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).
There are 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.
We recommend that your application reaches us by Saturday 1 April 2018. Your application may still be considered after this date, but we cannot guarantee this.
Qualify to work as a music therapist in the UK and overseas, and become eligible for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council in the UK.
Our MA Music Therapy degree will show you how you can use your music to support the health and well-being of patients and clients. You will discover the principles of music therapy in the UK and internationally, and through lectures, practical workshops, case discussions and theoretical studies, we’ll introduce you to the most recent, effective music therapy approaches.
You will then try out these approaches in your own clinical practice on at least two clinical placements. These placements will take place in locations such as schools, hospitals, hospices and other community settings, under the supervision of qualified music therapists. This will give you invaluable experience of working in a multidisciplinary team, as well as providing important preparation for your future career.
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.
Throughout the course, you will reflect on and develop your clinical practice through group discussions, tutorials and supervisions. You will also work alongside students from our MA Dramatherapy course on more generic subjects, such as psychiatry and psychology.
Your studies will be supported by our team of qualified music therapists, who have a strong reputation for world-leading research (Research Excellence Framework 2014). These include Jörg Fachner, (Professor of Music, Mind and the Brain), Professor Amelia Oldfield, (awarded the first ever Clinical Impact Award by the World Federation of Music Therapists) and Professor Helen Odell-Miller (awarded an OBE in the January 2015 honours list).
Our links with other health professions and practitioners, including the British Association for Music Therapy, will help you make important contacts in the profession. When you graduate, you will be eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council in the UK, and ready to work as a professional music therapist.
Course Leader: Dr Helen Loth.
Qualifying as a music therapist will allow you to work in many different areas, including the NHS, hospices, social services, education 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 can choose to work privately or on a freelance basis, with a client base including adults and children with learning difficulties and other special needs.
Successfully completing this course will allow you to register with the Health and Care Professions Council – a legal requirement for practising music therapists in the UK.
You will show your progress on the course through various methods, including essays, live presentations and practical tasks such as clinical improvisation and composition. You will also undertake self-analysis and reflection in discussion with your personal tutor. Halfway through the course, your progress towards becoming a music therapist will be assessed by an examiner.
Your final piece of written work will be a Major Project involving clinical evaluation, while in the 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 involves dramatherapy, and covers content from our MA Dramatherapy course as well as the MA Music Therapy. On more generic subjects, such as psychiatry, psychoanalytic studies and psychology, you will work with our dramatherapy students, but where techniques and approaches are specific to each profession you will be taught separately.
The School of Performance 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 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, and offers a large range of musical instruments specifically chosen for clinical work, as well as 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 recital hall, a suite of computer music studios and music practice rooms, a fully-equipped drama studio and two large drama rehearsal spaces.
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 PhD and postdoctoral 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 finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.
We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you're at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
From September 2018, EU students starting a postgraduate degree with us can access a £600 bursary.
Meanwhile, our £400 Books Plus scheme helps with the costs of study. There's no need to apply for this: if you're eligible you can simply collect a Books Plus card when you start your course.
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 are an international applicant, you will need to supply a music portfolio video containing ten to 15 minutes of varied music. This should be on your first and second study instruments, and should include contrasting pieces which you feel best demonstrate your instrumental playing. The choice of pieces is therefore up to you. You may also include any other instruments you play if you feel this would be helpful but some keyboard playing must be included. The purpose of this portfolio is for you to demonstrate your instrumental playing standard and to convey something of your overall musicianship. If possible, please post this portfolio online and let us know the URL, or email it to us as a PDF. We will also accept DVDs 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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