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Masters Degrees (Liaison Psychiatry)

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A career in music therapy. Learn how to use music to support the development and wellbeing of people with complex emotional, intellectual, physical or social needs. Read more

A career in music therapy

Learn how to use music to support the development and wellbeing of people with complex emotional, intellectual, physical or social needs.

You'll get a comprehensive grounding in music therapy. Study the theory and put it into practice in a clinical or social community setting. Then take what you've learned from your practical experience and apply that to your research project.

Studying at the New Zealand School of Music (NZSM), you'll learn from dedicated staff with many years' experience as music therapists.

If you have a mature and compassionate attitude, curiosity and a knack for critical thinking, and a passion for practical, creative music-making then this programme is for you.

Professional registration

The programme was developed in association with Music Therapy New Zealand(MThNZ). You'll be encouraged to join this organisation during your training so you can start building links with other professionals and the supporting community.

Once you've completed your degree you'll be able to apply for accreditation as a Registered Music Therapist through the Music Therapy Registration Board of MThNZ.

Available qualifications

  • Master of Music Therapy by coursework and research
  • Master of Music Therapy by research

Most students do the Master of Music Therapy by coursework and research, which is in two parts. In Part 1 you'll do coursework and in Part 2 you'll do casework and research.

If you're already a music therapist with an appropriate postgraduate qualification you can go straight to Part 2—the Master of Music Therapy by research.

How you'll study

Learn through practical musical and placement study, theory and research. You and your tutors will work closely together in small groups to problem-solve, reflect on theory and practice, and consider questions that can lead to practice-based research.

What you'll study

In Trimester One you'll do courses covering the principles and methods used in music therapy. In Trimester Two you'll do courses on the exploration of music from cultures other than your own, and learn how this applies to your practice, along with courses on approaches to music therapy research and a workplace practicum.

For Part 2, you'll do a range of music therapy casework, followed by a supervised practice-based research project linking to what you observe and experience on your placement. For the Master of Music Therapy by research, your study may be practice-based or more theoretical, depending on your interests and research questions. Both options are full-year courses.

Community placement

You'll do placements both through your Part 1 practicum and your Part 2 casework. Your placement will be clinically supervised by lecturing staff in Part 1 and by external registered music therapists in Part 2. You'll also be supported by on-site liaison staff who may be music therapists, specialist teachers or other healthcare professionals.

Placement opportunities may include clinical practice in:

  • special schools and special units of mainstream schools—primary and secondary
  • central regional health schools for young people with mental health needs
  • child development centres and paediatric wards of hospitals
  • specialist pre-school units for conductive education of children with physical and neurological needs
  • visual resource centres
  • deaf education units
  • specialist hospital and community units for adults with neurological disorders and psychiatric conditions such as eating disorders and complex dual-diagnoses—learning difficulties and psychiatry
  • centres for adolescents and adults with intellectual handicaps
  • dedicated music and allied therapy centres in Auckland and Christchurch
  • aged-care
  • drug and alcohol rehabilitation services
  • hospice and palliative care

Duration

The Master of Music Therapy by coursework and research can be completed in two years of full-time study or in three to five years part time.

The Master of Music Therapy by research can be completed in one year full-time or in two to three years part-time.

Workload

If you are studying full-time you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year. Part-time students will need to do around 20–23 hours of work a week. This programme is demanding, so you need to be cautious about how much paid work you take on. Make sure you take this into account if you are working.

You can estimate your study workload by adding up the number of points you'll be doing. One point is roughly equal to 10–12 hours work.

Where you'll study

You'll do Part 1 in Wellington. You may be able to do Part 2 in Auckland or Christchurch if suitable professional supervision is available. Talk to the programme administrator to learn more.

Research topics

You'll be able to choose your practice-based research project based on what you observe and experience in your casework.



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This MSc is designed to enhance the abilities of health professionals to critically evaluate approaches to mental health care. Read more
This MSc is designed to enhance the abilities of health professionals to critically evaluate approaches to mental health care.

Who is it for?

This postgraduate course develops knowledge and skills to enable practitioners to work effectively with colleagues from a range of professional backgrounds, and to critically explore the dynamics and challenges of working in this context considering innovative ways of meeting the mental health needs of individuals and communities.

It is designed for all healthcare professionals working in mental health services including nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, psychologists, other clinical staff, and workers from a wide range of allied statutory and voluntary agencies.

Objectives

The MSc Advanced Practice in Health and Social Care (Adult Mental Health) is designed for all healthcare professionals working in mental health services.

The course will provide students with the skills, knowledge and awareness in the assessment and formulation of mental health problems, evidence-based psychosocial interventions and contemporary issues in mental health. There is an opportunity to critically evaluate risk assessment and management across the life span as well as to understand the concepts which inform professional leadership. Students will develop a greater awareness of inter-professional practice and communication as well as an emphasis is on collaborative practice. The development of ethical and culturally sensitive practice and the placement of the service user and their carers are key priorities within this programme.

You will be given the opportunity to discuss key debates in health and social care provision, within multi-professional and interdisciplinary contexts. The course is designed to enhance the abilities of health professionals to critically evaluate approaches to compassionate mental health care and consider innovative ways of meeting the mental health needs of individuals and communities.

Teaching and learning

A blended approach to learning and teaching is adopted including insitution-based taught modules; e-learning, work-based learning, lectures, self-directed study; tutorials; class-based seminars; reflective study; enquiry based learning; and workshops.

Modules are run by experienced practitioners and leading researchers, using a variety of direct and interactive teaching methods. Students will learn in large and small multiprofessional, multidisciplinary groups and will be supported to participate in independent learning.

Assessments are varied to meet the practice and academic challenges of a Masters level course, while recognising the need for motivating, realistic and relevant activity. Assessment is diverse and includes essays; reflective practice; objective structured clinical examinations; practice-based assessments; poster presentations; case studies; data analysis; and seminar presentations with supporting papers.

Modules

Students must gain 60 credits for a Postgraduate Certificate and 120 credits for a Postgraduate Diploma. The addition of a dissertation leads to an MSc.

Core modules
-Introduction to research methods and applied data analysis (30 credits)
-Critical approaches to advanced practice (15 credits)
-Dissertation (60 credits)

Discipline specific modules
-Assessing and understanding mental health problems (15 credits)
-Evidence-based psychosocial interventions in mental health (15 credits)
-Contemporary issues in mental health (15 credits)

Elective/optional modules - students should choose two modules from the following:
-Evidence Based Dementia Care (15 credits)
-Risk Assessment & Management in Mental Health (15 credits)
-Liaison Mental Health Care (15 credits)
-Child Protection: Working with risk and resilience (15 credits)
-Professional Leadership (15 credits)
-Early Identification & Psychological Development (15 credits)
-Psychology for health and social care (15 credits)

Career prospects

Our Advanced Practice in Health and Social Care graduates will gain a deep understanding and knowledge of adult mental health to therefore work effectively and collaboratively across professional agencies and boundaries. Previous students have gone on to secure influential roles within the professional areas of mental health and social care, the voluntary sector and health policy and management. Successful completion of the MSc fulfils the requirements for higher-grade, senior advanced practice posts in health and social care and qualifies students to apply for research posts and to conduct independent research.

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