Deciding which route to take

To develop competency as an MBCT teacher we offer two routes: the academic route and the non-academic route.

Academic route

The academic route is the Master of Studies (MSt) programme in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. Over two years, this academic course covers Steps 1 through 3 of the OMC’s teacher training pathway. This part-time programme is for those who wish to experience the academic rigour of a University of Oxford Master of Studies degree. It offers experienced clinicians and practitioners from a range of professional backgrounds a unique opportunity to develop in-depth specialist knowledge and skills and enables graduates to teach, innovate, and advocate the use of MBCT. The MSt is designed to offer a deep understanding of the structure, curriculum and intentions of MBCT, together with a critical appreciation of cognitive and clinical theory, empirical research, and Buddhist psychology relating to MBCT. Developing and reflecting on your own personal mindfulness practice is a key part of the programme. The course provides you with the opportunity to develop the practical skills you will need to translate knowledge and understanding into delivering high quality MBCT and contributing to the development and dissemination of this approach. Competency in teaching MBCT will be assessed by the end of the programme using the MBI-TAC (see below). For more information about the academic route, click here:

Non-academic route

The non-academic route is a largely practical course enabling the development of teaching skills, along with an understanding of the theoretical underpinnings and evidence base for MBCT. Step 1 (Foundational Training) of the non-academic route can be completed in approximately one year and will enable you to deepen your personal mindfulness practice and to understand the background, relevant scientific theory and ethical framework of MBCT. You will learn about the intentions underpinning the various elements of the MBCT course and about the structure and sequence of the curriculum. You will have the opportunity to develop teaching skills through practicing teaching the curriculum with peers, providing you with a solid platform for developing further teaching skills through an apprenticeship.

The OMC offers Step 1 (Foundational Training) of the non-academic route in two formats.

  • The fortnightly format provides training days approximately every fortnight, as well as a 4-day retreat, within a period of one academic year, beginning in the autumn.
  • The block format provides intensive residential training periods of about 7 consecutive days. The block format is in development. More details about how to complete Step 1 (Foundational Training) of the OMC’s teacher training pathway through the block format will be available soon.

How do you choose between the different routes?

It is important that you choose a route that will enable you to fulfill your personal objectives for developing skills and knowledge of MBCT. The entry criteria for the courses are somewhat different, as is the duration of the courses and the costs. The MSt program requires a commitment to the full two-year programme. The non-academic route in the fortnightly format requires a commitment to the whole of Step 1 (Foundational Training) or about one academic year. The non-academic route offered in the block format will allow you to commit to one block at a time. This may be a good option if you can attend blocks of consecutive training days and are uncertain of whether you are ready to commit to the complete Foundational Training.