Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

MA Gender, Sexuality and Culture / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Religion and Gender Theory

Unit code SALC62312
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


How might a student in the humanities most effectively and innovatively engage with issues relating to religion, gender, sexuality and culture? How has the development of feminist and gender theory impacted upon contemporary thinking about religion and vice versa? This unit offers students the opportunity to encounter a range of different gender and feminist theoriest and to consider the extent to which these can offer new insight into a range of religious traditions, texts and practices, as well as reflect on how religion has shaped conceptualisations of gender. The first half of the semester will focus on introducing students to a selection of different theoretical issues -- Gender theory; Queer theory; Gender and posthumanism; Feminist hermeneutics; Feminism and anthropology -- by focusing on the work of select theorists and their texts. In the second half of the semester, seminars will be student-led, with a member/members of the cohort analysing and reviewing a different aspect of gender theory and religion through the exploration of a case study relevant to the weekly topic. These topics will likely include, but will not be limited to:  Gender, sexuality and sacred texts; Religion, gender and culture – reception; Gender and ritual; Gender and religious leadership; Gender, religion and violence.



•             To provide the critical skills to develop an awareness of the role religion has had on the shaping of gender constructs and gender theory.

•             To introduce and assess the impact of contemporary feminist and gender critical theories on the study of religion.

•             To assess the relationship between formations of gender identity, sexuality and religion.


Week 1: An introduction to gender and religion – the development of the discipline.


Following weeks: Discussion and presentation of a range of approaches and ‘key issues related to women, gender and sexuality in the study of religion, likely including (but not limited to):

  • Gender theory
  • Queer theory
  • Gender and posthumanism
  • Feminist hermeneutics
  • Feminism and anthropology
  • Gender, sexuality and sacred texts.
  • Religion, gender and culture – reception.
  • Gender and ritual.
  • Gender and religious leadership.
  • Gender, religion and violence.

There is flexibility for adjustment based on the inclusion of particular approaches which reflect student interests. 


Knowledge and understanding

•             Offer a critical engagement with key developments in feminist and gender theory.

•             Assess the impact of feminist and gender critical theories upon the study of selected religious traditions as practiced in the Western world.

•             Understand the role played by religion in the construction of gender.


Intellectual skills

•             Further develop written and verbal communication skills.

•             Demonstrate an ability to read closely and critically in response to theoretical knowledge gained

•             The ability to conduct independent research, and to present the results in a professional manner with appropriate and detailed reference to sources and modern published scholarship.

•             The ability to judge and analyse particular research approaches as a precursor to the development of an independent approach in the MA dissertation.


Practical skills

  • Presentation skills
  • Time-management
  • The ability to engage in critical discussion and debate.


Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • construct and defend complex arguments through textual evidence, both in writing and in seminar discussions
  • The ability to retrieve information from complex sources and present it in a compelling and cogent fashion, as exemplified by engaging at a sophisticated level with difficult primary and secondary material.


Employability skills

Analytical skills
Group/team working
Oral communication
Written communication

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 80%
Oral assessment/presentation 20%

Feedback methods

Verbal and written feedback on presentation

Summative (but also formative for essay assignment)

Written feedback on essay plan


Written feedback on essay



Recommended reading

Recommended reading to follow

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 128

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Holly Morse Unit coordinator

Return to course details