SO6011 - Gender, Violence and Abuse

What will I learn on this module?

On this module we will examine the connections between gender, violence and abuse. These are topics that have come to the fore of public debate in recent years, especially because of the #MeToo movement and high profile cases such as Harvey Weinstein's and Jeffrey Epstein’s. However, gender-based violence (GBV) has a much longer history; in this module we will study that history and why it is only recently that wider publics have become aware of GBV. The early classes will cover issues around terminology, definitions, and theoretical frameworks for understanding GBV. Later classes will cover a series of 'case studies', such as: rape and sexual violence; intimate partner violence; online abuse and image-based violence; GBV in higher education. For each case study we will examine the nature of the problem as well as the responses and remedies to it. This will include examination of the activism and social movements that have developed in response to GBV, as well as the state and agency responses. Overall, this module will give you knowledge and understanding about this highly topical issue; it will also introduce you to opportunities for employment and activism in the field, should you wish to pursue your interest in the topic after graduation.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered through a series of lectures and seminars. Interaction from students is required in both lectures and seminars. The module staff will draw on their experience of researching and publishing about the topics examined, as appropriate, and, as well as academic sources, will also use film documentaries, news reports, and topical events where possible. An interactive, student-led approach will be encouraged in seminars. You will be encouraged to act as an independent learner and to use a wide range of academic and other sources of information, and to apply your understanding to relevant debates in the media and public life.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will receive a detailed module guide, including full reading list of essential and recommended reading. Power point slides which provide structure and detailed information for each lecture will be made available via Blackboard in advance of each lecture. The module staff will provide feedback about your participation in classes; the more you contribute, the more you will benefit from feedback. Detailed written feedback will be provided with each marked assignment. You may also contact the module staff during their office hours for additional support.
We will be studying sensitive topics on this module, topics that touch on our own personal experiences. The Module Leader will use her extensive experience of teaching and researching this topic to approach the topic sensitively, ensuring that students are supported if needed and that we find a language and way of discussing these topics which is careful and compassionate.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Critically explain and evaluate key sociological concepts, theories, and methods in relation to gender, violence and abuse.
2. Critically appraise the responses to gendered violence by state actors, third sector organisations, and social movements.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
1.Assess the suitability of different sources for sociological analysis of the social world.
2. Demonstrate skills in critical thinking, team work, self-management, time-management, and problem solving.
3. Assess the value of your academic discipline to constructively address the challenges associated with violence and gender.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
On completion of the module you will be able to:
1. Contribute critically, sensitively and constructively to debates about gender, violence and abuse in diverse communities.

How will I be assessed?

The summative assessment for this module is comprised of:
1. 2,000 word critical media analysis. It will address the following MLOs: K&U 1; IPS 1, 2 and 3; PVA 1

2. 2,000 word essay, 20min podcast or 15 min presentation which will address the following MLOs: K&U 1 and 2; IPS 1 and 2; PVA 1

Formative assessment for this module is comprised of preparation for and engagement with seminar exercises and activities, which will address the following MLOs:
K&U 1 and 2 ; IPS 1, 2 and 3; PVA 1. Feedback on your performance will be provided verbally in seminars.


Level 4 and 5 modules of degree programmes in social sciences.



Module abstract

This module explores some burning issues in contemporary society. Why does gender-based violence persist? Has it become more common? Who are the perpetrators and who are the victims? What are state agencies, including the criminal justice system, doing about it? What did #MeToo achieve? Are activists successful in their efforts to raise attention and to eradicate it? If these are questions you’ve asked yourself, this is the module for you. We’ll examine the connections between gender, violence, and abuse, the recent history of how society has understood it, and the social movements that have responded to it. We’ll look at case studies such as: rape and sexual violence; intimate partner abuse; online and image-based abuse; gender-based violence in higher education. As well as developing your knowledge and understanding about this highly topical issue, this module will also give you opportunities for employment and activism in the field, should you wish to pursue your interest beyond your studies.

Course info

UCAS Code LM39

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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