Courses in focus


SPS in Practice Students, photo by Meryl Kenny on Twitter

Understanding Gender in the Contemporary World (School of Social and Political Science, SCQF Level 8, Semester 1)

"This course has genuinely changed my academic career."

"The organization and execution of the course have been outstanding, especially since it is only the first year. We covered many subjects and got a great overview of gender studies as a whole without ever feeling overwhelmed by the information. The broad range of teaching staff was helpful and it was obvious that everyone was very knowledgeable about what they were speaking. Also it is so important for the university to have a first and second year course on this subject. I now know that gender is something I want to focus on during the rest of my degree, but before this year wouldn’t have otherwise had any exposure to it. The resource list was full and the readings for the course were genuinely engaging and rarely too academic or too simplistic for the level of the course. The lectures were informative and never boring. The tutorials incorporated many different ways of learning with interactive activities and discussion. There was also a lot of care taken to prepare us for coursework and the exam. Overall, every aspect of this course was great and it’s been my favourite academic experience at university so far."

"It’s a brand new course and the enthusiasm and dedication that everyone involved has put into it has made it outstanding. The broad range of topics that are covered was amazing which gave so much more insight, as well as it being the first course of its kind in the university. Having guest lecturers that were experts in their area was phenomenal, as well as the Dean of the School coming in for two lectures gave it even more depth. The tutorials were incredible and practical, using games and discussions and drawings to bring together everything we learnt. As well as the reading list being incredibly long, it was also full of so many different types of mediums that made it completely accessible and fun."

(Above quotes from Teaching Awards nominations)

Course organiser: Dr Meryl Kenny

Find the course on DRPS here


Gender and Justice (School of Law, SCQF Level 10, Full Year)

"Gender and Justice is a course within the law school that begins with one of the most compelling problems in criminological study, the undeniable but complex link between masculinity and offending."

"From this core issue we have developed a course which draws on the inroads made by feminist movements in highlighting forgotten perspectives of women in the justice system, asking questions like; why is motherhood such a prominent factor in the sentencing of women, how can female police officers assert themselves in a hypermasculine work environment, why is suicide the most pressing concern in women’s prisons? This course came about through a desire to take on these fundamental issues in socio-legal studies and has developed with an eye on evolving gender debates, such as the experience of victimisation of transgender communities and the increasingly pertinent issue of sexual violence on university campuses. In delivering this course, I’ve often felt that it gives the students a sense of the power of combining academic insight with activism. Students often feed back that this course helps them to understand real concerns from their daily lives, this is clear in the discussions we have and in the examined work and to me this feels like the course is doing something immeasurable and important." –Dr Gemma Flynn

The aim of this course is to examine gender issues as they relate to law and legal process. Students are introduced to contemporary theories of masculinity and femininity and encouraged to think critically about the relevance of debates in this field to understanding the nature and function of law and legal systems. Four themes will be covered, not more than two of which will be offered in any given year (to be announced in advance): legal theory; civil justice; criminological theory; and criminal justice.

Course organiser: Dr Gemma Flynn

Find the course on DRPS here


Film and Gender (School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, SCQF Level 11, Semester 1)

Film and Gender examines the ways in which gender is constructed and performed across a range of moving image forms and genres. The course will introduce students to a wide range of theoretical frameworks and help them to develop analytical approaches responsive to moving image texts. Teaching methods and assessment models are designed to work both for students with a background in film studies and gender studies; and for students without formal training in these fields who bring an interest in pursuing studies in gender and representation.

Course organiser: Ms Jane Sillars

Find the course on DRPS here


Gender in the History of the Americas (School of History, Classics and Archaeology, SCQF Level 11, Semester 2)

“Gender in the History of Americas is designed to get students thinking comparatively about gender history."

"I taught a version of the course some time ago when I was working at Newcastle University, and am very happy to be able to run it here with students at Edinburgh. The course takes selected important historiographic topics that are relevant for the Americas as a whole, and examines how recent works in gender history have approached them when researching different parts of North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. We might examine gendered histories of slavery and emancipation, the independence movements, industrialization and labour, migration, and queer histories. Gender history is a thriving field across the whole of the Americas, but historians focusing on different regions sometimes have different preoccupations. By taking a comparative approach, students get to study the historiography comparatively, as well as to compare the findings of the different historians we read.” –Prof Diana Paton

This course will provide advanced level knowledge and understanding of the recent historiography of gender across the Americas (North America, Caribbean and Latin America).

Course organiser: Prof Diana Paton

Find the course on DRPS here


Gender and Translation (School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, SCQF Level 11, Semester 2)

The course focuses on the convergence of gender-related issues and translation studies. It aims at:

  • encouraging critical thinking on the relationships between translation and gender, and language and gender;
  • introducing the central concepts of gender-conscious approaches to translation;
  • showing how these approaches could be implemented in terms of various translation strategies;
  • broadening the students’ perspectives on a variety of issues, such as gender in religious texts, gender and postcolonialism, translation of feminist theories, queer and translation, ‘inclusive’ language, translation of misogynistic works, etc.

The course is open to students of other interdisciplinary programmes within the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures.

Course Organiser: Dr Şebnem Susam-Saraeva

Find the course on DRPS here