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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Health and Social Science

Undergraduate Course: The Power of Myth: The Hero's Journey in the Transformation of Self and the World (SHSS10002)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is a Summer School course which is 3 weeks in duration. This course provides students with theoretical and experiential opportunities to explore the power of myth, especially in the Hero's Journey, as it reveals patterns and themes that guide and inform the transformation of self and the world.
Course description Week 1: Introduction to The Power of Myth and the Call of the Hero's Journey

Week 2: Introduction to The Hero's Journey and the Response

Week 3: Introduction to The Transformation of the World and the Return

3 week Summer School in Edinburgh, plus 1 week preparatory reading before Summer School commences and final assessment to be completed for submission 1 week after Summer School ends.

This is a Summer School course which is three weeks in duration. The purpose of this course is to explore the power of myth, especially in the Hero's Journey, as it provides patterns and themes embedded in the human experience of personal and societal transformation. The course will follow the traditional hero's journey cycle of receiving a call, responding to that call, facing of inherent challenges and obstacles, meeting and accepting supportive allies, finding the 'treasure', and returning to share recovered or discovered gifts with the larger community. Using literary sources, including Celtic and Scottish ones, the course will provide and facilitate opportunities for participants to explore these themes and patterns in their own lives and communities.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have completed 2 years of higher education at their home university.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of and ability to articulate a basic understanding of myth, the hero¿s journey, and their relationship to personal and social transformation.
  2. By the end of the course, students will be able to participate in a range of collaborative discussions and activities in a way that critically engages with others¿ ideas, while expressing their own perspectives clearly and persuasively.
  3. By the end of the course, students will be able to critically analyse elements of myth, components in the hero¿s journey cycle, and the effectiveness of the materials and processes used to explore issues of transformation facing self and the world.
  4. By the end of the course, students will be able to respond thoughtfully and ethically to challenges and opportunities that arise, when addressing individual and collective calls to personal and social transformation.
  5. By the end of the course, students will be able to critically evaluate possible ways in which learning from this course might be applied and/or used to integrate enhanced health and wellbeing within their own disciplines.
Reading List
Houston, Jean (2012), The Wizard of Us: Transformational Lessons From Oz. New
York: Atria Books.
A course reader will include selections from some of the resources listed below.

Black, Ronald (ed) (2001), An Lasair: An Anthology of 18th Century Scottish
Gaelic Verse. Edinburgh: Birlinn.
Bruford, Alan J. and Macdonald, Donald A. (eds) (1994), Scottish Traditional Tales.
Edinburgh: Polygon.
Campbell, Joseph with Moyers, Bill and Fowers, Betty Sue (eds) (1988), The Power of Myth. New York: Doubleday.
Campbell, Joseph (1972), The Hero With A Thousand Faces. New Jersey: Princeton
University Press.
Jackson, Kenneth Hurlstone (1971), A Celtic Miscellany. Harmondsworth Middlesex,
England: Penguin Books Ltd.
Lyle, Emily, ed. (1997), Scottish Ballads. Edinburgh: Canongate Books.
Mackenzie, Donald A. (1917), Wonder Tales from Scottish Myth & Legend. London:
Maclean, Sorley (2011), 'Cave of Gold' in Whyte, Christopher and Dymock, Emma
(eds), White Leaping Flame - Sorley Maclean Collected Poems. Edinburgh:
Polygon, 294-315.
Maclean, Sorley (1989), 'The Cuillin' in Whyte, Christopher and Dymock, Emma
(eds) (2011), White Leaping Flame - Sorley Maclean Collected Poems.
Edinburgh: Polygon, 344-414.
MacNeacail, Aonghas (1983), Sireadh Bradain Sicir/Seeking Wise Salmon.
Edinburgh: Balnain Books.
Newton, Michael S. (2009), Warriors of the Word: The World of the Scottish
Highlanders. Edinburgh: Birlinn.
Newton, Michael S. (ed) (2006), Dùthchas nan Gàidheal: Selected Essays of John
MacInnes. Edinburgh: Birlinn.
Pearson, Carol S. (1991), Awakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes to Help
Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World. New York: HarperCollins
Von Eschenbach, Wolfram (1980), Parzival. London: The Penguin Group.

For Further Reading:
Armstrong, Karen (2005), A Short History of Myth. Edinburgh: Canongate.
Arrien, Angeles (2000), The Nine Muses: A Mythological Path To Creativity.
New York: Tarcher/Putnam.
Strachan, Gordon (2006), The Return of Merlin: Star Lore and the Patterns of
History. Edinburgh: Floris Books.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and Enquiry:
Be able to identify, define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them.
Be able to exercise critical judgment in creating new understanding.
Be able to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry.
Be able to critically assess existing understanding and the limitations of their own knowledge and recognise the need to regularly challenge all knowledge.
Recognise the importance of reflecting on their learning experiences and be aware of their own learning style.

Personal and Intellectual Autonomy:
Be open to new ideas, methods, and ways of thinking.
Be creative and imaginative thinkers.
Be independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning, and are committed to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement.
Be able to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought, taking into account ethical and professional issues.
Be able to use collaboration and discussion effectively to test, modify and strengthen their own views.
Be intellectually curious and able to sustain intellectual interest.
Be able to respond effectively to unfamiliar problems in unfamiliar contexts.
Have a personal vision and goals and be able to work towards these in a sustainable way.

Make effective use of oral, written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding.
Use communication as a tool for collaborating and relating to others.
Further their own learning through effective use of the full range of communication approaches.
Seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness.
Use effective communication to articulate their skills as identified through self-reflection.

Personal Effectiveness:
Appreciate and use talents constructively.
Be able to create and harness opportunities.
Be able to manage risk while initiating and managing change.
Be responsive to their changing surroundings, being both flexible and proactive.
Have the confidence to make decisions based on their understandings and their personal and intellectual autonomy.
Be able to flexibly transfer their knowledge, learning, skills and abilities from one context to another.
Be able to work effectively with others, capitalizing on their different thinking, experience and skills.
Special Arrangements University of Edinburgh students will not receive credit for this course
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Christine Price
Tel: (0131 6)51 5097
Course secretaryMiss Jennifer Tempski
Tel: (0131 6)51 4836
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