Developmental and Therapeutic Play (MA)

Swansea University

For more information about Developmental and Therapeutic Play at Swansea University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award

How long you will study
1 year

Domestic course fees
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How you will study

Course starts
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International course fees
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All study options

About Developmental and Therapeutic Play at Swansea University

Teaching and Employability:

  • taught by well published academics and specialist practitioners
  • access to a multi-disciplinary team with strong links to similar university departments in Europe and around the world
  • hands on practical workshops as well as lectures and seminars
  • good record of graduate employment
  • employability supported by the university-wide careers service as well as the teaching team
  • numerous links with local businesses to increase prospects for work experience
  • fieldwork experience included as part of the programme
  • excellent teaching and learning experiences and cross-cultural insights developed through an international cohort
  • opportunity to pursue a PhD supervised by a well-qualified member of the team

Course Overview

The Developmental and Therapeutic Play course aims to consider the developmental, educational and therapeutic potential of play at an advanced academic level through the combination of demanding intellectual work and sophisticated practical reflection.

Developmental and Therapeutic Play examines how children's play develops and how children develop as they play. It explores evidence based play practice across a range of professional contexts. Play is an important element of provision across all Children's Services in the UK and beyond. Graduate employment prospects are wide ranging and past students have secured a range of interesting posts.

This course offers the perfect opportunity to study children's play at an advanced academic level, combining theoretical work with fieldwork experience and high-level reflection. It is taught by internationally recognised and well published academics in the field.

The course aims to deepen students' understanding of the developmental and therapeutic potential of play. This includes how the environment and social interactions support children's growing repertoire of play skills, with a particular emphasis on the inherent value of children's self-directed play experiences.

The developmental, educational and therapeutic potential of play across multiple contexts are also considered i.e. inclusive play practice, observation, assessment and being able to identify when further professional assistance may be required.

Course structure

This is a modular postgraduate programme consisting of 180 credits at level M.

The course is offered on a part-time basis with completion typically within three years.


Students are assessed throughout their coursework (e.g. written assignments such as research projects, child observations and essays and seminar presentations) and a dissertation of approximately 20,000 words. 

Who should apply to this course

This course is suitable for:

  • anyone with an interest in developmental and therapeutic play
  • with degree and/ or extensive experience in a related discipline e.g. childhood studies, education, psychology, sociology, mental health
  • those working in a clinical, hospital or social care setting with children, where understanding play would enrich their practice
  • teachers or learning assistants facilitating educational play whose practice and career prospects would benefit from specialist Master's level training
  • Social workers, counsellors or therapists who would like to develop essential play skills for working with younger clients
  • playworkers or play development officers who would like to extend their expertise or seek promotion
  • practitioners working within the Welsh Foundation Phase, English Foundation Stage or other International Early Years provision. It is also relevant to other children's workforce professionals such as primary school counsellors, playworkers, social workers, child and adolescent mental healthcare professionals, paediatric nurses and health visitors, psychiatrists and psychologists.
  • those looking to pursue a career in child counselling or play therapy, but do not yet meet the age or work experience requirements for clinical training.

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Study options for this course

Notes about fees for this course

Annual tuition fees for entry in the academic year 2017/18 are as follows:

UK/EU International MA Full-time £5,950 £13,700 MA Part-time £2,950 £6,900 MA Part-time £2,000 £4,550 PGDip Full-time £4,000 £9,100 PGDip Part-time £1,950 £4,600 PGCert Full-time £1,950 £4,600 PGCert Part-time £1,950 £4,600

Tuition fees for years of study after your first year are subject to an increase of 3%.

You can find further information on fees and how to pay on our tuition fees page.

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's scholarships and bursaries page.

International students and part-time study: If you require a Tier 4 student visa you must be studying full-time. If you are in the UK under a different visa category, it may be possible for you to study part-time. Please see our part-time study and visas page for more information.

Current students: You can find further information of your fee costs on our tuition fees page.

Entry requirements

International applicants:

Postgraduate pathways and pre-masters at other institutions

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course then consider one of these postgraduate preparation courses from another institution:

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