MSc in Woo

I was handed a prospectus for Schumacher College in Dartington when I gave a talk on supernatural beliefs at the Literary Festival there last week. Judging by the picturesque cottages in the glorious Devonshire countryside, I was reminded of Enid Blyton novels and wrongly assumed that the area had a sense of wealthy middle-class conservatism. But I was wrong. After Glastonbury, the epicentre for New Ageism in the West of England, is apparently nearby Totnes.

This may explain the content of some courses offered by Schumacher College. I was particularly drawn to the Masters Degree in Holistic Science (MSc) as this was the first course of its kind and is accredited in partnership with the University of Plymouth. The residential course integrates qualitative and quantitative approaches and explores methodologies that go beyond reductionism in understanding the dynamics of whole systems, from individual organisms to organisations and eco-systems to the Earth. This all sounds great but I wondered about the scientific rigour of the content. Also it seems expensive at £11,465 for home students and £14,105, for a one year course. Still I expect there should be some demand for this.

I have to be careful about slating a university-accredited graduate science degree but when it has contributions from astrologers and morphic resonance theorists, I guess I will leave it up to Ben Goldacre to investigate… now where did I put his email?

4 Comments

Filed under Research

4 responses to “MSc in Woo

  1. Kind of reminds me of when a university here in the U.S. offered a course on Madonna–not the one that we see on toast, but the other one of the pointy cone breasts.

  2. Lauren

    I’m afraid the flier for Schumacher aroused much giggling over here in Belfast.

    Refreshing that they have a “new approach to science” that “values qualities as much as quantities”, cultivating “intuition” and “sensory experience” in a bid for scientific understanding.

    We have been petitioning to see if we can submit our dissertations in the form of interpretive ink drawings.

    • brucehood

      Hi Lauren,
      Wondered how you guys have been. Good to hear from you! If funding gets any worse, we may all be forced to offer courses in woo.
      b.

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