About the CETLD

RIBA Education Room

History and background

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) awarded the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning through Design for a five year period from 1st April 2005 to 31st March 2010. "The HEFCE Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) initiative had two main aims: to reward excellent teaching practice, and to further invest in that practice so that CETLs' funding delivers substantial benefits to students, teachers and institutions."

This Centre was created through a unique partnership built on a series of former bilateral relationships between highter education (Brighton and the RCA) and two distinctive and eminent national cultural institutions (V&A and RIBA).


The CETLD film 2010 

The CETLD Film 2010 summarises the results of the initiative:        Click here to watch the CETLD Film

The CETLD introductory film 

The CETLD Film introduces the core aims and objectives of the initiative: Click here to watch the CETLD Film


The CETLD is an example of partnership that demonstrates both the challenges and opportunities of interdisciplinary working, of learning how to work together and developing a series of shared aims and goals over many months of listening and talking, trial and error.

CETLD key themes

The key themes that the partnership developed were agreed because the issues identified were shared between all partners and sectors, even if the language used to describe them varied.

  • Learning Spaces (Physical/Virtual/Imaginary)
  • Practice Based Learning and object scholarship (through the interpretation of artifacts and drawings in archives and museum collections);
  • Interdisciplinarity in design education;
  • The student voice: personalised learning, student centred learning;
  • Use and application of collections;
  • Innovative pedagogic research and evaluation;
  • Employer engagement

As the CETLD matured so did these themes and opportunities emerged for new and original research in fields that would provide both immediate benefits for the partnership and raise longer-term questions about future relationships between our different sectors. The CETLD also elected to provide strategic support for a series of larger research projects as well as to encourage and support staff and student-led projects that focused on their chosen areas for learning and development.  Overall the CETLD has enhanced learning through the provision of equipment as well as alterations to the University of Brighton and to the V&A and RIBA buildings.

“Since the completion of the CETLD-Bene Education Room at the RIBA we have had over 1500 design and architecture students in under two years, which is a huge number for us when before we have inducted maybe 50/60 per year” 
Irena Murray, Sir Banister Fletcher Director of the RIBA British Architectural Library.