We are committed to diversity in our curriculum and have dedicated funding to make change happen.
If you would like a financial contribution to fund a project to increase the diversity of authors on your reading lists or to decolonise your curriculum please apply for funding.
As part of our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, the School has funded projects to diversify our curriculum within the following courses:
Reviewed reading lists diversify the curricula in terms of race, family life and relationships to provide an overview into how race and racialisation impacts family life and relationships, current debates and reading in these areas.
Petra Nordqvist and Helen Holmes, Sociology
This course unit provides healthcare professionals and lawyers with the opportunity to unpick many established assumptions around ethics and law and to develop their skills in providing justified and defended arguments in this field that they can use in their own professional practice and pass onto others. Developed reading lists ensure content is representative of individuals of all backgrounds including minority groups.
Rebecca Bennett, Law
This course has always included discussion of issues such as gender and race covering post colonialism and feminism as specific theories.
In order to react to changes in the field of Security Studies, this course structure reflects the diversity of the world around us, new security issues that we face and the role of security in structuring this world. New central issues are included in the module such as sexuality, health security and political violence, enabling students to reflect on their importance and to participate in dynamic engagement with theories underpinning the issues in question.
Aoileann Ni Mhurchú, Laura McLeod and Jess Gifkins, Politics
The course incorporates a lecture series covering the main public policy theories in the field backed by empirical research. Scholarship in this field has been predominantly based on the experiences of policy and government in advanced liberal democracies. Updates considerably diversify the curriculum to cover policymaking in a wider range of policies and less developed countries (including non-western countries and by indigenous people) thus diversifying the teaching to reflect the multi-national and multi-cultural origins of our undergraduate students.
Nick Turnbull, Politics
In terms of researchers, organised crime has often been male-dominated. Along with other social sciences, there has been a tendency in criminology to focus on the global north. Developed reading lists and case studies incorporate examples from women and perspectives of researchers from the global South to ensure that there is representation from female researchers in the field including the PhD community.
Rosemary Broad, Criminology
Dr Andrew Slack, a very experienced TA on the course, helped support me with a thoroughgoing redesign and updating of the course. Specifically with regards to decolonising the curriculum we:
- Changed the way in which International history (1945-present) was presented making more transparent and central the logic and experiences of the Third World (as an alternative to the 1st and 2nd worlds of the Cold War).
- Incorporated a tutorial seminar with a case study that applies postcolonial thought to the Rwanda genocide and its history
- Diversified the reading list for every lecture topic, with particular attention to scholars outside the UK and USA.
- Incorporated one compulsory reading from a scholar outside the US and UK academy for almost every week.
- Incorporated a tutorial seminar with a case study that looks at the role of gender in global politics.
- The reading list on POLI10601 already included a large percentage of women scholars. This continues and we seek to include more women from outside the US and UK
International Relations as an academic discipline is dominated by scholars from the US and UK. POLI10601 has always included postcolonial theory and the history of the production of the 'Third World' but the changes make these more central and transparent to students. Moreover, the reading lists and compulsory readings are significantly more diverse thanks to the exceptional support Dr Slack provided.
Veronique Pin-Fat, Politics
Thanks to the diversity in the curriculum scheme I had the opportunity to ask a TA to identify material (papers, data and case studies) that would introduce our students to some interesting gender issues in business.
Specifically, the material considered:
- Gender discrimination could exist in both public and private domains and lead to women underrepresentation in top management positions.
- Differences (background, motivations, barriers) between women and men entrepreneurs.
- Quantitative and qualitative approaches to explore the importance of having women on executive boards.
- We shared the OECD data on the share of women employed as managers, and female share of seats on boards in publicly listed companies in OECD countries.
Mario Pezzino, Economics
I sought funding to source materials on two new topics: (i) education, special educational needs and disability and (ii) the education of refugees and asylum seekers. Issues of diversity and inclusion and the educational needs of BAME students cut across both of these new topics, augmenting material on race and education that was already covered in the course. These were also topics identified by students as being of potential interest to them on the course. Due to buyouts, I personally have not used this new material, but the staff members who have taken on the course in my stead referred to the materials last year and will be building them into the course when it is taught again in semester 2 of the current academic year. I have also been able to pass some of the resources on individual students who have contacted me about dissertation topics, for example.
Sue Heath, Sociology
Jana Fey, an experienced TA on the course, came up with a series of suggestions for updating and re-designing the way we teach the politics of development. Jana’s recommendations included:
- De-centring mainstream theoretical approaches such as modernisation theory, to help students engage with a wider range of critical perspectives on development.
- Including more accessible reading material to help students, especially those from non-politics backgrounds, to engage with diverse perspectives.
- Including more discussion of decolonisation in the teaching.
- Altering some of the language in the course guide, to avoid privileging mainstream perspectives at the expense of more critical alternatives.
- Making changes to the first written assessment in the course. Instead of reviewing a World Bank or UN report, students are now tasked with critically engaging with an academic article. This means that they will be better prepared to compare and assess diverse theoretical arguments about development in the final essay.
The funding has been useful as it helped us to re-invigorate certain aspects of the course and to re-consider the way in which development politics is being taught. The required reading for tutorials is now more diverse and more accessible. The structure of the course now gives more space, at an earlier stage, to critical perspectives, to encourage student engagement with a wide range of viewpoints on development that go beyond mere conceptualisations of development as economic growth.
Dr Robert Watt
I got some research done on women scholars who have contributed to international trade scholarship and on feminist scholarship on international trade. I have incorporated some of the results into the curriculum. I also recently started a research project on gender and trade and will include an exercise around that in this year's curriculum. So the funding has been very useful, it has influenced my teaching a little right away, then it influenced my research, and via that, it has now influenced my teaching a lot.
Silke Trommer, Politics
A substantial component of the course addresses the sociology of sustainable consumption – this is a sub-discipline of Sociology well-known to be lacking in diversity in its core writings, despite the orientation of much of the sustainable development literature to the Global South. Feminist and post-colonial perspectives, as well as voices from the Global South more generally addressing issues of sustainable consumption, were largely absent from the course reading list. The Diversity in the Curriculum funding (2016-17) was used to pay one of the course tutors, then PhD student, Samantha Outhwaite for 6 hours work to conduct bibliographic searches to find relevant and suitable literature from feminist and post-colonial perspectives and from scholars from minority ethnic groups. Sam produced a list of relevant literature as well as a providing me with a sense of where there were bodies of work and where there were gaps in the literature. 10 new readings were added to the 2017-18 course reading. Sam's work also provided the basis with which to engage with my colleague Sherilyn MacGregor (SCI/Politics), who further updated me on feminist perspectives and in 20118 agreed to guest lecture a new topic on Gender and Sustainable Consumption. Assessed essays for the course are based on weekly topics - the gender topic proved popular as an essay topic and notably, 6 of the 14 Firsts awarded for the assessed essay that year addressed the gender question. Having initiated the process through the funding I am continuing to diversify the course readings this year with new post-colonial and Global South perspectives.
Dan Welch, Sociology
Although both of these courses cover issues of race, gender, sexuality and class, they did not have any discussion of disability. Under the Diversity in the Curriculum scheme, I paid one of my PhD students who has an interest in this area to build reading lists appropriate for each of the courses. As a result, with relatively little effort, I was able to include a new topic in each of the courses. She also sourced some images and created a basic structure for the year 1 lecture. Using this resource enabled me to fill a gap in my own knowledge and create new topics for my teaching. This was really successful - on both courses, disability has proved to be a popular essay topic and there have been some very interesting in-class discussions, enabling students to discuss questions of both mental and physical disability which are clearly of concern to them. My own understanding and teaching have also improved and as a result, I’ve been able to integrate questions of disability throughout the courses (rather than only considering them in a particular week).
Bridget Byrne, Sociology
The students on this course benefitted from the delivery of a lecture by Dr Mónica Moreno Figueroa, University of Cambridge, who is practised at dealing with issues of diversity, equality and inclusion in university contexts including experience of being a University Race & Inclusion Champion.
The presence of Dr Moreno enhanced student's ability to reflect on racial diversity and inequality, the effects of racism specifically problems of internalised racism and how this relates to efforts to combat racism and ameliorate racial and ethnic exclusion.
Peter Wade, Social Anthropology