There are a number of opportunities for getting wayfinding training and to study wayfinding. Below are the best options.
Wayfinding and Navigation are quite specialised subject areas and tend to be studied and covered within various other disciplines within academia. You will generally find that you will need to study this subject area as a part of a Tourism, Geography, City Planning, Architecture or another inter-related degree or course. There are some places though to study this subject and some of the best options are below
Study Wayfinding Online
The easiest way if you want to study directly online as a student or as a professional looking to develop your understanding of:
all courses above taught by Dr Paul Symonds of travelwayfinding.com
Teachers Training Pack
Course Outline and Objectives
This overall goal of this training programme is to provide participants with a solid understanding of the wayfinding basics.
At the end of the course, participants should be able to:
Understand what wayfinding is, its importance and how it is used in different environments.
Appreciate design basics in accordance with wayfinding.
Understand key requirements in wayfinding (including catering to all user types).
Have a clear appreciation for key challenges and issues that need to be catered for in wayfinding.
How to plan a wayfinding audit.
How to evaluate an existing location and create a wayfinding strategy.
Under the guidance of Dr Jan Wiener, Bournemouth University has a dedicated satellite website set-up and which highlights their team on the South Coast. Bournemouth has set up a VR-eye-tracking lab. The team have previously used eye-tracking software and hardware to evaluate some attractions. Opportunities to study at Bournemouth tend to be at post-graduate level.
Tourism and Navigation Course
Many universities across the UK though offer Tourism degrees and you can certainly then make the focus of your research wayfinding or navigation based. Geography departments are also a good option given the way in which city planning and architecture sometimes play a vital role in navigation. Consider for example the NYC grid system as opposed to the city design of London and the differences in navigating between streets. There are some creative ways to get involved with this subject and the BSc undergraduate degree in Plymouth University, England, in Navigation and Maritime Science provides a typical option for studying wayfinding or navigation through a niche.
Another option is to consider studying ‘Transport Studies’ a subject which can be fascinating and which tends to cover many of the same disciplines which can be important in wayfinding and navigation. Universities such as UWE (University of the West of England) offer courses such as an MSc in Transport Planning and opportunities to study wayfinding through a PhD are also possible (more info via www1.uwe.ac.uk/).
Other universities in the UK you might want to consider include:
- Imperial College London – who also offer various transport studies courses.
- The University of Leeds – and their self-named ‘Institute for Transport Research’ with courses at undergraduate and post-graduate levels.
- Cardiff University in Wales with a Masters degree in ‘Transport and Planning‘.
Airport or Port Management
One more way into wayfinding can be to study a subject such as an airport management, if you might be looking to do a thesis or undertake research in a specific travel space, such as an airport. Several British universities offer appropriate courses including the:
- University of West London – and under and postgraduate courses in Airport Management.
- Cranfield University – the most prestigious place to study in the UK if you wish to study airport or airline studies, their MSc in Airport Planning is a well-respected qualification.
Another term and subject area which you may not have considered yet is ideal for those of you interested in courses related to wayfinding, is to study ‘Travel and Mobility Studies’. At the time of writing a university such as Warwick University which is based in Coventry in the Midlands.
Passini (1992) in his book ‘Wayfinding: People, signs and architecture is one of the key book sin Wayfinding literature and his book is central to this subect of study from an architectural point of view. Studying architecture with a view then specialising in wayfinding is certainly a very viable option. Various universities across the UK offer architecture courses including the University of Westminster and the University of Bath.
Similar to in the UK, wayfinding related studies tend to cross over into a range of key university subject areas including Geography, Tourism and Architecture (i.e. as part of city planning studies). A large number of U.S. universities consider wayfinding important enough such that they have their own wayfinding pages on their own sites, but they simultaneously do not consider it important enough to teach as its own subject.
If you are looking for a specific course for routes into doing research specific to wayfinding, the following are some good options to first consider:
- The Institute of Transportation Studies at the well respected University of California Berkeley is one of the best choices if you can get accepted into one of their programs.
- Florida Institute of Technology and their Masters in airport development.
- For studying architecture in the U.S. and then specialising in wayfinding, one of the best choices, if you can get in, is Columbia School of Architecture.
Workshops (Teacher or Trainer led) & Home study – Worldwide
We are developing a number of wayfinding and wayfaring related training programmes and you can visit our training page to learn more. If you have any bespoke requirements for training, please feel free to contact us.
Another field of study which incorporates wayfinding is the field of Environmental psychology. This area focuses on how we interact with the environment i.e. our surroundings. Issues such as global warming and climate change are included in this area but equally so is the field of wayfinding. Many universities in the UK, USA and other countries do offer courses in Environmental psychology. A few examples include: