GI425      Half Unit
Introduction to Gender, Peace and Security

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Aiko Holvikivi


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Gender, Peace and Security. This course is available on the MSc in Conflict Studies, MSc in Gender, MSc in Gender (Sexuality), MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation, MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities, MSc in Human Rights, MSc in Human Rights and Politics, MSc in Inequalities and Social Science, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies and MSc in Media, Communication and Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Please note we will only have 30 places on this course, including those students on MSc Gender, Peace and Security.

Course content

This course provides a critical examination of gender peace and security issues in conflict and postconflict contexts.  Specifically, the course focuses on the UN Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, which originated in Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) followed by a series of subsequent resolutions to date. The course covers the main pillars of the WPS agenda, namely participation; protection from gendered violence; the prevention of conflict and violence; and gendered approaches to relief and recovery in conflict and post-conflict settings. The course examines a range of issues through a gender and feminist lens. 

Topics include: the socio-legal context of the Women, Peace and Security agenda; the history of Women, Peace and Security laws and policies; definitions and scope of gender-based and sexual violence in conflict; combating impunity and addressing accountability; peace processes, peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance; and evaluation of a range of different critiques of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.


This course runs in the Michaelmas Term. It contains both asynchronous and interactive teaching and learning elements.

Students will have a reading week in Week 6 in line with departmental policy. 

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.

Indicative reading

Buss, D., Lebert, J., Rutherford, B., Sharkey, D., & Aginam, O. (Eds) (2014) Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies: International Agendas and African Contexts, Routledge;

Cohn, C. (Ed) (2013) Women and Wars, Polity Press; 

Olonisakin, F., Barnes, K., & Ikpe, E. (Eds) (2010) Women, Peace and Security: Translating Policy into Practice, Routledge;

Miibenge C.S. (2013) Sex and International Tribunals: The Erasure of Gender from the War Narrative, University of Pennsylvania Press; 

Otto, D. and Heathcote, G. (Eds) (2014) Rethinking Peacekeeping, Gender Equality and Collective Security: An Introduction, Routledge; Global Study on Preventing Conflict, Transforming Justice, Securing Peace: A Global Study on the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325;

Davies, SE and True, J (eds) (2018) The Oxford Handbook of Women Peace and Security, Oxford University Press


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the LT.

Summative assessment to be submitted in the first week of LT.


Student performance results

(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 17.8
Merit 48.4
Pass 33.8
Fail 0

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Gender Studies

Total students 2019/20: 62

Average class size 2019/20: 16

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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