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Unit information: Interpreting Gender in 2023/24

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Interpreting Gender
Unit code SOCIM3103
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Perrier
Open unit status Not open
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School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Unit Information

Gender continues to be a hotly contested topic in contemporary society and this unit will introduce students to some of the key trends and developments in the analysis of gender relations. It considers a range of theoretical perspectives in order to answer questions about whether the future really is female, if there is a continuing need for feminism and, if so, what form it should take. Starting with the challenge of postmodernism and poststructuralism to classical perspectives (liberal, socialist, radical and materialist feminisms), different ways of interpreting gender are explored through reference to current debates surrounding reproduction, sexuality and inequality.

This unit aims to:

  • Present students with theoretical debates and perspectives on gender relations
  • Locate gender in relation to other social relations
  • Consider the usefulness of theories of gender in relation to examples of contemporary social issues

Your learning on this unit

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the diversity of theoretical approaches to the study of gender
  • Critically engage with contemporary theoretical and conceptual debates on gender relations
  • Ground these theoretical debates in substantive examples, such as the impact of new reproductive technologies on gender relations or the social relationsh ips surrounding heterosexuality

How you will learn

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

How you will be assessed

The assessment will re late directly to one of more of the learning outcomes specified above in 15 and will be an extended essay of 4000 words (or equivalent) showing an in-depth understanding and integration of key aspects of the 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. SOCIM3103).

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.