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Unit information: Sex, Gender and Law in 2021/22

Unit name Sex, Gender and Law
Unit code LAWD30110
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Bibbings
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will consider gender, sexuality, feminist and queer theories as they relate to contemporary legal and social issues. During the first term we will cover key theoretical frameworks, which might include: the Suffragettes, Liberal feminism, Cultural feminism, Radical feminism, Intersectionality, Black feminism, Marxist feminism, Post structuralism, Masculinities, and Queer Theory. In the second term we will apply these theories to substantive legal and social topics, which might include: the family and reproduction; male and sexual violence; human rights; trans politics; employment and the gender division of labour; legal reasoning; pornography; sex work. This module builds on your brief encounter with critical jurisprudence in Year 2. As such, it is not a doctrinal legal module and is suited to students interested in developing their knowledge of critical jurisprudence, feminist, queer and socio-legal theory.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

  • Explain gender, sexuality, feminist and queer theories;
  • Apply these theories to specific topic areas and explain the relevance of these theories to legal studies and social and political issues;
  • Critically assess these theories through comparison. Students will be encouraged to develop their own opinion on the relative strengths/weaknesses of each theory;
  • Critically assess the relevance of these theories to the law, including: whether they help us;
  • Understand the development and effects of the law; whether they highlight potential solutions to problems with current law and social policy; and what they tell us about the usefulness or otherwise of law reform.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Information

1 x summative assessment: coursework with a specified word count (100%)

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. LAWD30110).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.