Accredited Programme -
MA in Practice Based Play Therapy
and excellent evidence-based play therapy practice.
A recognised MA (Masters) degree awarded by Leeds Beckett University will:
- Provide considerable satisfaction through the achievement of the award
- Establish you as an authority on your subject
- Give you greater professional credibility – through opportunities to publish through PTUK’s research
journal and network of contacts
- Be more attractive to employers and commissioners of play therapy services
- Increase your chances of an increase in remuneration and promotion
- Open up new opportunities in management, training and academic careers
- Develop your passion for a topic
Online Course Delivery
APAC has developed an online route by which you may gain your MA in Play Therapy.
Delivering the MA online increases the course accessibility to APAC Diploma Graduates across the world and allows
them to balance work and study at a pace that suits them. Further advantages of this approach include:
- Study is more enjoyable working at home, at your own pace and when it suits you
- Makes your money go further - no travel and accommodation costs
- Less stress in your home life - no time away from home
- Better quality of your work - personalised Academic Supervisor and Tutor support, based on your individual
- Time for other things - more efficient drafting of your research proposal and dissertation including access to
the unique PTI/PTUK database of play therapy clinical outcomes
The course is entirely online and will included electronic transmission of assignments and feedback, personal tuition
and support by your Academic Supervisor by phone, email or Skype and an online discussion forum. These replace
the conventional lectures and seminars that are used on the traditional routes.
Specialist Academic Supervisors for topics such as sandplay, art, music, dance and movement, clay and working with
infants, are available for your support - via the internet wherever you live.
your play therapy resources from
The course is designed for Play Therapists, or those with an
equivalent qualification, wishing to receive the academic MA in Play Therapy
award from the Leeds Beckett (formerly Leeds Metropolitan) University by means
of a dissertation.
- Clinical Psychologists
- Primary School Teachers/Assistants
- Nursery School Teachers/Assistants
- Social Workers
- Play School Teachers/Assistants
- Care Home Staff
- Adoption/Foster Agency Workers
This course is the third part of a programme leading to
an MA in Practice Based Play Therapy by dissertation. It is at stage
4 of the PTUK Four
Stage Training Model
This exciting programme, a world first, has been designed to
improve the learning experience of participants. It is based on our six years
of delivering a Masters programme using conventional teaching methods. For
example: the task of preparing a high quality, detailed research proposal and
plan, which to some has appeared at first sight to be overwhelming, is now made
much more straightforward by breaking it down into easier stages, each with
personal tutor support. Our APAC Learning Management System (ALMS) makes it
easier for you to manage your work with the help of your Academic Supervisor.
Our experience shows that getting the research proposal
right is absolutely crucial.
By helping you to concentrate on the comprehensiveness and
quality of the proposal's research methods you will need less time to carry out
your research and draft your dissertation.
The course will provide a springboard for students to
understand and apply research methodology to a variety of play therapy related
scenarios, and understand approaches to evidence-based practice. For instance,
how can research be used to inform policy and practice and evaluate the
effectiveness of interventions and programmes? As play therapy is an emerging
profession, it is essential that practitioners enhance its establishment by
developing high quality research capability to create new models of practice
that serve to improve the quality of therapeutic interventions for some of the
most marginalised and troubled children.
Students will explore the purposes and values of research by
studying a hierarchy of positivist, qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods
techniques to analyse practice experiences. The course will provide the
knowledge and skills for postgraduates to: produce a research proposal for
ethical approval and research governance; design and implement a research
programme, choosing the most appropriate methods to produce a play and creative
arts therapy related dissertation.
- Further develop students' conceptual, theoretical and
methodological models in the design and implementation of play therapy-related
research at MA level.
- Refresh informed play therapy practice by extending the
understanding of research methodology and differing approaches learned at
Certificate and Diploma stages.
- To provide methodologies for Master's level research to
answer a unique question(s) that will take the play therapy profession forward
- To encourage students to debate the nature of play and
creative arts therapies research, including therapeutic media, conditions,
settings, systemic factors and related topics
- To enhance students' ability to appraise the literature
underpinning the evidence base for children's therapeutic interventions
- To integrate and apply research principles to a play and
creative arts therapies related topic
The course consists of two modules:
Developing a Research Proposal
A 4000 word research proposal. Working within the limits of
what is viable within a nine month or year long, dissertation-based research
project; the proposal will address a subject of the student's own choosing,
highlighting the philosophical, conceptual and strategic processes necessary to
design and implement a robust and ethical research study.
By the end of the module students will be able to:
- Identify an area of play and creative
research (education, health and social care practice) that needs systematic
investigation and present a clear rationale for the proposed research
- Critically analyse the ethical dimensions of research,
highlighting methods of engaging participants in ways that respect their rights
- Defend the aim of the proposed study and the research
question(s) and selection of a research paradigm and research approach
- Anticipate the type(s) of data that are likely to result
from the proposed study and critically evaluate their relevance to the aim of
the study and the research question/s
Producing a Research Dissertation
A dissertation/project report of 13,000 words which is
organised into discrete chapters to meet the learning outcomes.
By the end of the module students will be able to:
- Organise documentation to convey clearly and accurately
the processes undertaken and what has been achieved
- Critically evaluate relevant literature utilising an
appropriate theoretical framework and prior empirical studies
- Select and justify an appropriate research design, sample
population and data collection instruments and adopt a critical, ethically
sensitive stance towards the conduct of the research study
- Summarise, analyse and interpret data using suitable
statistical or other tools where appropriate
- Synthesise findings in relation to theoretical
perspectives, prior empirical studies and professional practice issues
The Dissertation takes the form of a final professional paper of approximately 13,000 words. A wide range of
topics is encouraged that will take the play therapy profession forward. In the case of clinical topics,
students are required to develop a clinical philosophy based upon an integrative holistic approach. This is to be
related to an understanding and implementation of evidenced therapeutic models. Students are required to apply this
clinical philosophy to a specific aspect of working therapeutically with children. Other topics that are a part of
the play therapy systemic environment should be considered including clinical supervision, therapist attributes,
cultural considerations, training methods, social and economic factors affecting demand and joined up working.
Original research may be either qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods in nature. Students have 18 months to
complete their dissertation.
In addition students will be expected to present and submit dissertations in accordance with accepted conventions of
academic writing and in accordance with the requirements set out in the University's published Dissertation
The Dissertation must be of publishable quality in terms of written accuracy.
This online course will be offered through a series of online sessions which will deliver the core material. Each
session will have enough material requiring at least 5 hours of study, and there will be optional informal
assignments after each one which aim to further develop students understanding of concepts, and the application of
these to their own work. Such tasks will allow practical exploration of analysis and interpretation of quantitative,
qualitative and mixed methods approaches to research. Students will also have ready access to an online tutor
for regular discussions and supervision.
Students will be required to read around the topic after each session. Suggested texts will be given against the
session content. Optional assessments will be used to check knowledge as a part of progressive
Online learning is a well-established technique and allows students the opportunity to work at their own pace but
have regular contact with each other and their tutor. Work may be posted on a regular basis and tasks allocated.
When undertaking learning onlnie students’ will access and share information digitally, and engage in
discussions through online chat session using Skype or similar. There will also be an online discussion forum
where students can form a community and interact with their peers and discuss matters relating to the MA. The
Course Director actively seeks out innovative online learning tools (on a continuous basis) that will help students
meet the learning objectives, and stimulate their thinking.
The online delivery method differs from a classroom environment and as such new tools and technologies will be used
to enhance the learning experience in a way which benefits students. Students will work asynchronously on
assignments and their own project proposals and dissertations but will come together synchronously during the online
workshops. The support of a virtual course team and class mates is an important aspect of this MA, and
students are encouraged to interact.
Students will work individually on their assignments and project proposals and dissertations but will come together
as a group during the online workshops. The initial part of the course focuses on introducing students to
research design and tasks necessary for completing an MA project.
The Dissertation may be written at your own pace, and should take 18 months but remember that it must also be
completed within 10 years of starting your PG Certificate course.
The first six months of the course will consist of monthly online workshops. Your Academic Supervisor will be
allocated by the third of these sessions.
The initial part of the course focuses on introducing students to research design and completing an MA
project. The six taught online workshops introduce concepts and signpost students to further reading and
resources that is relevant to their own work.
Sessions 1-7 lead up to the completion of the proposal. Beyond these sessions students are supported by their
Academic Supervisors and the Course Director, who will organise an interim workshop for Q&A regarding the
dissertation, general guidance on writing up and discussion around the opportunity to publish MA theses.
Preparing for your MA, some guidance and suggestions
- Sent out when students are enrolled on the course
Overview of the programme – concepts of research
Choosing a research topic
The importance of questions
Searching for information
Internet search methods
Effective and efficient reading
Writing a literature review
Research Methods Pt. 1
Epistemology and Research Design
Overview of Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods
Defining Research questions
Research Methods Pt. 2
Practicalities of collecting data
Tailored detail on relevant research methods according to needs of students e.g. survey design, working with quantitative data, psychometric instruments, interview techniques, observations etc
Tailored, based on needs of the students
Analysing Quantitative Data
Types of data
Descriptive statistics, statistical analysis, presenting results
Analysing Qualitative Data
Thematic analysis, grounded theory, presenting results
Writing for an academic audience
Working with large documents
Writing an abstract
Supporting yourself during the writing up process
Reflection/feedback on proposals
|8 - 12
Individual tutorial support and academic supervision, catch-up workshop
MA in Practice Based Play Therapy awarded by the Leeds
Beckett (formerly Leeds Metropolitan) University.
The successful completion of the dissertation carries 60 'M'
points. Students successfully completing all three parts of the programme
(Post Graduate Certificate in
Therapeutic Play, Post Graduate Diploma in Play
Therapy and the MA by dissertation) will be awarded a total of 180
Since this course uses blended learning methods the venue is
your home or office!
Selected from APAC's faculty.
Download the application form in either Microsoft Word or
Adobe PDF format:
£3400 plus £370 University registration fee.
If you need more supervision for your dissertation, you may
make private arrangements with your Tutor at an average additional cost of
about £50 per hour.
If you need additional years the cost is £1400 per
After successful application you can pay online at Play
Next Blended Learning
Dates are correct at the time of publishing but maybe
subject to change so please check with the office on 01825 761143 before
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