LW5013 - Gender, Sexuality, and Law

What will I learn on this module?

The module seeks to explore contemporary theories of sexuality and to undertake a selective investigation of the ways in which sexuality has been posed and addressed as a problem in law through socio-legal analysis. You will explore contemporary debates relating to sexuality and gender drawing on theory, but placing them in a ‘real world’ context, enabling you to understand how the law seeks to respond to these issues, and how it might respond in the future.

Each year members of staff will choose the most topical areas to be studied on the syllabus. Some topics will be changed to reflect the current issues of the day. Subjects that might be explored in a year include a selection from: feminist and queer theory, reproductive rights, same-sex marriage/relationship status rights, trans rights, sex work/prostitution, non-normative sexual behaviours (e.g. public sex), pornography, queer space and legal geographies, bareback sex and HIV transmission, employment rights, adoption rights and paedophilia/inter-generational sex.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, seminars, tutor guided independent learning and student independent learning. The lectures will introduce you to key legal concepts and theories relating to gender, sexuality, and the law.

In preparing for seminars you will undertake tutor guided independent learning which will enable you to come to the seminars with prepared answers for discussion and you will be expected to draw upon appropriate literature, theories and media as appropriate to support your answers and to then engage in subsequent discussion and structured debates.

Student independent learning will allow you to identify and pursue areas of interest in gender, sexuality and law to acquire a deeper/broader knowledge.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported academically in a number of ways:
• Oral feedback from tutors during small-group discussions and debates in seminars
• Module eLP site which includes media clips as appropriate
• Module eLP discussion board to provide a further semi-structured framework for discussion and debate
• Pro-active use of Twitter to support further discussion and to engage with themes of gender, sexuality and law beyond the classroom, for example the use of a module hashtag and tutor interventions as appropriate.

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: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• You will demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the development, underlying concepts, principles and context of substantive areas of law relating to gender and sexuality, and be able to initiate and undertake critical analysis within those areas.
• You will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts, values, principles and rules of public and private laws within an institutional, national and global context relating to gender and sexuality.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• You will be able to recognise ambiguity and uncertainty in laws relating to gender and sexuality and, where appropriate, identify potential law reforms

Personal Value Attributes
• Develop intellectual independence by being able to ask and answer cogent questions about law and legal systems relating to gender and sexuality, identify gaps in knowledge and acquire new knowledge.

How will I be assessed?

Formative feedback will be provided throughout the module, particularly in relation to seminar tasks.
Marking criteria will be provided from the start of the module to enable you to understand what is expected and how you will be judged on your performance.

Summative assessment will be a single piece of written coursework (maximum 2500 word limit).





Module abstract

Gender and Sexuality are increasingly regulated in complex and transformational ways. Reproductive rights and relationships recognition rights for example have been at the forefront of global political, social and legal battles in recent years, as much an indication of the nature of a given contemporary society as they are an indication of individual rights. Alongside these changes have come continued criminalization of behaviours relating to pornography and certain forms of illicit sex. This module explores these debates, drawing on a rich and developing seam of theoretical, legal and social research, much of which has been contributed to by members of the module team. This module will enable you to (re)think about these complex themes in a way that enhances future social and employment-based interactions.

Course info

UCAS Code M101

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

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

Department Northumbria Law School

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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