Schumacher Foundation

An interdisciplinary course for our timeS


Drawing from the distinct, transdisciplinary, and convivial pedagogy of Schumacher College, this new, unique and innovative course brings together ecological thinking, social enquiry, and cultural practice as ways of responding to the breadth of the global challenges we must meet today and the urgent need for transformation at every scale.


Under 6 months


Blended – online and in-person at Schumacher College

START DATE: 27 September 2024




Module dates

27–29 September 2024: Welcome Week
30 September – 1 November 2024: Module 1
4 November – 6 December 2024: Module 2
13 January – 14 February 2025: Module 3
7 – 9 March 2025: Symposium

Residential dates

30 September – 11 October 2024
4 – 15 November 2024
13 – 24 January 2025

Why join this Course

If what we are going through is a ‘polycrisis’, we believe that our responses must become polyvocal. We are therefore creating a new space for transdisciplinary learning that encounters and combines multiple perspectives, human and more-than-human. We feel that in these times it is imperative that we learn how to move away from monologues and share in polyphonies by rediscovering the art of creative attention, living knowledge, and embodied activism. If ecocide is looming, it cannot merely be countered, it must be outfoxed: by calling forth creative responses across all fields of knowledge, ways of seeing, kinds of making and modes of being.
Students walking on road

Course content

We will ask and examine fundamental questions from multiple perspectives, through the lens of our own disciplines and lived experience, in creative conversations and activities. For example, how might we transform our Radical Love for Gaia into regenerative practices that support life? How might we each be of service to this and future generations, by lending our own heritage and experience toward creating the conditions for transformation? Could we together perform an alchemical turn and weave our suffering into nourishing threads of creativity?  Can we transmute our experiences of social and ecological injustice into acts of radical conviviality? Can we sustain our livelihoods justly and wisely, in harmony with all other beings?  What words, objects and beings tie together a community? How should rulers be ruled? What is the difference between ancient and modern truth? What can we learn from dust? Do digital practices help or hinder us, or both? Is AI poetry bad? Does an algorithm have a soul? Is an age of crises a time for despair, or a unique opportunity for something new and vital? How do we even begin to respond to this bewildering time?
Students around the fire
Students walking on road

Course structure

The programme consists of three 5-week modules. Each module begins with two residential weeks followed by three weeks of online teaching and discussion sessions.

Course structure & modules

This is a low-residency programme. During our time together in-person, conversations between subjects and disciplines will occur among the fertile density of community life and in an atmosphere of openness and conviviality. We believe that a warm and welcoming communal environment is essential for genuinely new ideas and creative actions to emerge. In the weeks between our in-person residentials we will remain connected online. Time, space and support will be given to thoroughly processing, digesting and further activating our learning, in place and in context. In both our in-person and online learning spaces our tutors bring qualities of openness, commitment and rigour and, in doing so, hope to bring forth a container in which deep learning can be born out of radical surprise. 

Students who enrol on this course will be part of a new kind of university and engage in sessions based on active, experiential and participative techniques, energised by a combination of tutor-led input and small group explorations. As the programme unfolds, participants will be able to create bespoke pathways that align and nourish their professional or vocational interests, and their ongoing journey through life. 

The course is designed so that the time spent together is deep yet joyful, practical yet spiritual, and offers a chance to build community and collaborations. Conviviality is our core value. We recognise that learning occurs in and beyond the class and seminar rooms, and that the best and least predictable learning outcomes will be those which emerge in informal conversation, during walks in the woods, or whilst cooking, cleaning, playing music or gardening. 

Currently, the first module is offered as a stand-alone. It is possible to take Module One in the first year and Modules Two and Three in later iterations of the programme.


Valentin Gerlier

DR Valentin Gerlier

Valentin is Senior Lecturer in Poetics of Imagination. His research expertise centres around the relationship between being and language. He is especially interested in the truth-bearing aspects of the poetic imagination and how these manifest in dialogue, performance, ritual and oral cultural transmission.

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Dr Emma Kidd

Dr Emma Kidd

Emma is Associate Lecturer in Ecological Design Thinking. Her primary focus is on Meta-Design, which she views as a practice of being attentive to the intrinsic relationships between Being, Knowing, and Doing.Read More


Roberto Fraquelli

Professor Roberto Fraquelli

Roberto is Senior Lecturer for MA Ecological Design Thinking. He is interested in Holistic Design and the dilemma many designers face between the pressures of economic growth and an empathy with all living systems.

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Rachel Sweeney

Dr Rachel Sweeney

Rachel is Head of Schumacher College Programmes and Programme Lead and Senior Lecturer for Movement, Mind, and Ecology.

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Mona Nasseri

Dr Mona Nasseri

Mona is Head of Research at Schumacher College and Programme Lead for MA Ecological Design Thinking. She joined Schumacher College in 2014 and been involved in the delivery and development of the programme since its inception.
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Jay Tompt

Jay Tompt

Jay is a Lecturer for Regenerative Economics. He is also a co-founder of the Totnes REconomy Project, and associate lecturer in economics at Plymouth University.

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Dr Andy Letcher

Dr Andy Letcher

Andy is the programme lead for MA Engaged Ecology at Schumacher College. Andy’s areas of expertise include neopaganism, shamanism, the new animism, and psychedelic spiritualities. 

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Alice Oswald

Alice Oswald

Alice Oswald is a poet with a particular interest in oral traditions. She has published several books of poetry, including Darr, a documentary poem about the river which flows through Dartington.

Stephan Harding

Dr Stephan Harding

Stephan is a Deep Ecology Research Fellow and has been teaching on the MSC Holistic Science programme since its inception in 1998.

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Satish Kumar

Satish Kumar


Satish is Visiting Fellow and was the originator and cofounder of Schumacher College.

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Emma Bush



Emma Bush is Associate Lecturer for our Poetics of Imagination and Reimaginging Performance Practice courses. She works in the field of art and ecology, making performance, site-specific walks, writing and workshops.

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Full programme: £7,200 

Module one:  £2,500


Bursaries are intended to provide financial support to applicants in need who wish to join the Schumacher Foundation Course to inspire their wider community and enrich the course with their unique contributions. We hope that our bursaries will encourage a diverse range of participants. However, the competition is strong and the number of bursaries available is limited with most bursaries falling more typically within the range of £500 and £ 2,000. 

Please note:

  • Bursaries are awarded on the basis of financial need. This may require additional eligibility checks following an initial application.
  • Bursary applications are considered only if the course application is made for the full programme and before the 2 September deadline. Standalone modules and late applications are not eligible for bursaries.

If you think you are eligible for a bursary fund, please complete the bursary application form below. 

What's included

  • A bursary award will cover part of the cost of the course. Food and accommodation costs are not included within the bursary.
  • Travel to and from the course is the responsibility of the bursary recipient. We cannot provide financial assistance with travel.

Local and Global South Youth Bursaries

Schumacher College offers two sponsored places (food and accommodation are not included) to applicants aged 20 – 30 from the Torbay area and the Global South. 

For more information contact


Please note, we are unable to offer full fee bursaries.
Other funding applications
Have you applied for financial assistance elsewhere? If yes, please indicate the awarding body(ies) and amount(s) and give information about when you are likely to hear the outcome of your application.

Use the '+' symbol to add more visa details as required.
Financial body/charity/other
Amount requested
Outcome of Application due by:
Please provide a statement supporting your application for a bursary. The Schumacher Bursary Panel will read your statement and make an assessment based on the information supplied, along with their notes from your application form and interview.

Apply now

If you would like to join the course, please fill in the application form. 

Frequently asked questions

Who is this course for?

We welcome applications from individuals with all educational and career backgrounds. This course is designed for those who are passionate about ecological and social well-being and committed to driving positive change. Whether your background is in arts, literature, engineering, design or you are an entrepreneur, manager or in the leadership position, if you dream of creating regenerative and just cultures, If you aspire to transform our current reality into the world your heart knows is possible, this course is for you.

What is the length of the course?

 Under 6 months (27 September 2024 – 9 March 2025) 

How much does the course cost?

The course costs £7,200 (this doesn’t include food and accommodation).

The estimate cost of full-board accommodation for 7 weeks is £2,100 (this is an estimate and not the confirmed cost).

What are the entry requirements?

You’ll need to have an undergraduate qualification or relevant experience in order to be eligible for this course.

What is the admission process?

  1. Fill in an application form, including a personal statement explaining reasons for taking this course.
  2. Interview – selected applicants will be invited to an interview.

What kind of qualification does this course give you?

Unaccredited Professional Development.

Will there be written work/assignments?

There is an expectation to present a form of reflective, sense-making work that demonstrates learnings from the module in relation to the student’s personal, profesional or social context. Additionally, there will be an opportunity to present the final project in a symposium after completing the teaching modules.

Is it in person or online? How much of the course will be residential?

This is a low-residency programme consisting of 3 modules, each five-week long. The first two weeks of each module are in person, and the following three weeks are online.

The residential weeks are immersive and include learning experiences through head, hands and heart in most mornings, afternoons, and evenings. After that, there will be 2 online sessions per week and tutorials for the remaining three weeks of the module.  

When does the course start?

 30 September 2024.

What are the teaching dates and residential dates?

Teaching Dates

27–29 September 2024: Welcome Week
30 September – 1 November 2024: Module 1
4 November – 6 December 2024: Module 2
13 January – 14 February 2025: Module 3
7 – 9 March 2025: Symposium


Residential Dates

30 September – 11 October 2024
4 – 15 November 2024
13 – 24 January 2025

Is there a final project or essay?

The final project will be presented in a symposium. Students can choose the style and medium of presentation that best suits their subject.