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Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Psychotherapy Hospital Play Therapy Counselling Skills (General)

Course type


Course Summary

This programme integrates theoretical learning, clinical skills and in-depth personal development to prepare graduates for clinical practice, predominantly with children, as a professional play therapist within the public and private sectors.Based on a humanistic person-centred model of therapy, this course emphasises the use of play within a therapeutic relationship between the therapist and client to facilitate therapeutic change. The course encompasses theoretical, practical and experiential learning. With our holistic approach to teaching, you will be provided with thorough and systematic knowledge, experience, skills and the confidence to work as a professionally qualified play therapist. At the end of the course, you will be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of therapeutic techniques and approaches that are required for professional registration purposes.

This course leads to a qualification that entitles you to registration as a Full Member of the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT) whose register is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). You will be taught by experienced practitioners who are practising play therapists and will bring the teaching on the course to life by drawing upon their own clinical experiences and case materials. All students are required to be in personal therapy for the duration of the course and will complete two specified periods of supervised clinical placements alongside their studies. Key areas that you will study include human development and growth, play therapy theory and skills and young child observations (attachment theory). Integral to the programme is your own personal development which will be supported by personal therapy and experiential process groups. Graduates work as a registered play therapist for both the private and public sectors.

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


2 years

Start date



It is essential for play therapists to have both an in depth understanding of development in the first days, weeks and months of life and the growth of the infant?s relationship with their caregiver. In this module, students learn to hold the role of observer in order to assess the behaviour of young children and their caregivers. The role of observer combines information gathering with an understanding of how the impact of children?s behaviour on the observer?s feelings can be used as a source of information that is clinically relevant. This module uses the Tavistock model of child observation where the primary focus is on experientially developing the student?s capacity to be a receptive observer. Part of this will include tolerating factors and forces which students encounter within their observations and thinking how this might inform their understanding of the infant?s emotional and cognitive development. Students are expected to complete a total of 30 observation hours during their first year.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Students will normally be required to hold a first degree at Honours level; in most cases this will be in a disciplines such as Psychology, Education, Early Childhood Studies, Mental Health Nursing or Social Work etc. Students with an appropriate recognised professional qualification (teaching /social work etc) and/or clinically relevant degree will be expected to have the equivalent of at least two years’ fulltime experience of working within a setting and with young clients relevant to the programme. This should be post-degree experience. Students who do not hold a relevant degree or professional qualification will be expected to have considerable (for example five years) experience of working within a setting and with young clients relevant to the programme. This might include working with children with behavioural or developmental challenges, learning difficulties, child mental health, etc. This work can either be done on a voluntary or employed basis.

University information

Located in south-west London, the University of Roehampton has a 54-acre parkland campus with state-of-the-art facilities, located within 30 minutes of central London. The University has a history dating back over 175 years. Through its oldest College, Whitelands, it has provided higher education to women for longer than any university in the country. Today, it has a thriving range of postgraduate programmes and an excellent research...more