Law, Gender and Sexuality (Spr) (M3015)

15 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

This module examines the role of law in shaping and regulating gender and sexuality. It will explore, amongst other things, the idea of gender and the idea of sexuality and their respective constructions in the circumstances of contemporary society (but as derived from their histories). It will consider broad thematic issues like equality (in the context of differences in sex and sexual orientation), privacy and the significance of the public/private divide where issues of gender and sexuality arise and the advent of fundamental rights jurisprudence in relation to gender and sexuality.

It will also reflect on substantive areas of law in which distinctions of gender and sexuality appear to have significant consequences. These will include areas of family law (like marriage and the legal frameworks that govern the conception and rearing of children) and employment law (like equal pay, parental leave, and discrimination) and the law relating to the (selective) provision of public or commercial services (medical treatment, hotel accommodation, etc.).

In exploring the contours of substantive law as they are informed by gender and sexuality considerations the module will also explore the continuing relationship between law and society in the construction of gendered and sexualised identities. Although the course will focus on traditional legal sources - cases, statutes, legal treatises on the subject - it will also be informed by developments in the politics of gender and sexuality and by changes in feminist and queer theory.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 20 hours of contact time and about 130 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2020/21. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.