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Subject area:    Holistic Studies Bachelor, Master, Doctorate  

                             (alternative keywords:  holism, wholistic studies, wholism)


Awarding body:            Calamus International University.  For further details of CIU please see the about page.


Status of course:          The degrees are non-UK qualifications. For status of CIU please see the status page.  CIU is accredited by the International Association for Distance Learning.  


Entry requirements:      Bachelor - by accelerated entry - approx. 50% credit from previous studies and/or experience needed for entry.

                                   Master -  a suitable bachelor's degree or professional qualifications are normally required.
                                   Doctorate -  a Bachelor's degree (and preferably a Master's) plus professional qualifications are normally required.


Method of study:            Distance learning (taught course units are textbook-based) Textbooks are not included in tuition fees. 


Start date:                        Any time of year (subject to availability)


Duration:                         The standard period of registration for an accelerated (advanced-entry) Bachelor's degree, a Master's degree or a Doctorate is a maximum of 18 months, after which registration lapses unless continuing registration fees are paid.  This plan ensures that students can (a) complete as soon as academic requirements are fulfilled and (b) do not have to pay for long compulsory registration periods of several years before the final requirements can be met.  In some cases, where the student needs to meet additional requirements, the agreed initial registration period will be up to 24 months.




This brochure should be read together with the Calamus general prospectus (catalogue) and Course Unit List.  Calamus International University degrees are not UK degrees and do not have government accreditation.  



Holistic Studies

HOLISTIC STUDIES is one of the multi-disciplinary degree programmes offered by Calamus International University. It is similar to the degree programmes in Personal Development.  There will be several specially selected core units on the philosophy and applications of holistic principles to life, work and politics.  The remainder of the degree is made up of selected options from the range of mind-body-spirit subjects offered as CIU course units.

HOLISTIC STUDIES  is an interdisciplinary subject focusing on the interrelationship between human beings and other people, society, and environment, and also such concerns as wellness and spirituality. The programme encourages the development of individual interests.  It may be studied for personal interest or as a professional development degree for counsellors, therapists, life and personal coaches, “New Age” practitioners, holistic teachers and trainers, holistic business owners, etc.  A unique study plan will be agreed with each student.  This degree is ideal for those interested in a wide range of topics without wanting a narrower specialisation such as counselling psychology, metaphysics, or contemporary spirituality.

A core book on holism is:  Soulution: The Holistic Manifesto by William Bloom. (Hay House, London, 2004)  You may wish to read this book in advance of starting the course, though it is not necessary to do so.  This key text is used for the CIU course unit CSP 206 – Holism for Today’s World.  Here is an extract from the course description for this unit:

 … a holistic approach to life is the optimistic and positive way forward for the global community.  Holism is defined in great detail and it is shown that the principles of holism are excitingly relevant to all aspects of our being: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  All life is interdependent and connected and we are all responsible for each part of the whole.  Health, success and spiritual development work hand-in-hand with each other and we are all called to be responsible, not only to ourselves, but to the welfare of the environment and for all people and animals in the global village. Recommended methods are set out to achieve holistic goals in a dynamic and practical way.

The Holistic Studies major can make use of course units from any of the following fields (and any similar fields) subject to availability of units: 

  • Holism

  • Personal Development,

  • Counselling,

  • Psychotherapy,

  • Hypnotherapy,

  • Psychology,

  • Wellness Studies/ Complementary Medicine /Healing Studies, 

  • Life Coaching,

  • NLP, 

  • Stress Management, 

  • Organizational Behaviour,

  • Creative Writing,

  • Workplace Spirituality,

  • Contemporary Spirituality,

  • Religious Studies,

  • Shamanistic Studies,

  • Metaphysics/Esoteric Studies/ New Age Studies,

  • Regression and Reincarnation Studies,

  • Parapsychology,

  • Social Studies

  • Environmental studies (units under development)

(You do NOT have to take units from ALL of these fields). 

Other electives can be taken from different subject areas subject to approval, and the student can also suggest areas of independent special study. 

The range of courses offered (subject to availability) can be found in our course unit list which is available for download at

Students for a degree in Holistic Studies will normally draw from both non-spiritual and spiritual areas of study to create a balanced syllabus, but if such a combined syllabus does not suit you and you wish to concentrate exclusively, for ideological reasons, on spiritual or on non-spiritual fields, you can discuss an appropriate degree path with the course admissions advisor.  We will do our best to fit in with your preferences and needs.

The first step is to decide what level of degree you are seeking (normally BA or MA). The level of degree depends largely on your previous qualifications and experience.

Bachelor's degree

The CIU Bachelor’s degree is by distance learning only, and is meant for people who have already some education and/or training.  It is normally an accelerated programme equivalent to second-year or third-year entry..  The student should have a range of credit already. This can be from any field and can include university credits, further education, skilled work experience, and other documentable skilled experience.

If you are not sure if you have enough credit for an accelerated degree, please send us your full resume or CV so we can advise you further.

Other options that could provide a route to a Bachelor’s, if you do not have enough credit now, are:

-  Studying one or more short courses that we can help you select

-  Enrolling on an extended Bachelor’s degree (which will cost more than the accelerated degree, and take longer).

The exact programme of study will negotiated between the personal tutor and the student after enrolment, depending on amount and type of transfer credit, interests and professional needs. Credit transfer will be given as appropriate. The student may also select content-rich internet sites of his or her choice, subject to approval, on which course units may be based. If the student is in an ongoing practical training programme, completed modules of that programme may be submitted for additional credit.  You will have the opportunity to devise your own personal project. 

Higher degrees

The BA in Holistic Studies can provide access to the CIU MA in Holistic Studies and also to other related MA degrees provided the student has a suitable background.  It is then possible to go on to certain CIU doctoral degrees – depending again on the student’s background and interests. 

The MA is open to applicants with most approved Bachelor’s degrees and also to certain professionals – such as nurses, teachers and social workers – who do not have a Bachelor’s degree.

A PhD by research and dissertation is available; however this degree demands sound academic writing and research skills and those without such skills may be asked to take a special course.  If you are a published author in a holistic field, it could be possible to use ongoing research for your next project as the basis of a Ph.D, subject to approval. The Ph.D. may need some taught courses to be completed in addition to the dissertation if appropriate postgraduate transfer credit is not available.

The D.H.Sc. (Doctor of Holistic Sciences) is degree by taught courses (and optional dissertation) for those in holistic-related professions. For further details please see the Doctor of Holistic Sciences brochure.

Textbooks and coursework

The tuition fees do not include textbooks. Students normally buy their books from on-line bookstores such as Amazon.  Second-hand copies of textbooks can often be found via Amazon or or  It is impossible to indicate the cost of books as prices vary and fluctuate all the time.  Each course unit will typically require one course textbook.  The typical MA or accelerated BA degree programme will require between 15 and 20 books.  

After enrolment a questionnaire is issued to help the student and the college to co-design an individualised study plan.  At this point a choice of course units is made and the student is given details of the appropriate books.

Most units are completed using written work based on the textbooks and other set exercises, and written work may be emailed to the college for assessment.

The programmes work on the basis of continuous assessment and there is no final examination. The programmes are totally by distance learning and there is no attendance requirement of any kind at any time.



Credit requirements


Bachelor -  120 credits including transfer credits.

Master -  45 credits including any transfer credits if the degree includes a thesis, or 48 credits without a thesis.

Doctorate (taught or research) - minimum 60 credits including any transfer credits if the degree includes a dissertation, or 70 credits without a dissertation.  The Ph.D. must include a dissertation.  A research doctorate will normally incorporate postgraduate transfer credits or credits from professional trainings.  If insufficient transfer credit is available then some CIU taught course modules may need to be taken in addition to the research programme and dissertation. 


One credit is nominally equivalent to one semester hour as in the typical American degree programme. The average course unit taken with CIU has a value of 3 credits or 3 semester hours.



Further advice


This brochure cannot cover everything, and further advice is available on enquiry. For best advice, please send us a copy of your curriculum vitae or resume with details of all relevant trainings you have done.

To see our prospectus and course unit list, and also to download an application form, please go to our downloads page

To see our tuition fees on-line please go to our tuition fees page

Calamus International University which awards the degrees is not a UK or US university - for status details click here.

If you have any queries please contact us, preferably by email on

Page updated 22 April 2011

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