Module code: PSY3120

Module Overview

This final year module builds on knowledge and skills acquired from the first and second years of the programme (PSY1019 and PSY2016) and develops your learning further through the introduction of key theories and debates in the social psychological study of gender. Key topics include gender identity, gender stereotypes, gender in applied settings such as the workplace, contemporary forms of sexism, sexual and self-objectification. Across the course, we will discuss key debates within the field. For example, arguments surround the evolutionary versus social constructed nature of gender and related behaviours (i.e. sex and relationships), binary versus fluid conceptualisation of gender identity, and the influence of prescriptive versus descriptive gender stereotypes. The course will have a social psychological focus, but where appropriate, will draw on some interdisciplinary perspectives (e.g. gender in leadership and work, feminism and resisting inequality).


Module provider


Module Leader

HOPKINS-DOYLE Aife (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 35

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The module will consist of 2-hour sessions divided between lecture and seminar formats which will focus on the following topics:

Indicative content includes

  • Understanding gender identity

  • Gender stereotyping: how we are, and how we should to be?

  • Sexism in contemporary societies: the benevolent side of inequality

  • Maternal sacrifice: gender and reproductive rights

  • Sexual and Self Objectification

  • Sexual relationships & sexual exchange

  • Gender in action: leadership and work

  • Resisting inequality: Feminism and political participation

  • Is masculinity precarious? 


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation GROUP PRESENTATION 40

Alternative Assessment

Students to complete the presentation on an individual basis

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate skills.

Thus the summative assessment consists of:

Group Presentation (40%): Students will work in small groups to prepare and present an empirical research paper at our “research conference day”. Successful completion of this assessment will demonstrate students’ ability to describe, analyse, and critically evaluate key topics in the social psychology of gender (LO 1 and 2) and to communicate complex concepts and research findings in a concise and clear way (LO 4). Students should create a 10-15 minute presentation (using a digital tool of your choice, e.g., PowerPoint, Prezi, Canva, Powtoon) describing the research paper (theoretical background, hypotheses, methods, results), critically evaluate the work, and provide a detailed plan for how to address this critique/extend the work in future research. 

Research Proposal (4 pages, 60%): Students will create a proposal for a piece of research to conduct on one the course topics. Successful completion of this assessment will demonstrate students’ ability to describe, analyse, and critically evaluate key topics in the social psychology of gender (LO 1 and 2), and demonstrate their independent thought and argumentation through written evaluation (LO 3)

Formative assessment & Feedback

Students will receive formative assessment through discussion questions during lectures, and in-class discussion during seminars. Students will also have an opportunity to submit an outline of their proposal and receive formative feedback on that.

Feedback: Students will receive verbal feedback during and after the lectures, and written feedback on their assignments (including presentations). Discussion boards will be available on Surreylearn for assessment Q&A.

Module aims

  • Introduce students to key topics and critical debates in the social psychological study of gender from a diverse range of perspectives (cultural, socio-structural, evolutionary).
  • Develop an in-depth appreciation and understanding of the ways in which gender influences self and others¿ perceptions, and associated relational, occupational and political outcomes.
  • Enable students to develop of an independent ability to think, critique, and reflect on the theories, concepts, and methods used in the social psychological study of gender
  • Provide students with opportunities to be critical and effective communicators, through oral presentations and written assessments

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe and synthesize theory and research on the social psychology of gender K
002 Analyse and critically evaluate social psychological research of gender, with a particular focus on methods, measurement, and theory C
003 Develop independent thought, critical analysis and argumentation through written evaluation CP
004 Communicate complex concepts and research findings verbally PT

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 enable students to:

• Acquire knowledge about the social psychological study of gender.

• Develop an understanding of the key topics and debates in the social psychology of gender.

• Develop verbal and written skills of analysis, critique and argumentation.

• Enable and promote independent learning and thought.

The contact hours will be comprised of 11 two-hour sessions. Sessions will include a one-hour oral presentation on a different topic each week (e.g., gender stereotyping, masculinity). Students will be introduced to the key theories, empirical findings, and debates of these topics. Following this, students will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of that week’s topic through class discussion and activities (e.g., discussion of research articles, critical reviewing, debates, classroom exercises).

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: PSY3120

Other information

This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the International Engagement Office email:

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas

Resourcefulness and Resilience: The assessment strategy, and indeed the out-of-class preparation that precedes it, is designed to challenge and stretch student capabilities. Students will need to think and consider the impact that gender has on the social psychological world and think deeply and critical about this in a way that is beyond what they have done so far in their programme. This will require students will therefore need to exhibit resourcefulness, be able to share ideas and experiences both individually and collectively, and respond creatively to the tasks posed to them.

Digital Capabilities: Across the module there are multiple opportunities to develop digital literacy, including through the assessment pattern which requires students to develop an engaging and critical research talk using digital tools (i.e., powerpoint, prezi, googleslides, polleverywhere, menti). Students are encouraged to communicate with one another and work together in groups, utilising collaborative tools (WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, Zoom) - this is especially important in preparation for the research presentation conducted in groups.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Students will work together in groups and perform problem-solving and decision-making tasks during tutorial sessions. This provides an opportunity to interact, communicate and build relationships with people from different backgrounds. Students are encouraged to share experiences and knowledge from their own culture and backgrounds when we discuss how different topics related to the study of gender. In addition, the module content is designed to showcase the diverse understandings of gender globally and the different impact that gender can have on people’s outcomes when we consider the other identities they also hold (i.e., intersectional identities). Students will be asked to consider whether research findings and theories only account for the experiences of a small subgroup of people (e.g., white women, heterosexual women etc.).

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Psychology BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% 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 2024/5 academic year.