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Queen Mary Summer School

Gender, Difference and Rights


The aim of the course is to engage the students with a critical global conversation on `Gender, Difference and Rights'.  The course aims at drawing student’s attention to how and why the relationship between gender and rights has been a highly fraught and tense one in local, regional and global arenas. Rights interventions have not necessarily nor invariably produced progressive and empowering outcomes for all women, and the ramifications and effectiveness when invoking violence against women and gender-based violence within new modes of global and national governance have yet to be seriously evaluated. 

The course examines the complex relationship between gender, difference and rights in a range of geographical and political contexts and in relation to several issues, including equality, culture, violence against women,  and peace and security. In addition, the course introduces students to different critical theoretical perspectives, including liberal feminism, governance feminism, and postcolonial feminism.

Course content is subject to change.

Course aims

The broad aims of this course are to:

  • provide students with an understanding of the development of the field of gender and rights in the international as well as the domestic legal context
  • provide students with a broad overview of how gender and differences such as race, religion and sexuality impacts legal strategies and outcomes
  • develop a context specific analysis of gender and law
  • familiarise students with different legal environments and how issues of gender and difference are taken up and pursued.
  • develop student's analytical skills and ability to critically engage with legal problems through in-class group presentations as well as participation in the seminars
  • develop the research skills of the students through the writing of short essays

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars and field trips.

Learning outcomes

By attending this course, you are expected to:

  • acquire a sophisicated understanding of how gender and rights engage with difference
  • acquire a substantive understanding of the different theoretical approaches to gender and rights as well as the work that gender does in and through rights discourse
  • apply their theoretical knowledge to cases, legal problems and advocacy

You will develop/be able to:

  • comprehend complex legal problems involving issues of gender and difference by studying the underlying theoretical framework of rights;
  • work collaboratively and respectfully on a group presentation;
  • analyse concrete legal problems, apply the acquired legal knowledge to practical cases examples in a rigorous way, and evaluate possible ways to resolve legal problems in different political, economic and cultural contexts

Thereby this course will enable you to:

  • develop sensitivity to different cultural and historical environments
  • develop effective communication skills and clarify of argument
  • undertake independent research, seeking out relevant sources and research materials
  • develop skills to understand and analyse legal problems in unfamiliar and challenging settings
  • to develop skills of reflection and thoughtfuless when engaging other world views and perspectives on gender, difference and rights
  • to develop a strong foundation in critical legal theory, including feminist, postcolonial and third-world approaches to legal knowledge, gender and rights


The Queen Mary Summer School costs: £1,700 per session, which includes tution and social programme. 

We offer a 10% discount to:

  • Students and staff from partner institutions
  • Alumni
  • Current Queen Mary students 


The cost of accommodation is £670 per session. For further information, please visit our  page.

Additional costs and course excursions

There may be additional costs for field trips, such as entry to exhibitions, which will be in the region of £10-20.
All reading material will be provided online, so it is not necessary to purchase any books.

Please note there is no deposit payment required for the Queen Mary Summer School.

Entry requirements

To join our Summer School, you should have completed a minimum of two semesters’ study at your home institution.

We welcome Summer School students from around the world. We accept a range of qualifications:

  • if your home institution uses the four-point Grade Point Average (GPA) scale, we usually require a 3.0 GPA
  • if your home institution uses the letter scale, you will need to have a B+

We welcome international qualifications and we consider every application individually on its academic merit.

English language requirements

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English isn’t your first language, you must meet one of the following English Language requirements in order to join the Queen Mary Summer School:

  • If you hold a degree from a majority English speaking country plus Canada you may use this degree to satisfy the English language requirements for entry, provided the degree was completed no more than 5 years before the start date of the course to which you are applying.
  • IELTS, 7 overall or higher
  • TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 100 (L22; S25; R24; W27)
  • China UEE (University Entrance Exam) -  110
  • CET 4 – 550 or CET 6 – 490
  • PTE Academic 68
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English 185 70 - grade C (old marking system)
  • Applicants with an alternative qualification should check it is equivalent to the above or contact us at

How to apply

Have a question? Get in touch, one of the team will be happy to help. 


Teaching dates
Summer School 2020
Course hours
150 hours (of which 45 will be contact hours)
In-class group presentation (20%), 2,500-word essay (80%)

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