Calamus Distance Learning Courses banner

Course brochure banner   back to brochure index

Subject area:    Metaphysics & Esoteric Studies Bachelor, Master, Doctorate  


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)  are normally required.


Exceptional candidates for higher degrees in Metaphysics or Esoteric Studies with evidence of scholarly aptitude may be admitted to a Master's or Doctorate without a previous degree.


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 (24 months for some study plans), 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.  





Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate

B.A. in Metaphysics, Esoteric Studies or New Age Studies

M.A., in Metaphysics, Esoteric Studies or New Age Studies

Met.D. (Doctor of Metaphysics),

D.E.S. (Doctor of Esoteric Studies)

D.H.Sc. (Doctor of Holistic Sciences)

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) in Metaphysics, Esoteric Studies or New Age Studies 

Honorary doctorates (Ph.D. or D.D.) also available to suitable candidates

Originally metaphysics was a branch of philosophy, and the word referred to certain writings of Aristotle and then came to mean the study of “speculative philosophy”.  However, metaphysics now has another popular meaning, encompassing the study of mystical, paranormal, esoteric, New Age and similar subject areas.  Especially in the United States, some private (or church-owned) universities offer degrees in Metaphysics in the popular sense of the word. These degrees are of varying content and quality.


If you are comparing Calamus International University degrees to other advertised “Metaphysics” degrees, you should be aware that the American religious movement called “New Thought” often refers to its teachings as “Metaphysics” and to its practitioners as “Metaphysicians”.  Certain “New Thought” universities offer degrees in “Metaphysics” that are really degrees in New Thought religion, and that do not offer a broadly-based set of options for studying psychic or paranormal matters or other avenues of contemporary spirituality.  “New Thought” is essentially a Christian movement based upon a positive relationship with God, though it is a very liberal and tolerant movement. However, it is not “New Age” and there are important differences between the two streams of spirituality.  Calamus International University is not a “New Thought” university, although a CIU course unit in New Thought philosophy is offered for those who would like to understand that branch of spirituality, and other units can be taken that  will help in understanding the place of “New Thought” within the spectrum of contemporary spirituality.  The study of metaphysics offered by CIU is much broader than that offered by some “New Thought” universities – see Note 2 for some of the options you can choose.


You can see the metaphysics course units listed in the Calamus Course Unit List online or for a downloadable copy of the list see our downloads page. Also, it is important to note that (a) metaphysics is a very broad ranging subject and many of the courses you could choose are listed under other categories, and (b) the "metaphysics" courses listed are not core courses and you do not have to choose those if you don't want to.


A metaphysics or esoteric studies degree can include course units from the following areas: metaphysics, esoteric studies, parapsychology, hypnotherapy, counselling, transpersonal psychology, thanatology, shamanistic studies, religious studies, contemporary spirituality, personal development, reincarnation studies, healing studies, and other areas.


In general, if your approach to the area is predominately intuitive, self-actualising, New Age, New Thought, mystical or psychic, a “metaphysics” major may be more appropriate, and if your approach is more academic, systematic, intellectual, historical, analytical or comparative, an “esoteric studies” major may be more appropriate.


Important Notes about Calamus International University Metaphysics-related Degrees


1.    Calamus International University is independent and not owned by any religion, church or sect.  We are aware that some metaphysics universities are owned by New Age or New Thought churches and their degrees reflect mainly the teachings or beliefs of the church founder. Some degree programmes require minimum effort and only require a few one-page statements of faith in order to complete the degree. In contrast, we offer wide-ranging programmes of study which will be intellectually satisfying. (If you require ordination, we do not provide that but there are many metaphysical churches in America you could approach).


2.    We believe that we offer the widest range of courses/topics to metaphysics and esoteric-oriented students. This is because our metaphysics students can take courses from related topics such as: comparative religion, contemporary spirituality, healing studies, energy medicine, parapsychology, shamanistic studies, regression and reincarnation studies, , etc. as well as subjects of importance to anyone helping others such as skills for adult and child counselling, units on the psychology of specific problems, introductions to various styles of psychotherapy, transpersonal psychology, and the psychology of positive thinking. This is because CIU is not just a metaphysical university. There also is a range of units on the spiritual uses of hypnosis e.g. past life regression, entity release, etc. 


3.    Further units are always under development, as well as a range of possible units that are unlisted at present, including units on philosophy, dreamwork, Spiritualist studies, possession, Wicca, Kabbalah, Jewish studies, dowsing, radionics, runes, Jung, and other topics. 


4.    Our units mostly require textbooks by well-known authors. Some universities only use their own materials written in-house, but we do not believe the quality of such materials can compare with being able to study the original works of well-known writers, thinkers, practitioners and scholars.  Some metaphysical colleges just offer units based on the teachings of one man who is the head of the college. Sometimes a course like that has not changed for many years, even though plenty of new and exciting material has been published by new authors!  We have received very disappointing reports on the poor content of such courses from certain people who have studied them and then come to Calamus to fill in gaps in their knowledge! 


5.      Our units probably let you study more material, in more depth, than the units offered by several other popular metaphysical colleges.  Where one of these colleges might sell you a 50-page booklet – at a high price - for a specific course block,  we ask you to read at least one typical full-length book – an average of 4 to 6 times as much knowledge!   This is why CIU does not grant three degrees (Bachelor, Master’s and Doctorate) all in one year like some colleges –  it is impossible to study in depth if you do so little work!  Calamus International University  degrees are not aimed at people who want to gain many degrees quickly – they are meant for those who really want to learn.  Decide for yourself which is the better university – Calamus International University, or competitors who let you gain a bunch of degrees easily.  Especially if you are serving the public through spiritual counseling and other holistic work – your clients or the members of your spiritual group, when they see the degrees after your name, deserve to know that those degrees were not earned lightly.


6.    The pace of study is flexible and you can arrange study interruptions if you wish - this can be important for someone on a multi-degree programme or someone who has many commitments.


7.    When we know your specific interests we will do our best to provide some units on them even if we do not have them at present. If you are a member of a specific sect, church, religious order, lodge, etc. we cannot guarantee to provide material related to that specific group, because we favour approaches that are not sectarian.  Another way of gaining credit is by challenge essay, which is an essay based on work you already know or books you already have.  A challenge essay can be the ideal way of gaining credit for unusual study topics, knowledge gained through individual esoteric practice or esoteric groups, and so on. Therefore we can work with what you already know and do, as much as possible. You can even suggest books to us to use as textbooks, and if we approve them they will be available as units for future students. We can develop reading lists, or lists of Internet sites, for you to study independent topics, and set essays on them.


8.    You can get credit for external studies done during your registration for a Calamus International University degree. So if you fancy doing a local evening class or workshop, some on-line course, a diploma in some subject through another institution, or a spiritual development programme offered by your own group, you can integrate that into your CIU degree studies subject to approval. Credit is generally allowed at the rate of 1 credit for 10 contact hours.


9.    You can have a choice of majors. Because "metaphysics" is often not the best major to appear on a resume used for conventional purposes, we often suggest that students register for different majors especially during a multi-degree course. A Bachelor's major we would recommend is "Personal Development" because that would accommodate Liberal Arts credits for your previous study etc., and could include metaphysical and all related topics. If you are deeply interested in one of our specialist metaphysical topics (or in another area that we can create a syllabus for) you could devote a Master's degree to that topic subject to approval. At doctoral level there is the Met.D. (Doctor of Metaphysics) degree, and we also have a D.H.Sc.  (Doctor of Holistic Sciences) or Doctor of Esoteric Studies (D.E.S.).  The  Ph.D. in Metaphysics is mainly by research and dissertation, though some taught courses will be required unless suitable credit can be transferred from previous studies. The Ph.D. is suitable for those who have an ongoing project, a proposed project, or an unpublished manuscript which can be accepted in lieu of a dissertation. In exceptional circumstances we can consider a Ph.D. route comprising a substantial body of other work, e.g. work presented in multimedia or audio format, or documented teaching/training work for a metaphysical college.  Also, CIU can offer the honorary D.D. (Doctor of Divinity) degree to persons involved in spiritual work, especially those ordained by spiritual ministries, and  the honorary Ph.D. (Ph.D. honoris causa) in Metaphysics can be offered to those involved in appropriate study, practice and training. 


10.    Even after your doctorate there is further study available if you like the Calamus way of learning.  We would advise you at the appropriate time what other degrees/diploma options might be available for you.


11.  There is an attractive tuition fee for multi-degree programmes and the Calamus International University BA degree can include credit for the widest range of previous education and achievements in all areas.  When we see your CV or resume we can give you individual advice about the best and most economical route to your choice of degree(s).



We hope that this information answers your initial queries but if you need any more information please feel free to contact us.  Please email for further advice. 


The Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree


The Calamus International University Bachelor’s degree is by distance learning only, and is normally meant for people with some work, study and other skilled experience.  It is an accelerated programme rather like second-year or third-year entry to a full-time degree, though it is a non-UK qualification  The student should have a range of credit already. This can be from any field and can include university credits, further education (e.g. HND), skilled work experience, and other documentable skilled experience gained via hobbies, sports, military service, travel, charity or voluntary work, etc. This way of building up a degree is similar to the well-established American “Liberal Arts” system in which students take general courses and specialise in their final year(s).


The final phase of the degree is made up by taking CIU taught distance learning units and/or a project. Ongoing credit can also be given for achievements after enrolment, which could include attending conferences or retreats, completion of practical trainings, workshops, running groups, writing books or articles, practice of metaphysical arts as a profession, etc.


The exact major (title) of the CIU Bachelor’s degree would depend on the overall balance of your studies, and an individualised syllabus is outlined for you drawing from relevant topics and course units.


The time taken to complete the advanced-entry CIU Bachelor’s degree can vary from a few months to about a year depending on the amount of previous credit and the time you have available.


For those who have insufficient previous credit, we can give advice on how to attain a Bachelor’s degree within a reasonable time, perhaps by incorporating a recommended diploma course to bridge the gap.  Please e-mail to  providing a copy of your Curriculum Vitae or résumé.


If you have no Bachelor’s degree but would like a Doctorate without studying for years


Many people without a Bachelor’s degree are put off aiming for a Doctorate  because of the time they think the total study will take.  CIU offers various options that can allow you to achieve your Doctorate more quickly. For example, you can be enrolled directly into a joint MA/Doctoral programme without a Bachelor’s degree, as long your qualifications and study skills are satisfactory.  For joint MA/Doctoral students, certain portions of the degrees may overlap, and this together with credit from university-level trainings or Board-approved CEUs, and credit from ongoing practice or ministry, and/or other qualifying activities, can speed up your progress to the doctorate.  



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


This page updated 22 April 2011

Home | about | news | contact | status | catalogue | course brochures | downloads | certificates | degrees | award levels | honorary awards | faculty | classes | affiliate centres | fees | FAQs | apply | Apostille | images | Calamus project | resources | link portal | E-learning products | terms | privacy | site map | mailing list

Copyright © 2011 Calamus Extension College Ltd. - All rights reserved.