Dramatherapy MA

Postgraduate (24 months full-time)



There are 15 places available on this training course. These will be filled in order of acceptance after which, if your application is successful, you will be offered a place on a waiting list. We advise you to send us your application by 31 March 2021 as we cannot guarantee available places after this date.

Apply online

Apply directly to ARU


Get professional training in dramatherapy on this Health and Care Professions Council-accredited course. Our emphasis on clinical placements and a range of dramatherapy approaches will prepare you for work in the arts therapies. When you graduate, you will be qualified to work as a dramatherapist in the UK and overseas, and eligible for registration with the HCPC in the UK.

Find out more about teaching options and studying during COVID-19 in the Entry requirements section, below.

Full description
The course teaching is rich and diverse, and encompasses workshops and seminars from professional dramatherapists and other health professionals


As a qualified dramatherapist you will be able to work in many different areas, such as the NHS, social services, education, or community projects. You may also choose to work privately or on a freelance basis, with a client base from prisoners to children with learning difficulties.

Successful completion of this course will allow you to register with the Health and Care Professions Council – a legal requirement for practising dramatherapists in the UK.

You will also benefit from our links with the British Association of Dramatherapists and other allied health professions and practitioners, such as psychotherapists, arts therapists and psychiatrists.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Clinical Placements and Experiential Development 1
    This module, together with part 2, will give you ongoing clinical experience and experiential development in the work place, where you will learn about how to practise as a music therapist/dramatherapist without discrimination. This module will assist your development using critical reflection, experiential techniques and reflective analytic writing about your own process and case work. You will undertake two block placements and visits. Your introductory placement and the first 5-month placement will take place in one clinical area. You will co-ordinate these in conjunction with the clinical placement co-ordinator and your tutor. Your casework will be supported by a campus-based supervision group, in which you will present, reflect upon and critically analyse a case over a period of 5 months. You will demonstrate evaluative clinical knowledge and skills, and an ability to be critically aware of your own process. You will also demonstrate a reflective critical awareness of the therapeutic alliance, and of how music therapy/dramatherapy has benefited the people you have worked with. You will do this through an essay and an introductory placement report, which will be assessed together in the first semester, and also through your halfway assessment, which entails an oral examination in two parts, as well as a case study and case report.
  • Music Therapy and Dramatherapy Multidisciplinary Theoretical Studies
    On this module, you will discover the theoretical framework for the clinical knowledge and understanding of music therapy/dramatherapy, together with your role in securing, maintaining and improving health and well-being for patients/clients. By the end of the module, you will have a better understanding of the nature and dynamics of arts therapies, including knowledge of a variety of approaches and the client groups relevant for these. You will examine mind-body models of human functioning, such as attachment theory, child development, the recovery model, and many others. Through lectures and seminars, you will develop an informed understanding of core processes in therapeutic practice (e.g. the therapeutic frame, the centrality of the therapeutic relationship, transference, and counter-transference). You will also attend seminars in which independent participation, innovative thinking and critical analysis will be the norm. You will learn about different methods of assessment, treatment and evaluation in music therapy/dramatherapy and related disciplines. You will be assessed through a patchwork text relating to music therapy/dramatherapy and child development, plus a 3,000-word essay relating to music therapy/dramatherapy and psychoanalysis. The patchwork text consists of four elements: annotated infant observation notes, a seminar presentation, a written summary of an approach to child development and its relevance to music therapy/dramatherapy and a reflection on the assessment. These will be submitted for formative feedback before being collated as a final submission.
  • Dramatherapy Practice and Clinical Skills
    This module will help you develop practical techniques of dramatherapy through experiential learning, workshops, seminars, audio/visual materials and lectures. By the end of the module, you will need to demonstrate a high level of skill, flexibility and fluency in response to the patient/client, using a range of theatrical interventions for example embodiment/projective and role structures. Through group work, you will be able to employ movement, voice work, object and role play skills, the latter of which may involve puppets, masks and psycho-dramatic skills. You will become familiar with a variety of therapeutic theatre traditions, core processes and forms of creativity and will be able to differentiate between symbolic and enacted or re-enacted forms of lived or imagined experience. You will be able to integrate, translate, and apply appropriate techniques for different clinical situations and, in group workshops, critically evaluate your own level of skills in relation to effective clinical practice. Most of your work will take place in dramatherapy workshops (both large and small groups), theatre/play in cultural context seminars, as well as weekly improvisation seminars, but you will also take part in movement, storytelling, play-drama continuum work and therapeutic theatre. You will be assessed through two interactive assessment events, including solo and small group performance.

Year two, core modules

  • Clinical Placements and Experiential Development 2
    On this module, you will engage in more advanced clinical work, learning how to practise as a music therapist or dramatherapist without discrimination. You will gain the skills to practise as a fully-registered music therapist or dramatherapists, and be eligible for registration with the HCPC. You will work independently, with supervision from tutors and placement supervisors, showing an advanced level in your understanding of casework, and demonstrating an advanced level of evaluative clinical knowledge and skills, as well as being critically aware of your own process. This will include a full understanding of the assessment and referral processes relating to casework, and the ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team in community-based and other settings without discrimination with an awareness of health and social needs. You will undertake either an intensive treatment in two different clinical areas (3 months each), or 6 months in the same setting, co-ordinated in conjunction with your tutor. You will work independently and be supervised individually, reflecting on the choices you make and your interpretation of patient-led needs, and how you are meeting them effectively in the casework. You will be expected to follow through the Care Programme approach, with appropriate awareness and critical understanding of user-involvement and its impact upon the casework. You will also explore ethical considerations and issues of cultural diversity and practice, using evaluation methods as preparation for undertaking your own research. Your assessment will be a collaborative creative/performance project and final oral assessment, in which you will give a case presentation and discuss with the assessors. On the basis of these, together with material from your clinical placement reports, your readiness to practise will be assessed.
  • MA Therapies Major Project
    This module will support you in the preparation and submission of a MA Therapies Major Project. You will receive a basic introduction to research methodology, in order to carry out a project which will involve some clinical or theoretical evaluation/research. You can either choose a project that is more research or more clinically focussed, reflecting the NHS Agenda for Change Career structure, which recognises the music therapist or dramatherapist as a specialist clinician and researcher or manager. You will have access to Faculty Research Methodology days (two annually) and some specialist taught research methods lectures by Doctoral and Postdoctoral Therapists. You will also have access to a wide variety of research resources both nationally and internationally and will benefit from close links with the International PhD programme at Aalborg University Denmark / Ecarte links in Europe, The Cambridge Body Psychotherapy Centre and The London Centre for Psychodrama, as well as from departmental staff who are specialists in clinical and theoretical aspects of psychological therapies. You will be encouraged to use databases and a variety of conference video/web links. You will be assessed through a 15,000-word written dissertation. Your project will be a clinically focussed evaluation with primary questions and subquestions and will include a well-developed theoretical context, relevant analysis and reflective conclusions.


Modules are subject to change and availability.

You will demonstrate your learning in a number of ways, including essays, live presentations and practical tasks such as improvisation and performance. You will also be asked to undertake some self-analysis and reflection in discussion with your personal tutor.

Half-way through the course, your progress will be assessed by an examiner.

Your final piece of written work will be a Major Project which involves clinical evaluation. In the final oral assessment, you will present a piece of clinical work to two examiners, who will assess your overall clinical skills and readiness to practice.

One of our modules includes music therapy, and covers content from our Music Therapy MA course as well as this Dramatherapy MA. On more generic subjects, such as psychoanalytic studies, psychiatry and psychology, you will work with our music therapy students; where techniques and approaches are specific to each profession you will be taught separately.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

Using our creative expertise and industry connections in Cambridge and beyond, we create experiences that entertain, educate, inspire and improve lives.

At Cambridge School of Creative Industries, we believe in the importance of experimentation and risk-taking to create experiences that entertain, educate, inspire and improve lives.

Whether writing bestselling fiction, creating challenging documentaries or sharing a piano with people on the autism spectrum, the expertise of our staff goes far beyond teaching. Their research produces significant funding success, leading to important publications and international conferences.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus


You will spend much of your time on clinical placements in a range of settings, such as schools, hospitals, hospices and other community settings.

Specialist facilities

You will work in our purpose-built therapy centre, which includes state-of-the-art therapy rooms and a large hall. The centre is used for all of our teaching and for our professional therapy consultations. You will also have access to the extensive range of facilities offered by Cambridge School of Creative Industries, including a fully-equipped drama studio, two other large drama rehearsal spaces, a recital hall, a suite of computer music studios and music practice rooms and a full range of specialised dramatherapy props and equipment. Our Cambridge campus also houses the Mumford Theatre, a full-size venue for professional touring companies.


Our dramatherapy staff are internationally renowned researchers and consultants and our music, dramatherapy and performing arts research is recognised as 'world-leading' (Research Excellence Framework, 2014). We hold regular international conferences and support a vigorous community of research students.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2021/22 (per year)


International students starting 2021/22 (per year)


Approximate additional costs over two years

Personal therapy sessions: 
Budget £1,500-£3,000

External supervision during placements: 
Budget £1,200-£2,000

Travelling to placements: 
Budget £500-£2,500

Student membership of British Association of Dramatherapists:

How do I pay my fees?

UK students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Funding for postgraduate students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships and bursaries, which provide extra financial support while you're at university.

International students

As well as a number of scholarships, we offer an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

Loading... Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

As this is professional therapy training, if you’re shortlisted we'll ask you to attend an interview that will include experiential dramatherapy group work with other candidates, as well as an individual interview and discussion with lecturers. This will allow us to consider your suitability and readiness for training, but also give you the chance to experience some of the teaching methods we use on our course and decide whether they’re appropriate for your needs.


For the individual and group interview, you’ll need to be ready to improvise and work in drama workshops as directed on the day, and to discuss your motivation for, and expectations of, becoming a dramatherapist.


Two satisfactory references are required. These should be:

  • Relevant clinical experience – paid employment or voluntary


  • Academic if recent graduate


  • Other professional
Video conference interview

In exceptional cases, we may consider interviewing you by video conference. You’ll only be offered this if you give clear reasons why it’s impossible for you to attend the interview and audition, and if you have access to professional video conferencing equipment.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning in September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

Due to national restrictions all universities in England, including ARU, are only able to provide face to face teaching on campus for a limited number of courses.

Teaching options

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic all our students can choose to either study face to face on campus or online only, and students are able to change their mode of delivery at given dates throughout the trimester.

For on-campus teaching, we offer at least four hours face-to-face teaching related contact time per week for our undergraduate full-time courses, supported by online learning using our established online learning systems. The number of contact hours vary course by course, and you can contact us for further information. The provision offered is subject to change due to the possibility of further Government restrictions, however we remain committed to delivering face-to-face teaching and ensuring a COVID-19 secure environment.

In the event that there are further changes to the current restrictions that are in place due to the pandemic, we may need to move some courses online only at short notice to remain in line with Government guidelines and ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.

View the impact of the current restrictions.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Check the standard entry requirements for IELTS requirements for this course.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

Suggested courses that may interest you

Music Therapy

Full-time postgraduate (24 months)




Full-time research ()


January, April, September

Music Therapy

Full-time research ()


January, April, September

Chat to a student on this course

Do you want to know more about this course, or student life at ARU more generally? Send a message to our Student Ambassador - they'll be happy to answer any questions you have.

Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online