Master of Arts in Women, Society and Development | HBKU

Now accepting applications for Fall 2023. Please visit for further information.

Master of Arts in Women, Society and Development

Master of Arts in Women, Society and Development

A two-year program focusing on women's studies in general and Arab women in particular. It draws from a variety of disciplines in social sciences and humanities, ranging from economics and social theory to development and policy studies and history and communication studies.


The MA in Women, Society and Development is a two-year interdisciplinary program focusing on issues related to women in the context of social and economic development in the Middle East, as well as women’s various roles in the advancement of their communities and societies in the region. It draws on a variety of disciplines in social sciences and humanities, ranging from economics and social theory, to development and policy studies, to history and communication studies.

The program fulfills Qatar’s aspiration to contribute to global sustainable development goals relating to women and gender issues and the role of women in social and economic development. It also provides the nation with a think-tank capability on women-related issues that can be used for developing coherent national policies that cross the commercial, health, education and family sectors.

The program is open to all those interested in developing expertise in a wide variety of issues relating to women, society and development in the Middle East.

Graduates of the program are equipped to:


  • Engage in local and regional knowledge production, and to enhance their skills in understanding and responding to women’s issues that are specific to the Middle Eastern context.
  • Pursue careers in different fields and entities, such as research, higher education, consulting entities, media firms, diplomatic entities, and national, regional and international non-governmental organizations.
  • Pursue advanced research at PhD level.

The launch of an MA program focusing on Arab women's studies marks another milestone in Qatar’s track record, as it comes at a time when the entire world is calling for the development of education systems.”

His Excellency Dr. Hamad bin Abdulazeez Al-Kuwari, Adviser at Amiri Diwan and Qatar’s candidate for the Director-General post at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)



  • Students are taught by faculty members of CHSS, who are leading scholars and researchers in their fields, or by distinguished visiting professors specialized in Middle Eastern studies.
  • Students are introduced to professional activity through an internship at world-renowned professional institutions locally or internationally.



A two-year, full-time program that requires 39 credits with three departmental core courses, three program core courses, three electives, an internship (or an independent research project), and a thesis. All courses are taught in English.

  • List of Courses:

    Total of 39 credit hours

    6 Core Courses (18 credit hours)

    Code Course
    Code: ME 611 Course: History, Politics and Cultures of the Middle East
    Code: ME 613 Course: Social, Economic and Development Theory
    Code: SS 612 Course: Research Methods
    Code: WSD 621 Course: Introduction to Women and Gender Studies
    Code: WSD 622 Course: Women, Work and Economic Development in the Middle East
    Code: WSD 623 Course: Research Methods in Women's and Gender Studies




    3 Elective Courses (9 credit hours)

    Code Course
    Code: DHS 623 Course: Methods in Digital Humanities
    Code: DHS 660 Course: Digital Disinformation and Propaganda in the Middle East and North Africa
    Code: DHS 661 Course: Digital Writing
    Code: SS 600 Course: Thinking and Practicing Interdisciplinarity in the Humanities and the Social Sciences
    Code: SS 662 Course: The Gulf States and the International Order 
    Code: TSD 628 Course: Terminology
    Code: WSD 651 Course: The Anthropology of Gender in the Middle East 
    Code: WSD 652 Course: Women, Law and Citizenship 
    Code: WSD 653 Course: Gender and Digital Cultures 
    Code: WSD 655 Course: Women, State and Modernity in the Arab World 
    Code: WSD 656 Course: Family and Kinship in the Middle East 
    Code: WSD 657 Course: Women, Media and Communication
    Code: WSD 658 Course: Special Topics in Women Studies 
    Code: WSD 660 Course: Women in Comparative World Religions 
    Code: WSD 661 Course: Women in World History 
    Code: WSD 662 Course: Women and Gender in the Literature and Cinema of the Middle East and North Africa



  • Internship or Project (3 credit hours)

    Code Course
    Code: WSD 691 Course: Internship 


    Code Course
    Code: WSD 669 Course: Independent Research Project
  • Thesis (9 credit hours)

    Code Course
    Code: WSD 695 Course: Master's Thesis Hours 
  • Non-Course Requirements

    Code Course
    Code: 699 Course: Thesis Defense