Course details

Study options

Full-time: 2 years

UK/EU fee

£950 per 20 credits* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,700 for the full programme (2020/21)

Course level




Start date



Kedleston Road and Britannia Mill, Derby Campus

Course description

If you would like to register and go into practice as a music therapist, this inspirational new masters course is the ideal route to success.

For closing date for applications please see how to apply.

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.

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.

An integrative approach

We work with an integrative approach to understanding the therapeutic relationship, considering person centered, music-centred and psychodynamic approaches. The focus is on helping clients to strengthen their inner resources so that they feel they can make positive changes in their lives.

Reflecting this ethos, you will be required to engage with persoanl therapy yourself for the full duration of the course.

Dynamic learning experiences

You’ll be taught by an enthusiastic, expert team experienced in all forms of arts therapy. The course includes reflective practice groups facilitated by registered music therapists and substantial practical work in our bespoke music studio with a wide range of instruments.

There are valuable opportunities for you to learn with – and from – students from other disciplines. This prepares you to work in a multi-professional team and achieve the best outcomes for your clients.

You’ll find our tutors are friendly, approachable and encouraging – they pride themselves on offering exceptional support to students.

An impressive track record

We have a strong reputation for excellence in therapeutic arts and have prepared hundreds of students for careers in education, health and community arts.

The MA builds on our expertise in offering a Music pathway on our popular BA (Hons) Creative Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing. It also complements our other masters degrees in Art Therapy, Dramatherapy and Dance Movement Psychotherapy. With Music Therapy joining our portfolio, we believe we are the only university in the country to offer such a comprehensive range of postgraduate courses in this field.

What you will study

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

  • Practical Music and Musicianship
  • Clinical Placement 1
  • Theory and Research 1
  • Experiential Group 1
  • Clinical Placement 2
  • Theory and Research 2
  • Experiential Group 2

(running concurrently with Phase 2)

  • Independent Scholarship.

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.

Side-on black and white portrait of a young student looking to the sky for inspiration with bokeh lights

Postgraduate Live Online Events

While we’re not able to welcome you in person to our campuses at the moment, we’re not going to let that stop us showing you all the great things about studying at Derby.

We’re currently planning our autumn Open Events to bring you the best possible online and on-campus experience.

Book your Live Online EventBook your Live Online Event

How you will learn

You will engage in practical/experiential group learning, lectures, seminars and personal tutorials. Practical application is integrated with the theory you need to understand and develop your practice.

Music practice and performance, musicality and improvisation will be central to your learning and development throughout the programme. The theoretical content of the course will largely be delivered face to face, with some use of blended learning where appropriate.

How you'll be assessed

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.

Who you'll meet

You will learn from a variety of tutors who are in practice, ensuring that the course content is current and relevant to the real world.

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.

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.

Interview Information

Fees and funding

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 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.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Additional costs and optional extras

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarship

We're offering a £2,000 scholarship for all eligible international students studying a full-time postgraduate taught programme (PGT). Terms and conditions apply.

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

How to apply


Music therapy is a rapidly evolving discipline and profession. Music making and shared musical experiences are increasingly recognised as valid ways of helping people to address social, emotional or physical difficulties.

Our new MA reflects the growing profile and status of the profession, enabling you to register and practise as a music therapist. It paves the way to rewarding careers in a wide range of health, social care and community settings. It could also give you a firm foundation if you would like to work on a self-employed or freelance basis.

Contact us

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

September 2018

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 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

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

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.

Minimum numbers

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

You might also like