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Inclusive curriculum design involves consideration of the overall course structure - including both content and delivery - to ensure that all students are provided with an equitable and supportive learning experience that offers them the opportunity to succeed whatever their background.


Guiding Principle 3: Design an inclusive curriculum

An inclusive curriculum is one that allows for diversity of content, material, ideas and methods of assessment. It involves purposefully integrating perspectives that expand and enhance the canon, both within individual papers and across the whole course. It provides students with opportunities to engage with a variety of viewpoints and equips them for a global and diverse environment.


For disabled students, including those with mental health conditions, this means proactively addressing inclusion and accessibility issues in course planning and evaluation. An inclusive model embraces the concept of universal design for learning which accommodates the needs and abilities of all learners and eliminates unnecessary barriers in the learning process.

For students from racially minoritised groups, diversified perspectives and representation within the content of the curriculum is particularly impactful. The ideas generated in decolonising the curriculum discussions can be a useful springboard for consideration of whether and how students encounter discussions of race in their discipline. Diversifying the curriculum involves considering the implications of a more diverse student body in terms of pedagogy and achievement.


Example of practice: Whole-of-course review

"We recognised for some time that our courses had fallen behind major competitors not only in breadth and currency of content, but also in flexibility and the use of modern pedagogy. To help with our curriculum re-design process, we hired an education lead. This process of curriculum redesign aimed to be inclusive. Considerable time was spent exploring the viewpoints of a variety of stakeholders, including departmental leaders, teachers, administrative personnel, current students and alumni, external examiners, and colleagues across the School and the University.

The consultations identified: existing good practice; elements of the old courses that should be maintained; elements that should be changed. The education lead then worked (and continues to work) with module leaders to develop aims and learning outcomes for individual modules and teaching sessions, and to produce a handbook for each module that includes clear plans for teaching and assessment aligned with the learning outcomes."

- Course Coordinator, MPhil in Public Health and Primary Care

Strategies used:

  • Working with the whole course team
  • Consulting with a variety of stakeholders
  • Starting with the learning outcomes


Suggested readings


Download the inclusive curriculum design self-evaluation checklist. This provides prompts for reflection about the inclusivity of your practices in course design and review.