A row of students with aprons on making things out of modelling clay

About our courses

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapists and arts therapists work in a variety of settings including the NHS, social services, schools, day centres, the voluntary sector and private practice. At postgraduate level, QMU offers two occupational therapy courses:

MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration): This is for graduates who wish to be educated to master’s level to become occupational therapists (pre-registration level).

MSc Advancing Practice in Occupational Therapy: this is for qualified occupational therapists who wish to attain a master’s degree. This course builds on the success of the former MSc Occupational Therapy (Post-Registration) and is designed to support practitioners to develop and advance their practice across a variety of contexts.

Arts therapies

QMU offers four distinct arts therapies courses:

Both the Music Therapy and Art Psychotherapy courses were the first to be established in Scotland and continue to be the only courses of education of their kind in Scotland. Occupational therapists and arts therapists educated to masters' level can utilise their qualifications and experience abroad.

Our MSc Dramatherapy is also the first of its kind in Scotland and the only opportunity to engage in accredited training as a Dramatherapist here.

Our MSc Play Therapy is delivered in collaboration with With Kids, a Glasgow based charity that provides individual, social and practical support to children and families in Scotland. It is the only play therapy education validated by a Scottish university in collaboration with a Scottish charity.

Why study with QMU?

Our pre-registration course prepare students to become qualified therapists in their particular field.

For those who are already qualified as an occupational therapist, we offer them the opportunity to explore their own practice in more depth through our Advancing Practice in Occupational Therapy course. As a postgraduate student, the opportunities to gain invaluable experience through applying your learning directly to your workplace allow you to contribute to the modernisation of occupational therapy, the arts therapies and healthcare globally.

Our staff have many years of experience in occupational therapy or arts therapies, practice, education, research and policy, and ensure that there is a real focus on the individual student’s future working needs embedded into their postgraduate study.

Strong industry links

Occupational therapists and arts therapists at pre-registration level undertake a series of work-based placements as part of the course in their respective fields. We have excellent links with our practice providers, ensuring that our courses are current and relevant. We aim to integrate your work-based studies with your academic study, to facilitate a deep understanding of the key issues that will affect your chosen profession in a rapidly changing and complex health and social care arena.

Qualified occupational therapists undertaking the part-time MSc Advancing Practice in Occupational Therapy continuously utilise their daily practice in their studies.

Our student-centred approach to learning and teaching

Our learning and teaching approaches for these courses are developed using the following core values in relation to student-centred education:

  • Maximise the potential of our academic and professional communities of learners, working together locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • Continuously enhance the student experience through the development of learner-centred educational provision, research and scholarship.
  • Enable all of our students to become independent lifelong learners.

In addition to the values stated above, we employ enquiry-based learning in the majority of our postgraduate courses. Enquiry-based learning is essentially student-centred, with an emphasis on group work and use of library, web and other information resources. Lecturers are also facilitators, providing encouragement and support to enable you to take responsibility for what and how you learn. You will reach a point where you are not simply investigating questions posed by others, but can formulate your own research topics.

You will gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter, as well as the knowledge development and leadership skills required for tackling complex problems that occur in practice.

You will be expected to draw on your previous knowledge and skills to inform your postgraduate study and will benefit from a variety of interesting ways to participate and share experiences and opinions with your peers to deepen your understanding of your chosen profession.

Great facilities

Physical resources on campus include an Occupational Performance Suite incorporating activities of daily living facilities with functional appliances/ equipment to simulate a home environment. The arts therapies utilise general and custom-built studio spaces for music therapy and art psychotherapy.

Preparing you for a successful career 

We prepare our students for the challenges of the 21st century and actively encourage aspiration to higher levels of the profession.

The MSc Advancing Practice in Occupational Therapy has been designed to suit occupational therapists from a wide range of settings, to support you to redefine your career as an advanced practitioner in education, research, leadership, policy or practice. It is possible to take individual modules as part of continuing professional development, or to continue to study towards a PgCert, PgDip or the MSc as part of your ongoing career and personal development.

Music therapists are employed in a variety of settings throughout the health, education and community sectors, such as in schools, hospitals, residential care homes and hospices, and work with people of all ages. Many music therapists from Queen Margaret University have created new posts in existing services, as well as successfully setting up private practice, helping the profession to continue to grow in Scotland and elsewhere. There are many opportunities to work collaboratively with other professionals, become clinical supervisors and pursue further research to add to an already rich and dynamic field.

Art psychotherapists work with a whole spectrum of clients within a variety of settings: many are employed in the NHS, but others work in mainstream primary and secondary schools, hospices, prisons and voluntary agencies, for example. Many art psychotherapists welcome the flexibility of sessional employment and are able to tailor their input to the needs of the organisation. Art  psychotherapists can also take on roles that extend beyond clinical work by providing supervision to other staff members and co-working with colleagues from other professions.

Play therapists practise in many environments, including: NHS, social services, primary, secondary, further and special education, charities and private practice. Play therapists work with children and young people who present with a range of emotional difficulties.

Dramatherapy involves the application of healing aspects of drama and theatre to a therapeutic process. It is a method of working and playing that uses action methods to facilitate creativity, imagination, learning, insight and growth. Dramatherapists work with the understanding that it is through identifying with characters and stories that people make sense of the world and come to understand themselves and others. They draw on a very wide range of dramatic and creative techniques in verbal and non-verbal ways. These may include role work and improvisation, story-making, movement/embodiment, music, work with objects/puppets/masks and art-making. Dramatherapists work therapeutically with a diverse range of individuals, groups and organisations, who needn't have any prior experience of theatre or drama.

Find out more information on how to apply for a course at QMU.