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BackgroundAdults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often present with a lifelong pattern of core symptoms that is associated with impairments of functioning in daily life. This has a substantial personal and economic impact. In clinical practice there is a high need for additional or alternative interventions for existing treatments, usually consisting of pharmacotherapy and/or psycho-education. Although previous studies show preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in reducing ADHD symptoms and improving executive functioning, these studies have methodological limitations. This study will take account of these limitations and will examine the effectiveness of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) in further detail. Methods/design A multi-centre, parallel-group, randomised controlled trial will be conducted in N = 120 adults with ADHD. Patients will be randomised to MBCT in addition to treatment as usual (TAU) or TAU alone. Assessments will take place at baseline and at three, six and nine months after baseline. Primary outcome measure will be severity of ADHD symptoms rated by a blinded clinician. Secondary outcome measures will be self-reported ADHD symptoms, executive functioning, mindfulness skills, self-compassion, positive mental health and general functioning. In addition, a cost-effectiveness analysis will be conducted. Discussion This trial will offer valuable information about the clinical and cost-effectiveness of MBCT in addition to TAU compared to TAU alone in adults swith ADHD. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02463396. Registered 8 June 2015.