Gender and Development Studies

The Institute for Women's Studies offers a course of study leading to a master's degree in Gender and Development Studies. The program aims to expand and deepen knowledge of the theory and concepts of gender and development at the global, regional, and Palestinian levels. It contributes to building capabilities in analysis and critical thinking in order to understand social realities, including the underlying structural obstacles that hinder the integration of women in development, as well as the priorities and needs of national development from a gender-aware perspective. It also aims to develop research skills in order to produce appropriate knowledge that contributes to the development of society based on principles of social justice.

  • Promote and develop the field of women and gender studies as a relevant academic and research field at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. The program is based on an interdisciplinary approach that cuts across multiple specializations. It applies gender analysis to multiple disciplines and areas of enquiry, thus developing knowledge and gender analysis across multiple fields of study and specializations across the university.

  • Develop analytical, theoretical, and methodological concepts and tools in the field of gender studies in order to understand and change social reality.

  • Conduct research on gender relations in Palestinian society, including discussing the results of this research through seminars and publications, and contribute to building a knowledge base that deals with social issues in the Palestinian society and that is useful in formulating gender-sensitive policies.

  • Integrate gender analytical tools that are relevant to debates concerning issues of social, cultural, economic, and political transformation, and contribute to formulating a vision for a better society based on the principles of social justice.

  • Enhance critical engagement with the field of gender and women's studies regionally and internationally in order to strengthen knowledge exchange of gender issues in their various contexts while creating common grounds and building networks and alliances around shared interests and concerns.

  • Advance gender analysis as a scholarly field, with its theoretical, conceptual, and methodological approaches, that is capable of producing knowledge vital to all levels of the developmental practice.

The Program aims to develop students’ abilities in the following areas:

  • Knowledge of core theories and concepts necessary to understand contemporary social issues, including those related to development and gender, as well as the ability to use them in the production of knowledge.
  • The capacity to assess needs and analyze obstacles and gaps encountered in the course of formulating and implementing development-related policies and programs.
  • The ability to apply gender-aware methodologies as critical analytical tools in the evaluation of development policies and legislation.
  • Scholarly knowledge based on gender-aware methodologies and feminist research tools in order to contribute to a better understanding of gender relations in the Palestinian society.
  • The production of local expertise and capabilities in various fields of gender-sensitive research, intervention, development planning and policy formulation, in addition to the promotion of critical perspectives on international development models while contributing to the development of more effective interventions in the Palestinian context.

The knowledge base provided by the program qualifies graduates for:

  • Continuing on an academic career path at the doctoral level.
  • Employment in the gender units of government ministries.
  • Employment in non-governmental institutions that focus on women's issues - locally, in the Arab world, and internationally.
  • Employment in research centers in Palestine and the Arab world.
  • Employment in development institutions and non-governmental organizations.
Requirements for completion of the Program
  1. Students are required to complete no less than 36 credit hours distributed as follows:


1. Compulsory Courses: (18 credit hours)

Course No.

Course Title



Concepts and Issues in Gender and Development 



Historical and Theoretical Introduction to Gender and Development Studies



Theoretical Approaches to Gender and Development




Quantative Research Methods for Gender and Development


Qualitative Research Methods for Gender and Development


Gender Analaysis  and Gender Planning

Note: All students are required to complete either GADS 633 or GADS 634 within the first 15 hours of their registration in the program.


2. Elective Courses: (12 credit hours)

Course No.

Course Title



Legal Frameworks for Gender, Citizenship and the State




Gender and Economic Relations


Special Topics in Gender and Development


Development Policies


Non-Govermental Organizations and Gender


Applications of Modern Approaches to Gender and Development 


Legal and Gender and Development Issues in the Palestinian and Arab Society


Theoretical Approaches to Gender and Law

* Students can substitute three of the above-mentioned elective courses with three courses from another graduate program, after the approval of the Program Council.


3. Track “A” or Track “B”: 6 Credit Hours; Thesis or two Seminars​


Track Title

Track Number


Track A



Complete no less than 15 credit hours from the program, including GADS633 and GADS634

Track B




  • Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in one of the social sciences from a university recognized by Birzeit University.Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in other fields may also be admitted in this program.
  • Applicants must take the English language test specified by the program.