Minor in Gender Studies

Academic Contributors

Sharifah Nurul Huda Alkaff


Gender is a socially constructed distinction that classifies people, things, places, behaviour, relationships, thoughts etc. Gender therefore may become a basis for defining identity, allocating resources and tasks, diagnosing illnesses, identifying social problems, imparting and partaking of knowledge and making everyday life decisions.

Gender Studies ask questions such as the following: What is the basis for such a classification according to gender? Why does gender appear ubiquitous in human societies? Is it really ubiquitous? In what contexts are such schema applied? When it is applied, what are the implications? How do gender categorizations differ from culture to culture and context to context? What is the impact of gender categorizations on processes of life?

The effects of gender classification are multi-faceted and manifest themselves in all aspects of human actions and interactions whether this is in speech and language use, in legal thought, in spatial designs and usages, in recounting the past, in diagnosing and treating illnesses etc. The development of disciplines, whether aimed at achieving understanding, providing explanations or identifying solutions to a problem, from medicine to fine arts, becomes incomplete without bringing gender dimensions into consideration.

Gender Studies have contributed to the development of almost all fields of knowledge from science and technology and counseling, to product designs and theatre productions. As a socially based schema for classification, gender is rooted in different histories, geographies, linguistic and cultural practices that need to be studied and explained. Gender Studies would bring the strength of different disciplines together to offer fresh approaches to analyzing complex issues. This is therefore, almost by definition, a multi-disciplinary field of study.

Gender Studies has made enormous contributions to the development of critical knowledge. It has become a feature of twenty-first century approaches to analyzing problems and finding creative solutions at the global, regional and national levels. Graduates of specific major programmes with a Gender Studies background are sought after by national and international organizations, research institutes and development agencies. Furthermore, the training at analyzing complex multi-faceted problems and issues would also equip students with the ability to work within community settings, government agencies and in the private sectors. Graduates with a background in Gender Studies would be able to apply their training to attain a creative advantage, whether this is in economic analysis, marketing research and strategies, management, theatre and film productions, literary writing, community organizing work, development work, journalism or other areas.

Gender Studies Modules

Gender Studies at UBD is not offered as a major programme. Gender Studies offers interested students the opportunity to incorporate a more intensive and systematic study of gender into their main programme of study at UBD through an array of modules to choose from. These modules are multi-disciplinary in origin and involve contributions from a wide field of expertise available at UBD such as Geography, History, Malay and English Language and Literature, Professional Communication and Media Studies, Anthropology and Sociology. Following from that, students who choose a combination of modules offered under this Minor will be exposed to different modes of inquiry on gender. Students who wish to investigate gender topics in social, cultural, economic and political life can seek advice on how to integrate modules offered by this Minor into their course of study at UBD. For example, students who are interested in developing their thoughts on specific issues such as women in business or gender and artistic productions could easily identify the relevant courses offered in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences that would help them develop their ideas in the desired directions. All the modules offered by Gender Studies are breadth modules. There are no pre-requisites for Gender Studies modules although students who have no social science background would be encouraged to take at least one of the Level 1000 modules. For more information, please refer to the module descriptions.

Semester 1 Semester 2
AG-1401 Understanding Gender AG-1402 Masculinities & Femininities
AG-2403 Kinship, Marriage & Gender AG-2402 Gender, Time & Space in Literature
AG-3402 Language & Gender AG-3401 Gender & the Media
AG-3403 Geographies of Gender and Development AG-3404 Sociology of the Body