Law, Gender and Sexuality (Aut) (M3017)

15 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

In this module, you examine the role of law in shaping and regulating gender and sexuality.

You 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). You 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.

You also reflect on substantive areas of law in which distinctions of gender and sexuality appear to have significant consequences. These 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 also explores the continuing
relationship between law and society in the construction of gendered and sexualised identities.

Although you focus on traditional legal sources - cases, statutes, and legal treatises on the subject - you are also 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 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: