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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 12/10/2022 13:54:18

Title of Module: Mindfulness, Biopsychology and Research

Code: MIND11002 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 30 ECTS: 15
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:B  Hatin

Summary of Module

In this second MSc module, students will explore key domains of mindfulness teaching whilst examining links between mindfulness, human behaviour and biological processes. Students will also begin to consider the research process. Course themes will be explored from both practical and academic perspectives. Students will be introduced to generic mindfulness teaching skills and will also begin to receive instructor feedback, and give and receive peer feedback, in accordance with the Mindfulness Based Interventions-Teaching Assessment Criteria (MBI-TAC).                                                                    

The module will include an introduction to research methodology (quantitative and qualitative) allowing students to engage critically with mindfulness literature. The relationship between behaviour and biological processes will be explored and will enhance students’ understanding of research and data collecting relative to mindfulness practice. Students will develop a critical awareness of the research linking biological psychology and mindfulness; and will engage in reflection combining teaching practice, research underpinnings, and ethical practice and research.

This module will develop the following graduate attributes:

  • Critical Thinker
  • Inquiring
  • Collaborative
  • Research-Minded
  • Socially Responsible
  • Effective communicator
  • Incisive

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:





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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of research methodologies and biological processes within the context of ethical psychological science.

L2. Systematically evaluate research methodology, and critically appraise research on biological psychology, mindfulness and mindfulness teaching.

L3. Critically reflect on practical experience of mindfulness teaching in relation to the MBI-TAC, ethical practice, and the relevant academic literature.

L4. Demonstrate an understanding of group dynamics and evaluate their own responses to feedback from peers and instructors.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 11.

Demonstrating and/or working with:
Knowledge that covers and integrates key areas of guiding mindfulness practice including features, boundaries, terminology, and conventions.
Extensive, detailed and critical knowledge and understanding of current approaches to research methodology within the context of biological psychology and mindfulness practice.
A critical understanding of current issues in biological psychology and mindfulness research.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Applying knowledge, skills and understanding:
Guiding a range mindfulness practices, and in the practice of interactive enquiry and the giving and receiving of feedback within the structure of the MBI-TAC.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Applying critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to forefront issues in research processes in biological psychology and mindfulness.
Critically reviewing, consolidating and extending knowledge, skills, practices and thinking relating to guiding mindfulness practice and conveying course themes through interactive enquiry and debate.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Communicating effectively and professionally with peers, more senior colleagues, academics and specialists.
Using appropriate application/software to engage in blended and online learning activities.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Exercising substantial autonomy and initiative in carrying out personal mindfulness, mindfulness teaching practice and learning activities.
Taking responsibility for own work and contributing to the collective learning activities of the group in ways which support and develop critical reflection.
Practicing mindfulness and mindfulness teaching in a way which draws upon critical reflection on own and others’ roles and responsibilities.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Psychological Wellbeing and Mindfulness
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below.

This course will have a blended delivery via online teaching resources, with synchronous (live) teaching occurring over two weekend sessions and occasional evenings.

The asynchronous teaching sessions will introduce students to research methodology, biological processes and mindfulness teaching practice. Students will take part in regular peer-group enquiry sessions as well as completing structured learning activities. The synchronous (live) sessions will develop relational and interactive enquiry skills as well as an understanding of group dynamics. Synchronous sessions will support the integration of research processes and mindfulness practice reflecting the content delivered online, and will give students the opportunity to engage with the teaching team to explore concepts in more depth in an interactive way.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery26
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity7
Asynchronous Class Activity21
Practice Based Learning35
Independent Study211
300 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Bourne, V. (2017). Starting out in methods and statistics for psychology: A hands-on guide to doing research. Oxford University Press.

Brandsma, R. (2017). The mindfulness teaching guide: Essential skills and competencies for teaching mindfulness-based interventions. New Harbinger Publications.

Choden & Regan-Addis, H. (2018). Mindfulness Based Living Course. Winchester UK, Washington US: O Books.

Crane, R. S., Soulsby, J. G., Kuyken, J., Williams, M. G., & Eames, C. (2018). Manual of the Mindfulness-based Interventions Teaching Assessment Criteria. The Universities of Bangor, Exeter and Oxford.

Goldberg SB, Tucker RP, Greene PA, Simpson TL, Kearney DJ, & Davidson RJ. (2017). Is mindfulness research methodology improving over time? A systematic review. PLoS ONE 12(10), e0187298.

Goleman, D., & Davidson, R. J. (2017). Altered traits: Science reveals how meditation changes your mind, brain, and body. Penguin, New York.
Accompanied with:
Lyle, R. R. (2018). Review of the book Altered Traits. NeuroRegulation, 5(3), 103-104.

Jhangiani, R. S., Chiang, I. A., Cuttler, C. & Leighton, D. C. (2019). Research Methods in Psychology (4th Ed.). Open Science Textbook. Retrieved from:

Kalat, J.W. (2015). Biological Psychology, Twelfth Edition. California: Cengage Learning (Online access available via UWS Library)

Kramer, G. (2007). Insight dialogue: The interpersonal path to freedom. Shambhala Publications

Treleaven, D. A. (2018). Trauma-sensitive mindfulness: Practices for safe and transformative healing. WW Norton & Company.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Students are expected to attend a minimum of 75% of synchronous (live) learning activities and engage with at least 50% of asynchronous activities. In order to ensure that students meet the requirements of the UK Good Practice Guidelines for Mindfulness Teachers and are eligible to join the UK Listing, students will need to attend all assessed synchronous sessions. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link: /

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardPsychology & Social Work
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelPsychology
ModeratorN Douglas-Smith
External ExaminerC Ramsey-Wade
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assessment 1: The first assessment is a presentation in the form of a structured debate. This will involve the synthesis and appraisal of research in biopsychology and mindfulness practice and teaching. The assessment is worth 40% of the final mark.
Assessment 2: The second assessment will involve the completion of a 3000 word reflective portfolio of written work which evaluates the links between research methodology, group dynamics and mindfulness teaching and practice. The assessment is worth 60% of the final mark.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentationcheck markcheck mark check mark402

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Portfolio of written workcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark602
Combined Total For All Components100% 4 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries). The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.