Interim Head of Division and Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader, Music Therapy


Division: Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Philippa Derrington (Ph.D, MA, PgDip (Music Therapy), BA (Hons) is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader in the Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies Division. She is also an Associate of member of Centre for Applied Social Sciences.

Philippa studied and taught modern languages in the UK and abroad before training as a music therapist at Anglia Polytechnic University in Cambridge. On qualifying in 2001 she worked in various settings with adults, children and adolescents, including the field of mental health and learning disabilities. She set up and established a permanent, full-time post in a secondary school, which was the first of its kind in the UK and is where she developed provision for young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties. This later became her research specialism. She also works freelance as a Clinical Supervisor of Arts Therapists and acts in a consultancy role.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

Professional Social Media:

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:

Philippa was the lead researcher for the Music Therapy Charity’s Youth at Risk project (2009-2012). Through this she completed her PhD entitled: ‘Music Therapy for Youth at Risk: An Exploration of Clinical Practice Through Research.’ Philippa is regularly invited to present her work nationally and internationally and is a passionate advocate for the development and promotion of music therapy. She has published her work and is co-editor of the book Music Therapy in Schools (Jessica Kingsley, 2012). Her international research activities are with young people at risk of marginalisation and exclusion.

Active Research Interests:

  • Music therapy, adolescents, emotions, violence and youth, aphasia

Research Methods:

  • mixed methods; inter-disciplinary research. 

Research Grants & Contracts Funding:

Research project: Intensive Communication Group for People with Aphasia (from Centre for Applied Social Sciences)

Philippa is the Programme Leader, Senior Lecturer and Professional Practice Tutor for the MSc in Music Therapy in the Division of Occupational Therapy and Arts Therapies. She has teaching experience of undergraduate and postgraduate level and with inter-professional student groups. She has been invited to teach at other Universities in Europe and is particularly passionate about teaching a music therapy approach which is grounded in both psychoanalytic and developmental models.

Philippa supervises undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations, is a PhD supervisor and assessor, and External Examiner.

Senior Lecturer (2015)

PhD: The Music Therapy Charity