GI402      Half Unit
Gender, Knowledge and Research Practice

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Jacob Breslow


This course is compulsory on the MPhil/PhD in Gender, MSc in Gender and MSc in Gender (Research). This course is available on the MSc in Culture and Society, MSc in Gender (Sexuality), MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation, MSc in Gender, Media and Culture, MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities and MSc in Social Research Methods. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course introduces students to the central issues at stake in designing and carrying out gender research at graduate and postgraduate level and beyond. The course maps the history of debates about gender and feminist research, and asks what difference it makes to take gender as the subject or object of research. Of particular concern are the ethical and political issues arising from doing gender research with respect to representing others and seeking to influence and engage with broader social contexts among other topics.

The course is interdisciplinary, introducing students to a range of perspectives on knowledge production and research practice. It offers critiques of existing knowledge practices, and highlights the specific challenges to 'mainstream knowledge' that come from gendered and feminist perspectives. It explores how knowledge is produced and offers critical assessments of the dominant debates in gendered research practice, asking how we ensure that we conduct research ethically. Finally, the course focuses on the methodological challenges arising within interdisciplinary research.


15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT.

The course is taught in weekly 1.5 hour lecture, 1 hour seminar  in MT. 

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Essay (1500 words) in the MT.

Indicative reading

  • Patricia Hill Collins (2000) Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment. New York: Routledge;
  • Nina Lykke (2005) "Transformative Methodologies in Feminist Studies", special issue of European Journal of Women's Studies 12. 3;
  • Uma Narayan and Sandra Harding, eds (2000) Decentering the Center: Philosophy for a Multicultural, Postcolonial and Feminist World.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press;
  • Sandra Harding and Kathryn Norbers, eds (2005) "New Feminist Approaches to Social Science Methodologies", special issue of Signs 30. 4.


Essay (100%, 4000 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 23.2
Merit 61.6
Pass 14.1
Fail 1

Teachers' comment

Key facts

Department: Gender Studies

Total students 2017/18: 27

Average class size 2017/18: 29

Controlled access 2017/18: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 81%



Reading list (Q2.1)


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