Play therapy


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.

Explore your study options

If you already love working with children and want to play a pivotal role in their psychosocial and emotional development, a career in play therapy will be incredibly rewarding. You'll undertake placements with play therapy experts to 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.


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.


Higher Degrees by Research (supervised research)

Research degrees are research based master’s or PhD programs that focus on a single area of expertise. They provide students the opportunity to carry out highly specialised research under expert supervision.

Choose a play therapy degree that will get you work ready

At Deakin, you’ll learn through valuable practical experiences, benefitting from our expert staff and partnerships.

Taught by industry experts

Learn from experienced mental health practitioners who are active and pioneering academics in Australian play therapy teaching and research. Graduate in demand and confident of your skills to pursue a rewarding career in play therapy.

Benefit from partnerships

Our staff are involved with key organisations such as the International Play Therapy Study Group and the International Consortium of Play Therapy Associations. Their insights, case studies and experiences are filtered into our course material.

How to choose 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 play therapy, Deakin's postgraduate offering will help you reach your career goals.

Internationally recognised degree

The Master of Child Play Therapy is accredited by the Australasia Pacific Play Therapy Association and the only course of its kind offered by an Australian university. It is also a recognised pathway to becoming a Registered Play Therapist. Upon graduation, you will have the practical experience and professional recognition needed to apply for registration.

Master of Child Play Therapy

Master of Child Play Therapy

Dr Judi Parson, Course Director, discusses 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.

Top professional roles in play therapy

Be ready to make an impact on children's lives. You 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.

World-class teaching experiences

We'll help you build your professional skills so you can confidently put them into practice in the workplace. Graduate ready to make a profound impact on the long-term health, wellbeing and happiness of children.

Practical experience

Experience what it’s like to work as a play therapist through 250 hours of clinical placement when you study the Master of Child Play Therapy. You can secure placements in a variety of settings such as preschools, childcare centres, primary schools, allied health services, disability services and private practice.

Leading research

Interested in making a difference through research? Our academic staff can 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.


Deakin references data from a range of government, higher education and reputable media sources. For more information, visit our list of sources.

Contact us

Got a question about our play therapy courses? Our expert advisers are available to speak to you about your study options and how we can help you further your career.

Domestic students
1800 693 888
Enquire online

International students
+61 3 9918 9188
Enquire online