Contemporary menstrual studies

An interdisciplinary foundation year for advanced study and practice

This 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. 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


Joining the Contemporary Menstrual Studies course has been an exciting and much needed opportunity. Lara delivers the lectures in such an accessible manner and her vast knowledge, interest and enthusiasm has given me a thirst to continue learning in this field. It’s been great to connect with the other students who are based all around the world. This is an excellent course and I thoroughly recommend it. Grace Hempshall, Somerset, U.K. 

The course is designed for 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.

Menstruation is a fascinating and necessary topic, and it is also complex. Ideas, beliefs, practices and needs surrounding menstruation impact upon and are affected by different aspects of life. Accordingly, the topic 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. Taking this course will help you with that process and guide you through the existing literature and research so that you can understand the topic with more assurance and depth.

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.

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

At the end of the course a certificate is awarded to those who successfully complete all assignments.

How it works

Course design


The course is structured like a university course. There are two semesters of 12 weeks each, with a two-week break in the middle of each, and a three month gap between the two semesters. During term-time, there will be a lecture every two weeks, and a seminar in the intervening week.


The time commitment for attendance at lectures and seminars is around 1.5 hours per week, for 20 weeks in total. On top of that, you need to plan time for reading to prepare for each topic, and for short assignments.

There is one substantial assignment each semester. The two-week break in the middle of each semester is partly designed to allow you to focus on this independent work. These assignments will be due for submission in Weeks 11 and 22.


There is a broad and comprehensive reading list for the whole course. Key papers and additional reading are made available to you for each module.


The next long course starts on March 19, 2023.

Semester 1 runs through to June 11. Semester 2 runs from September 10 to November 26.

Classes are held on Sundays to enable everyone to attend.

Registration for the 2023 course is open from September 1 2022. 


Lectures are recorded and the videos made available to those for whom the time difference is inconvenient in their time zone, or for any participant to view again.

Seminars are not recorded. There will be at least two seminar groups, scheduled at different times, to enable people to attend from their part of the world. 

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 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 provide an overview of current knowledge and activity in the specific topic, including research-in-progress. It will also pay attention to the main theories and research methods used in the topic.

Semester One

01. Introduction to Contemporary Menstrual Studies

A brief history of menstruation and Menstrual Studies; an overview of the key theoretical perspectives and research methods used in menstrual research; 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. 

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

Themes arising from seminar discussions and from teaching and learning on the course. Whole group Q & A and discussion. Moving forward and participant plans for future work.

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.

The next course starts March 19, 2023.

Register early to secure your place.

Once you have registered, you will start receiving occasional emails containing reading material to help you prepare for the course.

Early Bird discount

Pay in full before November 1st 2022 and receive an Early Bird discount of 20% on the full price of £2650

Total to pay



Some scholarships are available for people in low to middle income countries who can show evidence of already being active in the field of menstruation.

Scholarship applications open on January 1 2023 and close on January 15 2023.

Along with your CV, please submit a supporting statement (maximum 500 words) detailing your work experience, current life situation, how you intend to apply the knowledge gained in the course, and the names of two referees.

Please specify if you are applying for a full scholarship or for a 75% scholarship (£662, which can be paid in two instalments six months apart).

Applicants will be informed of the decision on their application by February 15 2023. Please be aware that scholarship places are limited and that last year the competition was intense, especially for full scholarships.