This UK university launched the first MA programme in magic and occult science


If you’ve ever been intrigued by crystals, fascinated by manifesting your desires, or captivated by feminist interpretations of witchcraft, here’s a unique opportunity for you. The UK’s first-ever postgraduate degree in magic and occult science is ready to uncloak this September 2024.

This innovative course is designed to delve into the history and impact of witchcraft and magic worldwide, exploring their influence on society and science.

The multidisciplinary course that draws from various fields, including history, literature, philosophy, archaeology, sociology, psychology, drama, and religion, shed light on the role of magic in both Western and Eastern societies.


Professor Emily Selove, who leads the course, in an interview with The Guardian highlighted the programme’s relevance to contemporary society, addressing themes like decolonisation, alternative epistemologies, feminism, and anti-racism.

Selove noted that the recent surge in interest in magic and the occult, both within and outside academia, was tied to some of the most pressing questions of our time.

Selove pointed out that this course challenged the notion that magic and the occult are no longer relevant in the modern world. She emphasised that even everyday actions, like wearing lucky jewellery or touching wood for good luck, reflect our engagement with magic.

As interest in folklore, witchcraft, tarot, and crystals grows, the decline of organised religion has led to a resurgence in these practices. Notably, the 2022 census revealed an increase in the number of people identifying as pagans, wiccans, and shamans in the UK.

The MA in magic and occult science intends to examine the assumption that the West embodies rationalism and science while portraying the rest of the world as a realm of magic and superstition. It aims to explore how magic has shaped Western culture and how its perspectives on the natural world can offer fresh insights into climate change.


Selove also highlighted the growing acknowledgment within academia that texts dealing with magic and occult subjects have been systematically neglected across various disciplines.

This course aims to rectify this by incorporating both traditional Western academic methodologies and alternative approaches, including the option for students to complete their dissertation through a performance-based project.

The course has already garnered more than 100 inquiries, suggested Selove, promising a blend of traditional academic methodologies and avant-garde approaches.

The course content includes studying about dragons in western literature and art, the legend of King Arthur, gender, society and culture in early modern Europe and the philosophy of psychedelics.


The programme offers a 2:1 honours degree, with a one-year duration for full-time students and a two-year option for part-time study.

Applicants should ideally hold a 2:1 honours degree in a social sciences or humanities discipline. However, the university also considers candidates with a high 2:2 or equivalent, a different academic background at degree level, or relevant work experience.

International applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English through accepted language tests (IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, LanguageCert International ESOL SELT, Study Group Academic English etc)..

Indian students, in particular, should have a minimum of 70% marks in English in their Class 12 exams at first attempt (ISC, CBSE, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala Boards).


The core module of the programme, ARAM251 Esotericism and the Magical Tradition, covers topics such as magic in Greece and Rome, occult texts in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the history of witchcraft, magic in literature and folklore, deception and illusion, and the history of science and medicine.

By offering this programme within the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, the university aims to center Arabo-Islamic cultural heritage in the study of magic and occult science. Decolonisation, alternative epistemologies, feminism, and anti-racism serve as the core themes underpinning this unique programme.

If you’re ready to explore the mystical world of magic and occult science, you can apply for this exciting postgraduate degree at the official University of Exeter website.

Don’t miss this opportunity to delve into the rich history and influence of magic on our society and the world at large.

Published On:

Oct 6, 2023

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