Courses Overview >> Postgraduate Programmes >> MA, Ecology and Spirituality

MA, Ecology and Spirituality

MA, PG Dip, PG Cert

Full and part-time blended learning

Applications Deadline 1st November

Programme Registration Schumacher College 5 January, 2018

Why Ecology and Spirituality?Ecology and Spirituality at Schumacher College

At this moment of profound ecological crisis, many are calling for a fundamental rethink of our attitudes towards the environment. The ecological crisis is, they say, a spiritual crisis.

Our MA programme in Ecology and Spirituality takes this call seriously while providing a critical, intellectual framework for students to think through its implications. What would an ecological spirituality look like? Is there a universal ecological ethic by which we can all abide? What do we mean by spirituality and are our notions as universal and ahistorical as is typically claimed? What are the philosophical and intellectual roots of our ecological crisis? Can Western epistemology offer a solution or does intellectual abstraction always leave us removed from the world? What happens if we take indigenous world views seriously and can we learn to be animists?

This wide-ranging programme draws on theory and thought from a number of disciplines including Ecology, Religious Studies, Anthropology, Philosophy, and the History of Ideas. Its ultimate aim is to provide students with a transformational programme of study during which they can question old certainties, seek intellectual justification for beliefs and practises, and discover new ways to align lifestyle with values.

Resident Teachers

Dr Stephan Harding
Dr Andy Letcher
Dr Eve Anneke
Dr Fiona Tilley
Colin Campbell

A number of visiting teachers contribute to this programme and in the past have included Rupert Sheldrake, Martin Shaw, Carla Stang, Pat McCabe, Graham Harvey, Christopher Titmus, Emmanuel Vaughan Lee and Greg Cajete.

Why study with us?Dartington Hall, Dartington

Since 1991, Schumacher College has been pioneering radical new thinking in holistic science, economics, ecology, myth and spirituality, attracting leading teachers, practitioners and activists from across the globe. We have inspired and supported thousands of organisations and individuals from many different countries in their quest to achieve a more sustainable and equitable world.

Situated in the beautiful Dartington Estate, the College is renowned as a place of transformative, holistic learning. Our teaching methods include a range of whole-person learning techniques that are aimed at the personal transformation and development of each individual and the group as a whole. The programme will be held in the Elmhirst Centre, adjacent to the spectacular medieval hall and magical gardens of Dartington.

The MA in Ecology and Spirituality is run in partnership with the University of Wales Trinity St. Davids at Lampeter. Founded in 1822, Lampeter is one of the oldest centres for academic study of theology, philosophy and spirituality in England and Wales.

Partnership between these two academic centres allows for a radical and unique postgraduate programme that combines rigorous theoretical investigation with a high degree of experiential work and the opportunity to explore spiritual practice.

The Awarding Body for the Ecology and Spirituality programme is the University of Wales (TSD).

The MA is taught residentially at Schumacher College in Devon and via distance learning from the University of Wales Trinity St Davids at Lampeter.

Who is it for?

The course will appeal to anyone looking to enrich their understanding through a programme of intellectual enquiry into the nature of ecology and spirituality. Students will have the opportunity to examine, question and challenge their existing assumptions through disciplined interrogation and deep experiential reflection, so as to arrive at a more nuanced and critically thought-through position.

The interdisciplinary nature of the MA means it will appeal to people from a variety of academic backgrounds, but who are nonetheless drawn to undertake critical and reflexive study.

"In a world of strident demands, vociferous threats and a seemingly never-ending array of violent exploitations of humans and nature alike, it is unsurprising that our students are on a different search. Tech-savvy, riveted by the contradictions and tensions between science, spirit and empire, our explorers are not fooled by quick fixes. Free from the mindless numbing of disconnected lives, they are deep in dialogues of radically pragmatic philosophy, knowing that engaging at these levels is where the opportunity lies to best influence the vast transitions ahead. They want to lead the way to lives of engaged lightness and meaning, wise choices and sound judgement, though they know well the frustrations of sitting in long silence without easy answers. We need navigators like these in our seemingly inexplicable world."
Dr Eve Annecke

 

What can I do next?

Alumni from Schumacher College's masters programmes have transformed their learning into practical action in a diverse variety of creative ways, catalysing change through leadership, facilitation, policy, science, education and activism.

"It's difficult to put into words exactly what this course has done for me. I think people come here expecting some big life-changing, wake-up moment, but for me it happened in little moments. And I know that throughout my life I will keep finding little moments that link back to these first moments at Schumacher. Many ideas, beliefs, emotions and thoughts have taken root in me over the past month. You may call Schumacher an academic college, a spiritual institution, a beautiful place to live and study, but what is it really? In essence: it's a place for the future to take root."
Amy Martin, MA Ecology and Spirituality 2017

 

Learning experience

Residential modules at Schumacher College are taught through a mixture of lectures, student-led seminars and presentations, practical and experiential workshops, field excursions, one-to-one tutorials, and reading groups. Students will be expected to read or watch preparatory material for most sessions. Reading lists will be provided, though these are meant merely as a guide, and we expect student reading to be self-directed.

The structure of each day varies, but there are generally two formal teaching sessions in the morning. Afternoons are either free for study and integration, or are set aside for tutorials, reading-groups, experiential sessions or excursions. Evenings may also be free, or there may be guest speakers or other extra-mural activities.

There is a reading week at the end of each module, and while not compulsory, students are encouraged to stay to get the most out of the college’s resources and to use the time to reflect on and digest what has been learned.

Distance learning modules are taught through a mixture of video lectures, guided readings, webinars, and one-to-one contact with lecturers (in person or via Skype).

What will I learn?

In order to provide as much variety and access as possible, whilst benefiting from the content and experience of both Schumacher College and University of Wales Trinity Saint David, the programme will blend residential modules taught at Schumacher College, with online options offered by University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

This programme is designed to provide each individual with a transformative learning journey. The residential modules will be delivered as an immersive experience with limited group size, high contact time and group facilitation. The online modules may be studied whilst resident at the College, or at a distance, thus allowing participants to study at home or continue in employment.  

All students must take the first compulsory module ‘Ecology and Spirituality’, which is residential at Schumacher College. Thereafter, we recommend students follow one of two streams, either:
• The residential stream: taking residential modules at Schumacher College.
• The distance learning stream: taking distance learning modules via UWTSD at Lampeter.

A blend of the two is possible but requires much more self-directed study and should be discussed in advance with the Programme  Coordinator at Schumacher College.

January
 
Ecology and Spirituality
Core Module - Compulsory
Credits: 20
Delivery: Schumacher College
Location: Schumacher College, The Elmhirst Centre
Duration: 4 weeks (3 taught weeks, 1 reading week)
Dates: 8 Jan - 2 Feb
February - May The Ecological Self
Optional Module
Credits: 20
Delivery: Schumacher College / UWTSD
Location: Schumacher College, The Elmhirst Centre
Duration: 4 weeks (3 taught weeks, 1 reading week)
Dates: 5 Feb - 2 March
Environmental Philosophy
Optional Module
Credits: 20
Delivery: UWTSD
Location: Distance
Duration: 12 weeks
Indigeny Today
Optional Module
Credits: 20
Delivery: Schumacher College / UWTSD
Location: Schumacher College, The Elmhirst Centre
Duration: 4 weeks (3 taught weeks, 1 reading week)
Dates: 5 - 30 March
Religion and the Environment
Optional Module
Credits: 20
Delivery: UWTSD
Location: Distance
Duration: 12 weeks
Sacred Activism
Optional Module
Credits: 20
Delivery: Schumacher College
Location: Schumacher College, The Elmhirst Centre
Duration: 4 weeks
Dates: 16 April - 11 May
 
May - September Western Esotericism
Optional Module
Credits: 20
Delivery: Schumacher College
Location: Schumacher College, The Elmhirst Centre
Duration: 4 weeks (3 taught weeks, 1 reading week)
Dates: 14 May - 8 June
Heavenly Discourse
Optional Module
Credits: 20
Delivery: UWTSD
Location: Distance
Duration: 12 weeks
Evolution and Spirituality
Optional Module
Credits: 20
Delivery: Schumacher College
Location: Schumacher College, The Elmhirst Centre
Duration: 4 weeks (3 taught weeks, 1 reading week)
Dates: 11 June - 6 July
Environmental Philosophy
Optional Module
Credits: 20
Delivery: UWTSD
Location: Distance
Duration: 12 weeks
Religion and the Environment
Optional Module
Credits: 20
Delivery: UWTSD
Location: Distance
Duration: 12 weeks
Cosmology, Magic and Divination
Optional Module
Credits: 20
Delivery: UWTSD
Location: Distance
Duration: 12 weeks
October - January Sacred Geography
Optional Module
Credits: 20
Delivery: UWTSD
Location: Distance
Duration: 12 weeks

View the details and aims of all modules in this programme here ›

Modules and their locations (residential or online) are shown below. All modules are worth 20 credits. Residential modules consist of 3 taught and one reading week, online modules are 12 weeks in length.

MA – Core module (20 credits) + 5 optional modules (100 credits in total) + dissertation (60 credits)

PG Dip – Core module (20 credits) + 5 optional modules (100 credits in total)

PG Cert – Core module (20 credits) + 2 optional modules (40 credits)

Fees

  Teaching Fee Food and accommodation
Residential Modules
  • Ecology and Spirituality
     
  • The Ecological Self
     
  • Indigeny Today
     
  • Sacred Activism
     
  • Western Esotericism
     
  • Evolution and Spirituality
     

4 weeks

£2107 (all participants) £285 per week (7 days)
 
 
Distance Learning Modules
  • Heavenly Discourses
     
  • Environmental Philosophy
     
  • Religion and the Environment
     
  • Cosmology, Magic, Divination
     
  • Sacred Geography

 
12 weeks

£666.67 (UK/EU participants)
 
£1000
(international participants)

Non-residential
 
Please note that if you would like to be resident at the College for distance learning modules, the fee for food and accommodation is £285 per week (7 days)*
 

 

 

 

Dissertation £2,000 (UK/EU participants)
 
£4,116.67
(international participants)
 
Non-residential
 
Please note that if you would like to be resident at the College for your dissertation, the fee for food and accommodation is £285 per week (7 days)*
 

*subject to availability

Term Dates

There will be an induction weekend from 5-7 Jan, with registration for the compulsary core module, located at the Elmhirst Centre, on Friday 5 January.  The first module runs from 8-26 Jan with an optional reading week from 29 Jan- 2 Feb (3 taught weeks and one reading week).

Further residential module options will be continuous after the core module with exact dates to be confirmed.

Entry Criteria

Initial inquiries should be directed to the Programme Coordinator, Dr Andy Letcher (andy.letcher@schumachercollege.org.uk). Please let us know your background, including any academic qualifications.

​The normal entry qualification is a good first degree (2:1 or equivalent in UK grading) in an appropriate arts/humanities/social sciences area including History, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy, Anthropology, Theology and/or Religious Studies. However, as the inquiry into Ecology and Spirituality is by necessity interdisciplinary, we welcome applicants from other backgrounds, especially the sciences, provided you can demonstrate the necessary writing skills. In this instance, a broad familiarity with philosophy and/or critical theory, though not essential, would be advantageous. You should contact the Programme Director who may ask to see a sample of your written work.

Applicants with a 2:2 degree (UK grading) will normally be considered for entry to a Postgraduate Diploma, and will be considered for progression to the MA after successful completion of the six taught modules. However, any relevant professional qualifications or experience will be taken into account, so do contact the Programme Director.

As part of an inclusive approach to learning we encourage applications from non-traditional entry points or from those without recognised educational backgrounds but who have equivalent and appropriate professional qualifications or significant relevant professional experience. In such cases the Programme Director may ask for a telephone / Skype conversation or request a sample of writing to satisfy themselves that each student is able to fulfil their potential on the course.

Students with degrees from Universities outside the UK, which do not use the UK’s grading system, should contact the Programme Director.

We now welcome international applicants for the Ecology and Spirituality 2018 programme (that is, students without a UK or EU passport). International applicants will now be able to attend on a Short Term Study Visa.

As the compulsory core module is taught residentially at Schumacher College, all applicants should be willing to enter fully into college life, and have an understanding of the extra work commitments that coming to Schumacher entails.

Assessment

Each module assessment consists of two parts: i) a formal academic essay; and ii) either a reflective journal, or a piece of art together with a critical commentary (in the latter case, as this is not a taught art course, the critical commentary will be marked rather than the quality or value of the art). Both the reflective journal and the art piece plus commentary, allow students to demonstrate a capacity for self-reflection and analysis, within the criteria set by academic discourse.

MA students must complete a supervised dissertation on a subject to be agreed with the academic supervisor.

Entry requirements: You will need a good degree or equivalent in a relevant subject – subject to the Programme Coordinator’s discretion. People from non-traditional entry points or who lack a first degree are encouraged to apply but may be asked to complete a short writing assessment.

Questions

Initial inquiries should be directed to the Programme Coordinator at Schumacher College, Dr Andy Letcher (andy.letcher@schumachercollege.org.uk).
Enquiries and applications for this programme are administered by University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
For more details about the application process or for any other queries: email Lampeter Admissions Office, fhpadmissions@uwtsd.ac.uk

To Apply

Apply Online through University Of Wales Trinity Saint David

The application process for this programme will be through University of Wales Trinity Saint David. You can find details about the application process on their website.

Please return either a hard copy or electronic version of this application form to:
fhpadmissions@uwtsd.ac.uk or registryadmissions@uwtsd.ac.uk
Admissions Office, Registry, UWTSD, College Road, Carmarthen, SA31 3EP, UK

Small group learning is a key part of this programme, so places are limited. We recommend making an application early in order to be considered for a place in January 2018.

Register your interest for the January 2018 Programme here for developments on the MA Ecology and Spirituality Programme

 

updated 19/09/2017

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