Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module PHIL2201: Feminist Philosophy

Department: Philosophy

PHIL2201: Feminist Philosophy

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap 30 Location Durham


  • At least one ‘Year 1’ module in Philosophy.


  • At least one other ‘Year 2’ module in Philosophy.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To introduce some key concepts in feminist philosophy such as ideology, social norms, oppression, privilege, and ideology and to explore social ontology
  • To introduce some key debates in feminist philosophy and how feminist considerations impact philosophical ideas and arguments.
  • To encourage critical reflection on these concepts and debates and to explore the ways in which they are related to one another; and
  • To help develop own views on the topics covered in the module, to consider objections to these views, and to construct arguments to support and defend them.


  • The module will cover topics such as sexism/misogyny, ideology (such as patriarchy and heteronormativity), nature of gendered oppression and oppression and privilege more generally, and intersectionality as well as feminist metaphysics (including social ontology) and different feminisms as political movements.
  • The module will also explore some of the topics in feminist philosophy selected from a list including, but not exhaustive of, the following: gendered norms (such as beauty norms), feminism and work (including sex work), family, gendered violence, pornography, trans rights, feminist arguments for/against marriage/polyamory, gendered embodiment, feminist metaphysics, feminist philosophy of language, feminist epistemology, allyship/activism and resistance, feminist perspectives on multiculturalism and imperialism/colonialism, eco-feminism, and continental feminist philosophy.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Have knowledge and understanding of key concepts in feminist philosophy.
  • Have knowledge and understanding of different feminist considerations on wide-ranging topics.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Be able to identify, explain and address philosophical questions arising in feminist philosophy
  • Be able to analyse and evaluate philosophical arguments
  • Be able to consider feminist approaches to philosophical topics
Key Skills:
  • Be able to express ideas clearly and succinctly
  • Be able to comprehend complex ideas and theories
  • Be able to evaluate arguments and defend one’s views in response to objections
  • Be able to extrapolate concepts, theories, and arguments from reading scholarly work

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

  • Guided reading provides a structure within which students can gain understanding. The readings will be good exemplars of philosophical argumentation.
  • The seminars provide opportunities to students to test their own understanding of the readings and learn from their peers. They will also be invited to scrutinise their own views as well as defend and debate different ideas.
  • The summative essays tests knowledge and understanding of the course material, and the ability to identify and explain issues covered in the module, and, using relevant research material, to present different approaches to those issues, and make reasoned judgement on the merits and demerits of such approaches.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 22 Weekly 1.5 Hours 33
Preparation and Reading 167
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 1 1,500 words 25%
Essay 2 1,500 words 25%
Essay 3 3,000 words 50%

Formative Assessment:


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