The details
Philosophical, Historical, and Interdisciplinary Studies (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
18 October 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

LLB MV06 Law with Philosophy (Including Foundation Year),
LLB MV16 Law with Philosophy,
LLB MV18 Law with Philosophy (Including Year Abroad),
LLB MV19 Law with Philosophy (Including Placement Year)

Module description

Feminism is a body of theory and practice aimed at illuminating and overcoming the oppression of women. This module will look at some of the main strands in modern feminist theory, and at the different ways in which they understand the nature, role and objectives of feminism.

Beyond the shared commitment to ending the oppression of women, feminists disagree on such central questions as: How and why are women oppressed? What steps are needed (and what steps are permissible) to end that oppression? Should we be aiming for freedom, or equality, or justice (and what do these terms mean)? What is a 'woman' (and should we even use the term)? What is the relationship between feminism and other theoretical and practical movements for social change such as struggles against racial oppression and imperialism? These questions are best tackled by maintaining a dual focus on the practice as well as the theory of feminism, and by looking at contemporary feminism in the light of its long history.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To develop a familiarity with some of the major figures, themes and concepts of feminist philosophy

  • To undertake a close reading of selected classics from the feminist canon

  • To develop the ability to use feminist ideas to illuminate social phenomena in the contemporary world

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Summarise in their own words and critically assess the principal theories and philosophical perspectives examined in this course;

  2. Compare and evaluate conflicting accounts of the task and nature of feminism, and of specific issues such as the nature of womanhood, the relationship between sex and gender, and the ways in which feminism might relate to other theoretical and practical contributions to struggles against oppression (such as anti-capitalist and critical race theory);

  3. Offer detailed philosophical analysis and critique of journal articles published in the field;

  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the relation between feminist theory and practice by relating, for example, particular theories to their own experience.

Module information

Incoming Study Abroad students must have already taken two Philosophy modules at their home institution.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour combined leclture and seminar per week.
  • One 1-hour class per week


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Presentation   29/02/2024  25% 
Coursework   2500 word essay  20/03/2024  75% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Irene McMullin, email:
PHAIS General Office: 6.130,



External examiner

Dr Josiah Saunders
Durham University
Associate Professor
Available via Moodle
Of 28 hours, 28 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


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