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Ecology and Spirituality (MA)

At this point in human history, many academics, activists, leaders and thinkers are calling for urgent reconsideration of the cultural narratives and spiritual values that support our very existence on the planet.

In an attempt to divert the current trajectory of ‘progress’ and ‘development’ towards a more sustainable and equitable future, this requires objective and critical thinking about our relationship and connection to the natural world, to the people and communities around us and to the very beliefs and values that drive our individual and collective actions.

This programme in Ecology and Spirituality explores the relationship between spirituality, religion, philosophy on the one hand, and ecology on the other. We can ask whether spirituality and religion may be causes of current ecological crises, or offer solutions to the systemic ecological crises in which we find ourselves. 

We inquire into the spiritual uses of ecology — and ask whether it has a spiritual dimension. As a programme of postgraduate study, depending on the modules you choose, this course offers a personal and experiential journey — an opportunity for you to deeply explore your own inner landscape and how it relates to your actions in the outer world.

You will combine critical thinking and academic rigour with an exploration of your own values, beliefs and personal narratives and how these fit and find resonance and authenticity with your life and work.

This is a chance to look at your own relationship with our planet — and in doing so explore personal and collective solutions to living in a more sustainable, resilient, connected harmonious and beautiful world. 

One unique feature of this programme is that it extends the concept of the environment to a wider cosmic environment, offering the chance to take modules which engage us with the sky, planets and stars.


You can apply directly to the University using the Apply Now button at the top of the page. 

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Contact Email: n.campion@uwtsd.ac.uk
Contact Name: Dr Nicholas Campion

Tuition Fees 2023/24:
Home: £7,800
Tuition Fees 2023/24:
Overseas (distance/online): £10,400
Fees are for the whole course.

Why choose this course?

As a successful student you will have:

  • Gained an understanding of the relationship between ecology and spirituality in society, through history and in a range of cultures.
  • Acquired skills in qualitative research.
  • Developed skills in critical thinking and the ability to develop evidence-based arguments in the subject area.
  • Obtained a qualification which stands as a worldwide mark of quality.
  • Learned how to communicate with academics and experts across the field and in different disciplines.

What you will learn

Course Overview

As a student on the Ecology and Spirituality (MA) you will:

  • Study for an accredited and internationally recognised Master’s degree.
  • Be part of one of the UK’s most prestigious universities.
  • Have the chance to work from home with no requirement to visit the UK.
  • Have access to thousands of online academic papers and books.
  • Be part of an international community of like-minded students.
  • Study with expert tutors who all have, or are working for, PhDs in the subject area.
  • Engage with debates concerning the nature and cultural role of ecology and spirituality
  • Choose from a range of optional modules: Environmental Philosophy, Religion and the Environment, Sacred Geography, Skyscapes, Cosmology and Archaeology, Astral Religion, Heavenly Discourses, Sky and Psyche, and Cosmology, Magic and Divination.
  • Engage with concepts such as sacred space.
  • Acquire contemporary data which will contribute to scholarly understanding of our place on our planet
  • Have a chance to pursue your own independent research under expert supervision.
Module Topics

To gain the MA, you must pass four 30 credit modules (120 credits). Having successfully completed the 120 credits, you will progress to the 60 credit Dissertation.

Full-time students study over two years and will normally take their four modules over one year and then write their dissertation in the second year.

Part-time students can study over three or four years and will normally be expected to choose a minimum of 30 and maximum of 60 credits per year. Having successfully completed the 120 credits, students will progress to the 60 credit Dissertation.

PG Cert, PG Dip & MA

Ecology and Spirituality (30 credits; compulsory)

Explore the fundamental nature and concepts of ecology and spirituality and the relationship between them.

Sacred Geography (30 credits; optional)

Investigate ideas of sacred and profane space in the natural world and the built environment with reference to the Earth, our home planet. Undertake supervised research project.

Researching Contemporary Cosmologies (30 credits; compulsory)

Learn the skills of qualitative research, using questionnaires and/or interviews, in order to explore current world views concerning ecology and spirituality. This module is optional but necessary should you wish to use qualitative research in any other module or the dissertation.

Sacred Skies (30 credits; optional)

Explore your relationship with the celestial environment, with sky, clouds, Sun, Moon and stars. Have the opportunity to learn how to work out astronomical alignments at archaeological sites.

Cosmology, Magic and Divination in the Classical World (30 credits; optional)

Engage with concepts such as magic and divination as well as sacred space and the role of the soul in the stars, and our relationship with the sky, using classical sources.

Religion and the Environment (30 credits; optional)

Critically examine the ecological legacy of a variety of religious traditions and assess the extent to which ‘religion’ can be a useful resource for the formulation of a positive 21st century environmental ethic.

Environmental Philosophy (30 credits; optional)

Examine environmental ethics in relation issues raised by climate change, sustainable development, obligations to future generations, global citizenship and international co-operation, and allegiances and divergences between animal ethics and environmental ethics.

Religious Experience Today (30 credits; optional)


MA Dissertation: Ecology and Spirituality (60 credits; compulsory)

Undertake advised research project and write a 15,000 word dissertation.


The main mode of assessment in Part I is via essays (two per module).  The assessment for the Part II module is via a 15,000-word dissertation.

Key Information

Entry Criteria

Entry Requirements

Initial inquiries should be directed to the Programme Director, Dr Nicholas Campion (n.campion@uwtsd.ac.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.

Further Information

For more information, please contact the Programme Director Dr Nicholas Campion, n.campion@uwtsd.ac.uk.