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Training FAQs

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Can I study part-time?

A number of courses offer options to study part-time, extending the length of the Masters from the usual 2 years to 3 or 4 years depending on the institution. Please consult each institution’s course details for further information.

Do I get to choose my own placements?

This depends on the institution you study at – the majority of courses offer a mixture of predetermined placements at the start of a study programme with options to set up final placements independently. Please consult each institution’s course details for further information.

Do I have to be a certain age to study?

It is recommended that potential trainees apply from the age of 24+ in order to have gained more life experience. However, a number of trainings will consider younger applicants provided they can demonstrate a range of relevant experience in working with different client populations. Please consult each institution’s course leader for further information before applying.

Do I need to have studied music previously?

While a good level of musicianship is required to study music therapy, courses will consider taking applicants who have not studied music at university level should they have an undergraduate in a different subject and relevant musical and personal experience.

Does BAMT fund music therapy trainees?

The British Association for Music Therapy is able to make small grants to music therapy students to support them in their studies. If you are currently a student on an HCPC approved music therapy training programme, you can apply for a grant to help with the costs of travel, books or learning resources, personal therapy or other related expenses.

Applications can be made at any time of year but grants are allocated from an annual fund, beginning in April each year. Grants will not normally exceed £250 per applicant in any one year and cannot be given towards the cost of fees.

To make an application, please download and complete the BAMT Small Grants Application Form on the right hand side of this page. You and your Head of Training/Programme Leader or research supervisor will both need to sign the form.

Once completed and signed please return your form to BAMT, 2nd Floor, 24-27 White Lion Street, London, N1 9PD, enclosing copies of all receipts. You will receive an acknowledgement by email when we receive your form and you should hear the outcome of your application as in the guidelines on the funding page.

BAMT is grateful for the generosity of donors who have made the Small Grants scheme possible. Donations towards the scheme, or towards the work of BAMT generally, are always gratefully received.

On behalf of the British Association for Music Therapy

Other Funding Routes

Previous trainees have told us that they were able to access funding for training through the following routes: 

  • The Countess of Munster Musical Trust
  • The Musicians Benevolent Fund
  • British Music Education Yearbook

Other useful websites

  • Fund finder www.fundfinder.org.uk
  • Scholarship Search www.scholarship-search.org.uk 
  • Egas www.egas-online.org.uk 
  • Postgraduate Studentships
  • GradFunding www.gradfunding.co.uk

You should contact the Course Leader at the site you intend to study regarding other funding opportunities that may be particular to each University.

Information about Professional and Career Development Loans can be found at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/EducationAndLearning/AdultLearning/FinancialHelpForAdultLearners/CareerDevelopmentLoans/index.htm

How can I get work experience before and during training as a music therapist?

As part of the entry requirements, all courses ask that you have some experience of working with relevant client groups.  This could be within a paid capacity or your experience might be drawn from the voluntary sector; working with charities and organisations supporting a variety of people within the community or a combination of both.

Clinical placements are offered during training and these experiences accompanied with appropriate supervision, help to provide and equip trainees with the skills needed to work as a music therapist practitioner within a range of settings.  The courses aim to provide a selection of placement experiences covering a diverse range of work settings and client groups.

All clinical placements offered on the training courses are in accordance with the HCPC's standards of education and training.

For more information about clinical placements during training, please contact the courses directly.  Information about the training courses can be found on our training page. 

How do I train as a music therapist?

Information about training as a music therapist can be found in our training section.

The professional music therapy qualification is at postgraduate level in the UK.  For a full listing of courses please see our training section. Each course requires a high level of musicianship: students are normally accepted only if they have had a three year musical training leading to a degree from a college of music or a university.

Very occasionally students who hold qualifications in subjects other than music e.g. education or psychology, may be accepted if they have achieved a high standard of musical performance.  Assessment of personality and suitability for the work also forms part of the interview process.

Where can I work as a music therapist after completing my studies?

Availability of jobs will depend where in the UK you are based, if you wish to work on a sessional or permanent contract or set up a private practice. Once you have completed your training you will be qualified to offer music therapy in whichever sector or setting you choose.

Additional training can also be completed to become more specialised in a specific area of work. Currently there are music therapists in the UK working with clients from neonatal settings right through to geriatric hospice care.