Master of Child Play Therapy



Develop your interpersonal, creative and expressive skills to work effectively with children and their families as a child play therapist.

Child play therapy is a growing specialist area within the mental health and early childhood sectors. It is an evidence-based profession in which play is used to transform children’s lives when they have experienced abuse or trauma, have a developmental disorder, or are experiencing a mental health issue.

This two year Master degree provides specialist training for students with relevant prior experience and qualifications. The orientation of the course is primarily Humanistic but other approaches will be presented in the course materials. Placement units are an important component of the program.

You will be eligible to apply to become a registered play therapist with the Australasia Pacific Play Therapy Association (APPTA). This course is primarily delivered online with occasional intensive study sessions.

Study the first play therapy course offered by an Australian university and make a significant difference in the  lives of children, young people and their families.

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Key facts


2 years full-time or part-time equivalent.

Note: In 2017 and 2018 only part-time enrolment is available into the second year of H705


  • Cloud (online) mode, however there are significant placement and campus requirements
Cloud (online)

Trimester 1

  • Start date: March
  • Available at:
    • Cloud Campus mode, however there are significant placement and campus requirements

Trimester 2

  • Start date: July
  • Available at:
    • Cloud Campus mode, however there are significant placement and campus requirements. For part time students only

Key information

Award granted

Master of Child Play Therapy


2018 course information

Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

$25,712 for 1 yr full-time - Full-fee paying place
Learn more about fees and your options for paying.

Estimated tuition fee - (CSP)

Not applicable

Deakin code



Higher Degree Coursework (Masters and Doctorates)

Approval status

This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.

Australian Quality Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9.

Course Structure

To complete the Master of Child Play Therapy students must attain 16 credit points. Units may be worth 1 or 2 credit points - check each unit for its credit point value in the course structure below. 15 credit points are core (these are compulsory) plus 1 elective credit point (you can choose which one to study from the list provided) in Year 1 Trimester 2.

Students may exit the course after completing a specified sequence of 4 units for the award H505 Graduate Certificate of Therapeutic Child Play, or after completing the specified sequence of 8 units for the award H605 Graduate Diploma of Therapeutic Child Play.

Entry requirements

Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories. In all categories of admission, selection is based primarily on academic merit as indicated by an applicant's previous academic record.

All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.

Entry will be based on performance in:

  • a Bachelor degree or other qualification at a higher AQF level in any discipline and 3 year relevant work experience with children and families


  • Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma of Therapeutic Child Play

For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library.

Professional Recognition

Graduates will be eligible to apply to become a Registered Play Therapist with the Australasia Pacific Play Therapy Association (APPTA).

Note: All information regarding professional recognition is accurate at the date of publication. Enquiries regarding accreditation and professional membership should be directed to the School of Health and Social Development in order to ascertain the current status of accreditation at any future point in time beyond publication. Representations about accreditation apply only to the course, and the relevant professional body retains discretion as to who they admit as members of their association. Deakin University cannot exercise any control over membership of an external body.

Career outcomes

Graduates will be eligible to work in professional healthcare teams, in individual private practice, and in a range of health, education and community contexts.

Course learning outcomes

Graduate Learning Outcomes

Course Learning Outcomes

Discipline Specific knowledge and capabilities

Apply an advanced and integrated theoretical and practical knowledge of the principles underlying Child Play Therapy and the processes involved in therapeutic practice.


Demonstrate verbal, written and interpersonal communication necessary to interpret theoretical positions, convey ideas, proposals and findings, pertaining to Child Play Therapy, to a specialist and non-specialists audiences.

Digital Literacy

Use appropriate technologies to locate credible discipline-specific information and disseminate this information to specialist and other professional groups in an ethical and professional manner.

Critical thinking

Analyse, critically evaluate and synthesize complex cases, problems, concepts and theories in the field of Child Play Therapy.

Problem Solving

Apply advanced knowledge and skills to and select appropriate therapeutic approach(s) and modify treatment plans as required to solve a range of problems within the field of Child Play Therapy.


Demonstrate personal autonomy and expert professional judgement in the field of Child Play Therapy showing responsibility and accountability, in conjunction with reflective practice.


Establish and maintain collaborative professional relationships demonstrating responsibility and accountability to the child, family, carers, multidisciplinary professionals and other relevant stakeholders.

Global Citizenship

Demonstrate professional and ethical practice and respect for diverse social, cultural and environmental contexts, and an awareness of international developments in Child Play Therapy


How to apply

Apply direct to Deakin

Applications must be made directly to the University through the Applicant Portal. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the how to apply web page. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

Apply through Deakin

Need more information on how to apply?

For more information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage. If you're still having problems, please contact us for assistance.

Register your interest to study at Deakin

Please complete the Register your interest form to receive further information about our direct application opportunities.

Faculty contact information

Health - Student and Academic Services
Tel 03 9251 7777


As a student in a Cloud (online) course in the Faculty of Health you will be expected to spend 11-13 hours every week studying, interacting via CloudDeakin and completing assessment tasks for each credit point in your course. There are also significant placement and campus requirements.

Work experience

There are clinical placements throughout the course - see individual unit descriptions for full details.

Fee information

The tuition fees you pay will depend on the type of fee place you hold. 

  • If you are enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place, your tuition fees are calculated depending on the units you choose.
  • If you are enrolled in a full fee paying place, your tuition fees are calculated depending on the course you choose.

In both cases, the ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Credit for Prior Learning you have.

Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for that course. Eight credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year.

You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

Learn more about fees and available payment options.

Scholarship options

A Deakin scholarship could help you pay for your course fees, living costs and study materials. If you've got something special to offer Deakin - or maybe you just need a bit of extra support - we've got a scholarship opportunity for you. Search or browse through our scholarships

Additional course information

Domestic students enrolled in this postgraduate coursework program may be eligible for student income support through Youth Allowance and Austudy.

Further information can be found at Deakin University's Fees website.

Offered campuses

Study online at Cloud Campus

Students are able to study all or part of this course online. You can study anywhere, anytime through Deakin's Cloud Campus.

Learn more about studying online and the Cloud Campus

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