Is interdisciplinarity the new zeitgeist for higher education? Recognition of the need for interdisciplinary research to address global, societal challenges is accelerating. Policymakers and non-governmental organisations frequently call for an evidence base that integrates social, cultural and economic dimensions with the natural and medical sciences.
This research provides a literature review of interdisciplinary provision, maps the scale and type of current provision within the UK and looks to identify plans and trends for the future. It seeks to answer the following questions:
- What are the pedagogies that are likely to provide distinctive opportunities for interdisciplinarity?
- What are the key elements of effective practice that are identified within the literature?
- For which of these is there a robust evidence base evaluating the effectiveness of interdisciplinarity?
- What gaps exist in the existing literature in relation to: (a) types of disciplines that are not widely evaluated and for which there is a strong prima facie case that they are high impact; (b) the scope for the existing evidence bases to be further strengthened and developed?
- What are the principles supporting interdisciplinarity in undergraduate and postgraduate taught education?