Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Ruskin Modules

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ARU’s innovative and award-winning Ruskin Modules bring students together from different disciplines to creatively develop the capacity for critical reflection and reasoned argument, integrating the acquisition of graduate capitals with wider societal concerns and challenges.

Skills for a dynamic world 

In today's rapidly evolving landscape defined by the fourth industrial revolution, the possibilities are both exhilarating and daunting. The UK's Industrial Strategy highlights the disruptive nature of this revolution, which affects every sector and presents unprecedented opportunities and challenges (UK Government, 2017). Ruskin Modules support our students in developing the skills needed to navigate this dynamic world successfully.  

Universities UK emphasises the importance of evaluating, analysing, and presenting subject matter while creating original knowledge (Universities UK, 2017). The World Economic Forum echoes these sentiments, highlighting the need for a deeper understanding of complex subjects and the ability to collaborate, solve problems, and think critically, creatively and flexibly (WEF, 2023). 

Collaboration and interdisciplinarity 

Ruskin Modules are also an invitation to broaden horizons, nurture intellectual flexibility, and unlock creative potential. While disciplines and subject-specific knowledge continue to scaffold knowledge, there is increasing recognition that interdisciplinary learning, teaching and thinking will meet global and societal challenges. 

"Individual intelligence is no longer enough" (Syed, 2019) and Ruskin Modules recognise the opportunities for transcending disciplinary boundaries and working together. Through collaboration, students cultivate the confidence to actively seek out opportunities and maximise their potential. Ruskin Modules empower students to embrace this changing landscape, giving them a distinctive edge for success in the workplace of the future. 

Ruskin Modules enable students to: 

  • cultivate complex problem-solving skills  
  • develop team working and collaboration skills, respect diversity, and be culturally sensitive; 
  • critically reflect on the limitations of a single discipline to solve wider societal concerns;  
  • meaningfully connect disciplines, and apply new knowledge to key challenges; 
  • participate as a responsible citizen in the life of local, national and global communities; 
  • recognise, and critically reflect on issues of social responsibility, ethical conduct and sustainability; 
  • encourage an appreciation of ambiguity. 

Ready to embark on an educational adventure like no other? Ruskin Modules are where vibrant ideas converge, and extraordinary possibilities await.  

Prospective students: visit our website to find out more about ARU’s innovative and unique Ruskin Modules, and how they can complement your course, boost your skills and offer you something different.

Students: visit our dedicated My ARU pages to find out more and choose the right Ruskin Module for you. 

Staff: visit the Ruskin Modules Toolkit to find out more about Ruskin Modules, including the support and CPD available to guide you through the proposal, approval, design and delivery process. 

Join our Interdisciplinary Education Network 

If you are interested in interdisciplinary learning and teaching, please email [email protected] to join our interdisciplinary education network. Members discuss ideas, share experience, provide support and opportunities to collaborate for research and scholarship.   

References and further reading

Coonan, E. and Pratt-Adams, S. Building Higher Education Curricula Fit for the FutureAdvanceHE.

de Greef, L., Post, G., Vink, C. and Wenting, L. (2017) Designing interdisciplinary education: a practical handbook for university teachers. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

HM Government (2017) Industrial Strategy: building a Britain fit for the future. doi: 10.1787/9789264266490-en

Lyall, C., Meagher, L., Bandola, J. and Kettle, A. (2017) Interdisciplinary provision in higher education: current and future challenges. AdvanceHE.

McKie, A. (2019) How to equip graduates for the future. Times Higher Education.

Syed, M. (2019) Rebel Ideas: the Power of Diverse Thinking. London: John Murray Press. 

Universities UK (2018) Solving future skills challenges. London.

World Economic Forum (2023) The future of jobs report 2023.