Stellenbosch University Masters in Mindfulness (MPhil Research)

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

Course Convenor:

Dr. Debbie Alexander

Academic Committee:

Dr. Debbie Alexander (Convenor: Department of Psychiatry)
Prof. Soraya Seedat (Head: Department of Psychiatry)
Prof. Bob Mash (Head: Division of Family Medicine & Primary Care)
Dr. Simon Whitesman (Director, Institute for Mindfulness South Africa)

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. Our continent has an important voice to contribute to the international mindfulness conversation, with her understanding of ubuntu, interconnectedness, heartfulness, diversity and resilience.

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 Debbie Alexander ( or Simon Whitesman ( for an initial exploratory conversation.

Please view these three forms for further information:

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.

Mindfulness-Based Programmes

  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction


    Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a participant-centred approach to stress management and is to date, the most successful and well-researched stress reduction programme worldwide.


    View Programmes

  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy


    MBCT is designed to help people who suffer repeated bouts of depression and chronic unhappiness. Research suggests this program is also effective in preventing depression relapse.


    View Programmes

  • Other Mindfulness-Based Approaches


    A mix of trainings, courses and retreats which have mindfulness as a foundation and are informed by the ethics and ethos of this approach, used in varied and diverse settings.


    View Programmes

  • Mindfulness-Based Corporate Programmes


    Programmes that cultivate healthier, conscious, and compassionate working environments. Helping employees and teams feel more connected; nurturing them to grow and thrive at work.


    View Programmes

  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Chronic Pain


    These programmes introduce mindfulness and meditation to individuals with chronic pain, guided by health professionals experienced in pain management.


    View Programmes

  • Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention


    Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) is an eight-week series of two-hour sessions, developed specifically for people recovering from alcohol, drug & process addictions.


    View Programmes

  • Mindfulness-Based Eating


    Our relationship to food is a central one that reflects our attitudes toward our environment and ourselves. Mindfulness-based interventions are particularly well suited to addressing disordered eating behaviours.


    View Programmes

  • Mindful Self-Compassion


    Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) teaches simple effective skills and develops emotional strength to meet life’s challenges with kindness instead of blaming, shaming or criticizing ourselves.


    View Programmes