module specification

LL5051 - Women and Law (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Women and Law
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 80%   Oral presentation - student will present an oral answer to a set question
Coursework 20%   Supporting briefing paper, to be submitted at the beginning of the presentation
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module provides an overview of the practical position of women under English law, with an examination of the theoretical issues underpinning that position. As an extension of learning module, it is suitable for students from any discipline with an interest in gender and the law.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

This module aims to:
1. provide a broad overview of women’s position within English law, including an analysis of the history and development of women’s rights.
2. stimulate analysis and understanding of basic feminist criticisms of English law.
3. raise awareness of women’s legal position and its relation to that of men.
4. provide a supportive environment for the development of competence in discussion and oral presentation.


- Introduction
- Women’s legal history
- Feminist legal theory
- Examination of the law and key feminist legal critiques for a selection of the following topics: abortion, infanticide, forced caesareans, pornography and obscenity, prostitution, body image and cultural representations, the rape trial.
- Presentation skills
- Review of key themes



Learning and teaching

Teaching will be carried out in lectures and seminars. Lectures will provide a structured overview of the course material and highlight key areas for further research and debate. Seminars will involve a range of activities including discussion and debates, group work, blended learning activities and presentation skills exercises. Key employability skills including oral presentation and communication skills, critical thinking and research skills will be developed.

The virtual learning environment for this module includes a range of supporting materials, further reading, interactive exercises, discussion space, and assessment information. Students’ engagement with these materials will enable them to explore topics in more depth, gain contextual understanding, develop relevant skills and enhance their IT literacy.

Students will be required to complete advance reading, questions and exercises; to prepare for and participate in both formative and summative assessment; and to engage with online learning materials. Their active participation in a range of in-class and online activities including will allow students to develop their understanding of the subject as well as to gauge their progress, understanding and articulation of the issues and to obtain peer and lecturer feedback.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will:
1. Understand of the basic concepts of Women and law.
2. Understand and be able to contextualise the evolution of women’s legal rights within our system of law.
3. Be aware of feminist jurisprudence on the English legal system.
4. Have acquired increased awareness of, and confidence in, using oral communication skills.

Assessment strategy

- Formative assessment will include seminar activities and a mock presentation
- Summative assessment will be an individual oral presentation and supporting briefing paper



Bourne & Derry. Women and Law, Old Bailey Press.
Barnett, H. Sourcebook on Feminist Jurisprudence. Cavendish Publishing Ltd.
Barnett, H. Introduction to Feminist Jurisprudence. Cavendish Publishing.
Bridgeman, J & MILLNS, S, Feminist perspectives on Law. Law’s Engagement with the Female Body Sweet & Maxwell.
Smart, C, Feminism & the Power of Law. Routledge.
Wing, A. K (ed) Critical race Feminism: A Reader. New York University Press.
Feminist Legal Studies (journal)
Legal databases eg Westlaw, Lexis