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PL51029: Gender theory

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: CW 33%, ES 67%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 33%)
  • Essay (ES 67%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Aims: This unit will provide a comprehensive introduction to gender and feminist theory. Within this unit, students will approach a wide variety of gender and feminist theory and will gain an appreciation of the ways in which politics and international relations are gendered. They will develop knowledge of major theoretical debates within feminist thought and will, through witten assignments, demonstrate the relevance of feminist thought to contemporary issues.

Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to:
* Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of advanced feminist theory
* Demonstrate understanding of how this relates to political theory
* Critically assess a range of theoretical assertions made by key thinkers
* Apply key theoretical concepts to real-world situations
* Analyse political events with reference to feminist theories.

* Advanced research skills (e.g. identifying, locating and exploiting a wide range of descriptive, evaluative and theoretical literature)
* Intellectual skills(conceptual, original and independent thinking, critical analysis, synthesis and reasoned argument)
* Assessment and judgement in relation to the soundness of competing theoretical arguments
* Skills of self-direction, self-evaluation and time management
* Reading, discussion and presentation of theoretical material
* Application of theoretical and methodological skills to case studies
* Independent research skills
* Oral and written communication skills.

Content: This unit will cover the central debates in feminist theory, including feminist theories of the state, political economy and international relations. It will do so by exploring a series of binary concepts that are key to feminist thought, e.g. sex versus gender, public versus private, equality versus difference, nature versus machine, protection versus liberation, and rights versus justice. An intersectional lens will be applied throughout.

Programme availability:

PL51029 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies

PL51029 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
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