Unschooled Autonomous Masters degree

UA MSc/MA Neuropsychology

I have recently made the decision to formalise the research and learning that I have been doing for the last 6 years. Following inspiration from Sophie Christophy, I decided that the most appropriate way for me to do this would be to create and undertake an Unschooled Masters programme, a concept of which Sophie is the founder. In the true nature of the unschooling spirit, my programme is entirely of my own creation and I will take a flexible "follow my curiosity" approach . I do believe it is useful to create myself a guide and an approach, though this will surely evolve. Below you will find the structure and approach from which I am working, which I have titled my Unschooled Autonomous Master of Science and Arts.

You may be wondering why I chose to study this way, what even is the concept of an unschooled masters programme, and what kind of structure and content is needed to make it a true masters programme (regardless of formal accreditation).

The links there may give you more insight from myself and from Sophie, and if you you want to follow my programme, research and learning as it unfolds, please follow my UA MSc/A learning journal.

UA MSc_MA Lerning journal copy

Course structure

An in-depth investigation of the developmental and cognitive neuropsychology, and social context, of autonomy and motivation. 

Details

The masters programme includes the following four core modules, each containing eight areas of study, and culminating in a dissertation:

​Module 1: An integrated study of human development in context
Module 2: A neuropsychological investigation of human needs and motivation
Module 3: An integrated investigation of key human variations that are neurological in nature
Module 4: Analysing oppression as a factor in human development

*Research methods module

Dissertation: An independent research project bringing together the subjects above. Title to be confirmed.

Learning and accountability

For each module I will produce a portfolio of work and evidence including essays of between 2 and 8 thousand words, some form of presentation or talk, some resources to support parents or professionals, and a list of resources for others' learning. My final dissertation will be a research project of 20,000 words.

MODULE 1: TYPICAL NEUROLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT OF HUMANS

Areas of study for this module include:

  • Typical neurological development from conception to maturation
  • Typical psychological development from conception to maturation
  • Childhood and parenting from a socio-anthropological approach
  • The impact of parenting approach on neuropsychological development
  • Understanding the complexities of attachment theory and impact of attachment style
  • The impact of education approach and systems on neuropsychological development
  • Play and exploration in relation to neurological and psychological development and function
  • Understanding adverse childhood experiences and resilience as a factor in psychological development.

MODULE 2: A NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACH TO HUMAN NEEDS AND MOTIVATION

Areas of study for this module include:

  • Neuropsychological human needs
  • Human needs and emotions
  • Executive function
  • The science of the senses
  • Psychological motivation theories.
  • ​The neuroscience of  motivation
  • The threat system and threat responses
  • Autonomy

MODULE 3: AN INTEGRATED INVESTIGATION OF KEY HUMAN NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL VARIATIONS

Areas of study for this module include:

  • Variation as a key to survival
  • Neurological developmental disorders
  • Neurological diversity
  • Understanding psychological variations
  • The relationship between neurological variations and psychological health
  • Diversity of gender experience
  • Diversity of sexual attraction
  • Childhood as a variation in neuropsychology

MODULE 4: ANALYSING OPPRESSION AS A FACTOR IN NEUROLO-PSYCHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT

Areas of study for this module include:

  • Understanding the concept and complexities of oppression
    The oppression of the attraction divergent people
    The oppression of gender divergent people
    ​The oppression of neurodivergent people
    The oppression of children through the ages
    The oppression of psycho-divergent people
    ​Societal education and oppression
    The impact of 
    oppression from a sociological, and neuropsychological perspective

MASTERS DISSERTATION

Areas of study for this module include:

The knowledge and understanding gained from the previous modules will inform the area that I want to research for my dissertation. In addition I will study research methods either under my own supervision or if this proves difficult, which I imagine it might, I will undertake a short course of study or single external module. I would like this to include a diverse range of research methods including:

    • Psychological research methods and the analysis of data including developing skills in running statistical analysis using SPSS
    • Undertaking neuroscientific research using up-to-date technology such as fMRI
    • Effective methods of using qualitative data in the analytical process
    • The possibilities and problems of combining these forms of data and analysis.

 

The dissertation paper will be approximately 20,000 words and will comprise:

  • A clear relevant question or theory to be investigated in some considerable depth
  • A full review and analysis of relevant literature and other resources
  • A clear method of collecting appropriate primary and secondary data from multiple sources
  • Statistical and qualitative data presentation and analysis
  • A comprehensive discussion of the conclusions drawn from the data
  • A critical analysis of the study overall, including all limitations and indicators of desirable ongoing research.