Simone Heyland - What our students say - University of Derby

Simone Heyland


Simone completed her teacher training in Therapeutic Education and went on to do the MA Dance Movement Psychotherapy course at Derby. Before this Simone
had been away from Education for almost 10 years due
to having children. When Simone returned to Education she studied part-time for 3 days a week and graduated
in MA Dance Movement Psychotherapy in 2012. Currently Simone is an Associate Lecturer at the University of
Derby and works at an Educational and Behavioural Difficulties school in Lichfield for two days a week. Simone also works with the NHS Early Intervention team. 

What did you enjoy about the course?

“This course has taught me to be very pro-active, have a lot of confidence, and especially to be innovative. Since completing the course I have been involved in staff training and in writing whole-school intervention programmes. It’s been the most intensive year of my life so far but I feel like it has brought about a career almost overnight. I have only been qualified a year and I am working and planning my Doctorate."

What did you like most about the content of the course?

“As part of the course I considered ‘What is movement?’, and there was a very progressive attitude to unpacking the component parts of dance movement therapy. I have since worked with women who have suffered from domestic violence, and I was able to use weaving as movement therapy - I have been provided with a very helpful tool bag. The innovation this course has given me is incredible – I am now able to engage with the most difficult to reach children using dance movement therapy in practice.”

What other opportunities did you experience?

“I was able to take part in the re-validation process of the course – I worked alongside seminar staff to consider areas that could be improved.” 

What did you do for you dissertation project?

“For my dissertation I was able to create a film, which was a very creative and rewarding experience. I was taught multi-media skills and the technical team were so supportive. I have been given even more tools to research different clients. This final piece of work was published, and is being using in a school with girls on body image.” 

Did you undertake any aspects of research?

“As part of my research project I was invited to be part of a collaboration with Staffordshire University and Dance 123 Body Image Dance, which was located in The Potteries. I designed an intervention which formed the basis of a study with two other students on the course, and we became researchers trained throughout the project. Very early on I invited to speak, with the Mayor of Stafford in the front row, which was a daunting but very rewarding experience. I gained a distinction for my research project and it was published in two journals.”

Have a look at some of the journals that Simone has made a key contribution to:

Did you undertake a placement?

“This MA is brilliant for Clinical Placements – I couldn’t say enough about how good the placements were. The training has actually provided me with a platform to create job posts; some of the others on my course have since been making posts by undertaking research projects at universities. The Career Pathway gave me a lot of the core skills I use every day in practice. This course is unique in that it is very intense, with weekly therapy sessions and a lot of clinical hours. The varied placements are intense, but they do prepare you for the working world.”

Would you recommend studying part-time?

“The course leader, Jill Bunce, was a saviour. She saw what support I needed and worked with it, nurturing and supporting me along the way. This course has transformed my belief in being able to achieve a Masters alongside my other commitments such as raising a family.”