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Study information

Gender and Geography

Module titleGender and Geography
Module codeGEO3101
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Professor Jo Little (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

Over the course of this module we will explore the relationship between gender and space. Through a range of theoretical debates and empirical examples you will investigate the nature and importance of gender difference within key areas of Human Geography. Initially, we will focus on the development of gender studies within geography and on the theoretical debates underpinning the understanding of gender inequality, which will provide a foundation for the study of different topics through a gendered perspective. You will be introduced to a variety of topics that have been studied by Human Geographers and others interested in gender difference and inequality and will build up a rich picture of how experiences are shaped by our assumptions about gender difference and social and cultural constructions of masculinity and femininity.

The module builds on Stage 1 and 2 Human Geography modules in terms of the theoretical understanding of aspects of gendered identities and embodiment. However, the module is also accessible and relevant to students from a variety of social scientific backgrounds and suitable for those wishing to develop interdisciplinary pathways.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module will:

  • examine the role and importance of gender as a basis for inequality, and social stratification
  • explore the centrality of gender to patterns of social and cultural life and to everyday practices
  • examine how gender has been conceptualised in geographical study from the early emphasis on gender role through to more recent work on identity, subjectivity and performance
  • identify the ways in which an appreciation of gender has informed the work of geographers across a range of different parts of the discipline from studies of urban form and planning and employment to work on rurality, leisure and tourism sexuality, the body and cosmetic surgery.

In addressing these aims the module draws extensively on original research work, from the UK and from other Western countries to provide case studies relevant to the various topic areas. In so doing the module explores the contribution of feminist geography to the discipline both in terms of individual topic areas and also in relation to epistemology and methodology.

Through a combination of lectures, seminars and reading groups, this module aims to enhance your employability through the encouragement and development of a range of academic skills including understanding and synthesis of theoretical material, analysis of ideas and data and production of written work.  It will help develop personal skills, self-presentation and confidence and by increasing your awareness of how the module content contributes to positive graduate attributes.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Identify and critically evaluate the development of a comprehensive range of theoretical and conceptual debates surrounding gender inequalities
  • 2. Critically apply these theoretical ideas to a comprehensive range of different subject areas of relevance to gender and geography
  • 3. Identify and explain inequalities in the gendered experience of different geographical issues such as paid work and urban form

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Identify and comprehensively evaluate the nature of gender inequality and its relevance to geography
  • 5. Explain the importance of gender to the experiences of individuals and groups as part of a critical review of the place of Gender studies in Human Geography

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Critically evaluate theoretical and conceptual debates on the construction and operation of gender difference
  • 7. Communicate and present complex geographical ideas, principles and theories effectively through written and oral means
  • 8. Present material to support a sustained reasoned argument, in both written and oral contexts in an effective and critical way
  • 9. Develop effective independent/self-directed study/learning skills, including time-management, working to deadlines by researching the gender and geography literature
  • 10. Develop effective skills in researching and communicating tasks within a group setting, by taking part in group discussions and co-operative learning
  • 11. Reflect on the process of learning and to evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses

Syllabus plan

The syllabus comprises the following sections:

  • Background to the introduction of gender into human geography. How gender studies fit within the theoretical and conceptual development of geography.
  • Theories of gender inequality as debated within the social sciences.
  • Examination of how gender can inform our understanding of patterns of spatial change and the development of cities.
  • The application of a gender perspective to various aspects of geographical research and understanding (ie waged labour, the rural community, housing, safety and the use of urban and rural space).
  • New debates on gender, consumption and the geography of the body.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching20Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching10Seminars/workshop
Guided Independent Study10Student-led reading groups
Guided Independent Study50Guided reading of key text for small group discussions/seminars
Guided Independent Study65Coursework reading and writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar discussions and feedback including the presentation of ideas and key concepts in small groups.3 x 20 minute discussionsAllOral
Essay plan for coursework1000 wordsAllGroup and individual oral feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Examination502 hoursAllWritten feedback on request
Coursework502500 wordsAllWritten

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
ExaminationExaminationAllAugust Ref/Def
Coursework Coursework AllAugust Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to sit a further examination or submit a further assessment as necessary. The reassessment will be the same as the original assessment. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Holliday, R., Bell, D., Jones, K., Hunter, E., Probyn, E. and Sanchez-Taylor, J. (2015) Beautiful face, beautiful place: relational geographies of gender in cosmetic surgery tourism websites.  Gender, Place and Culture 22(1)
  • Hubbard, P. (2002) Sexing the Self: geographies of engagement and encounter. Social and Cultural Geography, 4 pp365-382
  • Johnston, L. and Longhurst, R. (2013) Space and Sex: Geographies of Sexuality. Routledge.
  • Kern, L. (2005) In place and at home in the city: connecting privilege, safety and belonging for women in Toronto.
  • Gender, Place and Culture, 12(3), pp357-377.
  • Little, J. (2002) Gender and Rural Geography. Pearson.
  • Longhurst, R. and Johnston, L. (2014) Bodies, gender, place and culture 21 years on.  Gender, Place and Culture.
  • Lombard, N. and McMillan, L. (2013) Violence against women: current theory and practice in domestic abuse, sexual violence and exploitation.  Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • McDowell, L. (2008) Thinking through work: complex inequalities, constructions of difference and trans-national migrants. Progress in Human Geography, 32(4) 491-507.
  • Panelli, R. (2004) Social Geographies. Sage
  • Petersen, A. (2007) The Body in Question: a socio-cultural approach. Routledge.

Key words search

Gender, identity, sexuality, the body, inequality

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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NQF level (module)


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Last revision date