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.
The current MA Dramatherapy course is made up of three stages - Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, and MA.
You’ll study modules such as:
- Dramatherapy Clinical Placement 1
- Arts Therapies Theory and Research in Relation to Practice 1
- Dramatherapy Practice Studio
- Dramatherapy Experiential Group
You’ll study modules such as:
- Dramatherapy Clinical Placement 2
- Arts Therapies Theory and Research in Relation to Practice 2
- Arts Therapies Independent Scholarship
- 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 7.0 or equivalent with no element below 6.5, 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.
2020/21 Fees (August 2020 - July 2021)
£950 per 20 credits*
£14,700 for the full programme
*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.
|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.
Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.
Additional costs and optional extras
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 below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.
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.