The metacognitions questionnaire (MCQ) measures individual differences in a selection of metacognitive beliefs, judgments and monitoring tendencies considered important in the metacognitive model of psychological disorders. The development and properties of a shortened 30-item version of the MCQ, the MCQ-30, are reported. Construct validity was evaluated by confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis. Overall, the fit indices suggested an acceptable fit to a five-factor model consistent with the original MCQ. Exploratory factor analysis supported a five-factor structure, which was almost identical to the original solution obtained in previous studies with the full MCQ. The five factors are cognitive confidence, positive beliefs about worry, cognitive self-consciousness, negative beliefs about uncontrollability of thoughts and danger, and beliefs about need to control thoughts. The MCQ-30 showed good internal consistency and convergent validity, and acceptable to good test-retest reliability. Positive relationships between metacognitions and measures of worry and obsessive-compulsive symptoms provided further support for the validity of the measure and the metacognitive theory of intrusive thoughts. The psychometric properties of MCQ-30 suggest that the instrument is a valuable addition to the assessment of metacognitions that has the advantage of being more economical to use compared with the original MCQ.