Module Catalogue 2019/20

POL2113 : Sex, Gender and Power

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Orly Siow
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



1.       To provide students with a critical overview of feminist theories and approaches to politics;
2.       To equip students with knowledge of different strands of feminist thought and their understandings of sex and gender;
3.       To provide students with skills to analyse the politics of sex, gender, and sexuality across social structures, institutions, and cultures;
4.       To engage students in the analysis of sex and gender in intersection with other categories like race, class, and ethnicity;
5.       To empower students to critically engage with current feminist debates.

Outline Of Syllabus

Why are sex, gender and sexuality political issues? Feminism, in all its various forms, profoundly unsettles established understands of the nature and location the political. Not only does it contest the gender-neutrality of politics, but also challenges what counts as politics. This module explores the various ways in which different feminist approaches conceive of the political. What does it mean to examine concepts like power, inequality, labour, violence, and the international from a feminist perspective? What do feminists have to say about representation, capitalism, social movements, and colonialism? How do sex and gender intersect with other forms of oppression? How and why do various strands of feminism agree or disagree with each other? Why is feminism still politically relevant today? Each week familiarises students with a particular feminist approach, such as liberal Marxist, radical, postcolonial and queer feminism, and applies it to one or more feminist issues.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

1.       Understand the diverse ways in which feminisms expand and challenge conventional understandings of the political;
2.       Analyse a range of social and political issues from one or more feminist perspectives;
3.       Differentiate between different feminist approaches;

Intended Skill Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to:
1.       Demonstrate an ability to engage in feminist critique;
2.       Analyse various contemporary issues from a feminist perspective;
3.       Evaluate the advantages and limitations of different feminist approaches;
4.       Critically assess the very meaning of the term ‘politics’ through feminist theory.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical1164:00164:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery22:004:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures provide students with core instruction regarding feminist approaches to politics. The seminars will support student learning through class and group discussions designed to cultivate collaboration, debate, and peer-learning.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal2M15500 word research proposal
Research paper2M853000 word research paper
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The 3,000 word research paper assess the students’ ability to comprehend, engage with, and apply the knowledge learned during the module. Students will be required to show both a sound grasp of theoretical frameworks and an ability to apply them successfully. A research proposal of 500 words will support the paper writing process by encouraging students to plan and research their research paper early on.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2019/20 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 2020/21 entry will be published here in early-April 2019. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.