Departmental website:

Number of graduate students (full-time equivalent)
Research: 11

Number of faculty (full-time equivalent): 10

Location: Columbia House

About the Institute

The Gender Institute was established in 1993 to address the major intellectual challenges posed by contemporary changes in gender relations. This remains a central aim of the Institute today, which is the largest research and teaching unit of its kind in Europe. Students come from all corners of the globe and enter gender studies from a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds.

The Institute is unique in bringing together approaches from across the social sciences and humanities to address key problems in gender studies transnationally. Our work is informed by the belief that all social processes are “gendered”, and that understanding gender relations is therefore a crucial component in any social science research. Some of the projects undertaken at the Institute focus directly on the position of girls and women, the contemporary character of gender relations, and the formation of sexual identities. Others employ a gendered perspective to address issues not normally considered as gender concerns. The focus of research projects ranges across local, national and international contexts, and the relationship between gender and ethnicity has become an increasingly prominent concern.

We provide a leading role internationally in combining innovative theory and epistemology with policy concerns. Our research-led approach results in a vibrant research environment and a unique teaching programme that prepares students for various careers within and outside of academia.

MPhil/PhD Gender

Visiting Research Students

The research work of the Gender Institute is critical, transnational, and interdisciplinary. Our research is variously positioned in relation to different fields of study within the social sciences and humanities, but in each case, the focus on gender means testing conventional disciplinary boundaries and developing alternative methodologies. 

All research addresses the tenacity of gender power relations and gendered inequalities in a period of global transformation and falls under four broad themes. We work both independently and collaboratively within and across these themes, and PhD applications are welcome in any of these areas:

Bodies and sexualities: Research in this field includes analysis of the body as property, and body as commodity, and what, if anything, makes the body special. It also addresses the relationship between gender and sexuality, with an emphasis on local and transnational spaces and flows.

Gender and social policy:  Using a gendered perspective, research in this theme documents social, economic and political change, and critically analyses individual, family, and policy responses, using both cross-national comparative methodologies and in-depth case studies.

Globalisation, development and inequalities: Research in this theme analyses social and economic transformation in the global north and south, focusing on gendered relations, rights, citizenship, social justice and change with respect to work, security, migration, poverty and the social reproduction of daily life.

Representation, narrative and culture: This theme brings together colleagues who work on gendered representations in film, literature and theory. This work addresses ageing and subjectivity, classed dimensions of narrative, and the history of feminist theory.

You will receive core gender theory, epistemology and methodology training in your first year to prepare you for research and writing, and ongoing training across the period of your studies in and outside the Institute. You will also attend fortnightly PhD workshops throughout the programme.

Taught programmes

MPhil/PhD Gender
Visiting Research Students

Application code: Y2ZG (MPhil/PhD) Y2TA (VRS) (check availability)

Start date: 21 September 2017 (MPhil/PhD)

Duration: MPhil/PhD 3/4 years (minimum 2), VRS up to 9 months (renewable)

Entry requirement: Taught master's degree, usually with distinction, in a related discipline

English requirement: Research

GRE/GMAT requirement: None

Fee level: See Tuition fees

Financial support: LSE PhD Studentships (see Financial support),  ESRC funding (see ESRC)

Application deadline: 26 April 2017. However please note the funding deadlines: 9 January (LSE PhD Studentships & ESRC) and 26 April 2017 (LSE PhD Studentships). Selection for funding is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents