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Inclusive Teaching – Bath Spa University

A transformative learning journey with Bath Spa University prioritises inclusive teaching

Our curriculum, learning resources and activities are diverse, inclusive and accessible, enabling a sense of belonging, opportunity and ambition.

Key topics:


How far do you agree with the following comments?

  • My teaching, learning and assessment materials and activities are inclusive and accessible.
  • My teaching and learning activities draw on a diversity of contributors to the discipline.

Equality and inclusive education

Bath Spa University is committed to providing an environment that respects and celebrates all members of our community, and is free from discrimination, prejudice, harassment and bullying. Further information is available on the University's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion webpage, and in our Equality Objectives.

In order to accomplish this, it is pivotal to prioritise inclusive education. The Inclusive Education Toolkit (from a collaborative QAA project led by the University of Hull) identifies five areas of activity required for inclusion in University education:

  1. Structures and processes: which consider equality and diversity such that inclusive practice is routine.
  2. Curriculum design and delivery: which embeds an inclusive approach.
  3. Assessment and feedback: which are well designed to remove barriers to learning and inequalities.
  4. Community and belonging: to help students have feelings of security, self-worth and motivation.
  5. Pathways to success: where all students can develop social, practical and academic skills, and fulfilling future careers.


Decolonisation refers to the process of undoing the effects of colonisation, which often involves addressing the legacies of imperialism, Eurocentrism, and cultural dominance. At Bath Spa, decolonisation involves re-evaluating our curriculum, policies, and practices to be more inclusive, diverse, and reflective of a broader range of perspectives, cultures, and knowledge systems.

All Bath Spa students and staff can access the online Union Black Course (developed by Santander). The course is designed to start conversations around Black Cultures in the UK and explore anti-racism. It explores Black cultures in Britain and provides learners with an understanding of Black British history, dispelling myths in order to inform, challenge and contribute to the anti-racism agenda. All learners will receive a certificate of achievement upon completion of Union Black which they can add to their CV or share on social media. Further information for Bath Spa staff is available here (requires BSU login).

Some resources are:

Professional development programmes are also available to some students and staff at Bath Spa University:

  • Bath Spa Empowers: Designed for Students from African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean heritage at Bath Spa University.
  • Elevate: Designed for women of colour working at Bath Spa University.


Inclusive language

Language can have a powerful and emotive effect. Taking care to use language which is inclusive can help to promote a culture of equality and support inclusive education. It is inevitable that everyone will make mistakes with their use of language; if this happens it is best to acknowledge this and apologise.

Some resources are:

Some relevant Bath Spa policies are:

  • Equality Policy 
  • Harassment Policy 
  • Menopause Policy 
  • Safeguarding, Wellbeing and Prevent Duty
  • Trans and Non Binary Policy
Sensitive topics and safe/brave spaces

Sensitive topics can be both difficult to talk about but also important to university curricula and/or life. They could be "triggering", causing strong emotional responses, could impact on students' values and beliefs. Careful planning can help these topics be addressed most appropriately. Tutors may also find it useful to foster "safe spaces" or "brave spaces" where these topics can be explored more constructively.

Some resources are:

Mental health

University can be a stressful and challenging environment for staff and students. Mental health support is provided to students by Bath Spa's Student Wellbeing Services, and support for staff is outlined on this Mental Health Awareness site (requires BSU login).

Some resources are:

Help at Bath Spa

Teaching Expertise Development provide support to staff regarding teaching and supporting learning.

Accessible teaching, learning and assessment

Bath Spa University's Student Wellbeing Services state that:

  • "All students should have an equal opportunity to thrive at university. We provide information, guidance, advice and practical support to students who identify as disabled and neurodivergent; including dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism, mental ill-health, long term medical conditions and sensory or mobility impairments."

The Disability Service (formerly known as Accessibility Service) liaise with students who disclose a disability to guide and support them during their studies. In conjunction with the student, they agree reasonable adjustments to support their learning. These adjustments are shared with the appropriate academic colleagues to support the student's learning. he service also provides students with help in applying for Disabled Students' Allowance. Students who may not have a diagnosed disability are also supported to investigate possible assessments. University staff are also able to access the service with any disability-related questions they may have.

Academic Access Plans (AAPs)

Teachers on credit-bearing modules and programmes should ensure they check PowerBI for individual students’ Academic Access Plans (AAPs). These detail reasonable adjustments which BSU has agreed with individual students’ that go beyond the general proactive practice listed here. BSU has a legal responsibility to support reasonable adjustments detailed in the AAPs, and so teachers are required to follow and support the AAPs. Further information on AAPs can be found in this guidance by BSU Student Wellbeing Services (requires BSU login).

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework which aims to support a diversity of learners. It begins from the position of acknowledging that all learners are different, and this should be a key consideration in designing learning. Many students with a disability and/or neurodivergence are therefore supported proactively as a normal part of the design process, though it is acknowledged that some additional responsive interventions (reasonable adjustments) will be needed to support some individual learners.

Some resources are:

Accessible content

It is important to consider the resources you generate when teaching and supporting learning, and how accessible these are to a range of learners. These can include PowerPoints, handouts, resources on Ultra, and so on.

A key resource is:

You should also make use of accessibility checkers and tools to improve the accessibility of your resources. These include:

Further guidance from Bath Spa University on making documents more accessible:


People described as neurodivergent are those who have a recognised neurological difference. These include:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia 

Some resources are:

Assistive technology

Bath Spa University aims to create an inclusive and welcoming space for all disabled and neurodiverse individuals. A range of assistive technology is available to support members of our community. See the Assistive Technology SharePoint page (requires BSU login) for further information.

Help at Bath Spa

Student Wellbeing Services provide support to staff and students on disability and neurodiversity.

Teaching Expertise Development provide support to staff regarding teaching and supporting learning.

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