​​​​​​Department of Psychiatry

Postgraduate Education

Subspecialty Programmes 


MPhil Mindfulness (Research)

Course Convenor: Dr Debbie Alexander

Academic Committee: Dr. Debbie Alexander (Convenor)

                                     Prof. Soraya Seedat (HoD, Dept Psychiatry)

                                     Prof. Bob Mash (HoD, Div.​ Family Medicine & Primary Care)

                                     Dr. Simon Whitesman (Director, Institute for Mindfulness South Africa)


We welcome applications towards the study of a MPhil degree in Mindfulness Research through the Faculty of Medicine & Health Science at Stellenbosch University.


The field of mindfulness-based research has grown exponentially in the last 15 years. There is, however, little research arising out of the unique constellation of issues in South Africa and beyond these borders into Africa. Along with the two-year training in mindfulness-based interventions, also based at Stellenbosch University, this Masters degree is intended to expand the research base of mindfulness interventions and approaches within the African context. This will contribute to not only a growing understanding of local issues affecting uptake, adaptation and contextual dynamics, but will also contribute to the global expansion of the field of mindfulness research.


The value of taking a deep-dive exploration of your mindfulness-based work in the world through either qualitative or quantitative research will enrich and refine your own understanding of mindfulness and its application in the world. It is also an opportunity to bring creativity, passion and rigour together through your research work.

If you wish to discuss or explore a research project​, you can contact either Debbie Alexander (debbie@privateclient.co.za) or Simon Whitesman (simonw@lantic.net​) for an initial exploratory conversation.

Minimum entry requirements for this programme:

  • One of the following in an Education, Health Sciences, Business Sciences or Social Sciences field, including medicine, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, social work or psychology:
    • a four-year bachelor's degree;
    • an honour's degree; or
    • a postgraduate diploma (NQF level 8).
  • A Certificate in Mindfulness-based Interventions or another mindfulness qualification equivalent to a four-year bachelor's degree, an honour's degree or a postgraduate diploma.
Kindly note that for those who do not meet the academic entrance requirements, the committee has the prerogative to support your application taking all factors into account.​

Application closing dates:
​South African Nationals: by 30 September of the previous year.
Prospective International Students: by 31 August of the previous year.

Duration of Programme:
The programme extends over a minimum of 1 year on a full-time basis or 2 years on a part-time basis.

Programme Description:
  • ​The purpose of this programme is to train researchers who can contribute to the development of knowledge at an advanced level in the field of mindfulness-based interventions.
  • The programme offers your the training, supervision and support necessary to enable you to reflect critically on theory and its application, by means of a research dissertation.
  • New and local knowledge in the field of mindfulness-based interventions will improve patient care and thereby benefit the community.
  • The programme is offered by the Department of Psychiatry in collaboration with the Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care.

Programme Outcomes:
​After completing the programme, you should be able to do the following:
  • demonstrate a sound knowledge of research practice within the field of minfulness-based interventions;
  • perform research independently;
  • make sound judgements using the data and information at your disposal; and
  • communicate your findings effectively.

Programme Content:
​                                          Course                   Credits
Thesis Mindfulness                  872                        180
Assessment and Examination:
  • You must complete a research project, leading to a thesis that is assessed according to University guidelines through a proccess of internal and external examination.
  • You must obstain a minimum pass mark of 50% for the thesis.

Further information for application into this programme can be accessed below:​

  1. ​Application form here.
  2. ​Standard procedure for applying to the University here.


DR D.G. Alexander

Tel: 021 938 9445    Email:​debbie@privat​eclient.co.za