MSc Play Therapy

The Masters in Play Therapy course is accredited by the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT) and provides professional training in play therapy. Successful graduates of the MSc Play Therapy course will have completed the formal elements of the training required to practise as a BAPT play therapist.

The MSc Play Therapy focuses on training students to work therapeutically with children aged three to 12 years and their families. The course takes into account current research and practice development in interpersonal neurobiology, the development and influence of the attachment relationship and the influence of environment on the developing nervous system in the early years. You will develop the skills needed to practise as a professional in a responsible and demanding clinical environment.

The MSc Play Therapy course provides theoretical and practical knowledge relating to play therapy, drawing on the experience and skills of qualified play therapists, as well as other creative therapists. The course team is actively engaged in clinical practice, and related research and publishing. Read our Essential Guide to find out more.

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

This is a demanding course and acceptable applicants will be interviewed to assess suitability for training. Students are also required to undertake their own personal therapy (60 hours) and clinical supervision (50 hours) as part of the professional requirement for registration as a Play Therapist. Students are expected to meet these costs in addition to the course fees.

You will study the following modules (subject to revalidation):

  • Child Development and Play
  • Play Therapy Theory and Skills
  • Preparing for Clinical Practice
  • Evidence-based Clinical Practice
  • Working with Children and their Families
  • Advanced Play Therapy Theory and Skills
  • Evaluating Advanced Play Therapy Practice


Teaching is through lectures, seminars, workshops, reflective diaries, research project work and specialist guest speakers.



Assessment uses a variety of methods, including essays, diaries, research reports, presentations, portfolios of observations and clinical notes. Clinical work placements are available as part of this course.


The MSc Play therapy teaching team supports students in identifying suitable placement opportunities. Students have found placements in a variety of settings, including schools, family centres, charitable organisations and multidisciplinary agencies.


Therapeutic Studies students have access to the latest learning technologies, facilities and equipment, including excellent designated facilities in the USW Therapies Kegie Suite. These include a designated family room and play therapy room, and access to counselling rooms and art studios for experiential practice.



Please read our Essential Guide for more detailed information about the Play Therapy course.


A degree, which is also a professional qualification (such as teaching-fully qualified, social work, occupational therapy or paediatric nursing), plus a minimum of two years post-qualifying work experience in the qualified discipline.

Two references* uploaded with the application.

An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child Workforce and Child Barring List. (Overseas equivalent required for non-uk applicants)




A degree in a relevant area (such as psychology, childhood studies, early-years development, social science), plus a minimum of five years’ experience working face to face with children, young people and their families of which the majority of this experience should be undertaken after graduation.

Two references* uploaded with the application.

 An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child Workforce and Child Barring List. (Overseas equivalent required for non-uk applicants)



Applicants who meet the entry requirements for the course will be invited to interview.


Please note that we do not accept deferred entry on to this course.


*The references must be on letter headed paper or the referee can send them direct from a professional/work email address to


The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.






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.

August 2020 - July 2021 Fees

  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC

August 2021 - July 2022 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
Clinical Supervision * £35 - £50
Years 1-3; 50 hours total over 3 years
Therapy £30 - £50
Costs are per session, years 1-3. 60 hours total over 3 years (20 hours per year)
DBS * £47.2
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service * £13
Subscription required for each year of the course for a yearly fee of £13. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
Other: Professional Indemnity Insurance £45 - £75
Years 1-3
Other: Placement travel *
Students have to fund their own travel costs to their placement. Costs vary, depending on location.
Other: Infant Observation travel *
Students have to fund their own travel costs to their infant observation placement. Costs vary, depending on location.

Apply directly to the University for this course.

Admissions statement 

Career opportunities for play therapists exist in many stimulating areas, such as community groups, social services, education services, the National Health Service and private clients.

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.