Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Law


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Introduction to English Law and Legal Method (LAW 1121) (at the discretion of the Chair of the Board of Studies or delegate, a suitable module from another Department may be substituted for the Law pre-requisite(s)).


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide students with a critical introduction to the relationships between law, gender and society;
  • To encourage students to evaluate established legal concepts, principles and regulations in the light of approaches to, and theories of, law and gender;
  • To develop students' critical awareness of the law in its broader social and political context.


  • This module examines the law from a gender perspective;
  • It considers how the law is gendered and so impacts people differently;
  • Theories regarding gender and law are considered, before examining a number of interesting and controversial areas of law, based upon the teaching team’s research and expertise, for example, bio-law, criminal law, employment law, family law, human rights law, international law, transitional justice, and the nature of judging and the legal profession.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of theoretical approaches to analyses of law, gender and society;
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of selected areas of substantive law.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to:
  • Critically assess the relevance of gender issues in the law and legal policy;
  • Demonstrate analytical and critical skills regarding the social implications of existing and proposed laws and legal policies;
  • Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the significance of law in its social context;
  • Critically analyse selected areas of substantive law and legal policy in the light of different approaches to the study of law, gender and society, including the ability to offer personal and justifiable opinions on the effectiveness of specific laws, the desirability of reform and to recognise and understand competing arguments for reform.
Key Skills:
  • Students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate developed research and writing skills, including the ability to work independently and to take responsibility for their own learning

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

  • The modes of teaching, learning and assessment have been chosen in order to facilitate the achievement of the learning outcomes of the module;
  • Lectures will concentrate on developing students' knowledge of the subject area and introducing students to the relevant critical, analytical and evaluative skills;
  • Seminars will be used to develop students' critical and analytical skills and their understanding of the subject area;
  • The modes of assessment will encourage independent learning and research skills and will examine students' ability to meet the learning outcomes of the module;
  • The written policy briefing or submission to a Parliamentary Committee will tests students’ abilities to apply relevant legal issues to contemporary debates and discussions in policy, related to topics of study in the module;
  • The essay tests the ability to focus on relevant legal issues and organise knowledge and arguments appropriate to questions raised. The essay questions will provide the means for students to demonstrate the acquisition of subject knowledge and their ability to address social and cultural issues, and their problem-solving skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 12 Normally six in each of Michaelmas and Epiphany Term 1 hour 12
Seminars 6 Normally three in each of Michaelmas and Epiphany Term 2 hours 12
Preparation and Reading 176
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Assessment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Policy briefing or submission to Parliamentary Committee 1 hour 100% Y
Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
summative essay 3,500 words 100% Y

Formative Assessment:

1. 5 – minute pitch for the policy briefing. 2. 500-word plan for the essay.

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