The Discovery Programme

Course Availability: Full Time

Art - Science - Humanity

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'Discovery is a blessing that can happen at any time, but can be helped by several factors. One is inquisitiveness and attentiveness to appearances, free from received interpretations or assumptions but, at the same time, keeping a sense of reality and discernment.’ ~ Dr Philip Kilner, MD, PhD




To recieve an Early Bird Discount on our course fees.



The Discovery Programme

23 Sept 2019 to 13 Dec 2019

The Discovery Programme, developed from the Relational Arts Programme of 2018, is an immersive twelve-week course exploring the natural world, humanity, creativity and purpose through:

  • Goethe’s perception-based approach to scientific enquiry
  • Creative, nature-based arts and crafts
  • Studies and dialogue on human development, wellbeing and livelihood in relation to our society and environment.

Set in the gentle beauty of the Emerson College campus, the Discovery Programme provides participants with the opportunity to step out of their daily life into a space of observing, insightful imagining and creative collaboration. Through more open perceiving, students are invited to deepen their creative skills and explore their sense of purpose.

During the programme students are taught techniques of observing, questioning, nature-based craft and artistic practice through a sequence of themed modules. Experienced teachers and facilitators will act as guides and mentors for each theme, creating a pathway of exploration, group participation and discovery.


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The programme is composed of three four-week blocks.

Block 1, Sept 23rd- Oct 18th: The Natural World

  • week 1: Elements of Nature (Earth, Water, Air, Warmth, with particular emphasis on fluidity)
  • week 2: Plants
  • week 3: Animals
  • week 4: Our Human Instrument

Block 2, Oct 21st - Nov 15th: Becoming Human

  • week 5: Growing up: Parenting: infancy, childhood and school years
  • week 6: Paths through adulthood - Biography and storytelling
  • week 7: World views: religions, philosophy and ways of knowing
  • week 8: In search of the deep self

Block 3, Nov 18th - Dec 13th: Ways of Humane Livelihood

  • week 9: Care of our land, homes and nutrition.
  • week 10: Health, illness and human balance.
  • week 11: Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental health.
  • week 12: Uncovering your path to meaningful work

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Open to all, this course is ideal for:

  • People who want to deepen their connection with nature, broaden their creative skills and renew their sense of personal purpose;
  • Artists, Craft Makers and Designers looking to develop a more socially engaged creative practice;
  • Scientists & Academics interested in exploring phenomenological and relational practices within a meaningful creative context;
  • Teachers, Community and Social Entrepreneurs and initiative-takers looking to develop a human-centred, creative practice.



Course Leaders Vija Docherty and Dr Philip Kilner, MD, PhD will also be supported by a team of experienced Emerson tutors.



Full course:  23 September -13 December 2019.  Tuition fee: £2750 (£2500 early booking before 24 July 2019)


Module 1: 23 September -18 October 2019.  Tuition fee: £1000 (£900 early booking before 24 July 2019)

Module 2: 21 October -15 November 2019.  Tuition fee: £1000 (£900 early booking before 24 July 2019)

Module 3: 18 November - 13 December 2019. Tuition fee: £1000 (£900 early booking before 24 July 2019)