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Trinity College Dublin Inclusive Curriculum Project – Trinity-INC

view of front square during freshers fair from regent house

A wordcloud made from the description of the Trinity-INC project

Commenced in October 2020, the mandate of Trinity Inclusive Curriculum (Trinity-INC) Project is to embed principles of diversity, equality and inclusion across all curricula at Trinity College Dublin. The Project Director is Dr. Rachel Hoare with Dr. Derina Johnson as Project Manager, and Sean Adderley as Student Partner Liaison Officer.

A project of the Office of the Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity and Equality, Trinity-INC works collaboratively across the College community - with staff and students, academic and support spaces - to achieve its goals.

Trinity-INC Goals

The project goals are to:

  • Create an accessible curriculum that supports the engagement, representation and action of all students, including those from diverse worldviews, cultures, and identities, and with different learning backgrounds, abilities and strategies
  • Embed the principles of inclusion in all aspects of the academic cycle, across all courses, modules and programmes at Trinity College Dublin
  • Establish Trinity College Dublin as a community of belonging and respect for diversity, where all our students feel supported in achieving their learning goals
  • Equip students with the qualities, skills and behaviours encompassed by the Trinity Graduate attributes

Trinity-INC Activities

Project activities are focused around four (equal) pillars of initiatives:

  • Academic: Creation of a community of practice; led by the Trinity-INC School Champion Programme
  • Student: Collaboration and partnership with students; led by the Trinity-INC Student Partner Programme
  • Institutional: Embeding inclusivity in College policies and discourse related to curricula development
  • Infrastructural: Supporting capacity across College to further inclusive teaching and learning practices and meet the support needs of all students

Trinity-INC News and Updates

Trinity-INC Food for Thought Lunchtime Online Seminar Series 2022

Seminar 4 - Tuesday 7th June 2022, 1-2pm: Intersectionality and its relation to the teaching and learning experience of students in Higher Education, with Dr Philomena Mullen and Aliyah Sy

Intersectionality derives from a Black, feminist standpoint that foregrounds the axes of racism, sexism and classism experienced by black women. It has travelled across disciplines since then to frame other forms and categories of multiple oppressions. In this seminar, Dr Phil Mullen, Assistant Professor of Black Studies, Trinity College Dublin, and Aliyah Sy, Master's student in Identities and Cultures of Europe, Trinity College Dublin, will explore what is meant by intersectionality, and how it can play out in the experiences of students in Higher Education.

Many students who face issues related to underrepresentation and/or marginalisation within Higher Education (HE), do not face such issues in their singularity, but are confronted with a multifaceted connection between these systems (first-generation student, LGBTQ+, student parent, from a minority ethnicity, with disability etc.). These issues are often intertwined, overlapping and shaping students’ identity and experiences.

When seeking to reduce marginalisation and increase inclusion within their institutions, truly inclusive practices need to consider both students’ complex and multidimensional identities and the added pressures and barriers that HE can hold for such students.

The session is aimed at everyone seeking to understand and implement inclusion in Higher Education as well as other educational sectors and more generally.


Dr Philomena Mullen

Dr Philomena Mullen is a graduate in English and Philosophy from Trinity College Dublin. She is currently Assistant Professor of Black Studies in the Department of Sociology. She spent 18 years working in the NGO-sector, a great deal of which was with the Irish Traveller Movement. She was a member of the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI) and formerly an Irish representative on the European Network against Racism (ENAR). She returned to Trinity College as a Government of Ireland PhD scholar to examine the racist and racialised aspects of how Black mixed-race women, who grew up in the Irish industrial school system without families, constructed their identity.

She is the co-Chair of the Race and Ethnicity Equality Working Group in Trinity College, and sits on the advisory board of Trinity Colonial Legacies Project. She is a Trustee of the Association of Mixed Race Irish (AMRI), and a member of African Scholars Association of Ireland (AFSAI). She is also a member of the UN IDPAD steering committee set up to work with the Irish state to implement programmes for the Decade of People of African Descent 2015-2024.

Aliyah Sy

Coming from a multidisciplinary background in languages, literature, and cultural studies, Aliyah Sy is currently a Master's student in Identities and Cultures of Europe, Trinity College Dublin, particularly implicated by issues of identity, inclusion, and diversity. A self-supporting student and a mixed-heritage woman from an underrepresented international background, Aliyah is happy to contribute to this event and to take part in the Trinity-INC project, to discuss and bring personal awareness of such issues.

Register for this online event (Zoom)

Trinity-INC Professional Learning Module on Inclusive Practices in Teaching and Learning - begins 20th April 2022

This Professional Learning Module is targeted to the needs of academic staff and all those who support teaching and learning at Trinity. The Module is tailored to the Trinity context, modelled on the National Forum for Teaching and Learning, AHEAD and UCD Digital Badge in Universal Design for Learning. Those who complete the module are eligible to claim the Digital Badge. Participation involves no more than 20 hours in total, with most weeks requiring two hours engagement at the most.

This Module is now underway. If you would like to take part in the next roll out (aimed for October 2022), please contact us at

Learn more about the Module

Trinity-INC Food for Thought Lunchtime Online Seminar Series 2022

Seminar 3 - Friday 8th April 2022: Universal Design for Learning: Applying UDL principles to your practice and discipline

In this practical session, Jean Reale worked to 1. Unpack the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), 2. Identify and map the UDL and inclusive practices that are already embedded in one's practices, and, 3. Explore how UDL can be easily applied and extended within ones discipline, with benefits for all students as well as one's own teaching and professional practices.

Couldn't attend or want to learn more?

Start your UDL reflective journey:

Questions for Teachers

  • Engagement: How do you currently engage your students in learning?
  • Representation: What formats are your teaching resources in?
  • Action and Expression: 1. How do you assess? 2. Do you capture Student Voice?

Questions for Students

  • Engagement: How do you currently engage with your learning?
  • Representation: What formats are your learning resources in?
  • Action and Expression: 1. How are you assessed? 2. Do you feel your voice is heard in your current programme of study?

Questions for Support Services Staff

  • Engagement: How do you currently engage with students?
  • Representation: What formats are your resources in?
  • Action and Expression: Do you capture Student Voice?

Trinity-INC Postgraduate Consultations (March / April 2022) - We would like to speak with you!

As you know, Trinity-INC is tasked with embedding inclusivity, equality and diversity into the curriculum, so that all students feel represented and engaged within Trinity. We are currently running a series of consultations with postgraduate students (Masters, PhD), as well as key units / societies etc. within College that work with PG students.

We would like to speak with Trinity postgraduates from communities which may be underrepresented or face barriers in higher education (for example, race, ethnicity, Traveller Community, LGBTQ+, gender, disability, etc), as well as those with additional responsibilities and/or challenges, e.g. student parents, socio-economic disadvantage. We understand diversity takes many forms and is often intersectional in nature, so these are only examples.

We're available on Zoom/Team, and will arrange a time that suits you. Happy to answer any question also. Please contact us on

Trinity-INC Food for Thought Lunchtime Online Seminar Series 2022 -

Seminar 2: Friday 4th March 2022 - "Meaningful Equality, Diversity and Equality in Higher Education Policy". Recording now available

For the second of our Trinity-INC Food for Thought lunchtime seminar series, Dr Ross Woods, HEA Centre of Excellence for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, joined Professor Lorraine Leeson, Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Trinity College Dublin, to discuss a vision for equality, diversity and inclusion within Higher Education policy.

View recording (with audiotranscript)

Creating Accessible Content in a Blackboard Module

Thursday 3rd March, 2022 - Recording now available

As part of Accessible Information Week, Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Project presented a Short-and-Sweet Skills Session focusing on how to create a clear, accessible module in Blackboard. Trinity-INC School Champion, Dr Jacqueline Whelan, School Nursing and Midwifery presented on her approach (Download PowerPoint presentation), with contributions from two additional Trinity-INC School Champions, Dr Joanne Banks, School of Education; and Dr Brendan O’Connell, School of English. Sean Adderley, Trinity-INC Student Partner Liaison Officer and recent Trinity graduate, spoke about the student perspective, while Dr Derina Johnson gave a brief overview of Blackboard Ally (Download PowerPoint presentation).

View recording (with audio transcript)

Trinity-INC Food for Thought Lunchtime Online Seminar Series 2022

Seminar 1: Friday 4th February, 2022. "Do we really know who our students are? Understanding, implementing and embedding a culturally responsive pedagogy in our everyday practice" - Recording now available.

For our Inaugural “Food for Thought” Lunchtime Seminar, we were delighted to be joined by Dr Aminul Hoque MBE, and Trinity-INC Student Partners Amirah Ayinde and Fadilah Salawu who explored and unpacked the concept of a culturally responsive pedagogy and locate it within the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) narrative.

Aminul discussed three key questions: do we really know who our students are?Secondly, are we aware of the wider social, community and cultural issues that many of our students are living through? And finally, how do we get to know our students and ensure that their views, interests, lived experiences, aspirations inform and guide our pedagogical practices? Drawing on his own ethnographic research with young Bangladeshis from London and his anti-racist work with the National Education Union, Aminul provided insight into some of the lived experiences of exclusion and alienation that many BAME students from disadvantaged backgrounds live through. While he argued that these areas of disparity and disadvantage have become even more problematic during the Covid-19 pandemic, he also suggested some practical ways that educators can ensure that such students remain engaged and enthused in the higher education journey.

Aminul was joined by Trinity-INC Student Partners, Amirah Ayinde and Fadilah Salawu who responded to the issues he raised, placing them in the Trinity context. Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Professor Lorraine Leeson, delivered the Welcome.

Follow Aminul on Twitter @BrIslam2015

View recording (with audio transcript)

Trinity-INC and the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities

We had our first meeting with the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities not so long ago as a first step to involving the students from the centre in the Student Partner Committee. We got to meet all the lovely staff and students and introduced ourselves and the project which was very well received. We asked the students a question: 'what does inclusion mean to you?' Responses included: "To be involved and never felt left out"; "[Being] able to do things like everyone else"; "Always being included in class and group activities". Check out all the responses here.

International Day for Equal Opportunity

Recently, two of our Student Partners Fadilah and Amirah took part in a conversation for the International Day for Equal Opportunity 2021. Assya Hamdani, who hosted this chat, is a teaching assistant in the Department of French in TCD and recently joined a French collective called Different Leaders who hope to officialise Dec. 5th as the International Day for Equal Opportunity. The conversation is part of Assya's project with Different Leaders and focuses on the illusion of meritocracy in higher education. It is well worth a listen! Check out the full conversation here.

“Imposter syndrome and I are quite close friends (…) I think it also comes from the lack of role models in a sense because when a person from whatever minority background does achieve something, there is a kind of always this connotation that they’re the exception.” – Fadilah, third-year Law student

“I’d like to see black people being used in our textbooks. I’d like to learn more about the representation of illnesses in black people or people of colour as well (…) these are small changes that would make the biggest difference” – Amirah, third-year nursing student

Click here for an audio transcript of the podcast.

Learning in Trinity during COVID-19 - insights from Trinity-INC Student Partners

In a recent workshop, our Student Partners reflected on learning in Trinity during COVID-19. We asked them to consider 1. Trinity’s response during COVID-19 lockdown / restrictions, and 2. Trinity’s transition back to full capacity / hybrid models. While each of the students had their own personal experiences, there were also many common positives as well as negatives. The students also had suggestions for how Trinity could move forward in the current transition / hybrid space.

Learning at Trinity during COVID-19 - download the posters

See also! Our colleagues in the Trinity Library are a building a collection of personal records of life during the Covid-19 crisis, so that a detailed story of how this crisis was experienced by the College community can be archived for ongoing research. Read See how you can get involved

Trinity-INC Summer Student Partner Programme

Over the Summer of 2021, 18 students from across all Trinity faculties, at UG, PG and PhD level, came together for the Trinity-INC Summer Student Partner Programme to explore their experience of inclusion and exclusion within the curriculum at Trinity College Dublin. We asked them: What do you want Trinity educators to know about your experience? They responded with posters, presentations, podcasts, personal reflections and philosophical arguments, among other formats. These materials are available here on our website and used within Trinity-INC training.

Have a look at some of the student materials

Get in touch!

For further information contact, or check us out on Twitter @TCDInclusion or Instagram @trinityinclusivecurriculum