Frequently asked questions about studying Music Therapy

MA Music Therapy_

Here are common questions about the Music Therapy course. If you don't see your question here, please use online chat or contact us on social media.

Do I need to find my own placement?
Placements in Years One and Two are largely sourced by the MA Music Therapy staff team. We quality assure each placement, and have built relationships over a number of years with a huge variety of settings that mean we have a broad range of placements from which to choose. We endeavour to match your learning needs, preferences and skills to a placement that enable you to achieve the learning outcomes needed for the relevant stage of your course. We try and source placements that are in the same geographical area as your place of residence, but it is likely you will have to travel; USW takes the placing of students very seriously and tries to match you with the right placement.

Can I specify what client group I want to work with?
We do welcome any suggestions you may have, or contacts you have made with potentially suitable placements. Ultimately, we will make a decision on your placements based on your learning needs and the facilities available at the setting.

What kinds of assessments will I have to take?
The MA Music Therapy has a variety of assessments. In each year, a portfolio containing placement report forms, personal therapy hours and other important paperwork has to be submitted by the end of the teaching year. Year One also includes some written assignments and a practical music therapy skills assessment. Year Two requires a written case study based on your placement as well as a poster created in a group and some further written exploration of your music skills. In Year Three you will be required to prepare a presentation based on your clinical work, using powerpoint or other similar software and including film or audio of your clinical work. There is a research proposal to prepare and present to your peers as well as a longer written piece for which there is a choice of two options. The range of assessments is designed to give you a variety of different ways in which to demonstrate your learning.

How many places are available on the music therapy course?
There are 14 places available.

I don't have grades in music exams; will this affect my application?
We ask that your first instrument playing ability is at least of Grade 8 standard, although this doesn't mean you must have undertaken formal grades. More important than the grades is your playing standard, and we assess this either through recordings/films of you playing or in a live interview. As a music therapy student, you need to be able to demonstrate that you are of a professional performing standard in your first instrument, that you have a second instrument (this should be an accompanying one if the first is not) and that you are comfortable using your voice to engage musically with clients.