Open Learning Course

Approaches to Consciousness

The questions we raise above are at the core of your studies when you explore Approaches to Consciousness.

Start date: September 2022. Length of study: 15 weeks. Tuition: £850

Consciousness is the essential spark of what it means to be human, yet so much about it remains mysterious. Contemporary neuroscientific research has advanced our grasp of many features of conscious processing, but has not answered the fundamental question regarding the basis of consciousness.

As the influential philosopher, John Hick puts it, consciousness is “the great elephant in the materialist’s room.” We need to recognise that the essence of consciousness may transcend the material basis of mind as generally understood.


Accordion Content
    1. Be guided through the many approaches to understanding consciousness that are at the forefront of research and scholarship today.
    2. Learn how current scientific theories connect to spiritual and mystical insights from ages past and the value of meditative practices in transforming your sense of self and how it connects to the great ocean of consciousness.
    3. Join with all students in our learning community in discussing the many issues raised by contemporary research into consciousness.
    4. Enjoy live webinars and interactive forums with the module leader, Professor Les Lancaster
    5. Experience practices that promote ways of working with a wider vision of consciousness.

There are no formal entry requirements to join this course. Come and study purely for personal interest and enrichment … and get the same level access as our postgraduate students who will be studying alongside you!

Before each course begins you will be provided with a Course Outline which will list the reading materials, time-lines, and any activities required as part of the course. This course features 2 discussion forums, experiential activities and several live webinars. In addition to extensive course materials you’ll receive 1-to-1 tuition in our unique collaborative learning environment.

Course Leader and Tutor Team

Les Lancaster

Professor Brian Les Lancaster

Founding Director of Alef Trust. Les is Emeritus Professor of Transpersonal Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University.

Bethany Butzer

Bethany Butzer, PhD

Bethany writes, teaches, and does research in the fields of positive psychology and transpersonal psychology, which emphasize the development of human strength and potential.

Nick Boeving

Nick Boeving, PhD

Nick is a writer, editor, and transpersonal psychologist who is currently in his second year of a postdoctoral fellowship at The Stanford University Forgiveness Project.

Alef Trust Team - Matt Colborn

Matt Colborn, D.Phil

Matt holds an MSc. with Distinction in cognitive science from the University of Birmingham and a D.Phil in biology from the University of Sussex. His book “Pluralism and the Mind: Consciousness, Worldviews and the Limits of Science” was published in 2011 to favourable reviews.

Dr. Jack Hunter

Dr. Jack Hunter is an anthropologist exploring the borderlands of consciousness, religion, ecology and the paranormal.

Would you like to find out more?

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