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Sociology: Gender, Sexuality and Society (track)

Study programme

Sociology: Gender, Sexuality and Society (MSc)

Programme outline

This programme starts in September. Fulfilling the requirements should take one year of full-time study.

First semester 

The programme (60 ECTS) starts with a theory course in Sociological Perspectives and a Thematic Core Course which is part of the track. In the second block students follow an elective preferably relevant to the topic of the thesis. The first semester ends with an intensive Winter School in methods. Different courses are offered in both quantitative and qualitative methodology.

During the semester students will also follow a course in Labour Market Orientation, preparing them for the labour market.

Second semester

In the second semester, students start with an additional elective and a thesis seminar in which they will write their research proposal. The programme is concluded with the writing of a Master's thesis. 


Students have the opportunity to replace one of the electives (6 ECTS) with an internship. An internship provides students not only with relevant work experience but also with the possibility to put classroom theory into practice. 


The Master’s in Sociology culminates in the writing of a thesis, which is the final test of your academic skills.

Your thesis should show your ability to carry out independent and creative research, written up in a format which adheres to academic conventions. This makes your thesis not only the most important and most challenging, but also the hardest part of your Master’s programme. 

The Master’s thesis is supervised in thematic thesis groups, which start at the beginning of the second semester. They usually consist of 5 to 10 students. Each track has its own thematic thesis groups.

Degree requirements

The Master of Science degree is awarded upon completion of 60 ECTS, including all required courses in the curriculum and a written Master's thesis, which is based on an independent research project.

Course information

  • Core Course: Intersections of Gender, Sexuality and Society

Lecturers: Gert Hekma and Marie-Louise Janssen

M.P.C. Janssen
Marie- Louise Janssen

'Many students appreciate it very much to discuss, read and explore sexuality and gender openly within the setting of an international class room at the University.' - Marie- Louise Janssen, track coordinator Gender, Sexuality & Society. 


  • Gender & Sex in the city

Lecturer: Marguerite van den Berg.

In this course, we look at the city as a gendered and sexed space. The urban is a vital dimension in most people’s everyday lives. In this course we ask the question: How do gender and sex take shape in urban environments? And how does this intersect with race, ethnicity and class? Is the city a place full of possibilities for gender bending? Or is it a place of danger for those differently gendered? How does urban planning affect constitutions of gender? What forms of sexual subversion are distinctly urban and why? And what forms of resistance do these displays of sexualities and sex provoke? What spaces and places are accessible to what (gendered and sexed) categories of people? What does shopping have to do with these questions? And what gendered and sexed others do we fear?

Marguerite van den Berg

'The course Gender & Sex in the city is my love-child. Partly because of the themes addressed, but mostly because for most students in Gender & Sexuality studies, the subjects we deal with in the courses are somehow personal. This makes for lively discussions and engaged critical inquiry – crucial for any relevant teaching practice.' - Marguerite van den Berg

Marci Cottingham
  • Theorizing Gender

Lecturer: Marci Cottingham.

This master course is designed to provide basic insights into the development of gender theories until the present day. Ideas about femininity and masculinity and theoretical notions about sex, gender and sexuality will be analyzed in the Western context. Students will acquire the capacity to relate recent theoretical debates about questions such as ethnic and class differences, normative ideas about sexuality, human agency and the structure of power relations to the dynamics of social gender relations. Students will also achieve a new understanding of contemporary discussions concerning sex and gender.

M.A. van Heesch
Margriet van der Heesch
  • Sexuality, Race and Class entangled

Lecturer: Margriet van Heesch 

'Students want to be fed with new ideas about making sense of this world. To me lecturing for the MA track Gender, Sexuality and Society is about the exchange of questions, fascinations, hopes, erudite analysis, and most important asking questions.' - Margriet van der Heesch

Don Weenink
  • Body, Emotions & Culture

Lecturer: Don Weenink

This course considers the role of the human body and emotions in classical and recent sociological work. Students will learn various theoretical and empirical approaches to the sociological study of the body and emotions, and their cultural meanings. Furthermore, they will learn how sociological knowledge of the body and emotions can contribute to sociology in general. The course considers various themes that will be discussed from the perspective of the sociology of human body and emotions such as gender, stratification, health, regulation and reproduction. In each theme, we will consider how the sociology of the body and emotions may contribute to sociological understanding. Specific attention will be given to the cultural meanings of human bodies and emotions, as well as their role in reproducing culture.

The complete description of all courses in this programme can be found in the online UvA Course Catalogue.

UvA Course Catalogue - Gender, Sexuality and Society