Qualify to work as a music therapist in the UK and overseas on this accredited Masters degree in music therapy. Study in a centre of world-leading research and gain experience on clinical placements.
"Being in my first year, I wouldn't have gone out of my way to do this if not for the placement, just because of the worries of the challenges you might find and the lack of confidence that you have. So doing this has given me a lot more confidence to work with adults in the future."Caterina
Music Therapy studentRead about Caterina's placement at Hollanden Park Hospital
We have been training music therapists since 1994 and were the first UK university to establish a music therapy Masters degree. We work closely with colleagues at the internationally renowned Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research. We earned the Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2021 for our music therapy research, receiving particular recognition for our focus on the wellbeing of people living with dementia.
We welcome applications from people with relevant musical skills and appropriate clinical experience.
Supported by experts, you’ll gain a strong foundation in the principles and practice of music therapy, underpinned by the latest research and evidence base.
Our MA Music Therapy is accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council, so when you graduate you’ll be eligible to register with the HCPC – a legal requirement for your future career as a practising music therapist in the UK.
ARU has been ranked in the top 20% of universities in the world for Good Health and Wellbeing in the 2023 Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings.
100% overall satisfaction: our course received the highest possible score for student satisfaction in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2022 (fewer than 20 respondents).
Studying our full-time two-year Masters in Music Therapy will show you how you can use your music to support the health and well-being of patients and clients.
We’ll introduce you to the most recent, effective music therapy approaches, which you can try out in clinical placements in locations such as schools, hospitals and other community settings.
You’ll be supervised by qualified music therapists, gaining invaluable experience of working in a multidisciplinary team and preparation for your future career.
At ARU, you’ll be taught in our purpose-designed music therapy centre and have access to a wide range of musical instruments, recording equipment and suite of computer music studios.
Our experiential teaching includes developing your improvisation skills, focused work on your first instrument, and using keyboard, single line instrument and voice. You’ll also study music therapy theory and links to practice.
You’ll have the opportunity to enrich your learning by working alongside our MA Dramatherapy students on some shared modules.
There are just 15 places available on our Masters in Music Therapy, so you’ll learn as part of a small group and benefit from valuable placement opportunities. Places are filled in order of acceptance after which, if your application is successful, you will be offered a place on a waiting list.
The impact of our Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies research was judged as "world-leading" in the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF2021).
ARU's Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research (CIMTR) has had a major impact both nationally and internationally, and in 2021 it was awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize.
MA Music Therapy student Caterina and her placement supervisor Ana talk about how Caterina's placement at Hollanden Park Hospital inspired her Major Project.Listen to our podcast with Cat and Ana
Rachael graduated from our MA Music Therapy in 2022, and now works as a music therapist at a Special Needs School. Find out how her placements on the course prepared her for work.Find out more about Rachael's experience
Jamal graduated in 2011 as the first MA music therapist in the world to use the steelpan as primary instrument. After this, he returned home to Trinidad, and within three weeks was assigned to the Ministry of Health.Read more about Jamal's experience
After graduating from our MA Music Therapy, Rosie became Founder and Director at Chiltern Music Therapy, a not-for-profit organisation that provides music therapy to people of all ages across the UK.Read more about Rosie's experience
Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.
As a postgraduate Music Therapy student at ARU you’ll:
There’s nothing like first-hand experience. Here at ARU, you’ll take part in clinical placements under the supervision of qualified therapists. Placements vary, and you could find yourself working in community settings, schools, hospitals or hospices. It’s great preparation for your future career.
Our Creative Showcase shines a spotlight on what makes ARU creative and cultural – our spaces, places and people. Find out more about our community, the difference we make, the stories we tell, and the things that inspire us.
Meanwhile, Present is an exhibition that you curate for yourself. Explore the work of our graduating students in this eye-catching virtual degree show.
Alternatively, take a guided tour and meet our students.
Our MA Music Therapy is accredited by the Health & Care Professions Council, allowing you to register with the HCPC when you graduate and work as a professional music therapist.
Course Leader, MA Music Therapy and MA Dramatherapy; Lead for Music Therapy
Professor of Music Therapy
Professor of Music, Health and the Brain; Visiting Professor at IMC Krems, Austria
Clinical Research Fellow
Senior Research Fellow in Music Therapy
Senior research fellow, Music for Health Research Centre; Music and Performing Arts
Senior Research Fellow
Senior Research Fellow
Lead, MA Dramatherapy; Lecturer, MA Dramatherapy and MA Music Therapy
Associate Lecturer / Research Assistant / PhD Student
When you graduate, you will be eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council. Registration is a legal requirement for practising music therapists in the UK and valued increasingly in other countries.
As a qualified music therapist you’ll be able to work in the NHS, hospices, social services, education and the voluntary sector. You can also work privately or as a freelance with clients including adults and children with learning difficulties, mental health needs, or with communities such as refugees or the homeless.
ARU’s links with the British Association for Music Therapy and our International Research Consortium will help you make contacts and gain employment and research opportunities.
Graduation doesn’t have to be the end of your time with us. You could choose to continue your academic career with a research programme at ARU, such as our PhD Music Therapy or PhD Dramatherapy. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and save £400 on your fees.
Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our application experts. You can also ask our Student Ambassadors about life at ARU.
We're here Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm (please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training), and Friday 9am-4.30pm.
Our world-leading music therapy work, in particular our focus on the wellbeing of people living with dementia, earned The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2021. These prizes are the highest national honour in higher and further education. They recognise outstanding work that shows the highest levels of quality and innovation and delivers significant public benefit.Find out more about the Queen's Anniversary prize
Improve your employability, progress in your career, and take on an intellectual challenge with our flexible postgraduate degrees.Postgraduate study at ARU
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