This programme's aim is to develop a stable mindfulness practice, to study and research its application in a selected professional context and learn to teach mindfulness. This is done through a combination of experiential training, online forums and regular one to one practice reviews with an experienced mindfulness teacher. The unique focus of this course is a compassionate approach to mindfulness practice that is the basis for deepening insight, which then enriches one’s life and work.
This programme is studied by blended learning - a mixture of on campus and online.
Mindfulness is an innate capacity of the mind to be aware of the present moment in a non-judgemental way. It enables us to access inner resources for coping effectively with stress, difficulty and illness. This promotes a way of being that helps us to take better care of ourselves and lead healthier lives.
The studies in Mindfulness MSc is run as a Partnership between the University of Aberdeen and the Mindfulness Association Ltd, with the Mindfulness Association delivering the experiential training in Mindfulness, Compassion and Insight, and the University delivering the academic training.
You can join this MSc programme if you have a first degree or equivalent professional experience, and a professional, work or voluntary context within which to explore mindfulness. The MSc is suitable for beginners as well as those who already have an established mindfulness practice. The training is entirely secular.
Key Programme Information
At a Glance
- Learning Mode
- Blended Learning
- Degree Qualification
- 36 months
- Study Mode
- Part Time
- Start Month
What You'll Study
- Year 1
- Mindfulness (ED505A) - 30 Credit Points
This course covers three key features of the Programme: establishing a mindfulness practice, the study of mindfulness and exploring the relevance of mindfulness to a self-selected professional, work or voluntary context. The two residential weekends of teaching, study and practice have a strong experiential focus. They introduce students to the foundations of mindfulness practice through teaching, guided practice and inquiry, and they provide an opportunity to explore the personal implications of one’s practice in smaller tutorial groups
The course is assessed through the submission and assessment of a written assignment (6000-8000 words).
- Compassion (ED555B) - 30 Credit Points
ED555B Compassion is the second course in the MSc in Studies in Mindfulness. It follows the same teaching approach as the first course. ED505B Compassion is unique not only in prioritising the study of compassion but also in developing compassion within mindfulness practice. The initial focus is on self-compassion and then opening out to others. The practice of compassion is contextualised within a wider focus on loving-kindness, joy, and equanimity. The module draws on insights from evolutionary psychology, neuroscience and Buddhism.
- Year 2
- Insight (ED505L) - 30 Credit Points
This course follows the same teaching approach as the first two courses. Its distinctive feature is understanding how and why we get caught up in habitual patterns of thinking and behaviour. Mindfulness and Compassion provide the foundation for clear seeing into the hidden mechanisms that give rise to conditioned reactions; and seeing how these have their roots in the subliminal level of mental activity. Practice is developed through Insight meditation and reflection. The module also draws on insights from evolutionary psychology, neuroscience and Buddhism.
The course is assessed by a written assignment (6000-8000 words).
- Professional Enquiry (ED555J) - 30 Credit Points
This course provides the opportunity for students to critically investigate and improve aspects of their professional practice through enquiry. The course essentially explores the notion of the practitioner researcher within the policy – theory – research – practice landscape. The development of knowledge and understanding of the research process, and the evidence-based design, implementation and analysis of an investigation exploring an important context-specific aspect of each student’s professional practice, are key elements of the course. On-line tutor-led group sessions are used at key points to provide formative support for student learning.
- Year 3
Participants who complete successfully the first two courses and 60 credit points may exit with a Certificate. Those who complete successfully the first four courses and 120 credit points may exit with a Diploma.
- Work - Based Project / Dissertation (ED50PJ) - 60 Credit Points
This course will support you to frame, specify, plan, implement and report an academic or work-related research-based investigation or development. The course is available if you have successfully completed a postgraduate diploma and allows you to complete your Masters degree. Normally your diploma should have included courses which introduced the process and methods of conducting research. The work based project/dissertation course requires sustained independent research and you will receive individual or small group supervision. You will also have the opportunity to engage with workshops and online resources as part of a community of researchers in education and related areas.
We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
How You'll Study
The Mindfulness, Compassion and Insight courses will each be taught over two residential weekend workshops at Samye Ling Tibetan Centre with a 5-day retreat on Holy Isle at the end of Years 1 and 2. Between practice weekends students are supported by regular one-on-one telephone sessions with a designated mindfulness teacher, as well as online forums and tasks that focus more on the academic input. The programme is available in e-learning mode via the university’s online learning environment. The year-end retreats will provide a grounding in teaching Mindfulness, which can be supplemented by a 5-day teacher training retreat for those who wish to teach the Mindfulness Based Living Course (MBLC) 8 week programme.
- Group Projects
- Individual Projects
Participants are encouraged to be active and reflective learners and great emphasis is placed on professional action in the workplace setting.
Formative assessment is a feature of all courses. Formative and summative assessments are designed to arise naturally in the workplace and from course work. Most assessment tasks focus on workplace applications and/or critical reflection on mindfulness and its application. Each course is assessed by a set assignment.
Why Study Studies in Mindfulness?
- Developing a stable mindfulness practice
- Studying mindfulness - its evidence base, areas of application and critiques
- Researching the application of mindfulness to a chosen professional context, such as health, education or business
- Learning to teach mindfulness in accordance with the guidelines of the UK Network for Mindfulness Teachers
The Mindfulness MSc is open to anyone with a first degree or equivalent experience who would like to explore in a rigorous way Mindfulness in their work or in some aspect of their life experience. Any work context is relevant from acting to the oil industry, police to parenting, drug and alcohol rehab to training riders in dressage.
An undergraduate degree (Hons 2.2 or better) is a normal requirement, but applications will be considered from individuals with other professional qualifications and relevant experience. It is also required that applicants provide evidence of having regular access to a practice context that allows for the application and evaluation of mindfulness techniques in a professional setting.
English Language Requirements
All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.
Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.
This programme requires that you meet the College of Arts and Social Sciences Postgraduate Standard level of English proficiency. If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.
Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempted from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.
You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme.
- Degree Certificate
- a degree certificate showing your qualifications
- Degree Transcript
- a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
- Personal Statement
- a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
- a reference letter from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employer, or another professional person
Fees and Funding
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
|Home / EU / RUK Students||£550|
|Modular fee programmes - Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year Charge on a modular basis per 15 credits.|
|Home / EU / RUK Students||£2,205|
|Modular fee programmes - Dissertation Stage - Tuition fee for 2017/18 Academic Year|
|Modular fee programmes - Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year Charged on a modular basis per 15 credits.|
|Modular fee programmes - Dissertation Stage - Tuition fee for 2017/18 Academic Year|
International non-EU Applicants
- In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
- For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.
Tuition fees will be charged depending on the number of credits you are registered for in each academic year. Students are normally expected to register for 60 credits in year 1 (ED505A – 30 credits and ED555B– 30 credits), 60 credits in year 2 (ED505C – 30 credits and ED555J – 30 credits) and 60 credits in year 3 (ED505PJ – 60 credits).
Please note below that there are two fee rates : Home / EU / RUK and International. Your fee classification will be determined upon submission of an application.
Please note that the cost of accommodation at the teaching weekends and retreats is not covered by the tuition fees
Our Funding Database
View all funding options in our Funding Database.
There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.
- Programme Coordinator
- Dr Graeme Nixon
Information About Staff Changes
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
Get in Touch
School of Education
University of Aberdeen