Inclusive course design

When considering inclusivity in teaching a good place to start is considering the design of the course/programme. There are a number of points to consider which can help ensure that your course is inclusive. This sheet identifies some of these.


  • Are there different entry and exit points for students? This gives more
  • flexibility for some students who may need to enter and exit programmes at different times eg if they are working as well as studying; if they have child commitments etc.
  • Do students have the option of taking the course part-time as well as full-time or a combination of both?
  • Is the delivery of the curriculum flexible eg workshops, blended learning, WebCT, problem based learning?
  • Do the teaching styles, course materials and assessments give all students the opportunity to demonstrate their acquisition of learning outcomes?

Course content

  • Does the course cover a variety of view points, including non-traditional ones?
  • Does the course enable students to draw on their existing knowledge as a resource for other students on the same course?
  • Will any case studies draw on multicultural examples and does the reading list represent a wide perspective? eg reading from different countries

Assessment strategy

  • Do the assessments in the course complement each other, enabling students to demonstrate different skills? Do they take account of students’ different strengths?
  • Is there an overall scheme of timetabling of assessments which take into account time management for students?
  • Is the course over-assessed? Are the assessments included really needed?

Student handbook

  • Is it clear to students what the university’s stance on inclusion and diversity is? Is there a statement in the student handbook?
  • Is there information in the handbook on support for students within the University, eg Inclusive Support Service; ICELS (International Centre for English Language Studies); Mature Students Adviser; Centre for Academic Development; Student Union etc.
  • Is it clear in the handbook how the course views inclusion and diversity?
  • Is the student handbook clear and easy to read? Is it structured well and written in a suitable font? eg Arial minimum of 11, ideally 12.
  • Is the student handbook available in alternative formats eg WebCT; tape; video?
  • Does the handbook include reference to accessibility in the areas of teaching and learning, and assessment, including reference to alternative arrangements?

Entry requirements

  • Do the entry requirements for the course reflect the learning outcomes?
  • Are the entry requirements realistic? Are there any unnecessary barriers?

Course team

  • Has the course team had training on inclusion and diversity?
  • Is the team aware of the legislation around inclusion and diversity?

Evaluation of the course

  • Are students’ experiences of the course evaluated in terms of inclusion and diversity?
  • Are inclusion and diversity issues addressed at annual review?

Further information