Interdisciplinary Study Programmes: Controversies of Conception and Structure

Nijole Putriene


Institutions of higher education often create and implement study programmes designed on the basis of several disciplines. In pursuing for success and vitality of study programmes, the constant observance of the requirements characteristic for a programme is necessary; thus it should be important for every institution to clearly identify characteristics of different study programmes. However, the experience shows that in most institutions terms of different multiple disciplinary study programmes are not clearly defined.

Due to this reason this article analyzes definitions of different study programmes presented in scientific literature and some characteristics of these programmes are highlighted.

First of all the article discusses the phenomenon of interdisciplinarity (multiple disciplinarity) as well as coherences and differences of multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity are pointed out. It is also analyzed what aspects of multiple disciplinarity are distinguished in defining different interdisciplinary study programmes.

It has been identified that main aspects, which characterize different study programmes in defining them in scientific literature, are as follows: aim, structure of programme content and requirements for collaboration of lecturers and students. Multidisciplinary study programmes consist of disciplinary modules, pursue to convey the knowledge of assigned disciplines and do not highlight particular requirements for collaborating among lecturers of different disciplines. Interdisciplinary study programmes consist of modules designed on the basis of several disciplines and it is pursued for critical and analytical thinking of students. In the case of these study programmes active collaboration of lecturers from different disciplines is necessary. Modules of transdisciplinary study programmes are constructed by overstepping the borders of science fields and combining different forms of knowledge. Members of non-academic community are involved into creation and implementation of the programme.



study programme; multidisciplinary; interdisciplinarity; transdisciplinarity

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Print ISSN: 1392-0758
Online ISSN: 2029-7319