MA Music Therapy

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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.

Caterina and Ana with a piano behind them


"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."


Music Therapy student

Read about Caterina's placement at Hollanden Park Hospital

Already have an ARU degree? You may be eligible for our Alumni Scholarship for students starting postgraduate courses.

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).

Course options

Course options

Key facts

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Entry requirements


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Facilities and showcase

ARU music therapy building in Cambridge

Specialist facilities and support

As a postgraduate Music Therapy student at ARU you’ll:

  • work in our purpose-built therapy centre, used for professional therapy consultations
  • get support from our team of renowned music therapists
  • learn from experts about the implications of the latest neuroscience research on therapy practice
  • find out about our world-leading research work, including international projects such as Homeside.
Four people in a music therapy session

Hands-on learning

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.

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HCPC logo

Health & Care Professions Council

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.


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.

You might also be interested in our CPD Course Collaborative Music Practice in Health Care.

Apply now for MA Music Therapy

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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.

The Queen's Anniversary Prizes 2021 logo

The Queen's Anniversary Prize for our music therapy research

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
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