MA Music Therapy

Do you want to become a music therapist? The part-time MA Music Therapy course provides students with a unique opportunity to develop the skills necessary to become a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) qualified music therapist. This highly experiential Music Therapy course provides students with training comprising of theoretical, clinical and musical experiences.

Clinical placements are at the heart of your music therapy training. Additionally, you will explore group psychodynamic processes and relate them to clinical practice, as well as working alongside trainee Art Psychotherapists to boost your learning experience.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 3 Years September Newport City C
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 3 Years September Newport City C

During the first year of your MA Music Therapy training, you will establish a strong theoretical basis built up from a range of disciplines, with an emphasis on psychodynamic music therapy. Your competence in clinical practice and your understanding of therapeutic relationships will then be developed in years two and three through supervised placements. These will be integrated with your university based learning.

Infant observation is an exciting feature of the first year, offering an informative and in depth grounding in human development that will inform for the rest of your study. Creative music skills sessions enable you to further develop musically.

In addition, throughout the MA Music Therapy course, multi-disciplinary study groups and events will provide insight into the principles, practices and effectiveness of other art modalities.

Year One: MA Music Therapy

  • Theory and practice of music therapy
  • Infant Observation
  • Clinical improvisation (music skills)
  • Placement visits 
  • Study of different client groups
  • Modality-specific experiential group

Year Two: MA Music Therapy

  • Placement in a University-approved clinical setting (one day per week)
  • Small group clinical supervision
  • Further theory and practice of music therapy
  • Creative music skills
  • Modality-specific experiential group

Year Three: MA Music Therapy

  • Placement in a University-approved clinical setting (one day per week)
  • Small group clinical supervision
  • Modality-specific experiential group
  • Research methods and dissertation

Please note it is a course requirement that you are in regular weekly therapy for the duration of the course.


  • Year One: One day per week at university, a Monday; from the second semester (January), this will change to one day a week at university, and one day at placement
  • Year Two: One day at university, a Tuesday, and one day at placement
  • Year Three: One day at university, a Wednesday, and one day at placement.

During the music therapy training, you will develop your personal music skills through working with your peers. You’ll have the opportunity to perform at the opening of the art psychotherapy students end of year exhibition which will give you insight into the creative processes involved in responding to another artform using your own modality. You may also be involved in assisting course team members in their research projects.




You will be assessed through a combination of essays, presentations, practicals, coursework, professional development, improvisations, performance, dissertation and viva voce assessment.


The MA Music Therapy is regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).


Students on our HCPC-approved Music Therapy course have access to two purpose built music therapy teaching rooms as well as other rooms for seminars and small group work. The music rooms have a full range of IT equipment, an extensive range of percussion sounds, and acoustic pianos.


Liz Coombes, Music Therapy course leader

The demands of the Music Therapy course and the Music Therapy profession, require you to demonstrate a suitable level of life experience and maturity.

An undergraduate degree in a relevant field of study, an equivalent professional qualification, or extensive experience in a related field, plus evidence of substantial experience of musical practice, including exposure to and experience of, a variety of styles of music. Applicants must be able to perform on their main instrument or voice, to standard equivalent to Grade 8.

An ability to use music symbolically and expressively and to improvise, relate, and communicate through the art form, with individuals and groups. Significant practical experience (voluntary or paid) in a relevant setting, or with clients or service users, to demonstrate that you are able to work with a range of client groups.

You will also need an enhanced DBS check.

If your first language is not English then we require IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component.

The interview will consist of a group audition, followed by an individual interview at which you will be expected to perform on your main instrument and second instrument. No accompanist is provided, so you will need to arrange your own if you require one. There will be an opportunity to improvise during the interview with a staff team member.

Interview Dates 2018

  • 14th March
  • 9th May
  • 23rd July
  • 20th August

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Part-time UK and EU:  £1067 per 20 credits

    Please note the part-time UK and EU fee is £1400, however USW is offering a part-time UK and EU bursary of £333 which means students pay £1067 per 20 credits

August 2019 - July 2020 Fees

  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Additional assessment or memberships: Professional body student fees £45
Years 1 - 3
Therapy £20 - £50
Cost is per week. Years 1-3
DBS * £57.2
This fee includes £44 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service £13
We strongly recommend signing up for this service especially if you are likely to have placements each year and wish to pursue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 19 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
Other: Professional Indemnity Insurance £45 - £75
Years 2 & 3
Other: Binding Dissertation £60
Year 3
Other: Placement Travel
Year 2 & 3 . Cost dependent on placement
Other: Infant Observation
Year 1. Cost dependent on location
Other: Final Performance
Year 3. Possible shared room hire with Art students


The Helen Kegie Bursary is aimed at students aiming to study within the subject areas of Social Work, Youth Work or Early Years, who have a permanent postal address with a CF or NP postcode and come from a low-income background. See more information about the Helen Kegie Bursary.

Apply directly to the University for the Music Therapy MA course.

Admissions statement 

Graduates of our Music Therapy course are eligible to apply for professional UK registration and license to practice in private practice or employment, in settings including NHS psychiatric and other hospitals, social services departments, education including special education, the criminal justice system and the voluntary sector and community projects. You are eligible for further study towards a research degree. This Music Therapy course also offers career routes in teaching and clinical supervision.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.