Picture of model of urban architecture

Open Access research that is exploring the innovative potential of sustainable design solutions in architecture and urban planning...

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the Department of Architecture based within the Faculty of Engineering.

Research activity at Architecture explores a wide variety of significant research areas within architecture and the built environment. Among these is the better exploitation of innovative construction technologies and ICT to optimise 'total building performance', as well as reduce waste and environmental impact. Sustainable architectural and urban design is an important component of this. To this end, the Cluster for Research in Design and Sustainability (CRiDS) focuses its research energies towards developing resilient responses to the social, environmental and economic challenges associated with urbanism and cities, in both the developed and developing world.

Explore all the Open Access research of the Department of Architecture. Or explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research...

Towards transformative learning methods for interdisciplinary postgraduate education for sustainable development (ESD) : a case study

Grierson, David and Munro, Karen (2017) Towards transformative learning methods for interdisciplinary postgraduate education for sustainable development (ESD) : a case study. ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research. pp. 1-21. ISSN 1938-7806 (In Press)

Text (Grierson-Munro-ArchNetIJAR2017-Transformative-learning-methods-in-interdisciplinary-postgraduate)
Accepted Author Manuscript
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 logo

Download (4MB) | Preview


This paper explores the relationship between education for sustainable development (ESD) and interdisciplinarity in the context of architecture and engineering higher education, presenting a case study of the University of Strathclyde Glasgow's Sustainable Engineering (SE) postgraduate programme, within the wider context of common principles and practices present across HEIs. The paper - one of a series - offers an overview of the SE programme between 2004 and 2015 (coinciding with UNDESD) and discusses its growing focus on interdisciplinarity and the introduction of transformative learning methods over the study period. The study uses a methodology of statistical analysis of enrolment and graduation trends on the SE programme alongside a discursive analysis of course and module provision specific to learning methods for ESD and interdisciplinarity. The study finds that, within the SE programme, both the courses and modules that have an SD focus exhibit the greatest longevity over the study period and are selected by students significantly more often than other courses and modules. The finding supports previous studies that report an increased appetite for such courses and classes. The learning methods employed on the modules align with those considered exemplary in the literature surrounding ESD, and demonstrate the programme's aspirations towards increased interdisciplinarity in postgraduate ESD. The paper provides insight into the practices and outcomes of a specific longstanding programme, offering opportunity for reflection, discussion and comparison with similar programmes.