Equality & Diversity


We support the University’s commitment to fostering an inclusive culture which promotes equality, values diversity and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected.

Our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion committee, made up of a broad range of staff and students, coordinates with other committees across the School and University to ensure that we keep abreast of new opportunities to help us meet our goals, and advise on where we can improve. We aim to support students and staff at all stages of their career development, through mentorship, training, reviews, research group activities, flexible working and supporting funding applications.


Gender and Intersectional Equality

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We have been awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze Award. The Athena SWAN Charter encourages and recognises our commitment to advancing gender and intersectional equality.  Our Athena SWAN submission includes a detailed Action Plan for the next 5 years, to help us address the School's main equality and diversity challenges. Our key priorities are: 

  • To address gender inequality within senior roles, professional, technical and operational staff, research seminars and curriculum;
  • To provide improved support for career development;
  • To improve the sense of cohesion and inclusion;
  • To improve well-being and workload.


Anti-racism Commitment

We are an academic community that embraces and values people from all backgrounds and we do not tolerate racism in any form. As individuals and as part of a wider community of archaeologists here at Oxford we acknowledge that we must re-examine the way we approach everything we do and represent. Taking a stand for values of inclusivity and fairness is a continual process. Our discipline, like many others, shares a complex history with race. We must grasp the opportunity to listen carefully to voices both within and without our discipline. 

Members of our School offer a wide range of experiences, skills and inspired ideas for challenging discrimination, which we will continue to draw on and develop.  As a discipline we study the cultural destruction, dispossession and death wrought by colonialism, but also the many other instances in which cultural encounter was a source of creativity. We have collaborated with the Oxford and Colonialism Project working group. Created in the Spring of 2016, the project mobilises efforts to reflect on the University’s historic ties with Great Britain’s colonial past and the ways in which the University’s colonial legacies reflect on the present, and our vision of the University’s future.


Widening Access

We are continually working to improve access to our discipline. One such initiative is our collaboration with IntoUniversity which supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to attain either a university place or another chosen aspiration. Together we offer a programme of archaeological events run for BAME high school students from schools across Oxford and London.

We also run our UNIQ summer schools each July. UNIQ is a free programme for state-educated students from all over the UK who are in their first year of further education, have good grades and are from diverse backgrounds. Its aim is to help them make successful applications to the University of Oxford.

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Working here

There are many sources of HR support, information and advice available to staff and students within the School and across the University.  More information on these can be found through the main HR pages for staff  and the welfare and wellbeing pages for students.

The staff and student handbooks below also set out the policies and procedures for all areas of HR and related support.

The School's HR Manager, Diane Baker, and Head of Administration, Tim Davies, can both be contacted for professional advice on HR matters. 

The School strongly supports the University's position in that it does not tolerate any form of harassment or victimisation and expects all members of the University community, its visitors and contractors to treat each other with respect, courtesy and consideration.  The School has two trained harrassment advisors, Alex Geurds and Diane Baker should you wish to discuss any concerns.   If you prefer, you can contact the University's Harassment Line for details of an advisor outside the department. (Tel. 01865 270760 or e-mail harassment.line@admin.ox.ac.uk). 


Useful links:

Career Development

Central to our ethos is an apprenticeship approach that supports people at all levels, from earliest career to retirement, through mentoring and collaboration. Below is a list of the ways in which we currently support our staff and students. We continue to review and improve these strategies as part of our Athena Swan process.

Career support for staff within the School of Archaeology

  • All staff have a designated line manager or mentor with whom they are able to have regular 1:1 meetings
  • A PDR scheme is currently available to any staff-member upon request, and routine for admin and support staff, but is intended to become an annual process for all in 2021/22
  • The provision of mentors or supervisors is an integral element of all Research Fellowship schemes, and these roles are fulfilled by academic staff within the School. In addition, the Head of School holds individual meetings with each Research Fellow annually.
  • The School’s Research Support Officer provides regular updates on grant application opportunities to all researchers, as well as one-to-one support for researchers in drawing together applications. The Research Support Officer also circulates information regarding upcoming training opportunities offered within the University. 
  • Teaching opportunities and training are offered in areas where researchers are best able to contribute. There is the potential to work with the taught course elements of the undergraduate degree (the BA in Archaeology & Anthropology) – a full list of the undergraduate courses is available here. There may also be opportunities for specialist tuition through undergraduate and postgraduate taught-course dissertation supervision; a full list of our postgraduate taught courses can be found here
  • SPECTRA is the official society of the postdoctoral researchers within the School that facilitates networking between its members, represents the postdoctoral community at appropriate School committees, and promotes the professional development of early career researchers. The Society organises meetings and workshops, and disseminates information regarding career opportunities.

Career support for students within the School of Archaeology

  • All students have a departmental and college supervisor with whom they have regular meetings
  • The Director of Graduate Studies is available to discuss career options with students
  • The School's Graduates society (Graduate Archaeologists at Oxford) is a student-led organization for graduate students in Archaeology, Classical Archaeology, and Archaeological Science at the University of Oxford. Among other activities GAO organises workshops for graduate students as part of the program for the development of graduate skills.
  • Skills training is also provided through the Social Sciences researcher development pages 
  • The School’s Research Support Officer provides regular updates on grant application opportunities to all researchers
  • Teaching opportunities and training can be offered in areas where postgraduate researchers are best able to contribute. There is the potential to work with the taught course elements of the undergraduate degree (the BA in Archaeology & Anthropology) – a full list of the undergraduate courses is available here

Useful links relating to career development and career management

  • Social Sciences Division - the Division provides details of upcoming programmes of events relevant to Early Career Researchers’ professional development. Resources are listed under the following career development themes: Milestones and personal development; Research integrity; Research methods; Writing & communication skills; Wellbeing; Teaching; Public engagement; and Fieldwork.
  • People and Organisational Development - POD provides a course directory of training and workshops on a wide range of topics in professional development.
  • Careers Service  - the University’s Careers Service offers support for career development both within and beyond academia.


To see our current curricula for the BA Archaeology & Anthropology click here, for the postgraduate taught courses click here.  

We oversee the content and structure of our curricula through our undergraduate and graduate teaching committees, which meet twice each term, including student representatives. In 2020-21 we are undergoing a process of reviewing our curricula from the perspective of diversity and inclusivity, through a working group making recommendations to the teaching committees. In the longer term this process will be taken forward by our Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity committee, in collaboration with the teaching committees.

Key to our efforts to diversify our curricula is the work of our subject librarian, Helen Worrell, the Archaeology and Tylor Anthropology Librarian at the Bodleian Libraries.


Helen Worrell's Diversifying Portraiture Project

Helen Worrell, the Archaeology and Tylor Anthropology Librarian at the Bodleian Libraries, created this exhibition of posters which debuted at the ASA conference in September, 2018. Helen's academic interests lie in LGBTQ studies, which she specialised in when studying for a MA (Hons) in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh.  She also holds an MA in Information and Library Management.  As well as working in the Bodleian Libraries, she is Vice-Chair of the Oxford University LGBT+ Advisory Group. 

The Tylor Library is part of the Bodleian Libraries and situated in the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography.  The Library currently has busts of Evans-Pritchard, Frazer, and Godfrey Lienhardt.  Whilst their contribution to the discipline remains invaluable, the Library and the School are keen to celebrate anthropologists from communities that have been overlooked.

Staff and students were invited to nominate an anthropologist who has inspired them from communities currently under-represented, for example people of colour, women, LGBTIQ+, disabled communities. The posters are now on permanent display throughout the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography. 


Helen is currently leading the project Changing the narrative: championing inclusive collection development for the Bodleian Libraries. 

Across the University many Departments are now undergoing changes to rectify historic gaps in teaching and enhance inclusivity.  In addition to top down curricula changes, students and researchers are setting up networks to examine these issues within Oxford University and campaign for change, see for example ‘Common Ground Oxford’ or TORCH’s ‘Queer Studies Network’.   Other GLAM institutions are also addressing the historic bias of their collections, for example the Pitt Rivers’ Public Engagement with Research strategy includes a focus on decolonisation of the museum and its collections, and the Ashmolean has promoted diversity through object-based learning. 

Inspired by this, the Social Sciences and Humanities Libraries wish to take a more proactive approach to collection development that enables us to think critically about the collections we currently hold so that we are aware of the gaps and the narrative these collections tell.  This will ensure the collections we build are used and useful, and continue their transformational impact. 

This project will champion diversifying our collection development across the Social Sciences and Humanities Subject Librarians’ network , and with the aim of enhancing collections in areas such as LGBT+ Studies, Disability Studies, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BME) Studies and the intersections between these identities.  

The project will seek input from those already working in these areas across the University to help identify gaps and concerns regarding our collections. 

If you have any questions, comments or want further information please email the project lead, Helen Worrell at Helen.Worrell@bodleian.ox.ac.uk   

Useful Links

University of Oxford Equality and Diversity Unit website [ https://edu.admin.ox.ac.uk/ ]

Latest University of Oxford Equality and Diversity Newsletter https://edu.admin.ox.ac.uk/news

People and Organisational Development (POD) https://pod.admin.ox.ac.uk/

Anti-racism resources https://edu.admin.ox.ac.uk/files/anti-racisminhighereducationresourcespdf

Disability Advisory Group https://edu.admin.ox.ac.uk/disability-advisory-group

Oxford University LGBTQ+ Society http://www.oulgbtq.org

LGBT+ Allies at the University of Oxford https://edu.admin.ox.ac.uk/lgbt-allies#/ 



Student Welfare www.ox.ac.uk/students/welfare/supportservice
Student Counselling Service: counselling@admin.ox.ac.uk

Oxford Nightline: https://oxfordnightline.org/  and phone:01865 270 270

Staff Counselling Service: occupationalhealth.admin.ox.ac.uk/employee-counselling-service

Togetherall free 24/7 mental health support for students and staff


Implicit bias in the workplace: online course

This online course introduces the topic of implicit bias and its origins, considers how it might manifest itself in our behaviour, and provides practical tips and reflections to help you reduce the risk of bias in your own work.

You will need your single sign on credentials to access the training - Implicit Bias in the Workplace


New online resource: Tackling race bias at work

There is considerable evidence that racial bias and discrimination continue to impact negatively on the working lives of people from a Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) background across the UK. Developed in partnership with Professor Binna Kandola, Senior Partner and co-founder of leading business psychology consultancy Pearn Kandola, this course takes a bold look at the nature of ‘modern racism’ and its influence in the workplace. It will offer staff the opportunity to better understand racism in the workplace and make key changes to tackle racism and race bias. 

You will need your single sign on credentials to access the training - Tackling Race bias at work