Inclusivity books

There is a large body of research about inclusive practice in higher education. The list below is not exclusive but suggests a few places to start. 

As the research tends to focus on specific student groups we have categorised it in this way, e.g. support for disabled students. However, it is crucial to remember that students’ identities are complex – for example, a disabled student is unlikely to feel defined by their disability alone and this is likely to intersect with other factors such as age, gender and race. Although certain groups do have specific requirements, it is important to not categorise students in simplistic ways. Furthermore, very often if you improve teaching and learning for a specific target group, it improves the experience for all students. 

We have included links to practical guides and reports as well as reference to at least one book and one journal article for each topic. If you have a resource you would like to include, please email:

Inclusivity - general


Burke, P.J. & Crozier, G. (2012). Teaching Inclusively: Challenging Pedagogical Spaces. York: Higher Education Academy

Mountford-Zimdars, A. (ed.) (2015). Teaching in the context of diversity: Reflections and tips from educators at King’s College London.

Higher Education Academy - Subject specific guides to inclusive curriculum design

Waterfield, J. and West, B. (2002) SENDA Compliance in HE. An audit and guidance tool for accessible practice within the framework of teaching and learning.SWANDS

Waterfield, J. and West, B. (2006) Inclusive Assessment in Higher Education: A Resource for Change. Staff Student Partnership for Assessment Change and Evaluation (SPACE) University of Plymouth: Plymouth.

Research and reports

Crozier, G. Reay, D. Clayton, J. Colliander, L. (2008) Different Strokes for Different Folks: Diverse Students in Diverse Institutions - Experiences of Higher Education. Research Papers in Education23,2, 167-177.

Hockings, C. (2010) Inclusive learning and teaching in higher education: a synthesis of research.York: Higher Education Academy.

Reay, D., David, M. & Ball, S. (2005). Degrees of Choice: Social Class, Race and Gender in Higher Education. London: Trentham Books.

Gibson, S. (2015) When rights are not enough: What is? Moving towards new pedagogy for inclusive education within UK universities.International Journal of Inclusive Education,

Widening participation - general

University of Plymouth - Information on widening participation


Higher Education Academy - Compendium of effective practice in higher education retention and success


Burke, P.J. (2012). The Right to Higher Education: Beyond widening participation. Oxon: Routledge.

Cotton, D., Kneale, P. & Nash, P. (2013) Horizon-Scanning Report: Widening Participation, Retention and Success. Plymouth University: PedRIO.

Kneale, P., Turner, R., Collings, J., Webb, O., & Treasure, K. (2018) Exploring the experience of University of Plymouth home-based students.University of Plymouth.PedRIO.

Thomas, L. (2002), Student Retention in Higher Education: The Role of Institutional Habitus, Journal of Education Policy 17, 4, 423-442.

Black and minority ethnic students


Chavrimootoo,D. & Dawson, R.(2016) Learning and Unlearning Whiteness . Liverpool John Moores (PPT)

Berry, J. & Loke, G. (2011). Improving the degree attainment of Black and Minority Ethnic Students.York & London: Higher Education Academy and Equality Challenge Unit.

McIntosh, P. (1989) White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.Peace & Freedom July/August 1989 pp10-12

University College London (2014). Video - Why is my curriculum white?Online: YouTube.

Research and reports

NUS (2010). Race for Equality. A report on the experiences of Black students in further and higher education. London: National Union of Students.

Stevenson, J.A. (2012). Black and minority ethnic student degree retention and attainment.York: Higher Education Academy.

Stevenson, J.A. (2012). An Exploration of the Link between Minority Ethnic and White Students’ Degree Attainment and Views of Their Future ‘Possible Selves’. Higher Education Studies, 2, 4, 103-113.

Care leavers

University of Plymouth - Support and guidance for care leavers


The Buttle Trust - Information about the Buttle UK Quality Mark award for further and higher education

Research and reports

Cotton, D., Kneale, P., & Nash.P. (2014) Investigating the experience of care leavers at University of PlymouthFinal report.

Cotton, D., Nash, P. & Kneale, P. (2014). The Experience of Care leavers in UK Higher Education. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning16, 3, 5-21.

Dixon, J., Wade, J., Byford, S., Weatherly, H. and Lee, J. (2006) Young People Leaving Care: A Study of Costs and Outcomes. York: The University of York.

Disabled students

University of Plymouth - Guide to Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment


Equality Challenge Unit - Case Studies: Learning from Disability Equality Schemes in Higher Education

Higher Education Academy - Guidance for education providers working with disabled students

University of Strathclyde - Creating an Accessible Curriculum For Students With Disabilities

Research and reports

Fuller, M. Bradley, A. & Healey, M. (2004). Incorporating disabled students within an inclusive higher education environment, Disability & Society 19, 5, 455-468.

Gibson, S. (2012). Narrative accounts of university education: sociocultural perspectives of students with disabilities. Disability & Society, 27, 3, 353-369.

Rickson, M. (2010). Disability equality in higher education: a synthesis of research. York: Higher Education Academy.

Riddell, S., Tinklin, T. & Wilson, A. (2005). Disabled Students in Higher Education: Perspectives on Widening Access and Changing Policy. Oxon: Routledge.

International students

University of Plymouth - Guidance for international students

PedRIO - Internationalisation and your curriculum


Higher Education Academy - Engaging home and international students: a guide for new lecturers

Higher Education Academy - Top Ten Tips for Teaching International Students

Higher Education Academy - Supporting international students in UK Higher Education: a staff development course

Research and reports

Carroll, J. & Ryan, J. (2005). Teaching International Students: Improving Learning for All. London: Routledge.

Crozier, G. & Davies, J. (2008). The trouble is they don’t mix: self‐segregation or enforced exclusion? Race Ethnicity and Education11, 3, 285-301.

Jones, E. (2010) (ed). Internationalisation and the student voice: Higher education perspectives. London: Routledge.

LGBTQ students

University of Plymouth- Information and welfare support for LGBT students


Equality Challenge Unit - Guide to Supporting Trans Staff and Students in HE

Research and reports

Equality Challenge Unit (2009). The experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual staff and students in higher education. London: ECU.

National Union of Students (2014). Education Beyond the Straight and Narrow: LGBT students’ experience in higher education. London: NUS.

LGBTQ-inclusivity in the higher education curriculum: a best practice guide. Birmingham: University of Birmingham. Gale, N. and Ward, N. (2017) 

Mature students

University of Plymouth - Guidance for students returning to study

Research and reports

Reay, D., Ball, S. & David. M. (2002). It’s Taking Me a Long Time but I’ll get There in the End’: Mature students on access courses and higher education choice. British Educational Research Journal 28, 1, 5-19.

Smith, J. (2008). Mature learners: a synthesis of research. York: Higher Education Academy:

Stevenson, J. & Clegg, S. (2013). ‘My past is a double edge sword’: temporality and reflexivity in mature learners, Studies in Continuing Education 35,1, 17-29.

Religions and students

University of Plymouth - Information about student religious groups


Equality Challenge Unit - Guide to supporting the practice and expression of religion and belief amongst staff and students

Research and reports

Equality Challenge Unit (2011). Religion and belief in HE: researching the experiences of staff and students. London: Equality Challenge Unit.

Stevenson, J.A. (2013). Discourses of inclusion and exclusion: Religious students in UK higher education. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning14, 3, 27-43.

Student parents

Research and reports

Hinton-Smith, T. (2012.) Lone Parents' Experiences as Higher Education Students. National Institute of Adult Continuing Education: Leicester. 

Moreau, M. (2012) Supporting Student Parents in Higher Education: A Policy AnalysisLondon: Nuffield Foundation.

Moreau, M. & Kerner, C. (2013) Care in academia: an exploration of student parents’ experiences.  British Journal of Sociology of Education, 1-19.