Play Therapy Postgraduate degree

Play Therapy

Gain the knowledge, experience, skills and confidence to work as a professionally qualified play therapist, with the British Association of Play Therapists (subject to reaccreditation).

Start Date:

September 2023


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

Degree Type:


Number of credits:

180 (subject to validation)



Specific entry requirements

All eligible applicants to the programme will be interviewed by the Programme Convener and/or the Programme staff. Selection will be based on the following admissions criteria:

  • Applicants will normally be required to hold an honours degree at undergraduate level (usually 2.1 or higher); in most cases this will be in a modality-relevant degree such as in psychology, early childhood studies, education or health & social care.
  • Applicants with a relevant degree will be expected to have the equivalent of at least two years of full-time experience of working with children and young people, especially between the ages of 5-11, in a professional capacity. N.B. In most cases work experience must be gained as a graduate, i.e., work experience gained whilst studying will not be considered. The exception to this is if the applicant has worked in a full-time capacity for a number of years (e.g., 5 years+) in a role with children prior to gaining an undergraduate degree; only in this circumstance will prior work experience be considered.
  • Applicants who do not hold a degree in a modality-relevant area will be expected to have considerable (5+ years) full-time experience of working in a professional capacity with children and young people. This might include working with children with behavioural or developmental challenges, learning difficulties, child mental health, etc. This work can either be done on a voluntary or employed basis.
  • Applicants need to evidence that they can meet the academic demands of a Master’s degree and will be required to prepare and submit a written personal statement to support their application; in some circumstances an applicant may be asked to submit an essay prior to/after interview.
  • It is recognised that this is a postgraduate training where applicants are qualified, experienced and valued practitioners in their fields; applicants are encouraged to bring prior learning and experience to the training, thus enhancing the breadth and depth of the programme learning.
  • An understanding of the nature of play therapy as a distinctive discipline (in particular as practised in the UK) and a capacity for playfulness and creativity.
  • Applicants should demonstrate a maturity of personality and self-awareness compatible with training as a therapist. Applicants need an appropriate degree of psychological mindedness 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 will be ascertained by a combination of health screening, experiential activities and in-depth discussions at interview.
  • 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. If possible one of these should be able to comment on the applicant's academic suitability and the other on the applicant's clinical/personal suitability for the programme.
  • In addition to these requirements, all students must be prepared to enter mandatory on-going personal therapy for the duration of the programme. Students should attend no fewer than 30 regular sessions within any calendar year. 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.
  • Equality and diversity information is logged within the application form and compiled data is sent to HESA for consideration. Student services confidentially contact successful applicants who have a stated disability on their application form, to explore what provisions can be made to support their learning.
  • We also offer 20 week evening foundation courses which provide a broad outline and introduction in the arts and play therapies.

Postgraduate, Master's and Doctoral On-Campus Open Evening

Wednesday 1 November 2023, 5–7.30pm

University of Roehampton London is ranked top 10 in the UK for postgraduate student satisfaction (PTES 2022)

Course and Module Details


This two year full-time programme integrates theoretical learning, clinical skills and in-depth personal development to prepare graduates for clinical practice, predominantly with children, as a professional play therapist within the public and private sectors. 


ECArTE full member logo 2020.png BAPT_logo_rgb (002).jpg

Based on a humanistic person-centred model of therapy, this course emphasises the use of play within a therapeutic relationship between the therapist and client to facilitate therapeutic change. The course encompasses theoretical, practical and experiential learning. With our holistic approach to teaching, you will be provided with thorough and systematic knowledge, experience, skills and the confidence to work as a professionally qualified play therapist. At the end of the course, you will be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of therapeutic techniques and approaches that are required for professional registration purposes. 

This course leads to a qualification that entitles you to registration as a Full Member of the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT) - subject to reaccreditation - whose register is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). You will be taught by experienced practitioners who are practising play therapists and will bring the teaching on the course to life by drawing upon their own clinical experiences and case materials. 

All students are required to be in personal therapy for the duration of the course and will complete two specified periods of supervised clinical placements alongside their studies. 

This intense, rigorous and comprehensive programme is made up of ten modules that encompass the theoretical, practical and experiential learning experience required to become a professional play therapist. All modules are designed to prepare you for child-centred therapeutic practice that is theoretically sound and emotionally aware, complying with the core competencies of a play therapist as specified by the British Association of Play Therapists. 

The clinical placements are a central component to the training in this programme. In your first year, the modules will include experiential learning to prepare you for your first work placement, as theoretical understanding will give you a strong grounding for your clinical practice. Your professional development is inter-related with the development of theoretical knowledge, skills and personal awareness. Within the clinical placements you will synthesise, integrate and apply all aspects of your learning into practise.  

In the second year, you will build upon your play therapy skills and knowledge from your first year modules. You will have the opportunity to develop and explore your understanding of the theory and practice of play therapy in relation to working with different client groups and more complex needs. You will also synthesise your theoretical knowledge and clinical experience to pursue your research interest in the Research Portfolio module. A clinical issue, your own clinical work or a professional issue may provide the inspiration for this research project. Recent research areas have included: child-centred play therapy and the use of therapeutic boundaries, play therapy and unresolved bereavement issues, play therapy in schools, and play therapy and different cultural beliefs. 

Course subject to curriculum review


Child-Centred Play Therapy: Preparation for Practice

Theory and Practice in the Arts and Play Therapies* (cross-listed)

Theory and Skills 1: Application and Process

Research-informed Arts and Play Therapies and Clinical Work* (cross-listed)

Theory and Skills 2: Application and Process

Extended Clinical Project

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

Indicative Timetable

Students on this course are normally in Monday and Tuesday all day.

Contact us for further information.

Tuition fees and funding

September 2023 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

Career Options

Graduates work as a registered play therapist for both the private and public sectors. 

How to apply

Postgraduate programmes

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.

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

Postgraduate application process FAQs


To apply, you need to complete our online application form.

No, you can save and revisit your application form and can contact us directly at any time if you need advice or assistance.

We have general entry requirements for postgraduate courses. Many of our courses also have specific entry requirements. You can find details of these, and the fees for individual courses, on our postgraduate course pages.

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.

You can find more information on our postgraduate home and postgraduate international financial support pages. There are also other sources of external funding for international students available.

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

More Information

View frequently asked questions about our MA Play Therapy course.

Short Courses

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 ourPsychology 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.

Need help before you apply?

Course Facilities

Image -  Play therapy teaching space  
  Active participation in workshops and process groups will be a key part of your learning.    

Play therapy teaching space 

Active participation in workshops and process groups will be a key part of your learning.  

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.

Image -

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.