Master of Child Play Therapy

The Master of Child Play Therapy is offered at Deakin University from Trimester 1 2015. The course is two years full-time with the option of studying part-time over 5 years. The following provides information about the usual questions candidates have about the course.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process of application?
Applications that meet the minimum criteria will be ranked according to qualifications and experience. Short-listed candidates will be asked to an interview. A panel of two or three people from the university will ask questions and listen to the candidate for about 20 minutes in total. Probably about 60-80 people will be interviewed. There are likely to be many more applications than places for interview.
At the interview applicants will be asked about their background and interests; what they know about Child Play Therapy and why they want to study it. They will be given as many as 3 scenarios; to show how they would respond to a possible situation in Child Play Therapy practice. There is no perfect answer, scenarios are used to consider how people think, and how they manage complexity. Practicing by answering questions with a friend or family member can help to be able to be calm and think when responding to the panel.
Example of a scenario: You have started working as a Child Play Therapist in a new child development service. What are the first things you would do when starting in this new job?

How do I apply?
The application portal will be open on the 21st August 2014 . Applications will be received directly to the School of Health and Social Development, not through VTAC.

What is the closing date for applications?
Closing date will be Friday October 31st 2014.

Are there any pre-requisites?
Candidates should have a relevant degree and at least two years of experience working with children and families. This might be in a school or in a children’s service of some kind. Candidates who are unsure whether they have the requisite experience or qualifications are encouraged to apply and to use the application process to make their case for consideration.
Additional positives for candidates are familiarity with a range of aspects relevant to eventual practice such as cross-cultural experience, evidence of commitment to personal growth and development, wide experience of different social contexts (e.g. urban and rural), leadership experience, experience of innovation, and evidence of the capacity to manage change.

What are the course dates?
The course will run in Trimester 1 and 2 only. Dates for 2015 are:
Trimester 1 commencement date - 9th March 2015
Trimester 2 commencement date - 13th July 2015

What subjects will be studied?
All of the units are listed in the handbook with descriptions and assessment information.

What is the course structure?
The Master of Child Play Therapy degree comprises 16 credit points, 15 of which are core units (15 credit points), plus one selective unit (one credit point) in trimester two, first year. Units are taught in Trimesters 1 and 2. A full-time load consists of four units (credit points) per trimester.
Students may exit the course after completing a specific sequence of four units for the award Graduate Certificate of Play and Childhood, or after completing the specified sequence of eight units for the award Graduate Diploma of Play and Childhood. Most of the units involve online learning or placement, and some will have an intensive component where students will come to Deakin (the beautiful Waterfront campus on Corio Bay in Geelong) to complete parts of their training.
A PDF of the course can be found here.

Are the dates for the intensives organised yet?
No, this will be advised at the start of the course. Please note that part-time students will not have intensives each trimester as the units with intensives are co-located in the part-time pathway.

How are the placements organised?
All placements are organised through the course. Usually students will attend placement at their current workplace or at a different site through negotiation and approval of the course team.

What does the course cost?
Course costs for 2015. Please note 2016 fees cannot be released at this stage.


2015 Domestic Fee


$21,890 - First year only - 8 credit points

If you are an Australian citizen, then you will be eligible to use FEE HELP (for full fee paying). The HELP loans allow you to defer the full course fees and not make any upfront payments. If you are a permanent resident you would be eligible for the domestic fee rates but you would need to pay the fees upfront.

Are there CSPs (Commonwealth Supported Places) offered for this course?
No, at the moment the full fee option is the only way to study.

Is there a personal therapy component required in the course?
Like many similar courses around the world the Master of Child Play Therapy does recommend that personal therapy with an appropriately qualified therapist takes place during the training. This is to ensure that any aspects of one’s own background and experience that may potentially impact on the work are revealed and understood. In order to register as a practitioner with APPTA on graduation 40 sessions of personal therapy will need to be completed.

How many places are there?
There are 20 places in the first year, this will rise in 2016 and beyond. Any part-time places accepted will release a place. Therefore there are 40 part-time places.

What if I don’t get in?
Unfortunately this will potentially happen to quite a lot of people. Be gentle with yourself. You did your best. It can be an emotional process to make an application and then not be successful. It can be disappointing, frustrating and can even make you feel quite angry. Suggest that you find someone to talk to who can sympathise and offer you some support.
It is suggested that you review your experience and see if you can make sure your experience is relevant and recent. Also consider whether your qualifications might need to be upgraded to be more competitive. However, it is worth remembering that there are likely many more applications than places.
Candidates will expect feedback. At the moment it is not clear what form that feedback will take. Probably the reason a candidate is not successful if they have been invited to interview is because others may have interviewed better.

Please keep in touch with us
If you are reading this because you want to train as a Child Play Therapist then you are already part of our community at Deakin and we want to keep in touch with you. Please follow us on Facebook and attend our public seminars about Child Play Therapy and other areas related to childhood. We will also advise of training days and other opportunities that may arise in the future.

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