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British Association of Play Therapists

Play Therapy Training


Qualification Courses accredited by the British Association of Play Therapists are post-Graduate level 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.

There are three minimum entry requirements:

  • – academic qualifications – bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Education, Early Childhood Studies, Mental Health (Psychiatric) Nursing or Social Work etc
  • – professional qualifications – Teaching, Nursing, Social Work, Visual Art, Drama, Performing Arts, Occupational Therapy or Probation Officers
  • – work experience – at least five years’ work experience in a relevant field.

Personal therapy and supervised practice are essential elements of the training.

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

Details of Introductory days/Summer Schools/Foundation Courses can be found on the Short Courses and events page of this website. Short Courses and Events

Roehampton University

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: Part time 3 years
Location: Newport Campus

MSc Play Therapy at USW aims to equip students with the necessary theoretical knowledge and skills to work therapeutically with children and their families, using play as the primary medium.

Course Aims

  1. To provide students with training in the skills and underpinning theoretical frameworks relating to delivery of therapeutic interventions through the medium of play with children and their families, as required for the purposes of professional registration and accreditation by BAPT as Play Therapist upon completion of their studies.
  2. To develop students’ awareness of issues relating to professional practice, including a comprehensive understanding of relevant policy, legal and ethical issues and equal opportunity and diversity issues related to therapeutic practice with children and their families.
  3. To develop the students’ ability to critically reflect upon their developing skills and theoretical understanding of therapeutic processes in order to fulfil professional requirements for their development as reflective practitioners, and to provide students with opportunities to reflect on their development as sensitive, creative, developmentally informed therapists.
  4. To provide a comprehensive training in research methods, and critical evaluation of current research regarding the contexts of infancy and childhood and the impact of these contexts on infant and child mental health and optimum development.
  5. To provide students with the knowledge and understanding they need to make the most of clinical supervision, personal therapy and clinical placement management in order to develop as professionally responsible, reliable and ethical Play Therapists in line with the standards and professional guidelines set by their professional body.

On successful completion of the MSc Play Therapy, students will be eligible for full membership with BAPT and work as a Play Therapist.



Course Leader for MSc. Play Therapy and MSc. Play and Therapeutic Play

School of Psychology, Early Years and Therapeutic Studies

University of South Wales
Usk Way
NP20 2BP



Telephone: : 01633 432071

Website: MSc Play Therapy | University of South Wales

MSc in Play Therapy – A Collaboration with Queen Margaret University and With Kids Charity

Part-time Course – 3 years

The Play Therapy Programme integrates theoretical learning, clinical skills and in-depth personal development to prepare graduates for clinical practice as a professional play therapist within the public, private and voluntary sector organisations.

The programme aims to enable students to develop into independent, confident and reflexive practitioners, able to apply the knowledge, skills and values needed to work effectively and creatively as a Play Therapist with children, young people and their families. On successful completion of the MSc in Play Therapy students will be entitled to register as a full member of BAPT.

Based on a person-centred model of therapy and psychodynamic theoretical perspectives, this course emphasises the use of play within a therapeutic relationship between the therapist and child to facilitate therapeutic change. The course encompasses theoretical, practical and experiential learning. With our holistic approach to teaching, you will be provided with thorough and systematic knowledge, experience, skills and the confidence to work as a professionally qualified play therapist.

The modules studied include:

  • Child Development Theory and Observations 1 and 2
  • Practice Theory and Placement 1,2 and 3
  • Theory and Practice of Person-Centred Health and Wellbeing
  • Play Therapy Research, Theory and Practice
  • Leading Person-centred Practice for Health and Wellbeing
  • Dissertation

The course is delivered from With Kids Glasgow

For more information:

Application Packs and further information: