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Play Therapy (MSc)

Course Description

This Masters course is accredited by the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT) and provides professional training in play therapy. Successful graduates of this course will have completed the formal elements of the training required to practise as a play therapist.

As well as meeting core requirements for play therapy training, the course introduces you to therapeutic interventions with different client groups including children and young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. The course offers placement opportunities in a variety of settings, including schools, children’s centres, charitable organisations and multidisciplinary agencies. You will develop the skills needed to practise as a professional in a responsible and demanding clinical environment.

The course provides theoretical and practical knowledge relating to play therapy, drawing on the experience and skills of qualified psychologists and play therapists, as well as other creative therapists and counselling staff. The course team is actively engaged with practitioner work and related research.

This is a demanding course and acceptable applicants will be interviewed to assess suitability for training. Students are also required to undertake their own personal therapy (60 hours) and clinical supervision (50 hours) as part of the professional requirement for registration as a Play Therapist. Students are expected to meet these costs in addition to the course fees.

There are also opportunities for suitable students to undertake part of their clinical practice hours in the PAWB Wales clinic.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/639-msc-play-therapy

What you will study

You will study the following modules:
- Child Development
- Play Therapy Skills
- Advanced Play Therapy Skills
- Research Methods
- Working with Children and their Families
- Clinical Practice & Personal Therapy 1
- Clinical Practice & Personal Therapy 2

Learning and teaching methods

Full-time study is delivered intensively on one day per week over two years (9am- 6pm in year one).

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

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

Career opportunities for play therapists exist in many stimulating areas, such as community groups, social services, education services, the National Health Service and private clients.

Assessment methods

Assessment uses a variety of methods, including essays, diaries, research reports, presentations, portfolios of observations and clinical notes. Clinical work placements are available as part of this course.


Students in Psychology 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 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 Therapy (MSc) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A good honours degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant discipline in addition to one of the following: Graduates with a degree which is also a professional qualification such as teaching (fully qualified), social work, occupational therapy, pediatric nursing etc are required to have a minimum of two years post-graduation work experience OR Graduates whose degree is relevant (such as psychology, childhood studies, early years development, social science) need also to have at least five years experience working face to face with children, young people and their families of which the majority of this experience should be undertaken after graduation.

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