MSc Mindfulness Thesis
Run by School of Psychology
60.000 Credits or 30.000 ECTS Credits
Semester 1 & 2
Organiser: Dr Gemma Griffith
Overall aims and purpose
Completion of a written Thesis based on inferential research into an aspect of mindfulness-based approaches jointly agreed between the student and his or her supervisor or the thesis convenor. This may include empirical or theoretical research.
As part of the assessment for the module PMP-4004 - Mindfulness-Based Approaches: Research, students will have already written a research proposal for their Thesis research study. Students who have been given exemption from PMP-4004 are required to submit a research proposal for their MSc thesis, which has to be agreed with the convenor before registration for the thesis.
Students who have completed four taught mindfulness-based modules, and wish to proceed to a full MSc degree in Mindfulness-Based Approaches, are invited to submit a thesis with a maximum of 10,000 words. Previous academic or practical scientific research, and the completion of the module PMP-4004 - Mindfulness-Based Approaches: Research module (or a postgraduate degree including empirical research) are prerequisites for the MSc Thesis. Students should have a continuing interest in researching mindfulness-based approaches within their professional role. Working with a personal supervisor, students will design, conduct, analyse and complete an empirical or theoretical research study into Mindfulness-Based Approaches in an area of their choice, informed by the relevant research literature on mindfulness and its clinical applications. The study will generally be carried out in students’ workplaces, in consultation with their supervisor. The thesis will describe the basis and methods of the study, and the analysis and interpretation of the data.
All or most parts of the assignment question are answered.
- Appropriate and accurate use of language, with very few errors.
- Mostly clear line of argument and structure; so relationships between successive parts are generally easy to follow.
- Integrates detail into a coherent whole and guides reader to a reasoned conclusion.
- Good understanding of the material as demonstrated by a reasonably clear explanation of the issues in question.
- Supports most assertions via theoretical justification and/or reference to relevant empirical research, showing evidence of some reading beyond the information given in lecture.
- Fairly comprehensive in scope and largely relevant to the topic and issues.
- Explanatory in style and approach, with some critical interpretation.
- Good range of sources and data and careful use of evidence.
Comprehensive and accurate coverage, showing good use of lecture material and core readings, with evidence of some further reading, and demonstrating ability to appraise the evidence scientifically. Shows understanding of research methods applicable to, and the published evidence base for, mindfulness-based approaches. Research proposal for thesis shows some originality and detailed preparation.
Attempts to answer the question directly but lapses occasionally into irrelevancies.
- Generally accurate but some omissions and errors.
- Tends to make assertions without clear supporting evidence or reasoning.
- Has a somewhat loose line of argument; gives information that is mostly relevant but often does not explain why it is relevant.
- Often relies on the reader to form links between successive parts.
- Answer based largely on lecture material or on one or two essential readings.
- Descriptive in style and approach, more than analytic.
Reasonably comprehensive coverage, indicating generally accurate understanding, based on lecture material and core readings only. Limited critical appraisal. Straightforward research proposal for thesis.
All parts of the assignment question are answered.
- Entirely appropriate and accurate use of language.
- Exceptionally clear line of argument and structure.
- Each stage/section is explicitly and sensibly linked to the previous section and to the overall argument (i.e. clear progression and relevance)
- Details integrated into a coherent whole with clear and well-argued conclusions.
- Analytical in style and approach
- Integrates a wide range of appropriate material and makes relevant connections between different parts of a given course or across different courses.
- Critically evaluates the evidence in a logical manner.
- Goes well beyond the information given in the lectures (and/or project meetings)
- Shows clear evidence of extensive and relevant reading.
- Has originality of exposition; the author’s own thinking is readily apparent.
Excellent understanding shown of the wider evidence base for mindfulness- based approaches, together with its context in health care and perhaps in other areas. In-depth analysis and insightful scientific appraisal of published research into mindfulness-based approaches are shown. Very comprehensive and accurate coverage, indicating that the student has gone beyond the core and recommended readings and understands the area in depth. Writes coherently with clarity of argument and expression. Originality of ideas and a clear understanding of practical research methodology are shown in research proposal for thesis.
Collect data for a research study in a manner that is unbiased, reproducible and sensitive to the rights and circumstances of research participants.
Analyse a defined data set in rigorous and reproducible fashion.
Interpret analyses in a scientific yet self-critical manner.
Review and synthesise the literature relevant to a defined aspect of mindfulness-based approaches.
Seek, negotiate and achieve ethical approval for a defined research study where required.
Design and justify a rigorous yet pragmatic research study worthy of an MSc thesis.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
individual supervision sessions
Email contact - submitting drafts of ethics and thesis
Independently study for the project - research, data collection, analysis, ethics, write up etc
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
Subject specific skills
- Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
- Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
- Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
- Handle primary source material critically.
- Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
- Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
- Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
- Carry out empirical studies by operationalizing research questions, generating hypotheses, collecting data using a variety of methods, analysing data using quantitative and/or qualitative methods, and present and evaluate research findings (under appropriate supervision).
- Comprehend and use psychological data effectively, demonstrating a systematic knowledge of the application and limitations of various research paradigms and techniques.
- Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.
Resource implications for students
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/pmp-4006.html