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Course content

The MSc Play Therapy is a new collaboration between With Kids (a Scottish charity) and the MSc Art Psychotherapy (International) at Queen Margaret University.

Further entry requirements:

Recognition of Prior Learning: The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) encompasses the process whereby one can identify, explore and claim credit for previous certificated and/ or experiential learning. Applicants however will not be able to receive accreditation in lieu of any part of the practice placements throughout the course.

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to provide evidence of English language  competence at no less than IELTS 7.0 and no individual component score below 6.0.

The MSc Play Therapy is a new collaboration between With Kids (a Scottish charity) and the MSc Art Psychotherapy (International) at Queen Margaret University.

The key purpose of the profession of play therapy is defined by British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT): “Play therapy is the dynamic process between child and play therapist in which the child explores at his or her own pace and with his or her own agenda those issues, past and current, conscious and unconscious, that are affecting the child’s life in the present. The child’s inner resources are enabled by the therapeutic alliance to bring about growth and change. Play therapy is child-centred, in which play is the primary medium and speech is the secondary medium.”

The MSc Play Therapy aims to educate the next generation of play therapists to enable them to work safely and therapeutically with complex children and families. Students will gain a thorough understanding of the fundamental inter-relatedness of the child’s physical, social and emotional world, and will develop the skills to work effectively and therapeutically to enhance emotional wellbeing and transform life chances.

Applicants should possess qualities that enable them to undertake study in an appropriate manner and at the appropriate academic level. Thus the students recruited to this course will be committed, diligent, enthusiastic and possess the skills, curiosity and drive to enhance their knowledge base.

Teaching, learning and assessment

The teaching and learning approaches used encourage you to be an independent, participative learner. These approaches will engage you in lectures, problem based learning, workshops, small group discussion, seminars, observation and skills practice. The course team aims to enable students to learn from and with others through supportive peer assessment and feedback, guided by the tutor. There are three play therapy practice placement modules where you will work directly with children and families of increasing complexity. Two modules include clinical observation of a child/ children from infanthood to adolescence.  Assessment methods include case study analysis, collaborative presentation, observation analysis and play therapy practice placement portfolio. While as a postgraduate student you will predominantly be working independently, there is a strong structure for academic support. Normally, there are fewer than 20 students in the class ensuring that individuals receive excellent support and benefit from interaction with other students.

Teaching hours and attendance

The course runs over three years part-time. Students attend the learning centre at With Kids in the east end of Glasgow one day a week over the first two years. Students will also undertake play therapy practice placement, observations and attend clinical supervision individually or in small groups. Students are expected to attend their own personal therapy for the duration of the course, and 100% attendance is expected at all elements of the MSc Play Therapy.

Links with industry/professional bodies

This course is accredited by the British Association of Play Therapists.

Modules

Clinical Skills, Process and Practice 1,2 & 3 (10 credits each)/ Developmental, Clinical and Play Therapy Theory 1 & 2 (30 credits each)/ Research Methods (30 credits)/ Clinical Project (60 credits).

Careers

Play therapists practice in many environments, including: NHS, social services, primary, secondary, further and special education, charities, private practice. They also work with people of all ages (not just children) living with a wide range of emotional or physical conditions. As of 2015 the overall majority of play therapists in the UK work in health and the voluntary sector; a significant number of them work in schools and nurseries. For further information http://www.bapt.info.

Quick Facts

  • Rooted in the psychotherapeutic tradition of the Notre Dame Clinic which dates back to the 1930s. 
  • The only play therapy training validated by a Scottish university in collaboration with a Scottish charity.

Visit the MSc Play Therapy page on the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh website for more details!

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