Module Catalogue 2022/23

POL2113 : Sex, Gender and Power

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • 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
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Pre-recorded lecture materials.
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities113:0033:00Annotated guided readings
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Present in Person Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1134:00134:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk111:0011:00Discussion & exercises based on on-demand lecture and in preparation for readings and seminars (PIP)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures introduce students to the key terms, concepts, and texts associated with the politics of gender. They also help place feminism in context vis-à-vis e.g. Marxism, Liberalism and Poststructuralism. Seminars provide an environment in which students can discuss readings from e.g. MacKinnon, Crenshaw, Butler. The in-person module talk gives students the opportunity to ask questions of the ML regarding the on demand lecture. The time may also be used to expand on recorded lectures and clarify key themes. Structured, guided learning activities such as annotated readings encourage students to engage consistently with the essential readings and to encourage deeper engagement with the concepts and debates covered in the key texts.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M15500 word essay plan
Essay2M853000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay plan will provide the opportunity to prepare for the essay. The essay will allow students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and debates covered throughout the course, as well as engaging in particular depth with specific strands of feminist theory, ideology, practice or movement relevant to each question.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 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 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.