Teaching & Learning


BAME Awarding Gap Funded Project: Social Research Institute

Community on Campus: creating a decolonised home for BAME SRI students  

Mette Louise Berg and Ashraf Hoque, IOE UCL's Faculty of Education and Society

Project dates: October 2021 – October 2024 


The UCL Social Research Institute (SRI) is a recently formed department, which offers three UG programmes: BSc Social Sciences, BSc Social Sciences with Data Science (formerly BSc Social Sciences with Quantitative Methods), and BSc Sociology.

The Institute has gathered qualitative evidence that suggests the need to address issues around belonging and inclusion to ensure BAME students feel welcome, included, and acknowledged. A particular concern is that the Department is spatially distributed in buildings around Woburn Square, with no common room and teaching takes place outside the department in the IOE building. Given the department’s history, interdisciplinary character, and physical layout, it is challenging to foster student belonging and identity.

The project includes three targeted interventions with the aim to develop a diverse and inclusive departmental environment, and to foster and facilitate conversations about race and changing the culture:

1.    A regular, online student/staff common room to engender belonging, an inclusive departmental identity, and ‘having conversations about race and changing the culture’. The common room will be co-facilitated by staff and students and will feature social events, discussions, and informal interaction. When guidance allows, the common room will become face-to-face with two termly ‘meets’ 

2.    A student-centred department-wide Moodle forum facilitating anonymised discussions relating to student experience and belonging, and featuring helpful resources and links 

3.    A flagship, interdisciplinary final year options module. The module will be co-designed by staff and students and will focus on current and pressing societal issues from interdisciplinary and diverse social sciences perspectives, with racial diversity and inclusivity ‘built in’ to aims, objectives, learning outcomes, syllabus, teaching methods, activities, and assessments (see also Morgan and Hourghtoun 2011). It will deliver cutting-edge substantive material through innovative pedagogies and draw on critical and diverse source materials. It will invite students to reflect on their learning and mobilise their social science tools and understanding for social justice learning.


Morgan, H & Houghton, A, (2011), Inclusive Curriculum Design in Higher Education: Considerations for effective practice across and within subject areas

Universities UK & NUS, (2019), #Closingthegap Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Attainment at UK Universities: Case Studies

Burke, P, (2015), Re/imagining higher education pedagogies: gender, emotion and difference, Teaching in Higher Education, 20:4, 388-401