Fieldwork and disabled students: Discourses of exclusion and inclusion

Tim Hall*, Mick Healey, Margaret Harrison

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Disabled students from a significant but under represented minority in higher education in the UK. Participation appears to be particularly low in disciplines that contain a fieldwork component. Fieldwork has been recognized as a barrier to the participation of disabled students. This paper emphasizes a critical perspective on fieldwork, highlighting the way in which fieldcourses as currently conceived, enacted and experienced, can exclude disabled students. It discusses a survey of the experiences of providing learning support to disabled students undertaking fieldwork in geography, earth and environmental science departments in the UK. It also considers the various ways in which the images, spaces, practices and cultures of fieldwork may exclude or marginalize disabled students and the different ways in which fieldwork may be made more inclusive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-280
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Geography in Higher Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Disabled students
  • Discourses
  • Exclusion
  • Fieldwork
  • Higher education
  • Strategies for inclusion


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