Sharing Good Practice Seminar Series: Threshold Concepts: the jewels in the curriculum, Dr Linda Martindale

Threshold concepts: The jewels in the curriculum
Exploring troublesome and transformative learning in higher education

Threshold concepts theory (Meyer and Land, 2003) has attracted interest from the wide range of disciplines in higher education since it was first written about fifteen years ago. It has been applied in educational research and curriculum design work to explore difficulty and transformation in learning. Described by Perkins (2006) as a theory of educational difficulty, threshold concepts focuses on troublesome aspects of learning, that tend to provoke a liminal experience for students, usually linked to transformed understanding and/or identity. Threshold concepts have been described as the “jewels in the curriculum” (Land et al, 2005) because they capture the essence of disciplines, the concepts without which expertise in the discipline is simply not attainable. In this seminar threshold concepts will be explored, including the underpinning principles of troublesomeness, transformation and liminality that define thresholds. Research in threshold concepts from healthcare, doctoral studies and scholarship will be discussed, to demonstrate how it is being applied in both research and curriculum development.

Linda Martindale Dr Linda Martindale is a senior lecturer and Head of Post-registration and Postgraduate Studies in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. She has been interested in threshold concepts for over 10 years and her PhD study looked at threshold concepts in research and evidence-based practice for undergraduate nursing students. She is currently reviewing threshold concepts in academic scholarship, working with a University colleague, and co-convenes the special interest group Threshold Concepts in Health.


The Academic Skills Centre Sharing Good Practice Seminar Series will have a year-long focus on aspects of Scholarship. This follows on from our initial Symposium, co-hosted by the School of Social Sciences, Defining Scholarship: Challenges and Perspectives, which took place in September 2017.

Light lunch provided. Booking essential.

Tickets: Free Book a Place