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.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
Blended Learning
Degree Qualification
36 months
Study Mode
Part Time
Start Month
Subject marketing image

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.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses
Mindfulness (ED505A)

30 Credit Points

ED505A Mindfulness is the first course in the MSc in Studies in Mindfulness. The course introduces the three elements of the Programme: mindfulness practice, the study of mindfulness (and associated concepts) and the relevance of mindfulness to a self-selected professional, work or voluntary context. An introduction to developing a sustained, formal mindfulness practice, based upon a unique approach, is encompassed within the course. Within the course there are two residential weekends of teaching, study and practice.

The course is assessed through the submission and assessment of a written assignment (4000-6000 words).

View detailed information about this course
Compassion (ED555B)

30 Credit Points

ED555B Compassion is the second course in the MSc in Studies in Mindfulness. The key study theme is the role and importance of compassion within mindfulness. ED505B Compassion is unique not only in prioritising the study of compassion but also in developing compassion within mindfulness practice. Specific topics include evolutionary psychology, our compassionate nature and ‘the undercurrent and the observer’.

View detailed information about this course
Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses
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).

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Professional Enquiry (Mindfulness) (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.

View detailed information about this course
Year 3

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.

Compulsory Courses

ED560A - Masters Dissertation/Project (60 credit points)

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.

Learning Methods

  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

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?

Programme Outline  

Key Features

  • 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

Entry Requirements

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.


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

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.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

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
Reference x 2
two reference letters, one of which should be 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 employers, or other professional individuals

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home Students £1,280
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year Charged on a modular basis, The advertised fee is per 30 credits.
International Students £2,040
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year Charged on a modular basis, The advertised fee is per 30 credits.

Additional Fee Information

  • 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.

Funding Opportunities

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


Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.


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 and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Career Opportunities

  • Counsellor
  • Teacher

Professional Links

Our Experts

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

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX