Movement and Mind

This programme explores the rich intersection of embodied practice, environmental philosophy, and ecological thinking.


Wednesday 10 May – Friday 7 July 2023


Dr Rachel Sweeney


Dartington Trust, South Devon


Deposit: £150* | Full Course: £1,500 (accommodation and meals not included)

Booking deadline: 19 April 2023

Bursaries are available – find out more here.


You don't need any formal qualifications to take this course, but you need to be aware that you will be studying alongside Masters students. So that we can ensure your fit with the group, we ask that you have a short conversation with a member of the teaching team before enrolling on the course.


*A deposit is required to register your interest. The Programme Lead will then contact you to arrange a short call before you make the full course payment. In the event that the course is not suitable for you, the deposit will be refunded.

About this course

This programme explores the rich intersection of embodied practice, environmental philosophy, and ecological thinking. Literally grounded in the experience of its participants to place, this programme has the capacity to reshape our relationship to broader world, to nature, and to ourselves. By drawing on the expertise of existing faculty and staff at Schumacher College and on world-renowned experts in a wide range of physical pursuits, the MA in Movement Mind and Ecology offers a unique opportunity for students’ physical, corporeal engagement with the world through the diverse threads of ecophilosophy, mindfulness, and ecological thinking.   

This course explores the role of movement-based thinking in relation to ecological change, foregrounding the embodied engagement of students with natural places through a variety of different physical means. Students are introduced to methods of practice-led inquiry that involve physical engagement with the more-than-human world, intentional interspecies collaborations, and an understanding of socioecological systems. The aim of this course is to introduce participants to new ways of understanding the interconnected nature of the world and their place in it. Using the position, touch and movement of our own bodies, and multi-species storytelling, we’ll develop an empathy for and greater awareness of the ecological web of which we are all part. We’ll also gain an appreciation of the idea of the more-than-human, and our relationship to it.

Moving fluently between indoor studio practice and outdoor site-responsive learning, students develop together an inquiry into body-land-movement studies, articulated through somatic processes to do with sensory perception, body-responsibility, ethical encounter and deep adaptation. There will be an opportunity to explore your own movement range and capacity examining diverse physical training practices and developing collaborative tools to support movement expression and creative communication.

Your course leader Dr Rachel Sweeney will use a mix of theory and practice developed through the unique Movement Mind and Ecology Master’s programme at Schumacher College, to introduce participants to ecologically sensitive encounters, creating dialogue to help you attune with our environment in new ways.

• the more-than-human world
• kinaesthetic empathy and attentiveness
• affective ecologies
• sensate body-land dialogues
• physical storytelling

Suitable for movement based practitioners, ecologists, environmentalists, social scientists, or anyone working in physical dialogue with the natural world. Please come prepared to move both indoors and outdoors.

This course offers the opportunity to join the first module of our MA programme ‘Movement, Mind and Ecology’ as an unaccredited student.

To study on an accredited basis, please see the MA course programme page.


Our courses are part of the wider Learning programme at Dartington, and you will join a community of students on site studying at Schumacher College and Dartington Arts School as well as other short course participants, volunteers and visitors.

While you are here we invite you to take part in our learning community life by attending morning meetings, taking part in activities such as meal preparation and clearing, and evening social events. This is entirely voluntary, but participants tell us that taking part adds to their experience at Dartington.

short course community lunch

teaching dates

On-site teaching dates: 

10 – 26 May  2023

Online teaching dates:

19 June – 7 July 2023

Please note that the course fee does not include accommodation and meals for the on-site portion of your course.

Should you be accepted onto the course, our Short Course team will advise you on how to book our accommodation and catering options.


Rachel Sweeney

Dr Rachel Sweeney

Rachel is a practicing movement artist specialising in transdisciplinary approaches to decolonizing body-place relationships, engaging creatively and imaginatively with cultural heritage and sustainability discourses.

Rachel is currently Programme Lead for the MA in Movement Mind and Ecology at Schumacher College and is graduate of the BA Theatre Degree at the former Dartington College of Arts.

Read More

Book now

Please note that you will need to place your Deposit by the Booking Deadline specified above, so that we - and you - have time to prepare for your course.

Once you have placed your Deposit, you will be contacted by our Short Course team who will advise on next steps. Your application will then be considered by the Programme Lead. If you need to contact us in the meantime, you can do so by emailing

Full Short Course T&Cs can be found here >

Offer: Special course rate for Dartington Members

Dartington Members will receive a 10% discount (applies up to the value of £1,000), applied when they log in during the checkout process. Please note that for events over £1,000, your discount will apply only if you pay in full, or when you settle the remainder of your course fee (if you choose to place a deposit initially). For more information about Membership, click here (opens in new tab).

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