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Unit information: Contemporary Feminist Thought: Debates and Issues in 2021/22

Unit name Contemporary Feminist Thought: Debates and Issues
Unit code POLI30001
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Carver
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit examines debates and issues in contemporary feminist thought as they relate to the central concerns of politics. Eschewing traditional typologies of feminism (liberal, socialist and radical feminism) it explores the ways in which different theorists theorize feminism, and conceptualize sex and gender. It also considers feminist epistemology and methodology. In the latter stages, it addresses particular debates and issues related to politics, such as equality and difference, and citizenship and democracy. Here readings from feminist thought are explicitly applied to 'real world' concerns, for example, maternity leave, pay and discrimination; Muslim young women, schooling and the veil; women's movement, civil society, and mass and elite participation in politics.


  1. To introduce students to contemporary feminist thought at an advanced level
  2. To introduce students to concepts of sex, gender and sexuality at an advanced level
  3. To apply feminist theory to ‘real world’ political concerns and questions
  4. To give students writing experiences outside the ‘normal’ essay/examination framework
  5. To develop analytical skills in close reading and independent research skills on self-chosen topics

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. An understanding of the main approaches to politics involving feminism, gender and sexuality studies
  2. An understanding of key issues in contemporary feminism as they pertain to politics
  3. An understanding of feminist theoretical perspectives as applied to ‘real’ world political questions and issues
  4. An ability to write clearly and analytically in genres other than essays and examinations
  5. An ability to find relevant material independently using electronic and other resources

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Information

2,000 word essay 1 (25%) 2,000 word essay 2 (75%)

Both essays test all learning outcomes listed above


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. POLI30001).

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.