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Masters Degree in MBCT

MSt graduates in academic dress

Applications for the 2016-18 course are closed.

We are unable to consider late applications.

Our next course is planned for 2018-20, with applications being accepted from September 2017.

Master of Studies in MBCT

We offer a two year Master of Studies degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) through the Continuing Education Department of Oxford University.

This two year part-time course offers experienced clinicians and practitioners from a range of professional backgrounds a unique opportunity to develop in-depth specialist knowledge and skills in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. Our aim is to foster a community of teachers with the expertise to deliver high quality MBCT to patients, and to contribute to the development and dissemination of this innovative approach to mental and physical healthcare.

The course is offered by the Oxford Mindfulness Centre at the Oxford University Department of Psychiatry, in collaboration with the University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education, and will lead to an award of a Master of Studies by the University of Oxford.

We are not able to deliver any aspects of the teaching online. Please be advised that you must be able to attend all the course dates in person.

Interested in applying?

Applications for the 2018-20 course will be accepted from September 2017.

Programme Details

Details of the course are subject to change for the next intake and online information will be reviewed in advance of applications opening.

The course is taught, part-time, over two years, and is organised in to nine three or four-day teaching blocks (held in Oxford) and three residential training retreats (held in Somerset or Devon)  – one of four days and one of seven days in Year I and one of seven days in Year II. In addition to the taught component, students will need to set aside 6-7 hours per week for private study, personal practice of MBCT, completion of written assignments. Participants on courses with similar demands confirms that this time is crucial to completing the course successfully.

On successful completion of the taught components of the course and associated assignments, the award of the Master’s degree is made by the University of Oxford, under the aegis of its Continuing Education Board.

Course Content

The course addresses the theoretical basis of MBCT, including relevant aspects of cognitive and clinical psychology, as well as aspects of Buddhist psychology and philosophy on which MBCT draws. It also provides opportunities for students to develop the practical skills they need in order to translate knowledge and understanding into competent MBCT practice, that is, students are expected to develop for themselves the understanding and skills they will be teaching to patients. (This is analogous to the requirement for experience of personal therapy in the education of psychodynamic psychotherapists).

The course covers four main topic areas:

  • Theory, including: relevant cognitive science (e.g. attention, memory, judgement, metacognition, executive function); clinical theory (e.g. cognitive theories of the development and maintenance of emotional disorder and the principles underlying MBCT); relevant aspects of Buddhist psychology and philosophy and their contribution to MBCT
  • Research related to the ongoing development of MBCT, and investigating the areas of theory outlined above
  • Clinical applications in a range of problem areas, for example, depression, chronic fatigue, physical pain, psychosis and working with adolescents and children
  • Practice including the development of personal experience of mindfulness meditation, the capacity to relate this experience to theory and research, and the skills needed to instruct patients/clients in MBCT, drawing on relevant theory, research and clinical literature

Read the 2014-16 Prospectus and the course information pages for more details about the current course.

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