Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 11 x 2 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Seminar Presentation  10%
Semester Assessment 2,500 word essay  40%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Exam  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Discuss key historical developments in feminist thought and gender politics.
2. Evaluate key gender theory perspectives and the core lines of debate between them.
3. Discuss a selection of key issues of contention in contemporary gender politics.
4. Evaluate critically political institutions and processes through feminist and gender theory perspectives.
5. Analyse the role of gender in shaping political life on a plurality of levels: personal, national and global.
6. Evaluate the significance of feminist and gender perspectives in contemporary political life.
7. Respect theoretical and political differences in perspective and to formulate rigorous independent intellectual arguments.

Brief description

The module is divided into two interlocking parts: theoretical and issue-focused. The first part of the module examines the insights of a selection of key feminist and gender theory perspectives. The aim is to highlight the diversity of feminist and gender theory perspectives and their political aims. The second part of the module investigates a range of empirical issue areas in contemporary social and political life. Students are encouraged to examine these critically through the feminist and gender theory lenses. Drawing on the distinctively open definition of politics characteristic of gender perspectives, this module examines the nature of gender politics in a variety of contexts: personal, national and global.


Part I Gender perspectives:
1. Gender theory: an introduction
2. Classical feminist theory: liberal and radical feminisms
3. Feminism and the challenges of race and class
4. Postmodern approaches to gender and sex
5. Gender studies in International Relations theory

Part II Issues of contention in gender politics:
6. Gender and political representation
7. Gender politics of family
8. Sexual politics: pornography and prostitution
9. Gender politics and violence
10. Gender and globalisation
11. Revision


This module augments Departmental provision by adding a focused exploration of the area of gender studies to the Departmental curriculum. The module offers students the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of a variety of gender theory perspectives as well as introducing them to a number of key issues of contention in contemporary gender politics. The module complements existing Departmental provision in International Relations theory, critical theory and postmodernist perspectives but differs from existing provision in focusing specifically on gender studies.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to assert themselves to advantage. They will understand the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to the best advantage. They will learn to be clear and direct in their and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Seminars will be run in groups where oral discussion and presentations will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the convenor and the fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their essay and presentation topics. The need to conduct a seminar presentation and to meet an essay deadline will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science and OCLC).
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students' verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay and a presentation, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable skills.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; the submission of an essay will require that the student develops independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare seminar presentations will also enable the student to develop independent project skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of the student's ability to work alone can be undertaken.
Research skills The submission of an essay will reflect the independent research skills of the student. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills. Research preparation for a seminar presentation will also enable the student to develop independent project skills. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of the student's ability to work alone can be undertaken
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: - Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module - Ability to evaluate competing perspectives - Demonstrate subject specific research techniques - Apply a range of methodologies to complex political problems
Team work Seminars will consist in part of small-group discussion where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to seminar topics. Such class room debates and discussions are a vital component of the module


This module is at CQFW Level 6