Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Women and Gender in Britain, c.1800-1950
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 6 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written Examination  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   supplementary (resit) examination  50%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the lives and experiences of women in modern Britain, whilst adopting a ‘four nations’ approach;
2. Identify changes in gender relations in modern Britain;
3. Identify the different factors that acted upon British governments and political parties during the twentieth century;
4. Discuss the historiographical arguments and traditions that have characterised women’s history and gender history;
5. Analyse primary source material relative to women’s history and gender history.


The module will introduce students to some of the main experiences of British women in the modern period and important ideas relating to gender and gender relations will be considered. It provides an important addition to the list of second-year option modules and, in this iteration, brings about the conversion of a previously level 3 module for use with second-year students.

Brief description

This module surveys the history of women and gender relations in the British Isles in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It considers the varying and changing experiences of women in different social, economic and political contexts. The module also utilises concepts such as ‘separate spheres’ and ‘patriarchy’ in an examination of feminism and the involvement of women in the public sphere in the modern period. We consider women’s changing social, economic and political rights in modern British society.


1. Introduction
2. Women before the Nineteenth Century
3. ‘Separate spheres’
4. Women and the Industrial Revolution
5. ‘The Struggle for the Breeches’: Women and the Making of the British Working Class
6. Women, Marriage and the Family
7. ‘Lady Bountifuls’: Women and Philanthropy
8. The Early Feminist Movement
9. Victorian Sexuality
10. Women and Empire
11. The ‘New Woman’ of the 1890s
12. The Campaign for Female Suffrage I
13. The Campaign for Female Suffrage II
14. Women and the First World War
15. Women’s Employment in the Twentieth Century
16. Feminism between the Wars
17. Women and the Second World War
18. Women and the Welfare State

1. Separate Spheres
2. Women and Politics in the early Nineteenth Century
3. Prostitution
4. Women and Political Parties
5. The Suffrage Campaign
6. War and Social Change

Revision session

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Written communication skills will be developed through the coursework and written examination; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars but are not formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be advised on how to improve research and communication skills through the individual tutorial providing feedback on submitted coursework.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be expected to word-process their work and make use of Blackboard. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop a range of transferable skills, including time management and communication skills, which may help them identify their personal strengths as they consider potential career paths.
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area and to undertake suitable research for seminars and essays.
Research skills Students will develop their research skills by reading a range of texts and evaluating their usefulness in preparation for the coursework and the written examination.
Subject Specific Skills N/A
Team work Students will be expected to play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars) and to learn to evaluate their own contribution to such activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 5