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If you would like to register and go into practice as a music therapist, this inspirational new masters course is the ideal route to success.

  • Achieve your ambitions on the only course of its kind in the Midlands and North of England
  • Choose an innovative masters degree which places music and musicianship at the heart of your learning and focuses on an integrative approach to practice
  • Integrate theory with practical experience: you’ll spend a significant amount of your time on placement
  • Learn from our experienced and enthusiastic tutors who continue to practise professionally as music therapists
  • Broaden your perspectives through inter-professional learning with other arts therapists
  • Benefit from our flexible and convenient study modes so that you can balance your learning with your other commitments
  • Join a department with a longstanding reputation for high-quality training in therapeutic arts

For closing date for applications please see how to apply.

Our new MA Music Therapy helps meet a growing demand for expert practitioners who can harness the power of music in health, social care and community settings.

Join a worthwhile profession

Music therapy can have a significant impact on quality of life for people with learning difficulties, disabilities, dementia and mental health issues. It can also play an important role in palliative care, adoption scenarios, forensic work and in a broad range of other interventions which promote inclusivity and wellbeing.

This course will equip you with the skills to use music in ways which stimulate creativity, problem-solving and positive change.

‌The title of Music Therapist is legally protected and you need a masters qualification to practise. Our MA Music Therapy is aligned to standards set by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which acts as the regulatory body for music therapists.

Successful completion of the course means you can register with the HCPC to practise as a music therapist in the UK. When you embark on the MA, you can also apply to join the British Association for Music Therapists (BAMT) as a trainee and, on finishing your training, as a practitioner.

A course with broad appeal

Our course is ideal for aspiring music therapists with a first degree in subjects relating to therapeutic arts, music, education and health, as well as for professionals with experience in appropriate health and social care settings.

It has the advantage of being delivered at the heart of the country in Derby. The flexible study format means that you are expected to attend the University on only one full day each week, with the rest of the time dedicated to clinical placements and self-directed study.

Hone your skills on placement

Practical experience is a cornerstone of this course and essential for meeting HCPC standards. You’ll spend a significant proportion of your time on placement, working directly with a range of clients and learning to manage caseloads.

You could be placed with health, social care and community employers or with music therapists running their own practices. You’ll receive expert clinical supervision from a dedicated placement supervisor. Throughout the MA, you’ll also draw on real-world case study materials to ensure your learning is up to date and relevant.

Improve your musicianship

Our therapeutic arts courses are distinctive because they place the art form at the heart of practice. Music and performance, musicality and improvisation will be central to your learning. We will enhance your musicianship while developing your critical understanding of theory and research. You’ll also take part in a Music Therapy Experiential Group and complete an independent study into a musicianship theme of your choice.

An integrative approach

We work with an integrative approach to understanding the therapeutic relationship, considering person centered, music-centred and psychodynamic approaches. The focus is on helping clients to strengthen their inner resources so that they feel they can make positive changes in their lives.

Reflecting this ethos, you will be required to engage with persoanl therapy yourself for the full duration of the course.

Dynamic learning experiences

You’ll be taught by an enthusiastic, expert team experienced in all forms of arts therapy. The course includes reflective practice groups facilitated by registered music therapists and substantial practical work in our bespoke music studio with a wide range of instruments.

There are valuable opportunities for you to learn with – and from – students from other disciplines. This prepares you to work in a multi-professional team and achieve the best outcomes for your clients.

You’ll find our tutors are friendly, approachable and encouraging – they pride themselves on offering exceptional support to students.

An impressive track record

We have a strong reputation for excellence in therapeutic arts and have prepared hundreds of students for careers in education, health and community arts.

The MA builds on our expertise in offering a Music pathway on our popular BA (Hons) Creative Expressive Therapies. It also complements our other masters degrees in Art Therapy, Dramatherapy and Dance Movement Psychotherapy. With Music Therapy joining our portfolio, we believe we are the only university in the country to offer such a comprehensive range of postgraduate courses in this field.

How you will learn

You will engage in practical/experiential group learning, lectures, seminars and personal tutorials. Practical application is integrated with the theory you need to understand and develop your practice.

Music practice and performance, musicality and improvisation will be central to your learning and development throughout the programme. The theoretical content of the course will largely be delivered face to face, with some use of blended learning where appropriate.

How you'll be assessed

The assessment methods are all based on your coursework. This includes a variety of written essays, both academic and reflective; case studies, either written or presented; and live and recorded performance.


Visit the Music therapy (MA) page on the University of Derby website for more details!

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