Module Catalogue 2023/24

LAW3041 : Law and Gender

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nikki Godden-Rasul
  • Lecturer: Ms Samantha Ryan, Professor Richard Collier
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



1) To provide students with knowledge of gender theories and the relationships to law;

2) To increase student’s understanding of law’s situation and operation within social and political contexts;

3) To enable students to critically analyse particular areas of law with regard to, and in light of, gender theories;

4) To enable students to critically evaluate the law using gender theories.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module starts with students gaining and understanding of and an ability to critically interrogate gender theories and the relationship to law. Following this, students will explore a number of areas of substantive law, and critically analyse them in light of relevant gender theories.

1.       Gender theories and law;
2.       Rape trials: consent and sexual history evidence;
3.       Sexual violence, law and justice;
4.       Sex work and the law;
5.       Tort law and gendered harms: wrongful conception

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

1. the main theories relating to gender and law;

2. the social, political and gendered dimensions of law;

3. particular areas of substantive law and the relationship to gender and gender theories

Intended Skill Outcomes

Subject-specific skills:

1. the ability to critically evaluate the law in light of gender theories;
2. the ability to structure arguments and analysis;
3. the ability to write and speak with care and precision;
4. the ability to identify issues for research and to retrieve accurate and relevant legal and other sources in primary and secondary form.

Cognitive skills:

1. Analysis. Identifying and ordering issues by relevance and importance.
2. Synthesis of materials from diverse legal and other sources.
3. Critical judgement. Discernment between the merits or otherwise of particular arguments whether legal, political or philosophical.
4. Evaluation. Making a reasoned choice between competing solutions or arguments.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading841:0084:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities50:151:15Online non-assessed quiz
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00Face to face small group seminar. FLEX: synchronous online seminars could be provided
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Face to face workshop. (FLEX: synchronous online workshop can be provided in the alternative.)
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion50:302:30Non-synchronous online discussion boards – lecture moderated
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study156:1556:15N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time31:003:00Synchronous online whole group sessions
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

In person lectures and online materials - lectures and online materials and activities provide students with an overview of each topic, including key principles, concepts and debates.

Seminars enable students to develop and consolidate knowledge and understanding, as well as developing oral, analytical and critical thinking / evaluation skills.

Moderated discussion boards will enable students to share ideas, materials and discuss topical issues and questions, to develop their knowledge and understanding of each topic.

Multiple choice quizzes will support student learning by checking knowledge and understanding of each topic, and assisting with revision for the exam.

The workshop will enable students to work together to consolidate their knowledge and understanding, and to synthesise materials, to draw together themes from across the module, and to collaboratively produce documents which will support exam revision.

Directed research and reading as well as independent study will consist of reading to supplement lectures and seminars, as well as research which is self-directed, and preparing for and undertaking the exam.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination14401A10024hr take home paper. 3 questions from a choice of 6. Word limit 1000 per question.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The timed off campus assessment examines students’ knowledge, subject-specific skills, and cognitive skills across a range of topics included in the module. Students have access to notes and wide range of sources and materials meaning the examination is less focused on memory recall and more focused on synthesising materials, and analysis and evaluating the law and debates to construct an argument, showing their research skills and engagement with the literature, which is appropriate to stage 3. In addition, these specific skills are more appropriate to this module as this form of assessment enables students to engage in depth critical analysis and evaluation, not limited to one area of the module, demonstrating both broad and deep learning of complex theories and legal and social problems. This was clear from the assessments in May and August 2020, and May 2021, which showed significantly better answers in terms of depth of analysis and evaluation than compared to previous closed book on campus assessments.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

Law and gender research is an area of interest in the Law School, which aligns with research and teaching in gender theories across the University, in particular within the HaSS faculty (indicated by the presence of the Gender Research Group). The module will sit well alongside other modules that are provided by the law school, and the course will be led by staff who research in the area. The module also aligns more broadly with scholars’ research and teaching in gender in other schools in the HaSS faculty. In addition, the course may attract students who may want to pursue postgraduate research in law and gender, and potentially applicants for the gender stream of the NE Doctoral Research Centre. The module is not focused on one area of law, but rather the course cuts across a number of different areas of law, many of which are either compulsory or optional modules (for example, criminal law, tort law, and human rights law), increasing students’ knowledge and understanding of law more generally, and the relationship between law, society and politics. The module also introduces students to a number of new and different theoretical perspectives from which to interrogate law, contributing to the development of students’ critical and analytical skills.

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.