Tyler Volk's book Metapatterns is subtitled 'Across Space, Time and Mind' - highlighting three distinct areas in which we might examine patterns. I have started to address some of the aspects of pattern in spatial terms, in my work on natural pattern that you can see some of here.
I've also been thinking a lot recently about mental patterns, patterns of mind - what we might also refer to as habits. This seems a fruitful area to explore for the Diploma student. In fact a commonly referenced book in regard to learning as a Diploma student, uses the formulation 'habit': Stephen R. Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; Powerful Lessons in Personal Change.
Two other resources which may be useful in this regard are Leo Babuta's book and website Zen Habits, and Charles Duhigg's book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.