Due to the Corona Virus the information regarding study and examination for semester 2 (block 3 and 4) is not up-to-date. For the latest news please check the course page in Blackboard/Brightspace.


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Transdisciplinary skills



GoS students need transdisciplinary skills (TDS) to address sustainability challenges. TDS are required to work in a transdisciplinary setting with diverse stakeholders, cultures, knowledge sources and experiences. These processes require the ability to integrate new knowledge, cooperate within diverse groups, prevent conflicts among stakeholders, find creative ways to communicate complex issues.

TDS will train students in these skills, with a balance between theory and practice, by drawing on the perspectives of different instructors, a range of academic disciplines, and (most important) community stakeholders.

Plenary lectures and workshops will prepare you for -- and test you in -- using course skills in carrying out field work around The Hague. Workshop groups (WG) of students will focus on different local GoS themes (e.g., fisheries, energy, migration, climate adaption, urban biodiversity, etc.) that we may assign or WGs may choose. Examples: “How are fisheries managed in The Hague (in terms of sustainability, community, etc.)? or “how sustainable is (internal and external) migration towards life in The Hague?” WGs will interact with stakeholders, communities and various organizations as they define problems, engage with stakeholders, and co-create solutions. Ready to start?

Learning outcomes

Students will leave the course with stronger skills in the following areas:
1. Problem framing
2. Team building
3. Community engagement and co-production of solutions
4. Applying knowledge

In addition, you will be able to:

  • Understand why sustainability challenges require transdisciplinary skills;

  • Reflect upon your own opinions and ideas -- and change them when better information is presented;

  • Create new ideas and contribute to solutions based on community and academic sources;

  • Work in groups with people of diverse academic backgrounds, cultural perspectives and personal styles.


The course will be taught on Mondays for 12 weeks that are divided into 6 “odd” weeks (1, 3, 5, etc.) and 6 even weeks (2, 4, 6, etc.). During odd weeks, there are Plenaries (all students) and sections (1/3 of students in each room). During even weeks, there are team meetings (1/3 of students in each room).

Teaching method/mode of instruction

Plenary lectures will introduce ideas. Hands-on workshops and team-work in the classroom and field work in The Hague will help students practice transdisciplinary skills. Activities and assessments will provide targets and deadlines. Stakeholders will provide insights and define success.

Course load

  • Total course load for the course (6 EC x 28 hours): 168 hours.

  • Plenaries, seminars and workshops (6 hours per 2 weeks x 6 weeks): 36 hours

  • Field work (4 hours x 3 weeks): 12 hours

  • Assessments: 48 hours

  • Preparation and reading time (6 hours x 12 weeks): 72 hours

Assessment method

  1. Problem analysis via problem trees: Team grade (5%)
  2. Three minute elevator pitch: Individual grade (5%)
  3. Video pitch: Team grade (25%)
  4. Stakeholder dialogue: Team grade (20%)
  5. Peer critiques of draft briefings: Individual grade (2 x 5%)
  6. Final individual briefings: Individual grade (25%)
  7. Participation: Individual grade (10%)

All assessments are required. There are no re-takes, no substitutions and no make-ups.

Reading list

Leavy, Patricia (2011). Essentials of Transdisciplinary Research: Using Problem-Centered Methodologies. Routledge. ISBN 9781598745931.
Other readings (approximately 1-2 per week) will be provided via Brightspace.