Module code: SOCM073

Module Overview

This module develops studentss' knowledge and skills in relation to gender studies to advanced levels by paying close attention to trans scholarship, trans histories and the key issues pertinent to trans people themselves. This module introduces students to trans studies as a distinct field of academic scholarship. Students will explore the historical and social contexts of this field of study, including intersections with other areas of sex, gender and sexuality studies such as feminism and queer theory. The module takes an expansive and affirmative approach to trans histories, lives and scholarship, considering multiple contexts including the legal, social, medical and psychological. With an inclusive approach to gender studies, this module will consider multiple contexts in which people have to 'do/be/are' gender.

Module provider


Module Leader

HUBBARD Katherine (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 120

Lecture Hours: 10

Seminar Hours: 10

Guided Learning: 10

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

This module will maintain an up-to-date perspective on the development/s in trans scholarship, paying particular attention to both classics in the field as well as materials from very recent cutting edge trans studies. Because of the rapidly changing area of study exact content is likely to differ year to year and is at the discretion of the module leader as an experienced expert in the field. Nonetheless, key journals such as Transgender Studies Quarterly will likely be used as a key resource throughout the module. Indicative content includes: non-binary lives, experiences and subjectivities; cisgenderism and cisnormativity; trans health care; pathologisation and medicalization; trans histories; LGBTQIA activism; intersex and/or trans experience and narratives; and media representation

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Essay 50
Coursework Report 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to:

Demonstrate a range of communication skills alongside in-depth relevant knowledge. In the first assignment, students will show in depth knowledge and sophisticated skills in presenting considered academic arguments. The second assignment then allows students to develop more specialist skills. These include writing for various audiences, applying knowledge on gender studies and trans scholarship to broader sectors and greater autonomy in the assessment process.

- Essay 50%

- Report 50%

The report itself is imagined to be to a related third-party sector specialist providing the opportunity for a more authentic assessment style. For example, it may take the form of a public policy report, a recommendation report or a political report. More specifically, it could be imagined to be: a charity report, a report to an MP, a report to the education sector/schools etc. The exact report style is at the discretion of the module leader and optionality here would be important to allow students greater independence and resourcefulness in the development of their original work.

Formative assessment

There is no formal formative assessments for this module, however, there are dedicated space within the module for feedback on assessment plans and optional office hours.


Each week the interactive and group focused seminars will allow for informal feedback and module leader engagement. The peer-to-peer learning will also be occurring in this time and so students will also be in effect providing supportive feedback to one another throughout the module. This ties closely with skills development around close small group work and multiple forms of communication. Students will benefit from, and contribute to developing a coherent cohort identity and mutually supportive learning environment. There will be dedicated assignment weeks to explore student's plans for the assignments and allow for any questions. Formal feedback from Assignment 1 will be provided in advance of the deadline for Assignment 2.

Module aims

  • Engage students with extensive and advanced knowledge of gender studies
  • Pay particular attention to trans scholarship
  • Explore how trans scholarship has developed, shifted and changed
  • Consider historical and contemporary figures, approaches and debates pertinent to this history
  • Consider gender in social, legal, medical, psychological and global contexts

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Gain a deep and critical understanding of gender CK
002 To pay particular attention to trans scholarship and studies CKT
003 Synthesise learning from a range of contextual bases to form argument CPT
004 Develop independent thinking and analysis to advanced levels CT
005 Hone originality and present it in cohesive written work PT
006 Gain experience of report writing alongside academic writing CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Engage students through a variety of lecture and seminar based pedagogical approaches. Seminars are designed to be interactive and thus allow for greater peer-to-peer learning and independent contributions. The module is designed to de-center cisgender experience in such a way that allows for in depth, critical and contextually aware consideration of trans scholarship, studies and lives. This module is taught by an expert in trans studies and will be enriched by their own valuable knowledge of the field. Full engagement with small group and class-wide discussions will encourage students to become confident, adaptable and resourceful and mutually supportive learner-contributors. The module has a number of potential structures in order to allow greater creativity and flexibility in response to student interests, class dynamics and module leader focus. It is possible that a non-mandatory field trip will be associated with this module and/or the Queer Feminist Approaches module - for example to the Queer Britiain Museum or Vagina Museum in London or any exhibit of the Museum of Transology.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOCM073

Other information

In line with Surrey's Curriculum Framework, we are committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module contributes to the five pillars in the following ways:


The second assignment for this module is deliberately designed and positioned here in order to provide students with a more authentic (real world) assessment experience towards the end of their programme. Here, students will gain experience of report writing for specific audiences/stakeholders, and the assessment is therefore directly applicable to a wide range of sectors. Students will have clear demonstrative evidence of advance communication skills, professionalism, and initiative. This could be cited in interviews and applications to show students¿ experience of applying scholarly knowledge to another sector.

Digital capabilities

As with all modules there is a level of digital skill and ability that is expected and demonstrated through engagement with the content and learning materials. All teaching materials and key content will be made available in multimedia forms through the Virtual Learning Environment Surreylearn. In addition, key online catalogues will also be explored in this module, for example the LGBT magazine archive. Engagement with other platforms such as relevant social medias, blogs, YouTube videos etc are also likely to feature in the module given the wealth of online material pertinent to trans activism. Based on such engagement with digital landscapes, students will gain criticality and develop sophisticated navigation skills in regards to digital material. This includes recognition and reflection on types of media and discourses evident across scholarly and non-scholarly publications.

Global and cultural capabilities

Content from this module will be specifically looking at wider global and contextual culturally informed understandings of gender studies, paying particular attention to trans experiences and scholarship. Students will therefore be gaining substantial global and cultural knowledges and skill in this area. Upon completion, it is expected students will have become aware and critical of cisnormaitive approaches and gained a high level of sensitivity to the nuance of trans scholarship. In relation to the assessment, students will demonstrate such capabilities in particular in the report, as here they will demonstrate their ability to communicate and translate scholarship to other related sectors.


Students will complete this module with social, ethical and contextually aware knowledge. This module has gender inequality (in the broadest and most inclusive use of the term) at its core, aligned with the UN's gender equality sustainability goal. It also seeks to ensure community sustainability through the knowledge, skills and awareness students will have upon completion of the module.

Resourcefulness and resilience

Students will be highly resourceful throughout this module, building on previous modules. Here, students will engage with a range of materials across academic and non-academic publications. Throughout their learning key examples of resilience directly in relation to trans communities, scholarship and experience are also outlined- thus providing templates of forms of resourcefulness and resilience in the field. The module envisions group seminar work which will foster greater communication and collaboration skills, but also has assignments which seek to assess independent thinking. Students throughout this module will be demonstrating cognitive adaptability, applicable thinking, and self-efficacy in their own arguments.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Sex, Gender and Sexualities MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.