Academic Services


Principles for promoting inclusion, equality and diversity in the curriculum.

The Task Group developed the following set of Principles to guide the University's work in this area:

The curriculum

  • The curriculum is broader than reading lists and resource lists, and encompasses the aims and objectives of the course or programme, the learning environment, teaching methods, teaching and learning materials, and all other aspects of the student learning experience.

Sources of ideas

  • Within higher education, new and existing knowledge and ideas come from a range of sources and are not limited to white, male, Western thinkers and researchers from privileged socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Not all sources of knowledge and new ideas have been equally propagated and valued within higher education – where relevant to course learning outcomes, the curriculum should encourage students to reflect on the reasons for this, and should expose our students to a range of perspectives from thinkers with a range of different cultures, backgrounds and identities.

Relevant and engaging

  • Including perspectives from thinkers with a range of different cultures, backgrounds and identities will make our curriculum relevant and engaging to the University’s increasingly diverse student community (including all those groups under-represented in the University), and to prepare all students for work and civic life.

Challenging, unconstrained and respectful

  • Our curriculum should challenge students to engage with issues wider than their own experiences and assist them to develop a heightened concept of self and others - this will sometimes be challenging and unsettling.
  • We should encourage and enable our students to discuss and engage critically with different perspectives on controversial issues in an intellectually stimulating and respectful manner.

Diverse learning, teaching and assessment

  • The University should adopt approaches to learning, teaching and assessment that are inclusive of all our diverse range of students, and support all to fulfil their academic potential.
  • The University will engage in teaching and learning that recognises the importance of the diversity of cultures within the classroom.

Academic freedom and excellence

  • Encouraging and enabling our academic staff promote inclusion, equality and diversity in the curriculum will assist them in their pursuit of excellence in learning and teaching.
  • This agenda is about opening a more diverse range of ideas and fields of knowledge, not closing down avenues for exploration.

Approaches to engaging with students and staff

  • The way to engage with this agenda will vary across academic disciplines, but it is relevant to all areas and all staff and should be facilitated by all areas’ curriculum development and quality assurance and enhancement processes.
  • Student engagement with and co-creation of the curriculum can be a valuable way of opening up debate about how to deliver inclusion, equality and diversity in the curriculum.