Union Black: Britain’s Black cultures and steps to anti-racism

The module ‘Union Black: Britain’s Black cultures & steps to anti-racism' is organised by Santander Universities UK in partnership with the Open University. Developed in response to Universities UK’s ‘Tackling racial harassment in higher education’ report, the course has been designed to drive cultural change across the higher education sector.

The free online education programme is available to everyone - students and staff - in UK Higher Education. There is a one-hour introductory course alongside the full content, which include a mixture of videos, discussion forums, reading materials and interactive activities, that you will be able to complete in your own time. 

The course is open until 27 May 2024.  

We're aiming for one in ten of the University community - students and staff - to complete the training.

Accessing the course

Please note that this module is hosted on a trusted third-party platform which requires you to provide personal data in order to register. Please make sure you read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Notice - including how your personal data will be processed and shared - carefully, and only accept them when you are comfortable doing so.

  1. Register on the Santander Scholarships platform by clicking on on the 'Enroll' button at the right of the webpage: create an account, enter your University details and click 'Apply'.  
  2. Once you have applied to the course, you will receive a confirmation email from 'Becas Santander'. Wait for your application to be approved - it should take about one working day.
  3. Once your application is approved, you will receive an email from 'FutureLearn' which invites you to the course. Register and join the course on FutureLearn.
  4. You should now be able to access the course on FutureLearn - you won't need to return to the Santander Scholarships platform. 

Please email Kai Tsao if you have any questions.


The training has been well received by those who have completed it, read our participants' feedback:

I completed the Union Black module because I wanted to develop my understanding of what it means to be anti-racist across my working and personal life. I have learned so much from this course and would really recommend it! The course encourages you to be curious and creates a really accessible learning environment. It inspired me and made me really self-reflect - and in all honesty at times made me feel uncomfortable realising things I haven't noticed before, and I'm so grateful for this opportunity to learn. 

Melissa Rose, course participant

The Union Black session takes you through a personal journey of empathy, self reflection and call for action on your own behaviours and thoughts. Some of the content will provoke your conscience, and may even make you uncomfortable, but there will also be content to help make you confident to be anti-racist. We must all engage in this programme to help tackle and dismantle racism. We can't become an ally simply by calling ourselves one without listening and learning.

Maria Ayaz, course participant

I found the Union Black module to be a very engaging and informative course about Black British history and culture. The module provides tangible steps to anti-racism through interesting videos, articles, exercises and interactive online discussions with fellow learners. Participants are invited to reflect upon their own experiences, actions and biases and learn how to be an anti-racist and ally by for example gaining insight into how to have open-minded and non-judgemental conversations. I recommend this module to all staff and students irrespective of their background as it introduces and discusses key definitions, such as social constructs, identity, whiteness and microaggressions, which are necessary to understand when working towards anti-racism. At the same time, the module provides a lot of information about further readings, resources and cultural events. For example, it was very interesting to learn about local Black British history as the remains of the Ivory Bangle Lady, a woman of North African descent in Roman York, were found here! I also liked the flexibility of the module as one can decide when to complete each section and how much time to spend on each exercise. 

Wiktoria Tafesse, course participant