Approaches to Consciousness (runs September – March each year)
This module explores the variety of scholarly approaches that have contributed to our contemporary understanding of consciousness. It recognises an integral and post-materialist perspective as crucial in terms of the methodologies we apply, the levels of explanation that are appropriate, and – most important – our personal sense of exploration. This module explores the science of consciousness via three main content sections:
1) The Fundamentals, which includes an introduction to philosophical approaches to consciousness as well as considerations around how our beliefs about the nature of reality impact our perspectives on consciousness;
2) Neuroscientific approaches to consciousness, including a consideration of potential links between neuroscience and mysticism;
3) Spiritual and mystical approaches to consciousness, including debates over “pure consciousness” and perspectives from spiritual traditions such as Buddhism.
The module integrates material from approaches as diverse as cognitive neuroscience, quantum physics, philosophy, depth psychology, and mysticism in exploring the above content areas. Note that faculty are not expected to be subject-matter experts in all of these topics. Together, the faculty team provides breadth and depth of experience to cover the content.
Learning through Integrative Practice (runs September to June each year)
This module offers students the opportunity to devise and undertake a schedule of integrative practice, fostering whole-person development through engagement in bodily, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and interpersonal modalities. The central aim is reflexive inquiry, fostering the development of critical self-evaluation in the student as a researcher of their own experience. The devised schedule is to be followed for a period of six months and includes at least 100 hours of personal experiential work. Each student keeps a learning journal and has regular reflective meetings in a group setting supervised by tutors. The personalized schedule of integrative practice is accompanied throughout by lectures, experiential sessions and set readings, exploring integral, transpersonal, and participatory theory. A process report and final essay offer the opportunity to reflect further on the practices undertaken, considering personal impact and wider implications for transpersonal scholarship and practice.
Research Design (runs September to June each year)
This module provides an epistemological framework for the production and assessment of knowledge in the social sciences, focusing on qualitative and mixed methods, as well as an appreciation of the specific concerns of transpersonal psychology. The module covers the fundamentals of research design in order to allow a critical appreciation of the issues involved. Students get ‘hands on’ experience through a group project, using appropriate methodology. The module is a precursor to the research dissertation module, and encourages students to begin planning towards their own individual research in one of the areas covered by the programme.
Master’s dissertation supervision (runs September to September each year)
This module provides students with the opportunity to develop an independent research project under the supervision of a member of the teaching team. The module also includes the opportunity to present on-going research to peers and staff as well as providing critical feedback for such presentations. Together, these elements combine to provide an integrated framework for students to develop as independent researchers and scholars.
In addition, we have opportunities for appropriately qualified candidates to join our supervisory teams for the PhD in Applied Transpersonal Psychology. This is a collaborative research programme between Alef Trust and Liverpool John Moores University.
Each of the above modules is taught by a team of lecturers. The tasks involved in teaching each of the above modules generally include:
- Collaborative development of course curriculum & pedagogy
- Yearly update of course teaching sites in the Collaborative Learning Environment (Canvas)
- Design and facilitation of webinars, experiential sessions, and written forums
- Student supervision (e.g. one-to-one or group meetings)
- Grading of assignments
- Attendance at induction, team meetings and relevant training