Become a qualified music therapist and learn to use music to improve wellbeing and to positively support people of all ages through diverse challenges.
2 years (full-time)
3 years (part-time)
Number of credits:
180 (subject to validation)
Specific entry requirements
- 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.
Approved by the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC), this training leads to a nationally recognised professional qualification as a music therapist.
Work placements organised by the University, the majority with a music therapist on site.
Music therapy academics have their own current clinical work and research, and are therefore embedded in current practice and clinical thinking.
The academic team are involved in writing and researching and have a high profile within the UK music therapy profession.
Our School of Psychology is the only one in Europe to offer training in all of the arts and play therapies, including dramatherapy, art and dance movement psychotherapy, music and play therapy.
Benefit from unique opportunities to learn and connect with students across all arts and play therapies.
Course and Module Details
The Music Therapy programme offers training for competent, practising musicians to become therapists, bringing together their skills, education and other life experiences. On completion of the training, graduates are eligible to apply to the HCPC for registration, with the ability and flexibility to practice within the NHS, Social Services, education or private sector.
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.
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.
Course subject to curriculum review
These modules are those we currently offer and may be subject to change each year.
Students on this course are normally in University on Monday and Thursday in their first year. They are also required to set aside 1 day for placement, and additional time for personal therapy and their observational studies module. In the second year students are normally at University on a Wednesday, with additional time required for their research modules and 1 day to be set aside for placement.
Contact us for further information.
Tuition fees and funding
September 2023 entry tuition fees
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|Part-time (3 years)|
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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.
How to apply
You can now apply for any programme for any entry point in 2023.
All postgraduate taught applications can be made via our online application form.
- Check our application deadlines
- View our entry requirements for postgraduate programmes
- View our general entry criteria and application FAQs below
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.
Please note that most international applicants have to pay a deposit before securing their place.
- See our Finance pages for more details
Postgraduate application process FAQs
No, you can save and revisit your application form and can contact us directly at any time if you need advice or assistance.
If you are a prospective postgraduate student who has home fee status, then you can apply close to the start of the course of study. However, if you have international fee status and require a Tier 4 Visa, then you will normally need to apply much earlier. Please see our application deadlines for postgraduate study.
We encourage all students to apply as early as possible, as some programmes have limited numbers.
Yes, we offer a range of scholarships, alongside support on managing your finances while you are with us.
Yes, we have a wide range of high quality and competitively priced on-campus student residences. We are able to offer quiet rooms and can adjust for those with specific access needs.
Find out more on our accommodation pages.
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.
Validation and curriculum review
What is validation?
Validation is a formal process through which the University approves a programme (content, teaching, learning and assessment) as being of appropriate standard and quality. This is a normal process used throughout the university sector.
The University expects to publish details of the validated programme in the academic year prior to the start date of the programme. You are advised to check the University website at that time to ensure that you have up-to-date information. In the meantime, if you require information you should contact 0208 392 3232.
What is curriculum review?
Curriculum review is the regular and systematic monitoring and reviewing of programmes. It is a normal process in the sector and it is the way by which the university ensures that your course remains up-to-date and relevant. The process may result in changes to the content, structure and/or assessment of the programme.
The University expects to publish details of the re-validated programme by 31 March in the academic year prior to the start date of the programme. You are advised to check the University website at that time to ensure that you have up-to-date information. In the meantime, if you require information you should contact 0208 392 3232.
Doing all we can to support our students' lives at Roehampton
At Roehampton, we can offer all new students the opportunity to live in accommodation on our beautiful parkland campus, including affordable and high-end options.
We offer scholarships, provide hardship funding and help you find advice on managing your finances while you study.
We provide plenty of opportunities for you to get involved, through volunteering, playing sport or music, or joining one of our many active student societies.