Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)


Department: Government and International Affairs


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2020/21 Module Cap None.
Tied to L2K609
Tied to L2K909


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide advanced knowledge of a range of theoretical, political, social, and policy issues arising from the implementation of Gender, Peace and Security (GPS) as a conceptual a framework that addresses gender imbalances and inequalities in peace processes, with the objective of attaining sustainable peace.
  • To provide the practical skills and techniques necessary for designing a gender-sensitive peace process.
  • To provide a hands-on approach with specific methodologies, tools, and practices used to integrate women in peace processes, address gender perspectives in peace agreements, and evaluate the extent and results of such efforts.
  • To enable students to locate GPS-related concepts in peace and reconciliation efforts.
  • To enable students to practice and refine methods of inclusion and participation, feminist policy design, gender mainstreaming, and gender budgeting.
  • To enable students to examine the wider politics of GPS efforts and critically assess relevant initiatives against other feminist approaches.


  • The module will explore theoretical, legal, and policy dimensions of gender, security, and postconflict reconstruction. Students will have the opportunity to gain a solid background on the development of the gender, peace and security policy agenda and the ways in which it has been implemented in different peace processes.
  • Students will be exposed to key debates within feminist peace studies that deal with the involvement of women in peace and conflict, the relationship between ‘women’ and ‘gender’ as points of policy focus, and the role of different actors in implementing the GPS agenda.
  • Students will have an opportunity to study existing policy frames in the forms of National Action Plans, UN reporting mechanisms, and research and recommendations briefs, and based on a critical assessment of these examples, to produce their own policy documents.
  • The module will adopt a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective in examining a number of examples from conflict and postconflict societies, as well as countries involved in peace-building activities abroad and will in this way address questions of global hierarchies and global power dynamics.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will, by the end of the module:
  • • have an in-depth understanding of the historical development of the GPS policy framework and its relation to other gender-related policies
  • • have an advanced knowledge of GPS instruments and how these are being used across the globe
  • • have a good understanding of different feminist and other critical perspectives on GPS, its goals and documented results
  • • have a solid grasp on the academic literature on feminism and peace
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will, by the end of the module:
  • • have developed and practiced skills and techniques necessary for effective implementation of gender mainstreaming in peace processes
  • • be more aware of the gendered nature of peace and conflict
  • • be able to design a gender-sensitive peace process within an inclusive framework that incorporates best practices
  • • be able to identify different academic approaches to gender and peace-building
  • • be able to appraise the importance of socio-cultural and historical context to understanding the relationship between gender and conflict.
  • • to apply some of the studied approaches and advanced theoretical models to the evaluation of current local and global issues, to interpret and analyse empirical data at an advanced level and according to competing explanatory frameworks, and to recognise the impact of a chosen conceptual framework on one’s research findings;
  • • to engage in research projects at MA level in the subjects of gender and post-conflict reconstruction.
Key Skills:
  • Students will be able, by the end of the module, to:
  • • construct and synthesise arguments critically for both oral and written presentation from different sources of material, including material delivered orally and in reports and essays
  • • demonstrate an independent approach to learning, thinking (self-)critically and creatively, and problem-solving;
  • • to use sophisticated techniques of information retrieval and management using an array of print and digital resources;
  • • participate in and reflect on collaborative group work;
  • • formulate complex arguments in articulate and structured English in an effective way, within the discursive conventions and genres of academic writing and written to high academic standards;
  • • demonstrate effective time management

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

  • The module will be delivered as a block in workshop format over a period of an evening and two full consecutive days, and will involve a mixture of lectures, short presentations, discussion and small group work, and an oral presentation based on specific region or theme.
  • Summative assessment will include a pre-workshop article or briefing paper review, or a review of current GPS policy of a specific country (in conflict or participating in peace-building) and a post-workshop module essay, report or policy document. Which pre- and in-workshop assessments are chosen is dependent on the module convenor, so as to maximise flexibility for the interdisciplinary team delivering the programme. Which post-workshop assessment is selected is in the hands of students (in consultation with the module convenor), so as to maximise flexibility with a view to the wide range of professional backgrounds and needs students attending the course are expected to have. The post-workshop assignment has to be directly linked to one of the themes discussed during the workshop. The pre-workshop assignment is designed to provide students with a focused task to prepare them, through self-guided learning, for the workshop's discussion and/or role play. The knowledge, analytical points and literature advice for this assignment will be provided through a virtual induction.
  • Formative assessment is intended to develop students' oral communication and academic writing skills, as well as effective time management. Students will receive continuing formative feedback in seminar and group discussions. They will receive formal formative feedback on their role play or oral presentation in a debriefing session after the event, in which students' performances will be discussed in view of the learning outcomes.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshop 1 Epiphany Term 2 days 18
Preparation and Reading 132
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Article Review Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Article Review (or review of GPS policy document or instrument) 1,000 100%
Component: Report Component Weighting: 70%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Report or Module Essay or Policy Document 2,500 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Oral presentations; continuing feedback in seminar and group discussions.

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