Skip to main content
Queen Mary Academy
Students and tutors gathered around a bench looking at papers and tablets

Inclusive curriculum

Queen Mary’s inclusive curriculum utilises knowledge and expertise from around the world, providing a horizon broadening education for all our students.

Discover the principles of our inclusive curriculum framework by expanding the headings below and explore related case studies.

1. Empower

Empower all students to thrive in diverse environments

We aim to develop graduates with a global outlook who will flourish in diverse multilingual communities locally and around the world (and who can make a difference to those communities).

Our graduates should recognise and respect their own, and each other's, individual worth.

We offer our students of all backgrounds, cultures and identities a wide range of critical cultural and intercultural encounters both within programmes and in broader community engagement.

Case Study

Empowering healthcare students: the Women in Healthcare Society

A progress pride flag

Case Study

Cultural conversations in the online classroom

2. Co-create

Co-create with students to enrich the learning environment

Students and staff work in partnership on curriculum development and/or co-curricular areas to create "a collaborative, reciprocal process through which all participants have the opportunity to contribute equally, although not necessarily in the same ways" (Cook-Sather, Bovill & Felten, 2014, pp. 6–7).

Co-creating involves shared decision-making and commitment, encourages respectful interactions between students and staff and fosters student engagement. We think students can really help staff to think about what an inclusive learning environment looks like.

Four people sitting round a table at a workshop

Case Study

Disrupting hierarchies: Students as partners in the training of SSLC co-chairs

Case Study

The Global Health Anti-racism Subcommittee: a student-staff collaboration

3. Diversify

Diversify the curriculum and broaden intellectual horizons so that students can see themselves reflected and reach beyond themselves

We encourage students to think about their own experiences and how these intersect with the intellectual material they encounter.

We aim to acknowledge and address structural inequalities by including diverse voices, perspectives and identities so that our curriculum is exciting, challenging and relevant.

Our graduates should be open-minded, confident about engaging with contrary perspectives, and responsive to feedback.

A film poster for Nana Ekvtimishvili's 'In Bloom', 2013

Case Study

The UK's first module on literature and film from the Caucasus and Central Asia

Case Study

Diversifying the curriculum and the history, theory and practice of heritage

4. Enable

Enable student engagement and success through inclusive pedagogy

Traditionally, when discussing an inclusive curriculum or diversifying the curriculum, there seems to be an emphasis on content; making "what is taught" more diverse and inclusive. Inclusive pedagogy relates to "how we teach", therefore, focusing the inclusion lens onto the teaching approach, regardless of the content.

A graphic image of a woman sitting at a desk watching a trainer on the screen

Case Study

Incorporating differential learning approaches in online content delivery

Case Study

Gender, Sexuality and Global Health: a safe and inclusive learning environment

5. Develop

Develop students' confidence to participate in disciplinary discourse and community

We want our students to be able to engage in, and contribute to, disciplinary conversations and communities.

Language is a critical tool for developing thinking and understanding in the disciplines. Learning a discipline or subject means learning a disciplinary language and ways of thinking supported by it. None of us are native speakers of Science and Engineering language, or any other discipline, even if it is expressed through the medium of languages in which we may or may not be fluent. Therefore, a powerful way of dismantling barriers to academic inclusion is to focus on decoding disciplinary language and making it accessible.

We build students' confidence and enable them to foster connections by including them in disciplinary communities of practice and specialities.


Seven students standing round a table looking down

Case Study

Supporting transition to medical school: the Stepping Stones project

A graphic showing figures, symbols and graphs overlaid on a map of the world

Case Study

Inclusive practice in first year economics

6. Reflect

Reflect on our language to promote an inclusive learning environment

We aim to be welcoming and to communicate with accuracy, care and respect throughout the learning environment. Using appropriate language can help to reduce fear, othering and feelings of exclusion.

We recognise that language is constantly changing and evolving and that sometimes we inadvertently make mistakes or misinterpret what others say to us.

Case Study

Report a Word: A case of inclusion in STEM

7. Value

Value student feedback

We welcome feedback and engagement from students about their learning experiences. We recognise that "engaged student learning is positively linked with learning gain and achievement" (Healey, Flint & Harrington, 2014: 7).

We encourage students to tell us what they think so that we can reflect on what works and what doesn’t and act together on what we want to improve.

Case Study

Designing a Peer Feedback Task in Dentistry

Queen Mary student Safia at her graduation holding a bunch of pink roses

Case Study

Breaking the Stigma and Pushing Positive Change Through Social Media

8. Encourage

Encourage all students through inclusive advising and mentoring

Effective and inclusive advising plays a key role in supporting our students with a range of different backgrounds and experiences to succeed. We recognise that not all students come to Queen Mary fully equipped to take on academic study. Inclusive advising can support all students "to attain academic success and achieve desired qualifications" (Smith, 2005: 45).

Peer mentoring fosters a sense of belonging in new students, eases the transition into university and supports student engagement by means of "collective sharing of knowledge through facilitated group discussion" (Spedding, Hawkes & Burgess, 2017: 145).

Six small graphics on a pale blue background representing different elements of the advisor role

Case Study

A new advisor training resource co-create with students

Back to top