This unique three-year part-time Master's course can lead to registration as a music therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). It also provides a popular route for international students looking to develop their qualifications.
It is open to capable musicians - from recent graduates to experienced professionals, or to music therapists with a postgraduate diploma looking to add to their skills and knowledge who can access a progression route. Even if you don't have a first degree in music, we still encourage you to apply provided you can demonstrate a capacity to write and think at Master's level. All candidates will need an intuitive and communicative musical presence on at least one instrument or voice, plus the ability to provide harmonic support using, for example, piano, keyboard or guitar.
This course is accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
There is an underlying humanistic and music-centred philosophy to the course, with a strong emphasis on experiential learning. We take a 'lifespan' approach, focusing on children and adolescents in the first year, and adults in the second year. In the third year, we focus on more complex areas of work, with both children and adults, such as work in palliative care or the prison and probation services.
The course equips you with the clinical, theoretical and practical skills required to enter the music therapy profession. Successful graduates will be able to work in the NHS, education, social services, for the voluntary sector, charities, within prisons, or set up their own practice.
The part-time, flexible nature of the course means you can fit Master's level studies around paid employment, and build or enhance your career in the process.
Course tutors, and teaching and research staff from across the department have excellent links with healthcare, community and education providers, and we regularly welcome visiting lecturers from these areas.
Personal development runs throughout the course, and you must be prepared to undertake what may sometimes be challenging and rigorous explorations of your professional and personal issues and influences - excellent preparation for a music therapist. During the course, we ask you to be in confidential personal therapy with a suitably qualified therapist, for example, a creative arts therapist, a counsellor or psychotherapist. The number of hours is not specified, but the Health Professions Council requires you to have had substantive and sustained experience of personal therapy during the three years of the course (40 to 60 hours is recommended). Please note, this cost is not included in the programme fee.
There is also a counselling component within the professional practice modules. You will experience a music therapy training group facilitated by external music therapists. You will need to set aside regular time, beyond personal therapy and attending taught sessions, for reflection and study.
• Music Therapy Professional Practice with Children and Young People
• Music Therapy Theory and Child Development
• Music Therapy Professional Practice and Skills with Adults
• Music Therapy Theory and Practice in Adult Settings
• Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
• Music Therapy Advanced Professional Practice
• Dissertation in Psychology
Teaching is based on lectures and seminars, small group practical sessions and individual tutorials. There is a strong experiential basis to the course, which is led by a team of experienced music therapists and complemented by visiting specialists from a range of related professions.
The course is highly flexible and attracts a diverse demographic, with musicians from many backgrounds - this allows for valuable peer-learning opportunities.
We assess your work and progress through written essays, practice portfolios and viva presentations each year, and also one research exam, a microanalysis, a music practical and a research portfolio.
Careers / Further study
Completing the MA Music Therapy allows you to register with the HCPC, and start practising as a fully qualified music therapist.
Opportunities for Master's-qualified music therapists are diverse. Previous students have gone on to practice as HCPC-registered music therapists sometimes alongside other musical work such as performing and teaching and also apply their knowledge and expertise to positions in healthcare and education. Our links with music therapy experts and practitioners give excellent insights into future careers, and part of the course is geared towards helping you find placements, attract employers or set up your own practice.
You will need to submit all written work electronically and have access to the internet. You will also need your own recording equipment for use on placement.
How to apply
Information on applications can be found at the following link: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/study/applyingtouwebristol/postgraduateapplications.aspx
- New Postgraduate Master's loans for 2016/17 academic year –
The government are introducing a master’s loan scheme, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.
Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.
More information can be found here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/feesandfunding/fundingandscholarships/postgraduatefunding.aspx
It is recommended that applicants have:• a good undergraduate degree along with professional musical skills• a high level of practical musicianship (which could include non-western traditions) and a particular interest in improvisation• for single line instrumentalists or singers, sufficient skills to be able to provide harmonic support on guitar or piano• experience of working in relevant areas such as Health or Education (including voluntary work)• personal skills suited to working as a therapist• wide reading on the subject of music therapy• the ability and strong commitment to follow a personally demanding part-time course