Play therapy and childhood


Learn how to therapeutically support children’s psychological, emotional, behavioural and social health to optimise growth and development. Our postgraduate play therapy courses are ideal career development for professionals already working with children.

Get work-ready

By undertaking placements with play therapy and childhood experts, you'll gain useful, hands-on experience to apply in the field. Case scenarios, such as analysing children’s play behaviour, will support your learning of specific disciplines and help you translate this scientific knowledge into plain language. We'll help you build your professional skills so you can confidently put them into practice in the workplace.


Postgraduate (further study)

A postgraduate qualification can be undertaken by students who have already completed an undergraduate degree or possess significant, demonstrable work experience. Postgraduate courses include graduate certificates, graduate diplomas, masters and PhDs, as well as specialist programs for industry professionals.

Career opportunities

Graduates may find work in the provision of childhood and therapeutic services and consultation within healthcare, school settings or private practice, such as:

  • child protection and children's services
  • self-employment in private practice
  • court evaluations of children's needs
  • domestic violence support
  • family support services.

Choosing the right course for you

If you're interested in a career in this discipline, Deakin can help you get there.

Are you new to this area of study?

If you haven't previously worked or studied in this area, you'll need to complete an undergraduate course before moving on to our specialised postgraduate programs.

Browse the undergraduate offerings in some of our other health and education disciplines:

Are you working or studying in this area?

If you've completed an undergraduate course or have professional experience in this field, Deakin's postgraduate offering will help you reach your career goals.


Graduates of the Master of Child Play Therapy may apply to become a Registered Child Play Therapist with the Australasia Pacific Play Therapy Association (APPTA).

Taught by industry experts

Our staff are experienced mental health practitioners and are active as pioneering academics in Australian play therapy teaching and research.

Research that makes a difference

Our academic staff are able to supervise higher degree research students from Masters to PhD in areas such as play, play therapy, attachment, childhood and development, family and systemic practice, trauma and psychopathology.

Learn more about researching with us

Postgraduate on-demand webinars

Secure your future with a postgraduate degree from Deakin. Hear from our experts and get the information you need to select the perfect postgraduate course for you and your career.

Find out more

Master of Child Play Therapy at Deakin University

Dr Judi Parson (Course Director) discuss Deakin's Master of Child Play Therapy the first postgraduate degree of its kind in Australia. Find out about the entry requirements, what you'll study and how play therapy works.

Browse other disciplines within health sciences and allied health

Choose an area that you're interested in and learn how Deakin's extensive range of study options and experiences can help turn your dreams into reality.