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Sex, Gender, Violence. MSc

University of Aberdeen
Program overview
12-24 months
Full time/part time
Master's degree

Start dates
January 2023

September 2023

January 2024

September 2024

About this program

Sex, Gender, Violence. MSc

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) gender-based violence refers to “harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender. It is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful norms. Gender-based violence can take various forms, including physical, sexual and psychological violence. Examples include domestic violence, harassment, rape, institutional and structural violence, trafficking, and violations of human rights during times of conflict and peace.

This programme engages critically with contemporary debates on this subject, providing you with an in-depth understanding of the ways people think about violence, understand it, and respond to it. You will consider how do we decide what counts as violence or a violent act and examine why responses to violence often seem inadequate, especially in the case of gendered and sexual violence.

This programme can be used as preparation for further research (for example PhD studies) or to develop your career within sectors where violence is relevant (for example the voluntary, advocacy, charity, NGO, or policy sectors); or simply to further your interest in this fascinating area.

The MSc draws on the exceptional expertise within the Department of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen in the understanding of religion, political violence, conflict and peace, social movements, identity processes, and global and political sociology. You will also learn the latest advanced qualitative methods employed by social scientists, including participant observation, qualitative interviewing, focus groups, diaries, photography and film, and archived data sources.

Admission requirements

Applicants for admission will normally be expected to hold a relevant Honours degree with a 2:1 standard from a recognised university or body.

Applicants without this qualification may be admitted subject to having an alternative qualification, or an approved level of work experience appropriate to the field of study. Also taken into careful consideration is the trajectory of results, an applicant without an Overall 2.1 but with 2.1 results in their final two years of study may be admitted.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

Overall - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


Overall - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

Overall - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

Overall - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

  • Advanced Social Theory
  • Advanced Qualitative Methods in Social Science

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

  • Sex, Gender, Violence: Critical Approaches

Optional Courses

Plus, select one of the following courses below:

  • Dimensions of Globalization
  • The Comparative Study of European Societies
  • Advanced Quantitative Methods in Social Science

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

  • Dissertation (MSc in Sex, Gender & Violence: Critical Approaches)


  • EU / International Students: £19,400
  • Home / RUK: £9,200

Career paths

This MSc programme provides you with a critical and informed understanding of this subject, ideal for careers in international development, charities/NGOs, policy, human rights and peace-building.

You will also develop high-level skills in research, analysis and communication, which are in demand across many sectors and industries.

Previous graduates of this programme have gone on to roles in charities and grassroots organisations, while others have progressed on to PhD programmes to pursue academic careers.

Examples of potential careers:

  • International Development
  • Diplomacy
  • Security
  • Peace building
  • Charities
  • Non government organisations
  • Women's rights
  • International Justice

About this institute

University of Aberdeen

Founded in 1495 by William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen and Chancellor of Scotland, the University of Aberdeen is Scotland's third oldest and the UK's fifth oldest university. William Elphinstone established King's College to train doctors, teachers and clergy for the...

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Contact info

University of Aberdeen

King’s College
AB24 3FX Aberdeen
Scotland, UK

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