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



Kedleston Road and Britannia Mill, Derby Campus

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.

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 centred, 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 personal 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.

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:

  • Music and Musicianship in Practice (20 credits)
  • Music Therapy Clinical Placement 1 (20 credits)
  • Arts Therapies Theory and Research in Relation to Practice 1 (20redits)
  • Music Therapy Experiential Group 1 (10 credits)
  • Arts Therapies Theory and Research in Relation to Practice 2 (20 credits)
  • Music Therapy Clinical Placement 2 (20 credits)
  • Music Therapy Experiential Group 2 (10 credits) 
  • Arts Therapies Independent Scholarship: A Body of Work (60 credits)

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

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 ensure that you have reached the required standards for English Language as recommended by the Health Professions Council. This is set at IELTS of at least 7.0 with 6.5 in each skills area or equivalent.

Interview Information

Admissions information

Please note that this course operates a pooled admissions approach and had a final application deadline of 28th June. 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 and passed 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.


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

Course: Becky White (Programme Leader)

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

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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