Module Catalogue 2024/25

LAW3041 : Law and Gender

LAW3041 : Law and Gender

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nikki Godden-Rasul
  • Lecturer: Professor Gina Heathcote
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 160 student places

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



The aims of the module are:

1) To provide you with knowledge of gender theories – and in particular a variety of different feminist theories – and the relationships to law, as well as relationships between different forms of oppression;

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

3) To enable you to critically and analyse and evaluate approaches to gender and law in its wider social and political contexts;

4) To enable you to critically analyse and evaluate particular areas of law with regard to, and in light of, gender theories;

5) To inspire you to recognise and to seek to address social injustices in everyday, personal, social, and work life.

6) To support you to develop your own learning practices and participate in educational environments in inclusive and respectful ways, with particular thought and attention to oppressive structural relations and people’s lived experiences.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module starts by introducing you to gender theories and the relationship to law, and developing your critical analytical skills to analyse and evaluate these theories. Following this, you will explore a number of areas of substantive areas of law, and critically analyse and evaluate them in light of relevant gender theories. By nature of the module, it is interdisciplinary and not only focused on legal academic scholarship, the law, and legal practice but draws on and engages with scholarship in other disciplines including, but not limited to, sociology, politics and gender studies.

There are five topics, one for each seminar cycle:

1) Gender theories and law;

2) Sexual violence, law and justice;

3) Gender and armed conflict

4) Rape trials: consent and sexual history evidence;

5) Tort law and gendered harms: civil claims for sexual abuse

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

You will be able to demonstrate a detailed 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

By the end of this module, through written work, you will be able to show you can:

Subject-specific skills:

1) Undertake in-depth critical analyse and evaluation of the law in light of gender theories;

2) synthesise and distinguish complex theoretical arguments and perspectives on law and its relationship to gender;

3) create and structure strong persuasive arguments;

4) write with care and precision;

5) conduct thorough research on law and gender issues, including making decisions about search terms; being able to distinguish most relevant materials; evaluating the quality and reliability of sources; and retrieving 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. weeks 24, 26, 28, 29 & 36
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Face to face workshop. (FLEX: synchronous online workshop can be provided in the alternative.) week 35
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. weeks 23, 28 & 36
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

In person lectures and online materials and activities provide you with an overview of each topic, including academic scholarship, key concepts and issues, and the main legal processes, practices and provisions.

Seminars enable you to develop and consolidate knowledge and understanding, as well as to develop analytical and critical thinking / evaluation skills, which in part is developed through verbal dialogue. Time will be spent reflecting on and supporting inclusive pedagogic practices.

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

Multiple choice quizzes will support your learning by enabling you to check your own knowledge and understanding of each topic, and will assist with revision for the exam.

The workshop will enable you to work together to consolidate your knowledge and understanding, to draw together themes from across the module, to analyse and evaluate key issues and themes, and to collaboratively produce documents as part of exam preparation.

Directed research and reading as well as independent study will consist of essential reading to supplement lectures and seminars, further reading lists, and research which is self-directed. Independent study also includes preparation 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 Examination14402A10024hr 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 your knowledge, subject-specific skills, and cognitive skills across a range of topics included in the module. You will have access to notes and wide range of sources and materials meaning the examination is less focused on memory recall and more focused on analysing and evaluating the law, theories and social and political issues covered on the module, and constructing an argument. Through this you will demonstrate your 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 you to engage in depth and detail with the law, gender theories and social issues, not limited to one area of the module, demonstrating both broad and deep learning of complex theories and legal and social problems.


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 course may attract students who may want to pursue postgraduate research in law and gender. 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. It also draws on scholarship from other disciplines, in particular in exploring 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.

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The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 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 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.