Music Therapy

Postgraduate School of Psychology

Become a qualified music therapist and learn to use music to improve wellbeing and to positively support people of all ages through diverse challenges.

Music Therapy

2 years (full-time)
3 years (part-time)

Number of Credits


Start date

September 2024

Degree Type



These modules are those we currently offer and may be subject to change.


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Music therapists draw on the innate qualities of music in order to support people of all ages and at all stages of life who are facing diverse challenges. Music therapy facilitates positive changes in wellbeing through engagement in musical interaction. 

Essential to music therapy is the relationship between client and therapist. At Roehampton we have chosen to base our Music Therapy training programme on the use of psychoanalytic ideas to inform our understanding of the therapy process and the ways the person in therapy uses the environment, the therapist and the music.

Supporting theories and ways of working are also studied in order to equip students to meet a range of clinical needs, including an infant observation which assists students in developing their observation and analysis skills.

Music therapy as practised in Great Britain is largely based upon improvisation, the music being the shared and spontaneous creation of the person in therapy and the Music Therapist. Other styles of music, including song writing, the use of technology and pre-composed music are also used as appropriate to the need of the individual.

The programme emphasises your emotional development as a practitioner, together with clinical exploration through critical enquiry. In addition to this, students must be prepared to enter mandatory individual personal therapy for one year of the training.

Music Therapists work within a wide range of clinical settings, individual and group work. They work with people of all ages; from infants and young children through to elderly adults. Music therapy can benefit people with a wide range of difficulties or challenges, including mental health problems, learning disabilities and autism, dementia and neurology, as well as people experiencing serious illness such as cancer or those who have experienced trauma. Placements include work with children and adults in the settings in which Music Therapists commonly work. 

Key areas of study include human development and growth and the clinical context for music therapy, clinical improvisation, observational studies, music therapy theory, clinical case work and supervision, introduction to research and your dissertation. Some of the core teaching will take place with peers from across the Arts and Play Therapies programmes, giving unique opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. Personal development and reflection on this is central throughout the programme.

Electronic music links and personal statement - Instructions and guidelines
Please follow these instructions carefully - failure to do so may result in your application not being considered

Electronic music links/CD
Please provide:

  • Two contrasting pieces on your preferred instrument
  • One piano/keyboard piece if this is not your preferred instrument
  • One free improvisation which may be given a title if you prefer

The total playing time should be no more than 15 minutes. Extracts from longer pieces are therefore acceptable. If you do not have piano/keyboard skills you may provide a piece on another harmony instrument.

In all your playing you should attempt to demonstrate expressive qualities, musical imagination and depth as well as technical competence. In the free improvisation you should rely on your personal musicality rather than traditional tonalities and harmonic idioms.

Do not include music where you are a member of a group, unless you can clearly be identified as soloist (for example vocalist or other soloist where you are accompanied by piano or small ensemble). Please give details if this is the case. A piece where you are the drummer or guitarist in a band, for example, is unlikely to allow you to provide an adequate representation of your capabilities.

Your music is an initial indication of your skills and does not need to be a recording of professional quality.

Please title your electronic files/CD with your name, date and details (title and composer of each piece)

Please do not send links that require passwords or specific software to open them (e.g. Dropbox).

Short personal statement

500-1,000 words. The personal statement should cover the following main areas:

  • What has led you to wish to train as a therapist? You should demonstrate some insight into how your life experience has led to this application.
  • Your musical background, including the genres and styles of music making with which you have experience. (If you consider yourself to possess additional musical resources or greater versatility than demonstrated in your music you should say so here).
  • Your experience of work with people, particularly with those service users with whom music therapists generally work (such as children, adults or older adults with severe learning disabilities or autism, or mental health problems; many other areas of work may also be relevant). Such experience is a mandatory pre-requisite for training.
  • Your understanding, so far, of the nature of music therapy as a distinctive discipline (in particular as practised in the UK). Mention relevant courses, conferences and reading, any meetings with music or other therapists, personal therapy/development etc. Please come ready to discuss some of your reading.

The personal statement is also an indication of how well you express yourself in writing and helps us consider issues we would like to explore with you during the interview.

Your completed application form should be submitted online. If you are unable to attach your music files to your application please contact the postgraduate admissions department for advice.

Please read our page frequently asked questions regarding our MA Music Therapy course, prior to making your application. 


Clinical work is central to the training. After visits to a variety of workplaces which offer music therapy, you will undertake individual and group work in two contrasting settings over six months, January to June (first placement) and September to February/March (second placement).

These clinical placements will provide you with music therapy work experience alongside qualified Music Therapists. You will also participate in an experiential group, which gives you an opportunity to develop your own self-awareness and examine personal and group dynamics through verbal and musical processes.

In addition, it is a requirement for you to find and fund personal individual therapy outside the course. 

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Short courses

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We also offer weekend introductory courses, 5 day Summer Schools, and 20 week part time evening Foundation Courses which provide a useful background in related professions. For more information, see our Psychology Short Courses. 

Career options

Music Therapists work within a wide range of clinical settings. They work with people of all ages; from infants and young children through to elderly adults. Music Therapists work within statutory services (such as the NHS, education or social services), within charities and private organisations, and in private practice. To find out more, you can join the British Association for Music Therapy. 

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Our careers team is available to support you from the start of your studies until after you graduate. We will help you build your CV, prepare for interviews, and meet and learn from successful graduates working at the top of their careers.

Application Info

How to apply

Postgraduate programmes

If you need any help or advice with your application, or just want to ask us a question before you apply, please do not hesitate to contact us.

International students
Please note that most international applicants have to pay a deposit before securing their place.

  • See our Finance pages for more details

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Tuition fees and funding

September 2024 entry tuition fees

Full-time (2 years)
UK EU and International
Total fees for the course
Total fees for the course


Part-time (3 years)
UK EU and International
Total fees for the course
Total fees for the course

Specific Entry Requirements

  • Please read the "Your application" tab on this page prior to completing and submitting your application, as it contains important information on what to include. 
  • Applicants will normally be required to hold an honours degree, usually in music. Other clinically related disciplines such as psychology, teaching, nursing, or social work, and graduate level professional qualifications in appropriate disciplines such as the performing arts, Occupational Therapy and Social Work are also considered where music skills are demonstrably sufficient.
  • Applicants need to evidence that they can meet the academic demands of a Masters degree and will be required to prepare and submit a written personal statement to support their application.
  • A professional standard of proficiency on an instrument (including voice).
  • Keyboard/piano skills of approximately grade 5 (where piano is not the preferred instrument) or equivalent ability on another harmony instrument, and confidence with voice. The potential to use musical skills in professional Music Therapy practice and the ability to communicate musically.
  • It is expected that applicants will have extensive experience either having worked professionally or having practiced extensively within their specific arts modality.
  • An understanding of the nature of music therapy as a distinctive discipline (in particular as practised in the UK).
  • Applicants should demonstrate a maturity of personality and self-awareness compatible with training as a therapist. Applicants need an appropriate degree of psychological mindfulness including the capacity to form and maintain appropriate empathic relationships with clients. They should also demonstrate emotional literacy, robustness and an ability to be self-reflective. This is addressed through a combination of assessments, including a health screening form, searching questions at interview related to different parts of the training course and experiential work at interview/audition.
  • Applicants will be expected to have appropriate clinical experience of having worked within a setting and with clients relevant to the programme. This might include working with children, adults or older adults in the areas of learning disabilities, mental health, hospice care, dementia care, neuro-disability, homelessness etc (this is not an exhaustive list). This work can be undertaken either on a voluntary or employed basis.
  • An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 7 with no element below 6.5 for applicants for whom English is not their first language.
  • Applicants will be required to supply the names of two referees, normally one of these should be able to comment on the applicant’s academic suitability and the other the applicant’s clinical suitability for the programme. References are always taken up prior to offering a place.
  • In addition to these requirements, all students must be prepared to enter mandatory individual personal therapy. Payment for therapy is separate to course fees.
  • All successful applicants will need to complete an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Payment for this is separate to the course fees.
  • We also offer 20 week evening foundation courses which provide a broad oultine and introduction in the arts and play therapies.

Need help before you apply?

Course Facilities

Image -  Music Therapy Room  
  Much of your university learning will take place in our bespoke Music Therapy teaching room.   

Music Therapy Room 

Much of your university learning will take place in our bespoke Music Therapy teaching room. 

Image -  Manresa Hall in Whitelands College    
  On top of a 24 hour computer room, the College also has two dedicated quiet study areas.

Manresa Hall in Whitelands College 

On top of a 24 hour computer room, the College also has two dedicated quiet study areas.


Our Research

For an overview of the research carried out by psychology academics within the School of Psychology, please visit the departmental research pages.

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