Skip to main content

Wellbeing Courses

Wellbeing Services offer courses to support students during their time at the University. Our groups cover a range of topics related to student wellbeing. Please see more information on our groups below and how you can attend them.

For some of the groups and courses you will be offered an orientation session which allows you to meet the practitioner in person beforehand and get a greater understanding of what to expect from the group.

Mindfulness is a well-researched, non-religious and effective means of alleviating stress, anxiety and depression, and promoting wellbeing. This practical course was designed with the needs of students in mind at Oxford University by Professor Mark Williams, one of the original developers of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). It primarily aims to teach people skills when they are feeling fairly well, which can help with stepping out of the unhelpful thinking patterns that may lead to worsening mood and increasing stress levels. During the course we will be learning a range of practices which help to develop a greater awareness of present moment experience, a sense of acceptance and kindness towards ourselves.

For more information on how mindfulness can help alleviate stress, here is a short video clip of Professor Mark Williams speaking.

Feedback from students who have previously attended this course:

  • “I feel that this course has helped me develop coping strategies for my anxiety…I really enjoyed the course.”
  • “I think that 90 minute sessions each week were very beneficial and I liked following the course in a group setting. I felt that each week built upon one another well.”
  • “Very friendly, practical”
  • “Calmed my mind”

Dates for Term 2

To be confirmed: we will update when the schedule is confirmed.

Compassion is “sensitivity to the suffering of self and others, with a deep commitment to try to relieve it”. Developing compassion involves acknowledging that we all face difficult situations at times and accepting any mistakes we may have made. If we can support ourselves through these challenges, with kindness, we are likely to feel better.

When depressed or anxious, it is very common to focus on what we see as our own shortcomings. We can become very self-critical and expect criticism and rejection from others. This can lead to many strong negative emotions such as anxiety, sadness and shame. If we’ve had experiences of being criticised or under threat from others, and few experiences of feeling protected or soothed by others, it can be really hard to know how to soothe ourselves. Developing self-compassion and our ability to soothe ourselves can help to manage distress and difficult feelings. It can also increase positive feelings of acceptance, contentment, and kindness, which are crucial for our wellbeing.

In this 6 week online course, we will be learning ways to soothe ourselves to manage distress and emotions such as anger, fear, disgust and shame. Compassion is something that we can develop to help us become more nurturing in our relationships to ourselves and others.

For more information on why it’s important to become more compassionate, please see this short video clip of Professor Paul Gilbert, the developer of Compassion Focussed Therapy.

Feedback from students who have previously attended this course:

  •  “I remember how low I was before and how thinly I was stretching myself just to feel adequate. It’s wonderful to have moments now where I can just lie on my bed listening to music and be completely content.”
  • “I feel I have improved greatly in the last few weeks thanks to the techniques taught and the open encouraging atmosphere nurtured by practitioners and attendees.”
  • “I feel more self-accepting and happy.”
  • “The background information and knowledge together with experiential practice of meditation, mindfulness and compassion focussed exercises are most helpful.”

Next dates

The six week course will run online via Microsoft Teams each Friday from October 28 to December 2 (each session runs from 10am-12noon). 

Each session builds on the previous one, therefore we ask for attendance to all six sessions to complete the group.

How to book your place

Attendance at the course is via referral from a wellbeing practitioner only. Therefore please discuss this course with your practitioner if you are in current contact with us, alternatively please book a drop-in appointment to start that discussion.

Places are limited in number and are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

After referral to the course  you will be invited to an hour-long one-to-one session with the practitioner runnin the course to ensure it is the right time for you to attend it. If it is not, for any reason, then alternative support will be identified for you if needed.