GI402      Half Unit
Gender, Knowledge and Research Practice

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Anna Plomien


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, Peace and Security, 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.

Please note the course is limited to 30 students.

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 engages with epistemologies and methodologies that are centred in decolonial, black feminist, queer, trans, anti-ableist, and other intersectional approaches. Offering critiques of existing knowledge practices, it highlights the specific challenges to 'mainstream knowledge' that come from intersectional 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.


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

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

Formative coursework

Proposal 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.

Sara Ahmed (2016) Living a feminist life.  Duke University Press.

Uma Narayan and Sandra Harding, eds (2000) Decentering the Center: Philosophy for a Multicultural, Postcolonial and Feminist World. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.


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

The project includes one part research proposal and one part reflective essay.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 32.4
Merit 47.7
Pass 18
Fail 1.8

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: 50

Average class size 2020/21: 16

Controlled access 2020/21: 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