Dramatherapy - MSc
If you have at least one year’s experience of working alongside others in a caring/support/facilitative capacity within a mental or physical health setting, as well as experience of drama/theatre or other action-based creative processes, this MSc in Dramatherapy could be your route to a new rewarding career.
This pioneering course (new in 2022) represents the only opportunity to train as a Dramatherapist in Scotland and is an exciting development in the life of the dramatherapy profession here. It brings together an immersive experience in creative, embodied expression, the playful and collaborative possibilities of drama and your desire to work with others in a meaningful way. The life changing potential of arts-based approaches in psychotherapy are further realized by engaging regularly with students of other arts therapies (art and music) disciplines.
The course will help you build on your interpersonal, facilitation and creative skills to develop new competencies in this dynamic profession.. It offers a creative approach to working with others and includes supervised practice placements in diverse settings, which are a vital part of the learning process.
This course leads to eligibility to register with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and use the protected title of ‘dramatherapist’.
- Unique in Scotland: This is the only accredited Dramatherapy course in Scotland, inviting you to be at the forefront of this pioneering development in the profession.
- Staff expertise: Staff come from diverse and varied practice contexts, with decades of experience of the application of dramatherapy in Scotland, across the UK and internationally. They have been at the forefront of some of the local and national developments of the profession here and bring contemporary and relevant knowledge to the student experience.
- Placement opportunities allow you to put your learning into practice: You’ll benefit from our well developed partnerships with statutory and third sector organsations, resulting in excellent placement opportunities working with a variety of client groups, including schools, the NHS, social care, community settings and other organisations.
- Interdisciplinary working: Dramatherapy sits alongside Music and Art Therapy in the shared Person-centred Practice Framework. You’ll benefit from rewarding interdisciplinary learning from our colleagues across these modalities, sharing learning opportunities with a larger community of arts therapies students.
- International recognition: The course is proud to have an international perspective. It carries 240 credits/120 European Credits that are transferable across Europe.
- Student diversity: Students on arts therapies courses usually come from across the globe, which makes for a very rich and interesting learning experience.
- Professional accreditation/registration: The course meets the requirements of the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency for Dramatherapists. 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 of BADth is also possible while a student on the course.
Studying MSc Dramatherapy
Dramatherapy (MSc): More information and what you will achieve
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/improvisation, 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; you will also engage in a weekly dramatherapy process group and regular individual therapy throughout the course. 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 (on campus in Year One and externally in Year Two) 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.
How will I be taught?
Structure and exit awards
You must complete the full MSc (240 credits) 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 viva presentations. You will undertake practice placements in different settings over two years.
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.
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 per week. You will attend practice placements throughout the course. All students will be required to carry out independent learning.
It is anticipated that your dramatherapy learning cohort will be approximately 15 students. Some classes will be larger due to shared learning with MSc Music Therapy and MSc Art Psychotherapy students.
You can read more about the teaching staff on this course at the bottom of this page. Please note that teaching staff information is subject to change.
- 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)
- Practice-based Learning (Placement) 2 (40 credits)
- Arts Therapies in Context (20 credits)
- Dissertation (60 credits)
NB The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2023) 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.
You will gain 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 of the course. 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.
Dramatherapy (MSc): Entry requirements and application information
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 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.
A satisfactory criminal records check from the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme, an occupational health check and personal indemnity insurance (normally through membership of the professional body) are required.
- The cost of the PVG check (£18 or £59 depending on the level of clearance required*) and the professional indemnity insurance are the responsibility of the student. Currently the cost of the health check is funded by the Scottish Government for Scottish students only and other students are responsible for this cost. This is however subject to change should the Scottish Government change their funding policy.
- The additional costs associated with placement travel and accommodation are the responsibility of the student.
*Please note that cost is subject to change.
Admissions day/interview: UK applicants are expected to attend an admissions day at QMU. These will usually be held monthly from February to June and the application deadlines will be set in advance of these days. The admissions day will involve creative group processes and an individual interview. Interviews for international students will be conducted using an online platform.
If you have a disability, long-term physical or mental health condition, or learning disability, it should not stand in the way of your studying at QMU. However, if you are not sure whether your disability might be a barrier in your studies or in relation to the professional standards, please contact the disability service who will be able to have a conversation with you about reasonable adjustments and supports available to you.
Applying for this course
For more information on applying, or to apply for this course, please follow the links in the 'Start your application' box at the top right of this page.
We expect this course to be highly competitive and advise applicants to apply early to be considered.
Terms and Conditions
The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2024/25 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).
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