Curriculum co-creation as a transformative strategy to address differential student outcomes: the example of Kingston Universitys Student Curriculum Consultant Programme

Annie Livingstone Hughes, Christina Michener, Kamal Mohamed, Nona McDuff


This paper examines the role that curriculum co-creation can play in creating a more inclusive higher education and in so doing, address the complex challenge of differential student outcomes and attainment. It achieves this by exploring Kingston Universitys Curriculum Consultant programme within this context of their Inclusive Curriculum Framework. Students who work as Curriculum Consultants use their own diverse lived experiences and Kingston Universitys Inclusive Curriculum Framework (ICF) to collaborate with staff to create more accessible, diverse and globally relevant curricula at all levels of the institution. The consultants work with staff in a variety of ways, providing feedback on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) experience of individual modules, the inclusivity of teaching resources, and areas where the curriculum represents potential barriers to some groups of students. They also take leadership roles, participating in and facilitating staff development workshops focused on inclusive teaching and learning. This paper examines three instances of co-creation facilitated through the Curriculum Consultant programme. We argue that the Curriculum Consultant programme acts as a mechanism through which the institution can not only legitimate, but also actively endorse and encourage co-creation in order to create more inclusive curricula.


inclusive curriculum, differential attainment, co-creation

Full Text:



Barnett, R. and Coate, K. (2005) Engaging the curriculum in higher education: Berkshire: SRHE and OU Press.

Brink, C. (2009). “Standards will drop” and other fears about the equality agenda in higher education. Higher Education Management and Policy, 21(1):11?30.

Daddow, A., Moraitis, P. and Carr, A. (2013) Non-traditional students in tertiary education: inter-disciplinary collaboration in curriculum and pedagogy in community services education in Australia, International Journal of Inclusive Education, Vol. 17, No. 5, 480– 489,

Crozier, G., Reay, D. & Clayton, J. (2008) Different strokes for different folks: diverse students in diverse institutions, Research Papers in Education, 23(2), 167–177.

Fraser, S. and Bosanquet, A. (2006) The curriculum? That’s just a unit outline, isn’t it? Studies in Higher Education, 31 (3) 269-84.

Haigh, M. (2009) Fostering Cross-Cultural Empathy with Non-Western Curricular Structures, Journal of Studies, International Education, 13, 2 271-284 DOI: 10.1177/1028315308329791

Hefce (Higher Education Funding Council) (2015). Differences in degree outcomes: The effect of subject and student characteristics. Issue paper 2015/21. Bristol. Available at:

Healey, M. Flint A. and Harrington, K. (2014) Engagement through partnership students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education: York: HEA.

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

Hughes, A. (2016) Exploring normative whiteness: ensuring inclusive pedagogic practice in undergraduate fieldwork teaching and learning, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 22 March 2016, p.1-18 DOI: 10.1080/03098265.2016.1155206

Levy, P., Little, S. & Whelen, N. (2010). Perspectives on staff–student partnerships in learning, research and educational enhancement. In Little, S. (ed.) Staff–student partnerships in higher education 1–15. London: Continuum.

Maila, M. (2010) Curriculum as open-ended inquiry in higher education, Africa Education Review, 7, 2 263-282 DOI: 10.1080/18146627.2010.515385

McCulloch, A. (2009) The student as co-producer. Studies in Higher Education, 34, 2, 171-183.

McDuff, N., Tatam, J.C., Beacock, O. & Ross, F.M. (2018). Closing the attainment gap for students from black and minority ethnic backgrounds through institutional change. Journal of Widening Participation and Life Long Learning 20(1):79 101. Available at:

McDuff, A. and Hughes, A. (2015) Kingston’s Inclusive Curriculum Framework, Available at:

McKay, J. & Devlin, M. (2014) ‘Uni has a different language … to the real world’: demystifying academic culture and discourse for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, Higher Education Research & Development, 33:5, 949-961, DOI:10.1080/07294360.2014.890570

Meuleman, A., Garrett, R., Wrench, A. and King, S., (2015) ‘Some people might say I’m thriving but…’: non-traditional students experiences of university, International Journal of Inclusive Education International Journal of Inclusive Education

Mountford-Zimdars, A., Sabri, D., Moore, J., Sanders, J., Jones, S. and Higham, L. (2015) Causes of differences in student outcomes, Report to HEFCE by King’s College London, ARC Network and The University of Manchester,2014/Content/Pubs/Independentresearch/2015/Causes,of,differences,in,student,outcomes/HEFCE2015_diffout.pdf

Millward, C. (2018) Keynote, Addressing barriers to Student Success Programme, Annual Conference, 24th May 2018.

Neary, M. (2012). Student as producer: How do revolutionary teachers teach? Winchester: Zero Books.

Office for Students (2018) Differences in student outcomes, Available at:

Reay, D. Crozier, G. and Clayton, J. (2010) Fitting in’ or ‘standing out’: Working?class students in UK higher education, British Educational Research Journal, Vol.36(1), pp.107-124

Richardson, J. (2015) The under-attainment of ethnic minority students in UK higher Education: what we know and what we don’t know, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 39, 2: 278:291

Ross, F., Tatam, J. Hughes, A., Beacock, O. and McDuff, N. (2018) “The great unspoken shame of UK Higher Education”: Addressing inequalities of attainment, African Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 12 No. 1, June 2018, 104?115

Steele, D, Ryan, PA. (2014) Students perceptions of internationalisation in higher education. SRHE Annual Research Conference-Inspiring future generations; embracing plurality and difference in higher education. South Wales, UK

Svensson, L. and Wihlborg, M. (2010) Internationalising the content of higher education: the need for a curriculum perspective. Higher Education, 60: 595-613 DOI: 10.1007/s10734-010-9318-6

Tange, H. and Kastberg, P. (2013) Coming to terms with ‘double knowing’: an inclusive approach to international education, International Journal of Inclusive Education, 17, 1 1-14 DOI:10.1080/13603116.2011.580460.

Umbach, P. (2006) The contribution of faculty of color to undergraduate education. Research in Higher Education, Vol.47(3), pp.317-345.

Universities UK (2016) Working In Partnership: Enabling Social Mobility In Higher Education, the final report of the Social Mobility Advisory Group. Available at:

Willis, P. and Gregory, A. (2016) Making the road while walking: co-creation, teaching excellence and university leadership, Stimulus paper, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching