Studies in Mindfulness, MSc

Studies in Mindfulness, MSc


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
Online Learning
Degree Qualification
36 months
Study Mode
Part Time
Start Month

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

Content: The MSc in Mindfulness programme is comprised of six courses contributing to a total of 180 credit points at SCQF Level 11 (PG5).

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).

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’.

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).

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.

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 change - see our Amendments to Programmes and Courses document.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
UK £1,450
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year Charged on a modular basis, The advertised fee is per 30 credits.
EU / International students £2,300
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year Charged on a modular basis, The advertised fee is per 30 credits.

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including our refund policy, please visit our 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


Self-funded international students enrolling on postgraduate taught (PGT) programmes will receive one of our Aberdeen Global Scholarships, ranging from £3,000 to £8,000, depending on your domicile country. Learn more about the Aberdeen Global Scholarships here.

To see our full range of scholarships, visit our Funding Database.

How You'll Study

The Mindfulness, Compassion and Insight courses all have two-weekend workshops (2 per semester). All of these weekends are taught online. For each of these modules, the first weekend can also, for those who wish to, be attended as a residential which takes place at Samye Ling Tibetan Centre. In each year of the programme, there is an end-of-year 6-day retreat on the Holy Island which is available either online or in person. Between practice and weekends, students are supported by regular one-on-one sessions with a designated mindfulness teacher, as well as online forums and tasks that focus more on academic input.

The programme is available in e-learning mode via the university’s online learning environment. There is an option to take teacher training with the Mindfulness Association for an additional fee.

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?

  • 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

What Our Students Say

Susan Grandfield

Susan Grandfield

What I loved about the Mindfulness degree with the University of Aberdeen was there was a real strong link with your professional context which was important to me.

Sheila Reid

Sheila Reid

The friendships I’ve made from the course have been very influential in my life and really supported me when I’ve had my ups and downs.

Adam Csmez

Adam Csmez

I had mindfulness practice for a long time but what was quite new for me is the approach and the Compassion and Insight modules and that’s actually why I chose the University of Aberdeen.

David Harrison

David Harrison

I have enjoyed being on the masters with people and meditating with people with a similar interest and desire to learn.

Sue Wright

Sue Wright

The most enjoyable thing was actually getting to do some research to do my own professional enquiry and really test some newfound skills.

Entry Requirements

The Mindfulness MSc is open to anyone with a first degree or equivalent experience who would like to explore Mindfulness in their work or 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 application deadline for September 2024 entry is Friday 16 August 2024.


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

International Applicants

Should your programme necessitate a visit to the University you may find the following information helpful.

Immigration and Student Visas.

UK Government visa advice pages.


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
Colette Nora Savage

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.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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