PSYCH 767 : Special Topic: Gender Violence


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

No prescription

Course Overview

What does it mean to say that violence is gendered? How does a gender analysis shape our understanding of the nature of problems like sexual violence, domestic violence, street harassment, reproductive coercion, and online abuse? And how does it guide our response to the harms of violence and our strategies for prevention and activism? Over the course of the semester we will look at a wide range of different forms of gender violence. Understanding the nature of diverse forms of gender violence will be an important part of this course, but our focus will go beyond ‘facts and figures’ to explore some of the complex and, at times, controversial, dynamics and effects of gender violence and its place in relation to everyday gender relations. We will also examine key questions, theories, and debates in gender violence research, primarily through a critical feminist lens. This includes recognising the intersection of gender with other key social categories and processes, as well as the interconnections between violence and more everyday forms of gendered power and inequality.

Our discussions will draw on interdisciplinary sources. As well as psychology research, we will read work from anthropology, criminology, gender studies, history, Indigenous studies, law, Māori studies, media studies, nursing, philosophy, psychiatry, public health, sociology, and so on. Drawing across these fields we will focus our attention on work that recognises the ways that individual people are inherently embedded in sociocultural (and historical) contexts that afford different degrees of power, agency, and space for action. We will also be attentive to the forces that shape knowledge production, such that some bodies of knowledge are taken-for-granted as authoritative and influential, while others have traditionally been silenced or marginalized. In the classroom context, this means being aware of our own positions and sensitive to questions about who should have the right to speak about what issues, and how – and balancing this with open, respectful discussion.

The knowledge and skills gained through this class will be useful to those working in professional, community, research, and policy roles related to gender and/or violence and abuse.

This is a discussion-based course, which requires active student participation in class and regular reading outside of class.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Explain what a gendered analysis of violence is, and how gender violence affects different groups of people to different extents, and in different ways. (Capability 1, 2, 4 and 6)
  2. Show knowledge of a range of different issues related to gender violence in its different forms, with regard to models, causes, impact, prevention, and activism. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6)
  3. Display skills in reading empirical and theoretical research and policy literature through succinctly summarising and critically discussing key points, both findings and arguments. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  4. Conduct independent in-depth scholarly research in an area of gender violence and present this orally and in formal writing. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Research Essay 50% Individual Coursework
Coursework (Reading, Reflection & Review Log) 35% Individual Coursework
Coursework (Participation, including Seminar & Informal Presentations) 15% Group & Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Research Essay
Coursework (Reading, Reflection & Review Log)
Coursework (Participation, including Seminar & Informal Presentations)

Learning Resources

Required readings will be accessible via the Reading List on Canvas. 

Most of the research literature required for the Research Essay will be available online through the Library. Some other useful literature will be available directly from governmental, NGO, and community group websites on the internet. Physical copies of many books are available in the library.

Special Requirements

This is a discussion-based course, which requires active student participation. It requires a steady workload across the semester, including weekly reading and writing.

Attendance is required at weekly classes. Students who are approved to participate remotely will need to contact the Course Coordinator to arrange for alternative participation arrangements.

Please note that the issues we address in this course can be controversial and that the material covered is sensitive and can be personally affecting. If you have any concerns related to this, please contact the Course Coordinator.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course. Following University workload guidelines, this represents approximately 150 hours of study across the semester. For this course, you can expect a 2 hour class each week, with the balance of time spent reading, researching and engaging with course materials, and working on assignments.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

To protect all students' privacy, no recordings will be allowed for this discussion-based course.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

This course is being offered for the first time in 2020.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 06/07/2020 12:47 p.m.