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Play and Therapeutic Play (MSc/PgDip/PgCert)


Course Description

During this Masters degree, you will develop a critical understanding of the psychological, educational and ethical foundations of play and their application in educational settings and therapy. This course integrates different areas of play to explore its role in cognitive and social development, as well as the play needs of different age groups. You will also develop your understanding and competence in basic therapeutic skills.

The course combines theory, research and practical applications of play with developments in how play is used in a broader therapeutic context. You will be introduced to play interventions with children, which can be used in various settings.

By graduation, you will have a theoretical and practical understanding of the role of play in development and be able to use play to structure an individual’s development.

The course team is actively engaged with practitioner work and related research. This is a demanding course and all acceptable applicants will be interviewed to assess their suitability for training.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/305-msc-play-and-therapeutic-play

What you will study

You will study the following modules:
- Child Development
- Play Therapy Skills
- Research Methods
- Working with Children and their Families
- Play into Practice
- Dissertation: this is a piece of original research where you have the opportunity to investigate a topic, with support from your academic supervisor

Learning and teaching methods

The full-time option is an intensive course, with study on one day per week (9am- 6pm) for one year.

The part-time option involves study on half a day per week, over two years (9am- 1pm in year one, and 2pm-6pm in year two).

Teaching is through lectures, seminars, workshops, reflective diaries, research project work and specialist guest speakers.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

This course provides current, up-to-date theory, knowledge and skills related to therapeutic play and enables graduates to work as therapeutic play specialists in educational, healthcare or social care settings.

In addition, an understanding of play is key to current government education initiatives and course content addresses the Welsh Government’s Foundation Phase and other early years educational curricula. Hence this award offers excellent career development in the field of play, whether as a teacher or education specialist, play worker or play development officer, nursery manager, or work in health or social services

Assessment methods

Assessment uses a variety of methods, including essays, diaries, research reports, presentations, portfolios of observations and clinical notes. There are opportunities for work placements.

Facilities

As a student in the School of Psychology, you’ll have access to the latest learning technologies, facilities and equipment, including excellent designated facilities.

These include observation and interview rooms equipped with two-way mirror, CCTV and audio and allow research and interview practice sessions to be conducted and recorded onto DVD. We also have a custom-built air-conditioned PC laboratory which provides access to specialist software for running psychology experiments and conducting careers guidance interviews. More specialist equipment is also available in our cognitive suite and more details about this are given below.

- Cognitive suite
The cognitive psychology suite houses specialist psychology equipment. This includes eye tracking equipment which is capable of studying the eye movements of individuals whilst they complete cognitive tasks. The suite includes EEG (electroencephalogram) and ECG (electrocardiogram) facilities for recording electrical activity in the heart and scalp. There is also a driving simulator which is currently being used by postgraduate students to complete a study which examines the effects of stressors on driving performance.

- Psychology clinic facility (PAWB Wales)
As well as our excellent dedicated teaching facilities, the School of Psychology offers a wide range of psychological services to the general public. These are offered through our new PAWB Wales clinic facility and include play therapy, behaviour analysis, health and sport psychology interventions. The clinic activities support our wide range of postgraduate opportunities and undergraduate students can also get involved in some of the clinic’s work.

Visit the Play and Therapeutic Play (MSc/PgDip/PgCert) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

Entry Requirements

An Honours degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant field such as psychology, early years development, childhood studies, education, or a related health or social care discipline. Outstanding candidates with alternative qualifications may be considered on an individual basis. Applicants who meet the entry requirements for the course will be invited to interview. Successful applicants will be required to undergo an enhanced DBS check.

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