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Philosophy of Feminism

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Does biology or identity determine sex? Is sex really binary?

Do women have anything of social and political significance in common, regardless of class, race, and sexuality? What does equality require? Is affirmative action justified? We will explore ethical and political questions concerning sex and society.

No previous philosophy required.

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered through ten 2-hour sessions, made up of lectures, class discussions, small group work, and debates. Class sessions will be supplemented by resources available to students via Learning Central.

Syllabus content

We will be concerned with questions concerning women, society and the state. Discussion will be informed, as appropriate, by classical and contemporary philosophy, including feminist approaches, empirical work in the human sciences, public policy and the law.

Fundamental concepts to be studied include:

  • Sex
  • Oppression
  • Language
  • Equality and Rights
  • Feminism.

Coursework and assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

For the assessment, you will produce written work of around 2,000 words in total, made up of a question formulation, a case study and an essay.

Reading suggestions

A full reading list will be provided by the tutor.

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.