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.
- Achieve your ambitions on the only course of its kind in the Midlands and North of England
- Choose an innovative masters degree which places music and musicianship at the heart of your learning and focuses on an integrative approach to practice
- Integrate theory with practical experience: you’ll spend a significant amount of your time on placement
- Learn from our experienced and enthusiastic tutors who continue to practise professionally as music therapists
- Broaden your perspectives through inter-professional learning with other arts therapists
- Benefit from our flexible and convenient study modes so that you can balance your learning with your other commitments
- Join a department with a longstanding reputation for high-quality training in therapeutic arts
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.
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.
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.
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 6.5 or equivalent with no element below 6.0, as stipulated by the HCPC.
2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)
£950 per 20 credits
£14,700 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
This course is no longer accepting applications for September 2021.
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.
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
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
- Minimum of 72 sessions of personal therapy approx. £3000
- Students with a specialist instrument not available in the University will need to bring their own instrument if they wish to use it
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Any additional academic books that students feel they need
- Students may opt to engage in international trips and activities that are not fully funded, though bursaries may be available
- Optional outings and trips will also require self-funding
- Professional HCPC membership required to practice. More details can be found www.hcpc-uk.org
- British Association for Music Therapy - 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.