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Play Therapy (MA)

  • Course Code


  • Field of Study


  • Type of Course:

    Postgraduate Diploma,Masters Degree

  • Type of Qualification:


  • Type of Study:

    Part time

  • Application Closing Date:

    Next intake is for September 2016.

Admission Requirements:

The entry requirement is a Level 8 Honours degree (H2.2) or higher, in one of the following areas:

Counselling/Psychotherapy, Early Years Education, Occupational Therapy, Primary Education, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychiatric Nursing, Social Care, Social Work, Special Needs Education or a cognate discipline.

Applicants must be 23 years old at the time of entry to the programme and have at least two years post qualifying experience of working with children. Applicants will be required to attend an interview.


Applied Social Studies


This programme is a postgraduate clinical training in Play Therapy. It aims to equip practitioners with the advanced knowledge and clinical capability that would match international standards of best practice within the Play Therapy profession. Students will be eligible for membership of the Irish Play Therapy Association ( on successful completion of the training. Until the development of this training in CIT, IPTA had only accepted membership from Play Therapists who had undertaken a training accredited by the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT). [The Irish Play Therapy Association was set up to establish and maintain standards for play therapists and to inform and protect members of the public seeking and availing of their service] (

All full members of IPTA are expected to adhere to the code of practice which aims to provide a framework for addressing ethical issues and to encourage the highest standard of practice.


The course is run on a part-time basis over 3 years.

The course has 90 credits and will be delivered as follows;

  • Years 1 & 2:  (60 Credits) is a clinical training in Play Therapy where students will attend the CIT campus every Saturday; modules will be experiential and theoretical. Students will undertake placements in both years and will require external supervision from approved supervisors. Students will require the use of videotaping equipment for years one and two as sessions with clients are videotaped.
  • Year 3 will include a module in research skills and a dissertation to complete the MA component.

No. of weeks per semester: 13
No. of timetable hours week: 4.5
Which day: Saturday
Duration: Three years

Course content

1. Clinical Work Preparation and Practice
This training focuses on developing the students’ awareness and comprehension of the Play Therapy skills needed when setting up, working in and maintaining a Play Therapy practice. It will also ensure that the trainees work within the core play therapy competencies and standards in order to communicate effectively with clients, parents and referrers in a supportive and appropriate manner.

2. Child Development, Play and Attachment
Students will receive a thorough grounding in child development, play and attachment theory. It critically looks at key theoretical positions in developmental literature and most recent research. Students will examine theories and processes of individual development and change through the life span.

3. Neuroscience
Students will develop an integrated understanding of the nature and origins of trauma and dissociation and their symptoms, with application to Play Therapy. The effects of trauma from a neuroscientific perspective will be explored in detail.

4. Play Therapy Theory and Processes
Students will explore the theoretical background and rationale for Play Therapy with particular emphasis on Non Directive Play Therapy. Pervasive developmental disorders, trauma, attachment difficulties, abuse and neglect will be thoroughly examined. The use of congruence, accurate empathy and unconditional positive regard will be utilised through small group personal development and clinical work practice classes.

5. Application of Play Therapy Skills
Students will explore experientially the Play Therapy journey. Creative mediums such as sand, art and appropriate play materials will be introduced and explored.

6. Clinical Supervision and Placement

Students will be equipped to select suitable candidates for Play Therapy intervention. Approval of selection will be made in consultation with clinical supervisor. Throughout placement, students will be required to attend clinical supervision. A list of approved supervisors will be provided to students. Supervision must be paid for by the student.

7. Personal Counselling

Students will be required to attend at least 25 hours of personal counselling per year throughout their training. Counsellors must be trained on a counselling/psychotherapy training accredited by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy ( or IAHIP. A written statement from the psychotherapist confirming hours are completed must be returned on completion of the hours in order to complete the training in Play Therapy.


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




CIT has developed a website which gives full details of all modules for all courses. The website also has information on recommended textbooks, average weekly workload, assessments and exams.

For detailed module information, please click here .

  • Private practice as a Clinical Play Therapist
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services within the HSE
  • Play Therapist within the school setting / early years setting
  • Play Therapist within the homeless services
  • Play Therapist in community projects and Family Resource Centres
  • Expert witness in court proceedings
  • Graduates who successfully complete the MA in Play Therapy will have the specialised expertise in an emerging field of research, which in turn, will allow for professional supervision in niche areas
  • Next intake to this programme is for September 2016.
  • Fees for EU applicants currently stand at €6,900 (€2,300 per annum)
  • Please attach a personal statement including personal attributes and relevant experience.
  • Please download application form here.
  • For information on the application procedure, contact Course Coordinator Myriam Clancy by email only.(Email



Myriam Clancy
T: 021 4326155