Words are only nests. Meanings winged creatures
aflight. Bodies are rivers,
the Spirit their steady current.
RUMI (Mathnawi II: 3292)
Many students, when they come to the end of Part 2 of the Foundation Course, wonder what they can do next. The Study Year gives students the opportunity to further their studies by committing to produce a much more substantial body of work than the six short essays written during the previous two years. Having completed the two-year course, many have a good idea of what they would like to explore in more depth, and writing a dissertation (- of between 15,000 and 20,000 words -) will enable all who feel drawn to pursuing further work, to do so under the guidance of one of the Foundation Course tutors.
One of the main objectives of the Foundation Course is to encourage students to learn from rather than merely about the works they study, and this attitude will continue to underpin the Study Year. During the previous two years, students will have been encouraged to elaborate their own insights, and where appropriate to bring imaginative or poetic content to their essays. This will continue to be encouraged during the Study Year.
It will also be assumed that those wishing to embark on the Study Year will feel themselves to be in accord with the principles of the Temenos Academy, the first three of which are of most relevance to the work they will be undertaking, namely: acknowledgement of divinity, love of wisdom as the essential basis of civilization, and spiritual vision as the life-breath of civilization.
While dissertations will be expected to conform to basic scholarly standards, such as clarity and coherence of thought, accurate citation of sources, and demonstration of familiarity with relevant literature, the purpose of the Study Year goes beyond merely mastering the techniques of rigorous scholarship. It hopes to nurture the love of wisdom and the quest for truth through the student deepening their relationship to one of the traditions of the philosophia perennis to which they have been introduced in the previous years of study.
In order to proceed to the Study Year, prospective students will be required to have successfully completed Parts 1 & 2 of the Foundation Course. This means that they should have attended 80% of classes in each module and written six essays, one for each module, all of which must have been approved by the respective tutors.
In addition to this, students will be required to submit a dissertation proposal of between 600 and 1000 words. The dissertation must be in one of the six subject areas covered by the modules of the Foundation Course. The proposal should be submitted to the relevant tutor by 31st July. If this proposal is accepted by the tutor, then the student will be eligible to embark on their dissertation, with the first tutorial scheduled for mid-September.* (see below)
The dissertation should be completed within thirty weeks, excluding two weeks of holiday at Christmas and two weeks of holiday at Easter. Within this thirty-week period (or thirty-four weeks taking holidays into account), which will be deemed to begin with the first tutorial, students will receive five tutorials. In the first tutorial, held in mid-September, guidance will be given in setting up the dissertation, and in the last tutorial, held at the beginning of May, feedback on the final draft of the dissertation will be given. The other three tutorials will be for ongoing guidance and monitoring of the progress of the dissertation, and will be held during the intervening weeks. Tutorials will take place at a venue mutually convenient for tutors and students and will last approximately one hour.
The deadline for the submission of dissertations will be the end of the first week of June.* Dissertations will be assessed within eight weeks of submission by both the tutor and a second reader. In case of a request to re-submit a dissertation, students will be given a maximum of four weeks from the receipt of the request to make the alterations requested. Only one re-submission will be permitted.
Those who successfully complete the dissertation will, in acknowledgement of their achievement, be awarded a Temenos Academy Foundation Course Higher Diploma. It is hoped that it may also be possible, on the recommendation of both the tutor and the second reader, for outstanding dissertations to be made available on the Temenos Academy website.
Here is the Dissertation submitted in Spring 2022 by Robert Harris, the first student to be awarded the Higher Diploma:
© Robert Harris, 2022
The fee for the Study Year is £800. A non-refundable deposit of £325 will be required by August 31st, and the remainder of the fee will be payable by October 31st.* If students are requested to re-submit their dissertations, then a further fee of £150 will be charged to cover the extra costs of assessing the second submission.
*NB Individual tutors may consider flexible start dates through the year.
The ENROLMENT FORM may be found on the attached STUDY YEAR FLYER.