Gender, Politics and Society c.1500-1800 (HIC2325)

Staff -
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level6
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module aims to do two things. First, it provides an introduction to the study of gender relations and how the experiences of men and women relate to broader debates about the social, economic, ideological and political changes taking place in the early modern period. Second, the module is designed to ensure that students acquire a firm grasp of academic skills, techniques and concepts in order to develop their skills as independent researchers and critical thinkers. 

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. display a core knowledge of gender relations in the early modern period, linked to key themes
  • 2. demonstrate critical awareness of the historiography of the period.
  • 3. bring primary evidence to bear on their interpretations of secondary arguments about social and economic change.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. analyse and reflect critically and contextually upon historical texts relating to a specific historical period or theme.
  • 5. collate data from a range of sources, both primary and secondary
  • 6. with limited guidance, understand and deploy historical terminology in a comprehensible manner
  • 7. with limited guidance, handle different approaches to history in areas of controversy

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. show evidence of ability to read and use texts and source materials critically and empathetically
  • 9. present material for group discussion and have respect for others’ reasoned views
  • 10. with limited guidance, gather and deploy material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument

Syllabus plan

Through a sequence of linked seminars and lectures students will investigate some of the following themes and issues: ideas and laws regarding women; the patriarchal state; household, family and the lifecycle; women, work and the household economy; sexuality and the body; meanings of masculinity; crime and gender; religion and witchcraft; gender and popular politics; the question of agency.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Seminars11Student-led seminar discussion based upon primary source analysis, group tasks and student presentations
Independent study127Independent study including preparation for lectures, seminars and assessments.
Essay tutorials1optional

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Short presentations5-10 minutesILOs 1-3,10-11Verabl feedback in the seminars

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay1002,000 wordsILOs 1-9, 11Written comments and verbal feedback on formal submission

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay 2,000wEssay 2,000wILOs 1-9, 11Referral/deferral period.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Fletcher, A. Gender, Sex and Subordination in England, 1500-1800 (1995)

Mendelson, Sara, and Patricia Crawford. Women in Early Modern England 1550-1720 (Oxford, 1998)

Scott, Joan. ‘Gender: a useful category of historical analysis’ American Historical Review 91/5 (1986), 1053-75

Shepard, Alex. Meanings of Manhood in early Modern England (Oxford, 2003)

Weisner, Merry E. Women and Gender in early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 2nd ed. 2000)

Module has an active ELE page?


Available as distance learning?


Origin date

March 2012

Last revision date

October 2012

Key words search

History, Gender, Women, Masculinity