Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred

MA Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred

Year of entry

You can find out more about this course through attending the Open Lecture series.

This interdisciplinary Masters course draws on studies in mythology, psychology, anthropology, theology, esoteric philosophy, a range of wisdom traditions and the arts.

It offers a discerning investigation into seemingly non­rational modes of knowing, exploring the cosmological sense of the sacred, the widespread practices of symbol interpretation and the cultural role of the creative imagination.

The overall aim of the course is to encourage critical, imaginative and creative ways of engaging reflexively with some of the most important questions of our time, such as the debate between science and religion, the nature of sacred reality, and the foundations of spiritual, religious and ritual experience. To do this we explore theories of knowledge and consciousness, oracular and divinatory practices (ancient and contemporary), and the cultural expression of myth in landscape, poetry, art and music. 

The course has been highly praised as an outstanding example of transformative learning, as it brings personal reflection and creativity to bear on the study of spirituality in the broadest sense. It brings to the fore issues of connectivity, sustainability, ecological awareness, and the engagement of the imagination in the aid of individual, community and global understanding, wellbeing and harmony. 

Canterbury is a perfect venue to study this course, with its ecclesiastical heritage, rich literary history, beauty of landscape and architecture, and easy access to both London and the continent.

The course will appeal to all those seeking to develop and enrich their lives through the study of the history, philosophy and practices of Western sacred and esoteric traditions, and will be of particular interest to teachers, practitioners and therapists in the fields of contemporary spirituality and wellbeing who would like to engage more deeply with both the foundations of their work and their own self-knowledge.

There are many areas for potential further study, and we now have a thriving graduate environment with MPhil/PhD researchers pursing topics as diverse as the music of the spheres, Freemasonry, conflict resolution, alchemical symbolism, transformative learning and intuitive reading methods.

The four taught modules, comprising seminars, learning journal groups and workshops take place at alternate weekends, in term time, from October to March, with optional workshops in the summer term.

The Creative Project assignment and dissertation module take place from April to September (for full-time students) and April to the following September (for part-time students). Each teaching weekend includes an open lecture by a visiting speaker. There are also optional sessions on Friday afternoons (compulsory for Tier 4 students).

The four taught modules will address the following topics:

Theories and Methods

  • Methodologies and holistic approaches
  • Mythopoeic thought: symbol and metaphor
  • Ways of knowing from reason to revelation
  • The sacred in post Enlightenment discourse

Symbol and Imagination

  • What is imagination?
  • Platonic and Hermetic perspectives on the soul
  • Renaissance art and theurgic magic
  • Jung, Corbin and Hillman on active imagination

Oracular and Divinatory Traditions

  • Oracles and divination in non-modern culture
  • Cosmology, magic and astrology
  • The Pagan/Christian debate
  • Fate, fortune and contemporary divination

Spirit and Psyche

  • Mystery rituals in the ancient world
  • Sacred and mythic landscape and sky scape
  • Paranormal cultures
  • Consciousness and universal mind

Creative Project

  • Individual research and presentation

Learning Journal

  • Group discussions and write-up

Dissertation

  • Individual research on a topic of your choice

About the tutors

Angela Voss, PhD, is Programme Director for the MA. She taught and directed undergraduate and postgraduate courses on the Cultural Study of Cosmology and Divination at the University of Kent from 2004­10. Her teaching and research interests centre on the role of the creative imagination in esoteric traditions, astrology and art in the Renaissance, divination, symbolic interpretation and the spiritual dimension of music.

Geoffrey Cornelius, PhD, taught on the MA in the Cultural Study of Cosmology and Divination at the University of Kent, specialising in the hermeneutics and philosophy of divination. He has been actively involved in adult education for over thirty years and teaches on the school’s community arts and education programme.

Simon Wilson, PhD, is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education. He has worked in the field of adult education for more than 20 years, and has published widely on subjects such as the grail, earth mysteries, the philosophy of René Guénon, the writings of Charles Fort, and the bohemian adventures of John Dee.  He is fascinated by Western esoteric traditions and the mystical theology of the Eastern Church.

Other guest lecturers and creative workshop leaders who contribute to the course throughout the year include Victoria Field, Dr Wilma Fraser, Maggie Hyde, James Frost, Sonia McNally and Sonia Overall.

Most of the students on this course are mature adults with established careers. However, possible career opportunities might include teaching, counselling and mentoring, spiritual and wellbeing guidance, alternative healing and therapies, writing and media, the arts, and further research.

Teaching methods include seminars, lectures and workshops. Students can expect eight hours of teaching each study weekend, plus two hours of learning journal groups. They also receive individual supervision for each taught and research assignment, and eight hours of research preparation seminars.

They will attend two days a year for creative project presentations and a variety of optional workshops will be offered. There will also be an open public lecture at each study weekend, on the Saturday evening, which they are encouraged to attend, and optional Friday afternoon seminars on a variety of themes. 

 

Fees

2017/18 tuition fees for this course

 UK/EUOverseas
Year 1 (part-time) £3,010  
Year 2 (part-time) £3,010  
Full MA (full-time) £6,020 **£11,500

Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

There will not be an annual inflationary increase for this course except where a student should take a break from studying the course for a period of one or more academic years.

Students remain on the fee structure which was in place for each stage of this course when they commenced their studies, unless they have taken a break for a period of one or more academic years.

Government loans of up to £10,000 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2017. Loans are subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria. 

The rules around course eligibility mean that in some cases it may depend on how you are studying (full-time or part-time) as to whether you can apply for a postgraduate loan. To check whether your course is eligible, you can email the Student Fees Team or call 01227 923 948

Read more about postgraduate masters student loans.

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

**Overseas fee scholarships may be available. See further information about funding and scholarships or contact the International Office.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

CategoryDescription
Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

 

Four essays of 4,000 words (20 credits each), one creative project review of 4,000 words, one learning journal write-up of 4,000 words (20 credits each) and one dissertation of 12-15,000 words (60 credits).

Applications for this course can be completed online .  There is no application deadline.

For further information, please read our guidance on how to apply online .

Student testimonials:

“More than an educational experience the MA has been a journey for me. It has opened so many new pathways, that I hardly know where to go from here: the possibilities seem endless.”

“Angela and Geoffrey were wonderful teachers and guides; their support helped me to learn more deeply than I thought possible and to examine the course content in new and creative ways for my learning benefit. This course was truly amazing – transformational, life-changing, inspirational and a joy to attend.”

The course is highly valued by practitioners and therapists, and one alumna, an alternative healing practitioner, says: “Keeping this programme alive helps us be better at whatever it is we do, by giving us a space and a platform to enter the academic debate at the highest level, in order that the public may benefit in real terms.”  

Some examples of students’ creative projects include a children’s book on the Oak Tree, symbolic embroidery, and alchemical artwork. 

Further information:

To speak to somebody about this course or to apply, call 01227 782919 or email mamcs.education@canterbury.ac.uk

Alternatively, email the Programme Director, Angela Voss for further information regarding the MA curriculum.

Email: angela.voss@canterbury.ac.uk

Fact file

Length

  • 1 year full-time
    2 years part-time

Entry requirements

  • You will need a relevant good first degree or equivalent - subject to programme director's discretion. Applicants without a first degree will be expected to submit a piece of written work.

Location

School

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Last edited: 31/10/2017 09:46:00