Postgraduate Taught

MSc Dramatherapy

This new MSc Dramatherapy is the first of its kind in Scotland and the only opportunity to engage in accredited training as a dramatherapist here. It offers a rewarding and creative approach to working with others and is an exciting development in the life of the profession in Scotland. This full-time course leads to eligibility to register with the Health and Care Processions Council (HCPC) and use the protected title of ‘dramatherapist’.

The rich potential of creative, embodied expression, your desire to work with others in a meaningful way and the life changing potential of psychotherapy all come together in this pioneering course. If you have at least one year’s experience of working alongside people, either within a mental or physical health setting, education, social services or the voluntary sector, this course will help you build on your interpersonal and creative skills and develop new competencies as a dramatherapist.

Why QMU?

  • The only accredited dramatherapy course in Scotland, inviting you to be at the forefront of this pioneering development in the profession in Scotland.
  • We have well developed partnerships with third sector organisations. You’ll benefit from excellent placement opportunities working with a variety of client groups, in schools, the NHS, community settings and other organisations.
  • The course is proud to have an international perspective. It carries 240 credits/120 European Credits that are transferable across Europe.
  • Students on arts therapies courses usually come from across the globe, which makes for a very rich and interesting learning experience.

Course overview

Dramatherapists employ the imaginative, symbolic and metaphoric processes inherent to drama and theatre in the live explorations of their clients. They work with others to access their creative capacities, and foster therapeutic relationships that are conducive to building self-understanding, growth and change. The process of playing, moving and enacting in the presence of another can have a positively profound effect on a person’s mental health and wellbeing.

A person’s internal world - their experiences and feelings - are given creative and symbolic expression in the external world through different dramatherapy processes and structures. Experiences can be explored and ‘held’ by the safe use of the art form and expressive processes, which may involve role play, stories, movement, masks, puppets/small objects and other materials and methods that engage a person’s imagination.

You could work with people of any age and from diverse backgrounds and settings, individually or in groups, supporting them in using dramatic forms to communicate and express themselves and engaging with a whole range of human experiences. The task is to support someone in making sense of their experiences and relationships, including those that cause them distress, by providing a safe, consistent and reliable environment. Utilising different dramatic forms within this therapeutic environment can support someone to develop insight and bring about change.

As a student on this course, you will be engaged in an experiential style of learning within your practice group, working alongside others in workshop-based, group processes, in addition to theoretical studies and practice-based learning.

Group sessions will include play, dramatic projection, role work, dramatic enactments, movement, symbol and metaphor, storytelling/myth and ritual, and their application to this psychotherapeutic approach.

Key learning takes place within the modality of dramatherapy, and a commitment to regular personal therapy throughout the programme. Practice placements, where you will be working with clients, will build on your experiential and theoretical learning and allow you to apply your developing skills. You will engage in regular clinical supervision with an external, registered supervisor, as well as managerial supervision within the practice placement setting.

Your learning will be enriched by the interdisciplinary structure of the course as you study alongside your peers from our MSc Art Psychotherapy and MSc Music Therapy, as well as other pathways within the Person-centred Practice Framework.

Exit awards

MSc (240 credits)


You must complete the full MSc to be eligible to register with the HCPC and to work as a dramatherapist. Single module study is not available, but we do offer an introduction to dramatherapy short course (non-credited).

Teaching, learning and assessment

You will attend workshops/classes, work in groups and carry out independent learning. Assessment methods include assessed facilitation (group and 1:1), devised therapeutic performances, essays and presentations. You will undertake practice placements in different settings over two years.

Teaching hours and attendance

Classes in Year One usually take place at QMU across two days per week and in Year Two, across one day. You will attend practice placements throughout the course. All students will be required to carry out independent learning.

Class sizes

It is anticipated there will be a first group of approximately 10-15 students on this course. Some classes will be larger due to shared learning with MSc Music Therapy and Art Psychotherapy students.

Links with industry/ professional bodies

Graduates are eligible for registration with the HCPC as registered dramatherapists and are eligible for full membership of the British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth). Student membership is also possible while a student on the course. The course meets the requirements of the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Dramatherapists.


Year One

  • Dramatherapy Practice and Clinical Resources (20 credits)
  • Theory and Practice of Person-Centred Health and Wellbeing (20 credits)
  • Leading Person-Centred Practice for Health and Wellbeing (20 credits)
  • Practice-based Learning (Placement) 1 (40 credits
  • Developmental and Relational Perspectives (20 credits)

Year Two

  • Practice-based Learning (Placement) 2 (40 credits)
  • Arts Therapies in Context (20 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2021) but are subject to change. In the event that modules change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.


Single modules for CPD

Not available


Placements are vital to your learning process. It is your opportunity to facilitate for others the creative and therapeutic skills, structures and qualities that are being developed in you on the course. You will undertake a supervised practice placement spread over two semesters. In Year One this is likely to be one day per week and in Year Two it is likely to be two days. Your placements could be in various settings throughout Scotland, including education, voluntary and healthcare environments. Placements are allocated by QMU in Year One, in negotiation with you. In Year Two, you’ll be encouraged, with support, to develop your own placement opportunity in an area of clinical interest to you. This may be in a setting without current dramatherapy provision.


You will graduate with the knowledge, creative resources and practical confidence to start (and create) work as a dramatherapist, largely due to the thoughtful blend of experiential, practice-based and research elements. Becoming a dramatherapist has the potential to lead to a dynamic, satisfying and exciting career. Dramatherapists work with a wide range of clients and communities, individually and with groups, within the public and private sectors. You could work in Scotland and throughout the UK, or travel and use your skills to make a difference much further afield.

Entry requirements

UK honours degree or equivalent in a related field. This will not necessarily be in the field of drama/theatre; applicants may also come from education, psychology, other allied health professions, social work or other backgrounds. Creative and drama-based skills and experience will be considered on admissions day (see below).

Normally a minimum of one year’s experience (or part-time equivalent) of work in a caring / facilitating capacity or equivalent. Relevant work includes: nursing assistant, project worker, arts-based facilitator, care work in a community setting, drama teaching. Some experience of having been engaged in psychotherapy/counselling, or experiential workshops in creative therapies is desirable.

International: You you will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 7.0 with no individual component score less than 6.5.

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

Admissions day/Interview: UK applicants are expected to attend an admissions day at QMU. These will usually be held in March and June (tbc) and the application deadlines will be set in advance of these days. The admissions day will involve creative group workshops and an individual interview. Interviews for international students will be conducted using an online platform.

Application deadline

It is anticipated this course will be highly competitive with limited places. We advise applicants to apply early to be considered.

More information and contacts

Contact the programme team on or

Course Overview

At QMU and on placement
2 years full-time
Start Date
September 2022
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Fees & Funding

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