Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module HEAS40530: Sexualities: Health, Cultures and Histories

Department: Health [Queen's Campus, Stockton]

HEAS40530: Sexualities: Health, Cultures and Histories

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.
Tied to HEAS


  • none


  • none

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • none


  • To introduce students to theoretical approaches in gender and sexualities studies
  • To engage students with socially, culturally and historically characteristic responses to sexualities and sexual health
  • To engage students with current issues of sexual health and sexualities in different social and cultural contexts
  • To identify changes and continuities in sexual knowledge and practices related to sexual health and sexualities
  • To promote an understanding of the historicity of concepts of sexualities and sexual health


  • The seminars will cover key issues of sexualities and sexual health from the past to the present.
  • In two introductory sessions, students will be introduced to the main theoretical approaches and concepts in gender and sexualities studies.
  • The following 8 seminar sessions will involve discussion of exemplary issues of sexualities and sexual health, covering the themes of sexual identities, sexual behaviours, sexual moralities.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • by the end of the module students should have:
  • an understanding of topics related to sexualities and sexual health in specific cultural contexts and historical periods up to the present;
  • a familarity with key writings on sexualities and sexual health.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • by the end of the module students should be able to:
  • evaluate different social, cultural and historical interpretations of key developments of sexualities and sexual health;
  • demonstrate skills in interpretation of historical sources as well as contemporary material related to sexualities and sexual health;
  • write a critical and well-informed essay on a selected topic about sexualities and sexual health.
Key Skills:
  • the ability to think critically and creatively and to argue coherently;
  • the capacity for sustained interprofessional learning and work at an advanced level
  • the ability to think independently, including problem-solving ability and the ability to discriminate and use judgement;
  • the ability to communicate effectively across specialised subject and professional areas.

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

  • The module will be taught in 10 two-hour group seminars. Each of the two-hour seminars will be led by a lecturer.
  • The seminars include a short introduction to the topic by the lecturer; students’ historical interpretation of selected sources; students’ short presentations of key primary and/or secondary literature; and joint critical discussion of pre-read research publications (partly in group work).
  • Structured reading will allow students to pursue topics in greater detail enabling both familiarity with key texts and a deeper understanding of the subject knowledge generally.
  • Independent study, research and analysis will focus students' knowledge more deeply by pursuing aspects of the moduel that are of special interest to themselves and exploring specific applications in their field of study.
  • Essay assessment will test students' critical knowledge and understanding of key concepts, their ability to argue coherently and communicate effectively in writing, and to reflectively assess their proficiency in thinking through how the various social, cultural and historical perspectives on sexualities and sexual health are represented in the literature.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminar 10 weekly 2 hr 20
Structured Reading 10 sets weekly 3 hr 30
Library Researching and independet study student initiated student initiated 100
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 5000 100%

Formative Assessment:

A 2,500 word essay will provide formative assessement and will indicate to students the depth of their understanding and the relative strenght/weekness of their analysis.

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