Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The module aims to examine gender and sexuality as sociological categories and to investigate the ways in which categories of gender and sexuality structure people's lives and people's identities.
  • It aims to consider the links between sexuality and gender, and between both categories and broader social relations.


  • This module takes a sociological approach to issues of gender and sexuality.
  • It considers how sexuality is linked with gender (and vice versa) and how both are linked with broader social relations and with other social identities.
  • These questions are considered across 6 blocks of lectures: essentialism and social constructionism.
  • becoming gendered: identity and sexual categories.
  • paid and unpaid work.
  • citizenship and the state.
  • pleasure, power and danger.
  • gender, sexuality and embodiment.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • At the end of the module, students will:
  • Have a knowledge of key debates about the ways in which gender and sexuality are produced.
  • Be able to evaluate these debates from a sociological perspective.
  • Understand the implications of categories of gender and of sexuality in terms of identities, social relations and social structures.
  • understand, and be able to consider the implications of, differences within both categories of 'gender' and 'sexuality'.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will be able to:
  • Evaluate sociological arguments and evidence.
  • Use abstract sociological concepts with confidence.
  • Undertake and present sociological work in a scholarly manner.
  • Apply theoretical and /or empirical knowledge to an appropriate sociological question.
  • Convey in writing the meaning of abstract theoretical concepts in ways that are understandable to others.
Key Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate a range of communication skills including the ability to: evaluate and synthesize information obtained from a variety of written sources; communicate relevant information in different ways.
  • Demonstrate competence in the use of IT resources, including the ability to word-process, and use web-based resources (DUO).
  • Demonstrate a capacity to improve own learning and performance, including the specific ability to manage time effectively, work to prescribed deadlines, engage in different ways of learning including both independent and directed forms of learning, gather necessary information from a range of bibliographic sources, seek and use feedback from academic staff, and monitor and critically reflect on the learning process.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures: introduce students to substantive issues and debates and introduce the main themes of the module.
  • They highlight some of the implications of categories of gender and sexuality.
  • They encourage students to develop skills in active listening, note-taking and to develop an appreciation of the existence of competing debates.
  • Seminars: enable students to evaluate sociological arguments and evidence, and to consider what is distinctive about sociological approaches to sexuality and gender.
  • They enable students to consider and to develop sociologically-informed questions and analyses, and to present scholarly work orally in a coherent and accessible manner.
  • Seminars provide the opportunity for students to develop subject-specific skills (e.g. examining and evaluating, competence in interpreting and evaluating theoretical perspectives, formulating sociologically informed questions).
  • transferable skills (e.g. oral communication, group work skills, information retrieval skills) and general skills (e.g. making reasoned arguments, judging competing arguments and explanations, evaluating evidence).
  • Independent Study: allows students to draw on debates within the scholarly literature and to develop skills in evaluating and critically engaging with the literature.
  • Formative Essays: require students to demonstrate an understanding of sociological approaches to gender and sexuality, and to express that knowledge and understand clearly.
  • They enable feedback which will enable students to improve their performance.
  • The Summative Essay tests students' ability to evaluate and analyse one aspect of gender and sexuality, from a sociological perspective.
  • The Unseen Examination tests students' knowledge and understanding of a range of issues covered by the module, and their ability to collate, integrate, summarise and clearly express their knowledge and understanding.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Total 200
Lectures 22 1 Per Week 1 Hour 22
Seminars 11 Fortnightly 1 Hour 11
Preparation and Reading 167

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
one essay of 1500 to 3000 words 100%
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
one unseen two-hour examination 100%

Formative Assessment:

One essay of 1500-3000 words.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University