Taught course

Play and Therapeutic Play

University of South Wales · University of South Wales

Entry requirements

An Honours degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant field such as psychology, early years development, childhood studies, education, or a related health or social care discipline. Outstanding candidates with alternative qualifications may be considered on an individual basis. Applicants who meet the entry requirements for the course will be invited to interview. Successful applicants will be required to undergo an enhanced DBS check.

Months of entry


Course content

During this Masters degree, you will develop a critical understanding of the psychological, educational and ethical foundations of play and their application in educational settings and therapy. This course integrates different areas of play to explore its role in cognitive and social development, as well as the play needs of different age groups. You will also develop your understanding and competence in basic therapeutic skills.

The course combines theory, research and practical applications of play with developments in how play is used in a broader therapeutic context. You will be introduced to play interventions with children, which can be used in various settings.

By graduation, you will have a theoretical and practical understanding of the role of play in development and be able to use play to structure an individual’s development.

The course team is actively engaged with practitioner work and related research. This is a demanding course and all acceptable applicants will be interviewed to assess their suitability for training.

You will study the following modules:

  • Child development
  • Play therapy skills
  • Research methods
  • Working with children and their families
  • Play into practice
  • Dissertation: this is a piece of original research where you have the opportunity to investigate a topic, with support from your academic supervisor

The full-time option is an intensive course, with study on one day per week (9am- 6pm) for one year.

The part-time option involves study on half a day per week, over two years (9am- 1pm in year one, and 2pm-6pm in year two).

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

This course provides current, up-to-date theory, knowledge and skills related to therapeutic play and enables graduates to work as therapeutic play specialists in educational, healthcare or social care settings.

In addition, an understanding of play is key to current government education initiatives and course content addresses the Welsh Government’s Foundation Phase and other early years educational curricula. Hence this award offers excellent career development in the field of play, whether as a teacher or education specialist, play worker or play development officer, nursery manager, or work in health or social services

Information for international students

The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Fees and funding

For full information, please visit our website

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Enquiries & Admissions Unit
+44 (0) 3455 76 77 78