Student involvement in creating an inclusive curriculum

Embedding Equality and Diversity in the Curriculum

In 2014-15 sparqs was part of an Embedding Equality and Diversity in the Curriculum project exploring the design of an inclusive curriculum in universities and advising on how students can be an integral part of the process.

We were members of an Advisory Group led by the Higher Education Academy (now Advance HE) and provided guidance on how students could be involved in the project as well as exploring how students could be developed to become partners in the curriculum design process that ensures equality is embedded in the curriculum.

HEA Scotland has produced the Embedding Equality and Diversity in the Curriculum - A Framework. sparqs and HEA have run workshops at conferences, including the 2014 EQAF (European Quality Assurance Forum) annual conference and NUS’s annual event, ‘The Gathering’, exploring how you can use both the HEA Framework and the Student Engagement Framework for Scotland to involve students in designing an inclusive curriculum.

A key aspect of embedding equality and diversity in the curriculum is the engagement of students in curriculum creation. The joint workshop encourages participants to consider how this can be done by exploring the barriers to and benefits of doing so. Participants are encouraged to focus on the key issues that must be faced and the potential range of the involvement as well as addressing ways that student involvement can be managed.

You can view the presentation from the joint HEA/sparqs workshop.

Curriculum Design event for students - April 2015

On Wednesday 15th April 2015 sparqs, HEA Scotland and NUS Scotland co-hosted an event to explore how students can be involved in designing and developing an inclusive curriculum.

The event was part of the Embedding E&D in the Curriculum project. There are a range of tools and resources available to support the development of an inclusive curriculum and the event aimed to help participants to use these resources to take forward the work from a student point of view.

The event was aimed at university students, student officers and students' association staff. You can view more information about the event, including the agenda on the event page.

Joint sparqs/HEA event - October 2014

sparqs and HEA Scotland hosted a half-day exploratory workshop on 22nd October 2014 in order to initiate and develop conversation in the key areas of student engagement and designing an inclusive curriculum from a practice point of view.

The workshop aims were to:

  • Share practical examples where practitioners have involved students in the development of equality and diversity (E&D) in the curriculum.
  • Explore issues raised in the practical examples and by the discussion around them.
  • Identify solutions or further work that would minimise or remove the issues.

The workshop included presentations from three universities who have developed projects that have involved students in the design of their curriculum:

Embracing Diversity: Watch Your Language – University of Abertay

Engaging Initial Teacher Trainee (ITT) students in Co-creating curricular that embed equality and diversity (pre and post entry to the ITT programme) – Sheffield Hallam University

Critical Race Studies and Intersectionality – California State University Dominguez Hills

You can also view the presentation and handouts from the event.


The project ran a series of webinars on various aspects of creating an inclusive curriculum to which sparqs contributed. The webinar which sparqs was involved in, on 29th May 2014, looked at what is meant by student engagement in the curriculum and what issues this might raise when aiming for diverse student involvement.

Attainment For All Conference

In partnership with NUS Scotland sparqs ran a workshop at the project’s first conference, Attainment For All, held on 11th April 2014, which explored student diversity. The workshop built upon the NUS project ‘Liberating the Curriculum” to encourage participants to recognise the student perspective on a diverse curriculum and how students could be involved in curriculum development.

You can view the presentation from the workshop - Liberation, Equality and Diversity in the Curriculum: the student perspective.


For more information on any of the above please contact Eve Lewis.

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