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 (including marriage, civil partnership and parental responsibilities), reproductive rights, employment law, and religious rights and freedoms.

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.


100%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

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.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. 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: