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MSc Music Therapy

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  • Introduction
  • Key details
  • Entry requirements
  • Fees
  • Modules
  • Careers

- This is the only music therapy training course in Scotland.
- Exciting collaborative opportunities between this course and MSc Art Psychotherapy (International) course.
- Practice Educators for all Year One students are music therapists.

The theoretical focus of this course encompasses psychodynamic, humanistic, developmental and music-centred approaches to music therapy. Some lectures in theoretical studies are shared with students from Art Psychotherapy. The training is designed to prepare students for work with vulnerable children and adults with a wide range of needs, eg learning disabilities or mental health problems.

EXIT AWARDS: MSc (240 credits)

Delivery: At QMU

Duration: 2 years

Start date: September

Application deadline: End of May

Teaching, learning and assessment: Teaching includes practical and academic elements with an emphasis on experiential learning and teaching methods, including lectures, seminars and tutorials. Assessments are both practical and written.
The following areas are covered:

- Therapeutic musical skills, with an emphasis on improvisation, interaction and application in a therapeutic context
- Relevant psychological, developmental, and music therapy theory
- Different client groups: knowledge of different areas of need, diagnosis, and work contexts
- Self-development
- Observation and critical thinking skills
- Professional issues, such as ethics and team communication

Placements include work within a variety of settings and in both levels, one day a week is spent on placement. Students are required to meet costs for travel and to provide recording equipment.

Personal development is fundamental to therapeutic training and it is a course requirement (and requirement by the Health and Care Professions Council) that students also attend regular personal therapy throughout the course, with a minimum of 40 hours attendance. This work is non-assessed and is a confidential arrangement between therapist and student.

Teaching hours and attendance: Each module requires you to attend classes at QMU (over two days) and learn independently. Your attendance requirements at QMU will depend on the module. There will be a further day dedicated to practice placement. Students need to allocate a significant amount of time for independent study.

Links with industry/professional bodies: Part of our strength comes from our location. Being based in Edinburgh means that the course has been developed over time in co-operation with key national cultural agencies and other bodies with a strategic interest in the development of arts organisations and festivals. Our location in the ‘festival city’ also allows for strong practical links between the course and the many arts, festival and cultural organisations based in and around Edinburgh, across Scotland and the UK.
The course is validated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Students should normally have:
- any honours degree or equivalent
- a high standard of practical musicianship and flexibility on at least one instrument (for singleline instrumentalists or singers, proficiency on an harmonic instrument is also required)
- relevant experience with people in the community, in education or health setting.

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to take an IELTS test receiving an overall score of 7.0 and no component score below 6.5.

Interview: Applications can be made at anytime before 31 May, however places are offered on a first come, first served basis. For a September start, interviews are usually between January and June.
The personal statement should include: reasons why the applicant feels attracted to the profession of music therapy; specific musical qualification; and relevant experience with caring professions. Some applicants will be asked to attend for audition band interview. This will usually include group improvisation with other applicants and an individual audition in which the applicant will: play prepared pieces; improvise on a given theme; and sing a short song of their own choice, if voice is not main study. The interview will assess each applicant’s personal suitability for this profession and awareness of, and readiness for, the demands that the course entails.
For overseas applicants auditions and interviews may be conducted by Skype.

Criminal records check: A satisfactory criminal records check will be required.

Fees information: Special Information for EU Applicants

The home fee rate will continue to apply to postgraduate EU students entering in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic years. EU students will continue to be eligible to apply for the SAAS tuition fee loan for the academic years 2017/18 and 2018/19. For more information, see the SAAS website.

Funding Information for International Students:
Visit the International section of the website.

Course Fees:
Visit the Fees section of the website. -
Graduates of the University who hold a verified QMU undergraduate or postgraduate award and who are admitted to a postgraduate award of QMU will be eligible for a 10% discount on the published fees.

Sources of Funding:
Visit the Funding section of the website.

Level 1: 30 credits: Practice Placement 1/Interdisciplinary Studies 1/ Therapeutic
Skills and Interpersonal Learning/ Research Methods

Level 2: 30 credits Practice Placement 2/ Interdisciplinary Studies 2 and Interpersonal Learning
60 credits Professional project.

The modules listed here are correct at the time of posting (July 16), but are subject to change. In the event that modules have to change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact to students.

On graduation you will be eligible for registration with HCPC, and will be qualified to apply for work in organisations such as the NHS, education, charitable bodies, social services, or in the private sector. Music therapists are employed throughout the health, education and community sectors. Registered music therapists are eligible for full membership of the British Association for Music Therapy. Several of our graduates have found employment with: Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland; within the NHS; others have successfully created new job opportunities for themselves.



further information:

0131 474 0000 or
Dr Philippa Derrington
+44 (0)131 474 0000

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