Course details

Study options

Full-time: 2 years

UK fee

£13,500 for the full course (2024/25)

International fee

£14,900 for the full course (2024/25)

Course level




Start date



Britannia Mill, Derby Campus

Dramatherapy student performing
Dramatherapy student performing

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.

Take a look at a video of graduates Natasha and Kirsty telling us about their experience of postgraduate Therapeutic Arts study at the University of Derby.

View MA Dramatherapy - Natasha and Kirsty's experience video transcript

"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

Dramatherapy student performing
Dramatherapy student performing
Multi-Faith Centre, Kedleston Road

Postgraduate Open Event

Join us at an upcoming Postgraduate Open Event, where you will get the opportunity to meet our expert academics and find out more about your course.

Book your Postgraduate Open EventBook your Postgraduate Open Event

What you will study

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.

How you will learn

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.

Entry requirements

You'll need:

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.

Interview information

Admissions information

Please note that this course operates a pooled admissions approach and the next application deadline for this course is 17 May 2024. We will be open for a second pool of applications with an application deadline of 28 June 2024.

We may look to open another pool for our September 2024 intake, however, this cannot be guaranteed.

Your portfolio

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.

Fees and funding

2024/25 (August 2024 - July 2025)


£13,500 for the full course



£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 Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 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 studiesFind 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 discountFind out about the Alumni discount

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarships

We have a range of scholarships and discounts available to international students which can be used together to offer a reduction in your tuition fees.

Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.


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.

Contact us

Course: Kate Smith (Programme Leader) +44 (0)1332 594198

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 Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

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
Mandatory costs not included in your fees


Optional costs not included in your fees

Minimum numbers

Please note that this course is subject to minimum numbers in order to run.

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