Why pursue interdisciplinary education?

Interdisciplinary studies provide students with more than just one perspective on a particular subject. Comparing, contrasting, connecting, adding to and modifying disciplinary concepts, theories and methodologies generates new insights.

How does interdisciplinary education benefit students, lecturers and the organisation itself? 

Students:

  • Exploring the interfaces of different disciplines encourages students to work together and share expertise with each other and with lecturers.
  • It provides an opportunity to reveal the synergies between different methods of research and analysis.
  • It enables students to tackle difficult challenges by coming at problems from different angles.
  • Academics with a broad background provide added value for the labour market. Employers often look for staff who can combine a specialist foundation with a broad understanding of their entire academic field.   
  • An interdisciplinary education gives students the opportunity to discover where their interests lie.
  • Interdisciplinary education teaches students to be critical and independent thinkers. 

Lecturers:

  • Lecturers have the opportunity to work with colleagues from different disciplines. This encourages collaborations.
  • Interdisciplinary education provides opportunities for personal and professional growth in teaching.  
  • Interdisciplinary education offers a variety of pedagogical models, some with a high degree of collaboration, others with a lower degree of collaboration, but all providing the opportunity to learn from each other. 

The organisation

  • Interdisciplinary education brings different colleagues and departments together.
  • It encourages a heterogeneous student body within a particular course or study programme, and leads to high levels of interaction.   
  • The development of interdisciplinary education can lead to other types of innovation.
  • There is a demand for these types of study programmes from students. 

Published by  Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies

7 May 2014