Getting your career ready
After successful completion of the MA Dramatherapy course you’ll be eligible to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration as a dramatherapist, as long as you meet the HCPC’s requirements.
Throughout this course you’ll be encouraged to reflect on and consider the impact and consequences of your interventions. You'll develop the skills to be a self-aware dramatherapist, who can discern how the impact of self is central to your facilitation skills.
You'll be encouraged to be innovative, creating clear links with a wide range of theatre and improvisational methodologies. This will enable you to respond effectively to different client needs in a variety of settings.
You'll be encouraged to develop your interests and follow your inspiration using the dramatic art form to create original models, suitable for a range of Dramatherapy interventions.
Exciting career opportunities
Dramatherapists are employed in a range of organisations including schools, prisons, hospitals, day centres, hospices and private health providers, so there can be exciting and stimulating career options for you.
You’ll need to undertake a health screening at the start of the course to establish your fitness to practice.
Exploring theatre in the therapeutic process
By focusing on the use of theatre in the therapeutic process, you’ll explore the role of improvisation and the need to adapt therapeutic interventions to the needs of individual clients and patients. You'll be assisted in developing the skills required to assess the impact of your own values and beliefs on your pratice, and the effect it has on your clients and patients.
Engaging work placements
During your clinical placements you’ll have the opportunity to apply your theoretical knowledge and practical skills in a health and social care setting. You’ll be part of a reflective practice group led by a registered dramatherapist who will help you to consider and reflect on the work you do in your placement.
We’re proud to say that our courses are closely mapped against the health and social care sector. This ensures that our curriculum is up-to-date, providing you with the assurance that your learning is current and relevant. This does mean that we do have to respond to national changes such as government policy. As a result, some of the information about our courses may change. Please check the website for the latest information.
Natasha and Kirsty's experience
Watch the video below to find out what Natasha and Kirsty had to say about their experience of the University of Derby's MA Dramatherapy course.
"The University, my placement, and the academic team all became the training ground that installed the confidence for me to believe in possibilities. To be curious, take risks, and to learn failure."
Serena Chauhan Jenkins, MA Dramatherapy graduate
You will study the below modules:
- Dramatherapy Studio Practice (20 credits)
- Art Therapies Theory and Research in Relation to Practice One (20 credits)
- Dramatherapy Clinical Placement One (20 credits)
- Dramatherapy Experiential Group (20 credits)
- Art Therapies Theory and Research in Relation to Practice Two (20 credits)
- Dramatherapy Clinical Placement Two (20 credits)
- Arts Therapies Independent Scholarship: A Body of Work (60 credits)
- Personal Therapy
As part of their MA Dramatherapy training, students individually complete a piece of original research known as the ‘Independent Scholarship’. This takes place throughout the second year of training and usually culminates with the end of the programme. Students are required to conduct an ethically sound research study in an area of Dramatherapy of their choosing. Students are supported throughout their research process with a first and second supervisor and ordinarily take part in regular small supervision groups.
Part of the ethos of the MA Dramatherapy programme at the University of Derby is to keep the dramatic art-form as a central tenet of the training process. As such, students are required to choose what’s known as an arts-based methodology to shape their research project. This means that they use the dramatic art-form as a way of exploring their research question and deepening their knowledge and understanding. Currently, the Independent Scholarship comprises three parts which are all assessed; a solo performance, a written critique and a viva voce exam. The images in this gallery are from these final performances which usually take place over a week at the end of the summer semester.
At present, this module is worth 60 credits and therefore represents a significant amount of the total training process. This module requires active engagement from the student and previous trainees have reported to have found the process highly illuminating, even life-changing at times.
Please note, you will be required to undertake a total of 72 sessions of personal therapy, as stipulated by the British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth), for the duration of the training. The cost of therapy will be covered by yourself, this is in addition to the standard course fees.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
Real world learning is incorporated into the programme with the inclusion of two clinical placement modules where you will be invited to develop your dramatherapy practice with both individuals and groups. Currently, the programme regularly hosts international guest lecturers.
How you're assessed
The emphasis of this programme is for you to produce original assessed work that is well-researched, current and largely reflective.
Assessments have been designed to be flexible and innovative, drawing upon the dramatic art-form as well as more traditional academic styles of assessment. Currently, students are assessed throughout the programme by submitting coursework (100%) including written reflections, case studies and presentations, a theatre review, literature reviews and practical facilitations. Our present final assessment requires you to conduct a piece of arts-based research in a methodology of your choosing. You'll be assessed by your creation of a theatrical performance, written critique (body of work) and through a viva voce discussion.
- A relevant undergraduate degree such as BA (Hons) Drama, BA (Hons) Theatre Arts, BA (Hons) Creative Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing. Or you might hold an undergraduate degree or training in other areas such as psychology, occupational therapy, social work, nursing and have current evidence of theatre experience.
- You'll usually need one year's full time (or equivalent) relevant work experience in a health and social care environment. This can be paid or voluntary and can include areas such as mental health, learning disabilities, older people, children who have experienced trauma, physical disabilities or working with asylum seekers. The more experience you have, the more prepared you'll be for the course.
- You must demonstrate sufficient life experience and emotional maturity to cope with the demands of the course as the training and personal therapy processes can be emotionally challenging.
- If your first language is not English, you'll need to have achieved an IELTS of at least 6.5 or equivalent with no element below 6.0, as stipulated by the HCPC.
A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is required at the point of accepting a place at the University. The Disclosure and Barring Service was established when the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged in 2012 and will now provide the criminal records checking service for this programme.
The application deadline for entry in September 2023 will be confirmed shortly.
Following application submission, applicants will be asked to submit an online portfolio. Applicants who are invited to submit a portfolio will have two weeks to do so and will receive guidance information related to the completion of the portfolio.
The portfolio element of your application must be submitted in order for you to be shortlisted for interview.
Shortlisted candidates will be required to complete a satisfactory virtual interview. Non-attendance may result in your application being withdrawn.
2023/24 Fees (August 2023 - July 2024)
£1,500 per 20 credits
£14,900 for the full course
Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.
Additional costs and optional extras
About postgraduate awards
Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.
|Postgraduate Certificate||60 Credits|
|Postgraduate Diploma||120 Credits|
|MA or MSc||180 Credits|
This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.
Funding your studies
Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.
Find out about funding your studies
Alumni discount for Derby graduates
We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.
Find out about the Alumni discount
When you have successfully completed all elements of the course you are eligible to apply to be registered as a Dramatherapist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), as long as you meet the HCPC’s requirements. You could be employed in areas such as schools, prisons, hospitals, day centres, hospices, private health organisations, therapeutic communities. With further experience, you could work freelance.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.
Included in your fees
- Resources for practical workshops, clinical supervision, some travel to placements can also be refunded
- DBS check
- Health screening costs
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Travel to and from placements, some placement related expenses are reimbursed if students spend more than £5 per day in travel to and from placement, approx. £150 per month
- Minimum of 72 sessions of personal therapy approx. £3000
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Any Additional academic books that students feel they need approx. £150
- Professional HCPC membership required to practice. More details can be found www.hcpc-uk.org
- The British Association of Dramatherapists (BADTh) - optional but advised
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.
Please note that this course is subject to minimum numbers in order to run.