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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Successfully submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of MA in Higher Education to the Technologicl University Dublin in 2011


The research presented in this thesis focuses on two objectives, the first and main objective being to investigate the impact of discipline cultures on the development and delivery of cross-disciplinary undergraduate education on the BSc. in Product Design at the Technologicl University Dublin. The second objective of the thesis is to consider the changes that occur as a result of the ‘tribes’ cohabitating on these cross-disciplinary education programs. The underlying interest in answering these questions lies in the implications for the way in which programs, which have a cross-disciplinary intention, structure, develop the syllabus, enable discourse and facilitate collaboration in order to maximise the potential of their objectives. Several literatures were relevant to the research and material was interrogated from design, academic and discipline culture, curriculum development, collaboration, identity, higher education, teaching and learning and knowledge construction. The themes used to structure the research questionnaire were essentially derived from this literature. Academic and management staff from across three different schools representative of three different and distinct academic disciplines and cultures were interrogated about their experience of this cross-disciplinary and cross-college educational intervention. The research presented in this thesis makes a contribution to the understanding of the way in which discipline cultures impact on the development of cross-disciplinary educational interventions. The results indicate a particular importance on socialisation as an enabler within cross-disciplinary collaborations. Based on the findings and conclusions of this study, implications for the future development of this and future educational interventions of this nature are described with recommendations on future research opportunities