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Equality, Diversity & Inclusion in DSES

The Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences leads research to help reduce inequalities and promote social justice within and through sport, exercise and physical activity.

We are committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in all areas of our teaching and research. We seek to create a respectful and inclusive space where all students and staff feel a sense of belonging and experience equality of opportunity. We are committed to tackling all forms of prejudice, discrimination and harassment. We understand that advancing equality, diversity and inclusion requires an ongoing commitment from all members of our community.

A women working at a microscope in a laboratory

Athena Swan and Gender Equality

Athena Swan Bronze Award Our Action Plan outlines our prioritised action points. You can read about Durham University’s commitment to Athena Swan work here. We are proud to have been awarded an Athena Swan Bronze award in 2021 in recognition of our work to advance gender equality. In comparison to other departments in the UK, we have a higher number of academic staff identifying as female. For undergraduate and postgraduate courses, the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences is slightly closer to gender parity than the sector as a whole.

Decolonising the Curriculum

Our efforts to diversify and decolonise the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences curriculum are ongoing. Our programmes have always contained core content around inequalities such as race, gender and class and how these intersect within the context of sport, exercise and physical activity. Recent examples of our ongoing work in this area include:

  • Changes to our delivery to advance anti-racism across our curriculum.
  • Ensuring we offer diverse assessments to challenge students in multiple ways.
  • Working with the universities Decolonising the Curriculum initiative to establish a new project in 2022 to allow us to develop practices ensuring that there is cultural representation at the module level.

Widening Participation and First Generation Scholars

In 2021, a report was undertaken into ‘Students’ Experiences, Continuation and Progression’ in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences. This had a particular focus on finding ways to support ‘First Generation Scholars’ (i.e. those whose family background does not include experience of Higher Education study) and non-resident students (i.e. those not living on campus). Learning and teaching action points have been implemented to try and improve student experiences.

The Department has been involved in the Sutton Trust and Supported Progression schemes for a number of years and has had numerous students successfully progress through the degree programme through this pathway. 

EDI Committee

The EDI Committee within the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences meets once per term. Please contact any member of the committee for further information or to raise concerns.




Chair and EDI Lead

Dr. Stacey Pope 

Professional Service Staff

Rebecca Strong 

Head of Department

Professor Martin Roderick 

Department Manager

Annisa Crich 

Director of Research

Professor Brett Smith 

Director of Education

Dr. Sue Bock 

Admissions Lead

Dr. Emma Poulton 

Facilities Manager

Dr. Lindsay Macnaughton 

Undergraduate Representative

Maxen Garagic 

Postgraduate Representative

Wei Wang 

Outgoing EDI Lead

Dr. Cassandra Phoenix