Ruskin Modules

ARU’s innovative 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." Education Strategy 2018-2022, p. 8.

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 think critically, evaluate, and solve problems creatively (WEF, 2016). 

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. 

The inclusion of Ruskin Modules enables 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.  

Supporting interdisciplinarity

Supporting our commitment to interdisciplinarity, we offer a range of engaging workshops and webinars to guide you through the proposal, approval, and design process of Ruskin Modules. 

Find out about out our workshops and webinars to support the Ruskin Modules proposal, approval and design 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 (2016) The future of jobs: employment, skills and workforce strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.