Mindfulness Degree – MSc

Course Overview & Booking

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The studies in Mindfulness Degree (MSc) is run as a Partnership between the University of Aberdeen and the Mindfulness Association.  The Mindfulness Association delivers the experiential training in Mindfulness, Compassion and Insight, and the University provides the academic training.

The MSc is studied by blended learning.  This comprises attendance at live group sessions as well as online teachings.  The full MSc course can be studied part time over 3 years. Its aim is to develop a stable mindfulness practice, to study and research its application in a selected professional context and learn to teach mindfulness.

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.

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.

Studies in Mindfulness - MSc

Mindfulness Module

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. There are two residential weekends of teaching, study and practice held at Samye Ling Centre in Dumfriesshire.



Compassion Module

Compassion is the second module. The key study theme is the role and importance of compassion within mindfulness. The Compassion module 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.

Insight Module

This module follows the same teaching approach as the first two modules in year one. 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.

Professional Enquiry Module

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.

Work based project

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.

More on the MSc

  • Develop a stable mindfulness practice with a natural progression into Compassion and Insight training.
  • Deepen your knowledge of mindfulness and compassion – its evidence base and areas of application and critiques
  • Take the opportunity to research the application of mindfulness to a chosen professional context, such as health, education or business
  • Learn to teach mindfulness in accordance with the guidelines of the UK Network for Mindfulness Teachers

Other Benefits

  • We have a strong collaboration with the University of Aberdeen lasting a decade.
  • The programme with the University of Aberdeen is affordable.
  • All the tutors from the University of Aberdeen who teach on the course have gone through in-depth mindfulness training and are mindfulness practitioners.
  • The Mindfulness Association has 10 years of experience of delivering courses in the UK and Europe.
  • All our tutors are very experienced and knowledgeable compassion-based mindfulness and practitioners.
  • We have a membership providing our practitioners with ongoing support.
  • Our tutors and courses comply with the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations  (now BAMBA) who oversee the quality of mindfulness-based training in the UK.

If you have recently received or are currently receiving treatment from a psychiatrist, psychotherapist or counsellor for an ongoing mental health problem, we strongly advise that you obtain advice from your mental health professional before proceeding further with mindfulness training at this time.  

Also, if you have recently or are currently going through a traumatic life event such as a separation from a long-term partner, the death of a close family member or friend or redundancy this may not be the best time for you to start a mindfulness course.   

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. Any work context is relevant from acting to the oil industry, police to parenting, drug and alcohol rehab to training riders in dressage. The MSc is suitable for beginners as well as those who already have an established mindfulness practice. The training is entirely secular.

How Do I Find Out More?

For more information on the Mindfulness Degree, please visit the University of Aberdeen’s MSc Studies in Mindfulness programme.

Course Information

This Miindfulness Degree: Studies in Mindfulness, covers our Mindfulness Levels 1 to 3 courses supplemented with an academic exploration of the mindfulness literature and evidence-base.

It enables you to explore how mindfulness practice is applicable to your professional context.

It covers training in research methodology as well as preparation for undertaking a research project or dissertation in the third year

It also offers a teacher training pathway in accordance with the UK Network for Mindfulness Teachers.

This course is unique in that it welcomes applicants from all professions including: physical and mental health, social care and wellbeing; education and learning; business and workplace; and public service sectors such as government and criminal justice.

It is suitable for beginners as well as those who have previous experience of mindfulness and who want to develop their mindfulness practice within their work context.

The course is delivered over residential weekends at Samye Ling Tibetan Centre in South West Scotland with a year-end residential retreat at the Holy Isle retreat centre off Arran in Western Scotland.

The Course Is Modular And Can Be Exited After Each Year:

Year 1 – Mindfulness and Compassion – exit with Post Graduate Certificate;

Year 2 – Insight and Professional Inquiry (research methodology) – exit with Post Graduate Diploma; and

Year 3 – Work Based Research Project or Dissertation – exit with Master of Science.

Applications and costs are managed by the University of Aberdeen. Please click here for more information about the Mindfulness Degree costs.

The course is delivered over residential weekends at Samye Ling Tibetan Centre in South West Scotland with a year-end residential retreat at the Holy Isle retreat centre off Arran in Western Scotland.

The Mindfulness Association

Our mindfulness courses provide an in-depth, personal, experiential practice of mindfulness that are part of a lifelong journey.  We learn how to be present, respond with compassion and see deeply into our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. This three-tiered approach enables you to embody your practice as a way of life. We also provide:

  • Mindfulness teacher training
  • Compassion teacher training
  • Annual mindfulness practice retreats
  • The opportunity to study mindfulness in depth on the MSc Studies in Mindfulness in partnership with The University of Aberdeen.
  • Weekend workshops for Continued Professional Development for Mindfulness teachers. 


You may be a beginner or have practiced mindfulness with another organisation.  Either way we have courses to offer you.


Our training is based on the work of Rob Nairn. Rob is one of the world pioneers in presenting meditation training in a way that is accessible to the Western mind. He was asked to teach meditation by the Dalai Lama. His experience of over forty years of teaching meditation to Westerners has enabled him to develop a unique secular training in mindfulness, and so the Mindfulness Association was created to support this. 

We are one of the top mindfulness training providers in the UK. We have been delivering 100s of compassion-based mindfulness meditation courses over 10 years across the UK and Europe. 

All our courses are secular and draw from a broad range of disciplines, including neuroscience, evolutionary psychology and Buddhism. 

The Mindfulness Association has 10 years of experience of delivering courses in the UK and Europe. 

All our tutors are very experienced and knowledgeable compassion-based mindfulness and practitioners.  

We have a membership providing our practitioners with ongoing support. 

Our tutors and courses comply with the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations – now BAMBA who oversee the quality of mindfulness-based training in the UK. 

Completing Year 1 and 2 of the MSc qualifies you to attend:

MBLC Teaching Skills Retreat- Teaching Level 2  – after which you will have trained to teach mindfulness and will be eligible to register on the UK Listing of Mindfulness teachers, now Bamba.

Following this you will be able to train to teach the Compassion Based Living Course (CBLC) by attending CBLC  Compassion Teacher Training Retreat