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Course content

The MA Somatic Practices by Independent Research focuses on the study of somatic practices and somatically informed movement practices in a contemporary and historical context.

It offers practitioners a means of validating and accrediting their prior experience and professional training and an opportunity to develop and deepen critical understanding of specific somatic practices and how to conduct somatically informed research.

The programme will enable you to analyse, critique and articulate your somatic and/or movement practice in relation to current industry practices, protocols and conventions and situate your work within the U.K, European and North American field of somatics.

It offers practitioners a means of validating and accrediting their prior experience and professional training and an opportunity to develop and deepen their critical understanding of specific somatic practices and how to conduct somatically informed research.

In particular, the programme provides you with opportunities for developing an understanding of individual practice in relation to current trends, practices and opportunities within the wider fields of somatic and somatically informed movement practices.

For further information please contact Jane Bacon:

Where this can take you
This course is suitable for you if you are a practitioner with 3 or more years of professional practice and/or a diploma in a somatic practice such as Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy (IBMT), Body-Mind Centreing, Somatic Experiencing, Feldenkrais Technique, Alexander Technique, Tamalpa Practice, Yoga, Skinner Releasing Technique.

It will offer you …

an opportunity to reflect on your professional practice and prior training
time to deepen your understanding of your professional skills through research and scholarship
Professional Development
deepening your ability to articulate what you do in written and spoken form
a stepping stone toward PhD study
You will develop skills in…

Problem solving
Creative and critical thinking
Working independently
Research and the articulation of that research in writing
It will give you…

A qualification that will aid your membership to the International Association of Somatic Educators Association or other professional training organisation
Preparation for further study i.e. PhD or professionally-related qualifications.
Indicative modules
This course consists of 2 modules. Prior to beginning the course you will have your prior professional learning accredited. This is done through an interview, the submission of a professional portfolio and an essay (for more details see ‘how to apply’ below).

Module 1: Somatically-informed Research Methodologies

Aims: This module aims to provide students with:

a solid grounding in research methods, which will be of value in postgraduate study in the study of somatics and body oriented research projects, and will facilitate students’ development as reflexive practitioners;
strategies for research that is somatically informed (or practiced);
strategies for research that are appropriate to the study of the body as subject (eg. phenomenology and heuristics which focus on lived experience rather than on an object of study)
an understanding of how somatic practices might fit within broader cultural and discipline contexts, debates and practices
Module 2: Somatic Practices Dissertation

Aims: This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to:

work independently on a substantial written research project of your choice;
further develop their research skills in an extended in-depth investigation;
produce self-reflexive innovative research presented in a scholarly and professional manner.
situate your research in a broad context of somatic and movement practices;
develop and apply appropriate somatically-informed research methodologies relevant to your research
develop theoretical insights and awareness of critical and/or philosophical concepts relevant to your research;
Teaching assessment
Assessed through a portfolio of prior work/training, the completion of a Research Methodologies module (30 credits) and a Dissertation module (60 credits), the programme addresses the needs of mature learners and professional movement practitioners who seek to extend and develop their professional learning through Masters study.

The M.A Somatic Practices by Independent Research degree offers Higher Education study to professionals who may not wish to engage with a taught programme of study but seek to validate their professional training and practice through accreditation of prior standing and through the completion of a Research methodologies module and through the completion of a Dissertation project developed through independent study.

The programme will be of interest to those who have completed professional training existing outside Higher Education (examples of such trainings in the UK and internationally include: Body-Mind CenteringÒ, Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy, Feldenkrais, Alexander, Skinner Releasing Technique) who seek flexibility of study.

The research methodologies module can be delivered in concert with the current MA Reflective Practice module and/or as a stand-alone module with flexible delivery (online, weekends, summer). Dissertation supervision will draw on existing staff research expertise and are normally delivered through a combination of face-to face tutorials, Skype, and email correspondence.

Applications & Course Pre-requisites
Application to the course is made by completing the online application form and completing the additional requirements as listed below. You will also be invited to attend an interview.

Your prior knowledge and skill as a somatic practitioner will be assessed prior to acceptance on the programme. This will take the form of an interview and the submission (prior to interview) of 1) a portfolio and 2) an essay.

Visit the MA Somatic Practices by Independent Research page on the University of Chichester website for more details!

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