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, master’s 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.


Our child play therapy team offer a number of masterclasses and workshops as an introduction to play therapy practice and to meet professional development needs of professionals in education, counselling, clinical and allied health.

Learn more about our workshops and masterclasses

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

Deakin alumni – get a head start with your postgraduate fees

If you're a Deakin alumni commencing a postgraduate course, you may be eligible to receive a 15% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees through our Deakin alumni postgraduate bursary. Your spouse and members of your immediate family may also be eligible to apply.

Learn more about Deakin's alumni postgraduate bursary

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.