Courses accredited by the British Association of Play Therapists are post-qualifying and it is usual for trainees to hold a first qualification in either teaching, social work, occupational therapy or other related field and to have extensive experience of working with children. Personal therapy and supervised practice are essential elements of the training.

The courses listed have been accredited by the Association and are therefore recognised by BAPT as providing entitlement to Full membership and a qualification to practise:

University of Roehampton

MA in Play Therapy

The Play Therapy Masters programme aims to provide students with a course of study that will prepare them for clinical practice within the public and private sector. On successful completion of the MA in Play Therapy students will be entitled to register as a full member of the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT)

The current programme is made up of nine modules that encompass the theoretical, practical and experiential learning experience required to become professional Play Therapists. The restructured course now runs over two full years with attendance on the University site two days a week (Mondays and Tuesdays) for the first five terms, with further components offsite that require at least one further day of time commitment. The course is designed to prepare the students for therapeutic practice that is theoretically sound and emotionally aware.

The training is based upon a Person-Centred perspective and serves to enable students to competently practice with a variety of child mental health difficulties. One of Roehampton’s strengths is its clear and coherent theoretical foundations that influence each of the courses in the programme.

The MA programme provides the opportunity for students to research and explore specific or general areas of Play Therapy theory and practice:
1. Human Development and Growth
2. Play Therapy Theory and Skills 1
3. Placement 1 (including Placement Preparation and inhouse small group supervision)
4. Child Observation
5. Process Group
6. Placement 2
7. Play Therapy Theory and Skills 2: Working with different client groups
8. Play Therapy in Context
9. Research Methods & Portfolio: This module is the culmination of the Masters Programme & is designed to provide students with a critical understanding of research methodology, and to enable them to plan, design and carry out a research project and write a research dissertation.

All students are required to be in personal therapy throughout the training and conduct various short and medium term supervised Play Therapy placements.

PhD Research

As part of the School of Psychology and Therapeutic Studies, Play Therapy is part of a thriving research community. Students may continue to PhD level, undertake a very detailed research dissertation.



Enquiries, Roehampton University, Whitelands College, Holybourne Avenue, LONDON SW15 4JD


020 8392 3232


020 8392 3220



University of South Wales

MSc Play Therapy

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Course Length: Full time 2 years/part time 3 years
Location: Treforest Campus

The course is highly challenging and demanding and will, on completion of the programme, offer successful graduates the opportunity to work as a play therapist.
You will study the following modules:
1. Child development
2. Research methods
3. Play therapy skills
4. Working with children and their families
5. Advanced play therapy skills
6. Preparing for professional practice
7. Personal therapy portfolio
8. Child observation

As well as the academic content of the programme, students will be required to undergo personal therapy and to complete placements in supervised clinical practice in play therapy (100 hours of practice).

You will be taught by academics specialising in play and child development as well as by professionals in Play Therapy and other therapies.

The university has established links with a number of agencies to support these clinical placements.

A feature of this course is that it also offers students the opportunity to study therapeutic interventions with children with disabilities and with older adults.



Nicola Birdsey and Dr Karen McInnes Faculty of Humanities and Social Services, University of South Wales, PONTYPRIDD CF37 1DL


Nicola 01443 654069 and Karen 01443 483757


+44 (0)1443 654050




(page updated September 2014)