall not be responsible for delays caused by the postal department. Applications that reach after the due date will not be entertained.

6. No acknowledgement or any other communication will be sent to individual candidates. Candidates must consult the website and/ or the notice boards of the University for checking the status of their application. These will be displayed in accordance with the Admission Schedule.

7. Successful candidates will be required to submit attested copies of a character certificate from the Head of the Institution last attended, a certificate of their date of birth, transcript of marks and certificate of the last examination passed, as also certificates of reserved category, where applicable. They will be required to bring their original certificates for verification at the time of admission. They will also have to submit affidavits, both personal and from their parent / guardian, in the format provided on the University’s
website under anti-ragging regulations.

8. The admission of candidates who fail to provide proof of meeting eligibility criteria as evident from original transcripts will be cancelled. Refund of fees in such cases will be as per the University policy on refund of fees.

9. A large number of fee waivers (full as well as partial) and scholarships are available. The application form for these will be posted on the University’s website for downloading. A candidate who wants to apply for fee waiver should fill in such a form and submit it after the admission.

Admission Updates

Online Application Form