UCL Summer School


Gender Studies

Key Information

Module code
Taught during
Session Two
Module leader
Dr Mazal Oaknin
None. Standard UCL Summer entry criteria apply.
Assessment method
Presentation (25%), Essay (75%)
Download syllabus (PDF)
Gender Studies

Module overview

This module will provide an overview of ‘classical’ and contemporary theorizations of gender, and of the multiple ways in which gender is encountered in every aspect of our lives. The different ways of defining gender issues and shaping gender politics in Western and non-Western societies will be considered. We will study the historical and cultural contexts in which the main debates have arisen and analyse themes such as gender, identity, sexuality, motherhood, nationhood, ethnicity, ‘race’ and religion.

A variety of genres including press, novel, film and essay will be examined with the purpose of considering how gender and sexuality are conceptualised within Western society, focusing on the UK. Students will explore how media and popular culture can reinforce or challenge traditional notions of gender that perpetuate inequalities.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Be able to identify and explain the ways in which gender shapes our understanding, perception and experience of the world.
  • Develop a critical vocabulary that includes key theoretical debates in historical and contemporary Gender Studies
  • Be able to investigate issues and debates around gender, and to collectively develop arguments and negotiate solutions to gender-related problems
  • Interpret texts, films, essays and other media with the lens of gender
  • Develop their research techniques and skills and engage in critical debate based on evidence

Module prerequisites

This is a level one module (equivalent to first year undergraduate). No prior subject knowledge is required to study this module but students are expected to have a keen interest in the subject area.

Module hours

Classes (usually three or four hours per day) take place on the Bloomsbury campus from Monday to Friday any time between 9am and 6pm.


  • 10-minute presentation (25%)
  • 2,000 word essay (75%)

Module leader

Dr Mazal Oaknin is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She teaches Spanish language and literature at University College London, where she is also a Language Coordinator. She has also taught Spanish in Malaga, New York, Paris and Birmingham. She is the co-editor of Literatura política y política literaria en España: Del Desastre del 98 a Felipe VI (Peter Lang, 2015) and her work has appeared in journals such as Espéculo, Fahrenheit 452, Alba Magazine, Transletters and Argus. She is one of the directors of the E-Expert Seminar Series. Translation and Language Teaching (UCL, UCO). Her research focuses on three main areas: contemporary Spanish literature, gender and identity, and teaching Spanish as a foreign language. Her monograph Writing, Feminism and the Media in Spain was published in summer 2019 (Peter Lang).

Application information

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