Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024

Module PSYC3787: Psychology of Sex and Gender

Department: Psychology

PSYC3787: Psychology of Sex and Gender

Type Open Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap 45 Location Durham


  • • 60 credits from Level 2 Psychology


  • • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • • None


  • In this module you will learn about the psychology of sex and gender, with a focus on the cognitive neuroscience of sex/gender differences, the neuromodulatory and behavioural effects of sex hormones, and the effect of sex/gender in clinical and neurodivergent populations. You will learn about the mechanisms of sex/gender differences, current debates in the field, and the potential impact and applications for sex/gender research. <text required>


  • This module examines the psychology of sex and gender with a particular focus on sex/gender differences, sex hormonal effects, and sex/gender influences in clinical and neurodivergent populations.
  • Example module topics include:
  • An introduction to the biology, cognitive neuroscience, and social factors associated with sex and gender,
  • A critical assessment of the evidence concerning sex/gender differences in the brain and behaviour, including in mental illness,
  • A critical assessment of the influence of sex hormones on the brain and behaviour
  • Related current issues in the field of sex and gender research
  • The module will also cover related conceptual and historical issues in psychology

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Detailed knowledge of the psychology of sex/gender, including current theories, evidence, and debates in the field.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to review critically and consolidate understanding of a coherent body of psychological knowledge and apply it appropriately
Key Skills:
  • Good written communication skills
  • Good IT skills in word processing
  • Ability to work independently in scholarship and research within broad guidelines

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

  • Students' acquisition of detailed knowledge will be facilitated by lectures, interactive problem-based-learning tasks, audio-visual materials, discussions and reading lists
  • These modes of teaching provide students with detailed knowledge of the key theories and the skills needed to evaluate different theoretical positions in light of current evidence
  • The summative essay will assess students' detailed subject knowledge
  • An assessment of the range, recency and appropriateness of sources will be included in the overall assessment of the essay
  • The use of group discussions and interactive problem-based-learning tasks will ensure that students are exposed to a range of different theoretical positions, and encouraged to understand their inter-relations
  • Lectures, discussions, and interactive problem-based-learning tasks will also give students the opportunity to interpret and evaluate the significance of empirical work
  • The summative essay assesses students' acquired knowledge of theoretical principles and empirical studies and their ability to organise and synthesise them coherently and critically in written form in response to a set question
  • The essay will also assess students' written communication skills enter text as appropriate for the module

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
2 hour lectures 10 1 per week 2 hour 20
Preparation and Reading 80
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 2500 words 100%

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