Taught course

Music Therapy

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh · Occupational Therapy and Art Therapy

Entry requirements

To be considered for admission to this programme prospective students should normally have: ■ an honours degree or equivalent, not necessarily in music ■ a high standard of practical musicianship and flexibility on at least one instrument (for single-line instrumentalists or singers, proficiency on an harmonic instrument is also required) ■ personal characteristics of maturity, openness, and the ability to reflect on self in relation to others ■ relevant experience with people in the community, in education or in health settings ■ effective writing and communication skills that demonstrate command of the English language

Months of entry


Course content

This is a full-time two-year course, validated by the Health and Care Professions Council by the Health and Care Professions Council.

Teaching at the QMU campus is normally over two days, with a further day dedicated to practice placement. Students need to allocate a significant amount of time for independent study.

Music and psychoanalytic theory form the basis of this training. The course encompasses psychodynamic, humanistic, developmental and music-centred approaches to music therapy.

Lectures in theoretical studies are shared with students from MSc Art Psychotherapy. The training is designed to prepare students for work with vulnerable children and adults with a wide range of needs, for example learning disabilities or mental health problems.

After graduation, students will be eligible for registration with HCPC, and will be qualified to apply for work in within organisations such as the NHS, education, charitable bodies, social services, or in the private sector. Teaching includes practical and academic elements with an emphasis on experiential learning and teaching methods, including lectures, seminars and tutorials, to offer a broad student experience.

Assessments are both practical and written. The following areas are covered:■ Therapeutic musical skills, with an emphasis on improvisation, interaction and application in a therapeutic context:

■ Relevant psychological, developmental, andmusic therapy theory

■ Different client groups: knowledge of different areas of need, diagnosis, and work contexts

■ Self-development

■ Observation and critical thinking skills

■ Professional issues, such as ethics and team communication

Placements include work within a variety of settings and in both levels, one day a week is spent on placement. Students are required to meet costs for travel and to provide recording equipment.

Personal development is fundamental to therapeutic training and it is a course requirement (and requirement by the Health and Care Professions Council) that students also attend regular personal therapy throughout the programme, with a minimum of 40 hours attendance. This work is non-assessed and isa confidential arrangement between therapist and student.

Information for international students

Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to take an IELTS test receiving an overall score of 7.0 and no individual component score below 6.5.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Please see the website for any possible funding options.


Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months

Course contact details

Philippa Derrington
0131 474 0000