Postgraduate ( full-time)
Course duration: 24 months full-time.
Teaching times: two days a week plus two days on a clinical placement (Year 1). One day a week on campus plus a placement of least one day a week (Year 2).
Only 15 places are available on this training course. These will be filled in order of acceptance, after which, if your application is successful, you will be offered a place on a waiting list.
NB We recommend that your application reaches us by Saturday 1 April 2017. Your application may still be considered after this date, but we cannot guarantee this.
Get professional training in music therapy on our internationally recognised Master’s course. When you graduate, you’ll be qualified to work as a music therapist in the UK and overseas, and eligible for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council in the UK.
If you’re an experienced musician and want to put your skills to use supporting children and adults with additional needs, our emphasis on clinical placements will prepare you for a rewarding career.
Through lectures, practical workshops, case discussions and theoretical studies, we’ll introduce you to the most recent, effective music therapy approaches. You’ll reflect on your own practice in our clinical supervision group discussions, supported by regular individual tutorials.
In the UK there are two central elements of music therapy: the use of improvised and pre-composed music; and the significance given to the relationship between client and therapist. These principles will underpin your training. Our experiential teaching includes: development of your improvisation skills; focused work on your first instrument; keyboard, single line instrument and voice; music therapy theory and links to practice; block clinical placements in at least two fields, including community settings, schools, hospitals and hospices; and experience in multidisciplinary teams.
Your training will take place in our new state-of-the-art Music Therapy Centre and Clinic, where you’ll often study with MA Dramatherapy students. All our students go on supervised clinical placements, preparing you for employment in many different settings.
Throughout the course you'll be supported by our team of qualified music therapists, who have a strong reputation for research. In 2013 we appointed Jörg Fachner as Professor of Music, Mind and the Brain, to further develop our research activities. One of our course tutors, Professor Amelia Oldfield, was recently awarded the first ever Clinical Impact Award by the World Federation of Music Therapists. And in 2014, our music, dramatherapy and performing arts research was acknowledged as 'world-leading' in the UK Government's Research Excellence Framework.
Course Leader: Dr Helen Loth.
New Masters loan for UK/EU students, scholarships for international students and alumni.
As a qualified music therapist you’ll be able to work in many different areas including the NHS, hospices, social services, the education sector and the voluntary sector. The NHS Agenda for Change has led to improved career paths for music therapists at levels similar to, or higher than, those of other allied health professions.
You may also choose to work privately, or on a freelance basis, with a client base including adults and children with learning difficulties, mental health problems, and other special needs.
Successful completion of this course will allow you to register with the Health and Care Professions Council, a legal requirement for music therapists in the UK. Your qualification should also be recognised around the world.
You’ll benefit from our links with the British Association for Music Therapy and other allied health professions; Professor Helen Odell-Miller, for example, advises at government level for the profession. You’ll also be able to forge links with practitioners such as psychotherapists, arts therapists and psychiatrists.
You’ll demonstrate your learning in a number of ways, including essays, live presentations and practical tasks such as clinical improvisation and composition. You’ll also undertake some self-analysis and reflection with your personal tutor.
Half-way through the course, your progress and process towards becoming a music therapist will be assessed by an examiner. Your final piece of written work will be a Major Project, which involves clinical evaluation. Meanwhile, in your final oral assessment you’ll present a piece of clinical work to two examiners, who will assess your overall clinical skills and readiness to practice.
One of our modules touches on dramatherapy and covers content from our MA Dramatherapy, as well as the Music Therapy course. Where techniques and approaches are specific to each profession you’ll be taught separately but on more generic subjects, such as psychoanalytic studies, psychiatry and psychology, you’ll benefit from working together.
The Department of Music and Performing Arts is a community of over 400 students and staff, working together in a supportive environment to create new and challenging compositions and performances. Our lecturers are research-active practitioners and recognised experts in their field, so our students always have access to the latest theories and practice, as well as invaluable career guidance.
We organise many activities to help our students prepare for the future, like concerts, theatre performances, work placements, study abroad opportunities, talks by acclaimed guest speakers, and research conferences.
We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.
You'll work in our new purpose-built therapy centre, which includes state-of-the-art therapy rooms and a large hall. The centre is used for all of our teaching and for our professional therapy consultations. We have a large range of musical instruments, specifically chosen for clinical work, and high-quality recording and videoing equipment in the therapy rooms.
You’ll also have access to the extensive range of facilities offered by the Department of Music and Performing Arts, including a fully-equipped drama studio, two other large drama rehearsal spaces, a recital hall, a suite of computer music studios and music practice rooms.
Our Cambridge campus also houses the Mumford Theatre, a full-size venue for professional touring companies.
Our music therapy staff members are internationally renowned researchers and consultants and our research is recognised as world-leading. We hold regular international conferences and support a vigorous community of research students.
Personal therapy sessions:
External supervision during placements:
Travelling to placements:
You won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to attend, but you must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments.How to pay your fees directly
You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter/financial guarantee. Details will be in your offer letter.Paying your fees
It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our funding guide for postgraduate students to learn more about the following:
We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.
As this is a professional therapy training, we'll ask you to attend an interview if you're shortlisted. The day will include experiential music therapy group work with other candidates, as well as an individual interview and discussion with lecturers. These will allow us to consider your suitability and readiness for training, and also give you the chance to experience some of the teaching methods we use, so you can decide whether they're appropriate for your needs.
For the interview and audition, you’ll need to prepare a brief piece of your choice on each of your instruments. If you only play one instrument, you should prepare two short contrasting pieces on that instrument. If piano is not one of your main studies, you’ll be asked to demonstrate your keyboard skills. Please be ready to improvise as directed on the day. If voice is not one of your main studies, you’ll be asked to sing a short song of your choice. We’ll provide an accompanist if you need one.
In exceptional cases if you live overseas, we may consider interviewing you over video conference. You’ll only be offered this if you give clear reasons why it’s impossible for you to attend the interview/audition, and you have access to professional video conferencing equipment.
If you’re an international applicant who is not studying ABRSM qualifications, you’ll need to supply a portfolio containing ten to 15 minutes of varied music on your first and second study instruments that best represents your musicianship. If possible, please post this portfolio online and let us know the URL, or email it to us as a PDF. We’ll also accept CDs or hardcopy sent by post to our International Admissions Office, but please note that these will not be returned to you.
Important additional notes
Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email email@example.com for further information.
We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.
If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.
If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.
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