module specification

SS5086 - Decolonisation and Dismantling Institutional Racism (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Decolonisation and Dismantling Institutional Racism
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
20 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
85 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Indicative word count 1,500
Coursework 50%   Equivalent to 10 hours activity
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module will provide an in-depth exploration of a specific form of racism, known as anti-Black racism, and the ways in which this permeates larger institutions and organisations such as healthcare, the judicial system and the media - cases may be drawn from smaller companies. Students will be given valuable insight into the constructions of race and how It is woven into the social and political fabric of British society, with an introduction to decolonial lenses such as Critical Race Theory and Black Feminism.
Students will explore multi-layered, nuanced narratives regarding the experiences of African and Caribbean Londoners, gaining a broad understanding of community organising in response to and in rejection of racist institutions. Additionally, students will learn of the contemporary approaches to community and grassroots organising that hail from the streets of London, operating outside of ‘traditional’ structures.
Students will immerse themselves in the narratives taught through instructor led educational visits, during which there will be a unique opportunity to learn from and network with activists, community workers, journalists, authors and more, drawing on their extensive grassroots experience.
The overall aim of this module is to develop a deep understanding of the multiple faces and disguises, that anti-Black racism wears and how this lurks even in the most unassuming spaces, institutions and cultural settings.

Students will be encouraged to begin constructing their decolonial and critical thinking skills within a non-tradition learning environment – combining historical analysis and teaching from those within the grassroots, both inside and outside of academia.

This module was designed and created by the award-winning educationalist activist Sofia Akel, whose work has featured in The Guardian, GRM Daily, Al-Jazeera, NBC, Huffington Post, Channel 4 News and more. Building on her expertise to create a unique, non-traditional community-oriented module.

This module was inspired by world-renowned journalist and USC academic Afua Hirsch. With thanks to Lionel Bunting and Zainab Khan for their support.


Please note that this module is being delivered innovatively over the semester period of 10-15 weeks
● Analysis of key institutions and the ways in which these uphold inherently racist structures.
● African and Caribbean community building in the face of enduring systemic oppression, from organising against racism to creating spaces of healing.
● Black-led organisations and individuals who are decolonising key segments of industry sectors such as healthcare, media and publishing.
● The intersectionality of experiences through the lens of Black feminism, including contemporary history of Black LGBTQIA+ lives.

Learning Outcomes LO1 - LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity within the module is indicated in the section below.

● Scheduled learning and teaching comprise face-to-face contact hours and planned educational visits 

● Students are encouraged to engage in self-directed learning experiences outside the taught sessions.

A virtual learning environment supports the module containing relevant learning and teaching materials such as lecture slides, discussion questions, case studies, assessment and grading criteria, deadlines and feedback details.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module students will be able to:

LO1: Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the ways in which anti-Black racism exists within various institutions and organisations.

LO2: To effectively communicate the ways in which African and Caribbean Londoners responded to, resisted and cultivated communities of healing in opposition to systemic racism.

L03: To analyse multi-dimensional, complex narratives of inner-city London living, thinking beyond reductive mainstream racialised narratives.

LO4: To apply critical thinking skills within the framework of decolonisation, looking beyond a colonial lens in participating in and discovering non-traditional modes of learning and assessment. This includes enhancing their creative skills utilising modern mediums such as spoken word, short videos, and more in collaborative and independent study.

Assessment strategy

Students will write an essay reflecting on their learnings from a key topic studied in this module, where they will write a nuanced analysis of the ways in which anti-Black racism manifests in their chosen institution.

Students will be given a selection of creative briefs centred on archiving the work of Black-led community organisations in London through mediums such as mini video documentaries, photography or blogs, where they will explore the impact of community spaces for healing. Each student will choose only one creative brief. This should be completed with accompanying documentation such as agreed evidence that reflects the learning outcomes.


● Arday, J. and Safia Mirza, H. (2018). Dismantling Race in Higher Education Racism, Whiteness and Decolonising the Academy. Cham Springer International Publishing.
● Aurélien Mondon and Winter, A. (2020). Reactionary democracy: how racism and the populist far right became mainstream. London: Verso Books.
● Binna Kandola (2018). RACISM AT WORK: the danger of indifference. Pearn Kandola.
● Bryan, B., Dadzie, S. and Scafe, S. (2018). The heart of the race: black women’s lives in Britain. London: Verso.
● Crenshaw, K., Gotanda, N., Peller, G. and Thomas, K. (1996). Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement. The New Press.
● Caleb Azumah Nelson (2021). Open water. London: Viking, An Imprint of Penguin Books.
● Gilroy, B. (2021). Black Teacher. S.L.: Faber and Faber.
● Goodfellow, M. (2020). HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT: how immigrants became scapegoats. S.L.: Verso.
● Hall, S., Gilroy, P. and Ruth Wilson Gilmore (2021). Selected writings on race and difference. Durham: Duke University Press.
● Holding, M., Hawkins, E. and Usain Bolt (2021). Why we kneel, how we rise. London: Simon & Schuster.
● Hylton, K. (2009). “Race” and sport: critical race theory. London; New York: Routledge.
● LB, J. (2021). Keisha The Sket. Merky Books.
● Marya, R. and Raj Patel (2021). Inflamed: deep medicine and the anatomy of injustice. London: Allen Lane.
● Olufemi, L. (2020). Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power (Outspoken). London, UK: Pluto Press.
● Otegha Uwagba (2020). Whites: on Race and Other Falsehoods. HarperCollins Publishers Limited.
● Reni Eddo-Lodge (2018). Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.
● Saini, A. (2020). SUPERIOR: the return of race science. 4th Estate.
● Sobande, F. (2020). The digital lives of black women in Britain. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.
Audio and Visual:

● Babylon. (1980). [Film] National Film Trustee Company Ltd.
● Dave (2019). Psychodrama. [Streamed] Neighbourhood. Available at:
● Small Axe. (2020). BBC.
● The Black Maternity Scandal: Dispatches, (2021). Channel 4. 29 Mar.