Contemporary menstrual studies

An interdisciplinary foundation year for advanced study and practice

This new masters-level course is designed to develop your understanding of menstruation today in the contexts of business, feminism, health, law, politics, popular culture, sustainability, spirituality, sport, technology, and wellbeing.

The course is created and taught by Dr Lara Owen, who has been studying menstruation for over 30 years. For a detailed bio please click here.

•  Join a dedicated group of fellow students and practitioners
•  Receive a wealth of information to ground and inform your future work
•  Learn from a pioneer and long-time expert in the field

who it’s for


Menstruation is complicated! It impacts upon and is affected by so many different aspects of life. Accordingly, it is researched in many academic disciplines, each of which has their own preferred research methods and theoretical perspectives, yet which all speak to the topic. 

This means it takes a great deal of study to get a handle on the wider picture of menstrual research, to find out what we know and don’t know, and to understand prevailing ideas in context. What I want to do is help you with that process and guide you through the existing literature and research so that you can understand the field with more assurance and depth. 

I’m teaching the course now in response to requests I’ve had from people eager to deepen their knowledge of menstrual studies, whether as a preparation for formal postgraduate research and/or to inform their work as menstrual educators, activists and clinicians.

The field of menstrual studies is rapidly developing and it is so exciting to see new knowledge emerging. But as yet there is no dedicated preparatory pathway at university level for postgraduate study, or related support for menstrual education, public engagement and activism. 

This course fills the gap in available education for people who want to learn in depth about menstrual culture and practices, and be equipped to understand research across disciplines. The course will help prepare you for Master’s or PhD research, and/or build your strengths as a teacher or public communicator in the field. 


What the course offers

An overview

The course offers a solid knowledge foundation for those wanting to pursue further study at Masters or PhD level and/or who work with menstruation and menstruators in any context.

The course is taught online and consists of written content, live lectures, seminars (guided group discussions), videos, reading lists, and participant assignments.

A community forum is available for students to connect, network, and share information.

To aid in knowledge integration and to assist students in developing their areas of interest, there is a short assignment each month (for example, reading a specific paper for a class contribution) and two longer essay assignments with one essay due towards the end of each semester.

A certificate will be awarded to those who successfully complete all assignments.

How it works

Course design


Two semesters of 12 weeks each (with a two week break in the middle of each semester).

During term-time, there will be a lecture every two weeks, and a seminar in the intervening week. 


As well as a broad and comprehensive recommended reading list, there will be a specific list for each topic, with one or two key papers each time.


The course will commence on March 20th, 2022. Semester 1 will run through to early June, and semester 2 from mid September to early December. The full schedule of dates for lectures and seminars will be confirmed when we know more about the time zones of participants. Classes will be held on the weekend to enable everyone to attend.


Lectures will be recorded and available to those for whom the time difference is awkward, or for any participant to view again.

Seminars will not be recorded. There will be at least two seminar groups to enable people from different parts of the world to attend, with at least one seminar scheduled at a time that works for the US East Coast, South America, Europe and Africa, and one that works for Asia, Australia and the US West Coast.

is it right for

your level of learning?

Ideally you will have at least a Bachelor degree or similar qualification, but if you can show evidence of equivalent independent study that may also allow you to take the course. (If you are uncertain, email us using the contact tab with any queries before signing up.) This is a postgraduate academic course situated at 4th year Honours/first year Master’s level.

The course is taught using clear language with an emphasis on building capability to enhance understanding. You will have time and space over the year to grow your ability to express your knowledge and thoughts in more specific and accurate language, and to understand key theories and research methods being used. 

Overall, the skills and information you will learn will add to your capability and authority as a menstrual practitioner, teacher and communicator, whether inside or outside academia.

what you will study

course modules in BRIEF

Each lecture will include attention to the main theories and research methods used in the specific topic and therefore how to read, understand and critique academic research in the different disciplinary areas.

Semester One

01. Introduction to Contemporary Menstrual Studies

Core texts; brief history of how we got here; key theoretical perspectives; intro to research methods; knowledge gaps in the field; how to approach and get the most from this course.

02. Menstruation in popular culture

Changing conceptualisations and representations of menstruation in film, tv, art, advertising, fiction, non-fiction and social media.

03. Menstrual stigma

How menstrual stigma influences female embodiment and sense of agency, and impacts upon the study of menstruation; how religious, sexed and classed agendas have mutated over time. How to identify when research, activism or commentary is unwittingly reproducing stigma.

04. Feminism and menstruation

How the various streams of feminism have approached menstruation and how this is changing.

05. Menstruation, wellbeing and health

New menstrual health research and changing knowledge on the menstruating body and mind. Concepts of cycles, body rhythms, menstruality and optimisation.

Semester Two

06. Menstruation, business and technology

The corporatisation of menstruation; the product focus; the role of corporate marketing in normalising specific ideas and practices surrounding menstruation; femtech and its implications. 

07. Menstruation and the workplace

Menstrual leave, contemporary menstrual workplace policies, new research on the impact of flexibility and the Covid pandemic.

08. Menstruation and sustainability

Menstruation and the environmental crisis analysed from several perspectives: energy, products, and worldview. What concretises barriers to the use of more sustainable products, and what dismantles them. 

09. Menstruation, menstrual activism, and the law

Legal changes over the past decade, the activism and organization that made this happen, the political and national agendas involved in supporting menstrual-positive legislation.

10. Integration and summing up

Thoughts arising from teaching and learning on the course. Whole group Q & A and discussion. Moving forward.

join the course

book your place

This is rare opportunity to study in depth with Dr Lara Owen.
To ensure a thorough learning experience, numbers will be restricted even though the course is being taught online.
The course starts on March 20th, 2022 and registration is open now. Register early to secure your place.

The full price of the course is £2495. There are three payment options:

1. Pay in full before 31 January 2022 and receive a 20% Early Bird discount.

2. Pay in full after 31 January 2022 for a 10% full payment discount.

3. Pay in two instalments of £1247.50.


EArly Bird Special 

Join BEFORE 31st January and receive a 20% discount if you pay in full.

Total to pay


pay in two instalments

Pay in 2 instalments of £1247.50 (second payment due 6 months from date of first payment)

Total to pay