GI425      Half Unit
Introduction to Gender, Peace and Security

This information is for the 2021/22 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

Basu, S., Kirby, P. & Shepherd, L.J. (eds) (2020) New Directions in Women, Peace and Security, Bristol University Press

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

Coomaraswamy, R. (ed.) (2015) Preventing Conflict, Transforming Justice, Securing the Peace: Global Study on the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, UN Women

Davies, S.E. & True, J. (eds) (2018) The Oxford Handbook of Women Peace and Security, Oxford University Press

Enloe, C. (2010), Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War, University of California Press

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

Otto, D. and Heathcote, G. (eds) (2014) Rethinking Peacekeeping, Gender Equality and Collective Security, Palgrave


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

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


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 14.2
Merit 53.1
Pass 32.7
Fail 0

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: 33

Average class size 2020/21: 18

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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