Undergraduates as interdisciplinary researchers

Professor Derek Raine

I describe an undergraduate Science programme that is novel in several respects. It is inherently interdisciplinary with each module in the three year (BSc) or four year (MSci) programme based round an interdisciplinary problem from physics, chemistry and biology. The programme is taught by problem-based learning, with students undertaking guided interdisciplinary research. This brings all aspects of the research process into the undergraduate curriculum. The teaching is provided by a core team of qualified teaching staff with contributions as 'guest lecturers' and project supervisors from around 50 research academics. The article looks at the background to the development of the programme and the lessons learnt for the 'personalised curriculum'.   

About the author

Derek Raine is Professor of Interdisciplinary Science and Associate Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Science at the University of Leicester. During his career he has developed several initiatives in both research-based and problem-based learning.