University of Derby

Music Therapy

Our new MA Music Therapy helps meet a growing demand for expert practitioners who can harness the power of music in health, social care and community settings.

This is a new course starting in September 2018 (subject to approval).‌‌‌

Join a worthwhile profession

Music therapy can have a significant impact on quality of life for people with learning difficulties, disabilities, dementia and mental health issues. It can also play an important role in palliative care, adoption scenarios, forensic work and in a broad range of other interventions which promote inclusivity and wellbeing.

This course will equip you with the skills to use music in ways which stimulate creativity, problem-solving and positive change.

‌The title of Music Therapist is legally protected and you need a masters qualification to practise. Our MA Music Therapy is aligned to standards set by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which acts as the regulatory body for music therapists.

Successful completion of the course means you can register with the HCPC to practise as a music therapist in the UK. When you embark on the MA, you can also apply to join the British Association for Music Therapists (BAMT) as a trainee and, on finishing your training, as a practitioner.

A course with broad appeal

Our course is ideal for aspiring music therapists with a first degree in subjects relating to therapeutic arts, music, education and health, as well as for professionals with experience in appropriate health and social care settings.

It has the advantage of being delivered at the heart of the country in Derby. The flexible study format means that you are expected to attend the University on only one full day each week, with the rest of the time dedicated to clinical placements and self-directed study.

Hone your skills on placement

Practical experience is a cornerstone of this course and essential for meeting HCPC standards. You’ll spend a significant proportion of your time on placement, working directly with a range of clients and learning to manage caseloads.

You could be placed with health, social care and community employers or with music therapists running their own practices. You’ll receive expert clinical supervision from a dedicated placement supervisor. Throughout the MA, you’ll also draw on real-world case study materials to ensure your learning is up to date and relevant.

Improve your musicianship

Our therapeutic arts courses are distinctive because they place the art form at the heart of practice. Music and performance, musicality and improvisation will be central to your learning. We will enhance your musicianship while developing your critical understanding of theory and research. You’ll also take part in a Music Therapy Experiential Group and complete an independent study into a musicianship theme of your choice.

Entry requirements

Applicants for the programme must hold a first degree (2:2 or above) in a relevant subject, or have significant relevant experience or equivalent qualifications.

They will also need to demonstrate sufficient experience of working in a setting which addresses the needs of individuals with, for example, emotional or mental distress, specific learning needs or developmental difficulties.

Additionally, they will need to demonstrate appropriate musical ability and skills in musicianship, together with the emotional robustness and intellectual capacity to cope with the demands of the programme.

All prospective candidates who meet the basic entry criteria will attend a selection day to assess their suitability for the programme and their preparedness for the intensive nature of the training.

Course modules

As this is a postgraduate degree aligned to professional body accreditation, it is made up entirely of core modules:

Phase 1 – Year one of study:

  • Practical Music and Musicianship
  • Clinical Placement 1
  • Theory and Research 1
  • Experiential Group 1

Phase 2 – Year two of study:

  • Clinical Placement 2
  • Theory and Research 2
  • Experiential Group 2

Phase 3 – Year two of study:

(running concurrently with Phase 2)

  • Independent Scholarship.

Assessment methods

The assessment methods are all based on your coursework. This includes a variety of written essays, both academic and reflective; case studies, either written or presented; and live and recorded performance.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time September 2018 - 2 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Kedleston Road Campus Derby DE22 1GB East Midlands

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