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Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning

A Critical Approach

AUTHOR : Edited by Nicola Martin, Mike Wray and Joanna Krupa Series edited by Joy Jarvis and Karen Mpamhanga

ISBN : 9781915713391

Edition No : 1

Publication : Oct 7, 2024

Extent : 96 pgs

ISBN : 9781915713407

Edition No : 1

Publication : Oct 7, 2024

Extent : 96 pgs

ISBN : 9781915713414

Edition No : 1

Publication : Oct 7, 2024

Extent : 96 pgs


This book delves into the underpinning principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) which is all about delivering an inclusive teaching and learning experience from the start rather than adapting existing programmes to new student needs.

As part of the Critical Practice in Higher Education series, this book focuses on the principles of UDL and how they should underpin thinking in embedding inclusive practice. When the Covid-19 lockdown was in full force, university staff were attempting to move learning rapidly online and this involved embedding inclusive practice at speed. This included considering curriculum this momentum which pushed aspects of the UDL agenda along out of necessity.

Ultimately, this book translates the principle of UDL into research-informed inclusive practice. It focuses on theory and research which looks at UDL intersectionally and from the perspectives of various marginalised groups including, but not limited to, categories protected by the Equality Act 2010. Readers are continually tasked to ask themselves whether their practice is inclusive, to consider why inclusion is important and relate this thinking to notions of social justice in higher education. It provides a critically reflective space where readers are invited to consider a more nuanced understanding of teaching and learning which celebrates and accommodates diversity.



1. Using policy artifacts to deliver UDL 

2. Different learners, different places, different circumstances

3. Identifying and addressing practical concerns with first-year undergraduates and students from BAME backgrounds 

4. Learning from students with disabilities 

5. Culturally sensitive and effective distance learning 

6. Collective responsibility for UDL 

7. Overarching themes and future directions 


Joanna Krupa is currently a PhD student in education at London South Bank University (LSBU). Her PhD includes aspects of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in exploring how parents and teachers of autistic pupils can bring together their respective knowledge and experiences to contribute to a more inclusive school environment.  Joanna has also worked on various research projects at LSBU with the common theme of inclusive practice. Prior to this Joanna was a social worker with adults with learning disabilities for many years.

Nicola Martin has worked in education since 1982 and in universities since 1993. As Professor of Social Justice and Inclusive Education at London South Bank University, Nicola conducted research into embedding inclusive practice into all aspects of student experience under the Universal Design for Learning umbrella. 

Mike Wray is currently a lecturer at London South Bank University. He has a background delivering and managing services in the public sector to support disabled people, before moving into higher education initially as manager of the disability service at the University of the West of England. He has been a member of policy groups for a range of projects and organisations and has worked in a consultancy capacity for universities including York, Durham, Huddersfield, Middlesex and Cardiff Metropolitan. 

Joy Jarvis is currently Professor of Educational Practice at the University of Hertfordshire and a UK National Teaching Fellow. She has experience in a wide range of education contexts and works to create effective learning experiences for students and colleagues. She is particularly interested in the professional learning of those engaged in educational practice in higher education settings and has undertaken a range of projects, working with colleagues locally, nationally and internationally, to develop practice in teaching and leadership of teaching. Joy works with doctoral students exploring aspects of educational practice and encourages them to be adventurous in their methodological approaches and to share their findings in a range of contexts to enable practice change.

Karen Mpamhanga (formerly Karen Smith) is Professor of Higher Education and Professional Learning in the School of Education at the University of Hertfordshire. Her research focuses on how higher education policies and practices impact on those who work and study within universities. Karen has worked within educational development and on lecturer development programmes. She holds a Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy and is currently the Director of the University of Hertfordshire’s Professional Doctorate in Education. Karen also leads collaborative research and development in her School, where she engages in externally funded research and evaluation and supports the development of scholarly educational practice through practitioner research.

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