SO5009 - Sex and Gender in Society

What will I learn on this module?

On this module we will examine the social construction and representation of gender in historical and contemporary society. The early classes will cover scholarship about the social construction of gender, and key themes such as the significance of the private/public binary in constructing gender. We will explore how the private/public binary has been used in the construction of gender, and how this binary impacts on lived realities of women and men, girls and boys. Later classes will examine a number of case studies, to enable students to study the operationalization of gender in culture, political institutions, and social structures. The case studies will explore the gendered aspects of, for example: intimacy, family and sexual relations; paid and unpaid work; formal and informal political life; representations of gender in the media. They will help you problematize the private/public binary and study in depth the social construction and lived realities of gender in contemporary society.

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 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.

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 sex and gender in society.
2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of sociological approaches to sex and gender and the significance of relations of power, inequality and identity.
3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the social policy implications, and social and cultural impact, of knowledge and research about sex and gender in society.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
1. Assess the suitability of different sources for sociological analysis of the social world.
2. Skills in critical thinking, team work, self-management, time-management, and problem solving.
Personal Values Attributes (Global/Cultural Awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
On completion of the module you will be able to:
1. be critically aware of and think independently about aspects of sex and gender in society
2. show critical awareness of different approaches to understanding sex and gender in the global social world and think independently and reflectively about them.

How will I be assessed?

The summative assessment for this module is comprised of:
1. A short-answer take-home paper. It will address the following MLOs: K&U 1; IPS 2; PVA 1, 2
2. A 2,000 word essay which will address the following MLOs: 1. K&U 1, 2, 3; IPS 1, 2; PVA 1, 2

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, 2, 3, ; IPS 1, 2; PVA 1, 2. Feedback on your performance will be provided verbally in seminars.


Level 4 modules of degree programmes in Social Sciences.



Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code L300

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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