Drama and Movement Therapy, MA

Duration: 2 years, full-time, October start

Award: Master of Arts in Drama and Movement Therapy (180 credits)

MA Drama and Movement Therapy (Sesame)

An intensive programme providing professional and vocational training in drama and movement therapy and the Sesame approach, approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This course offers a particular pedagogic approach to learning the craft of dramatherapy, which is underpinned by Jungian psychology and the importance of practice-based learning.

About the course

This course combines intensive movement-based studio practice, collaborative facilitations, seminars, and a shared research unit with other MA students which creates a learning environment that encourages personal exploration, collaboration and critical reflection.

The Sesame approach is underpinned by Jungian psychology and draws together Laban movement, play theory, Billy Lindkvist’s work with movement with touch and sound, and a mythopoetic approach to the psyche.

There is also the opportunity for immersive practice in the key subject areas of Laban movement, myth, movement with touch and sound, and drama. This is allied with studies in developmental and analytical psychology, specifically the work of Jung.

The group process is central to the student experience and supported by a weekly session across the first three terms that explores interpersonal dynamics between members and draws from group analytic theory.

Course Detail

This course is taught across two years.

Term One comprises two units. Unit One (Drama and Movement Therapy Practice) includes weekly sessions in the subjects of Drama, Myth, Laban, Movement with Touch and Sound, and Preparation for Clinical Practice. These strands combine to offer an experiential introduction to the discipline and a means for students to engage with their own process as a foundation for learning. Unit Two (Therapy and Psychology) is seminar-based and has two strands. The first, Analytical Psychology, introduces students to the core concepts of Jung’s psychology. The second, Developmental Psychology, looks at the work of Erikson and Winnicott. Both strands offer a theoretical framework within which to examine and critique the practice of dramatherapy and the Sesame approach.

In Term Two, the Facilitation Practice unit includes individual and pair work in the subject strands of Myth, Laban, Drama and Movement with Touch and Sound. Students research and lead sessions both individually and collaboratively, offering opportunities to deepen their knowledge of the subject and facilitate individuals, small groups and the large group. The Performing Research unit is a shared postgraduate unit, which introduces fundamentals in research, including reference to methodologies that are performative and practice-based. This begins in Term Two with a two-day ‘intensive’, attended by postgraduate students from across Central’s MA courses and culminates with a presentation at the beginning of the third term. The Practices One unit frames the first apprenticeship placement, which is supported both on-site with specialist supervision and at Central through continuing weekly sessions in preparation for clinical practice and weekly group supervision for the whole cohort.

In Term Three the Facilitation Practice unit continues. In the Practices Two unit, students will work with the apprenticeship model with a different client group and setting.

In Year Two students begin the Sustained Independent Practice (SIP) unit, and undertake final placement work to accumulate the required 100 sessions of client contact. The final piece of written work is a portfolio, which includes a critical essay, a report of clinical practice and a plan for future professional development. The final assessment is a viva voce.

All graduates are eligible to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council for membership as an arts therapist (drama).

Clinical Supervision and Therapy

Throughout the course, students are supported by clinical supervision for all placement practice. During Terms Two and Three, this takes the form of group supervision and in Year Two, students are assigned an individual supervisor. All supervision costs are included in the course fees.

All students are required to be in individual therapy for the duration of the course. For individual therapy a Jungian analyst is strongly recommended. Students are also required to join a dramatherapy group. Please note that some of the dramatherapy groups may continue to run during the holiday periods. The cost of therapy is NOT included in the course fees.


This is by a range of methods which include viva voce exams, written assignments and assessment of clinical practice and ongoing group work.

There is ongoing tutor, peer and self-assessment. Assessment on placement is a key indicator of progress and standards of proficiency. There is a triangulation of assessment for Practices 1 and Practices 2 units between the tutor of preparation for clinical practice, the group supervisor and the specialist on-site supervisor.

Download MA Drama and Movement Therapy Course Specification 2016-2017 (752.23 KB)

Professional Focus

Placements are at the heart of the training and begin in the second term with the hallmark apprenticeship model. This offers well-supported early clinical practice with a specialist and qualified supervisor working alongside groups of two or three students in different settings.

All apprenticeship placements are arranged by Central and will normally include working with adults with mental health problems, elderly clients with dementia, people with learning disabilities, children with challenging behaviour and people on the autistic spectrum.

The apprenticeship model is applied to placements in the spring and summer terms. In the extended fourth term, students will work more autonomously and have the opportunity to specialise their clinical practice. All placement work is closely supported throughout the course by group and individual supervision.

The course has links with many institutions that offer placements for students. There are currently in the region of 60 institutions on Central’s books in the greater London area. These include:

  • NHS trusts (including Camden and Islington, West London, Bethlem Royal Hospital, The Maudsley Hospital)
  • Individual charities (including St Vincent’s Family Project, The Westminster Drug and Alcohol Foundation, Barnardo’s)
  • Education (including mainstream and special education, EBD schools, PRUs)
  • Institutions that provide care for older adults.

In addition to placement hosts and partners, the course has also delivered projects and conferences in association with the following:

  • The Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists (IGAP)
  • European Consortium for Arts Therapies Education (ECArTE)
  • The Sesame Institute.

Recent Visiting Staff

Aleka Loutsis, Rachel Porter, Mark Saban, Alison Kelly, Mary Smail, Eran Nathan, Frankie Armstrong, Dr Tania Batzoglou.

Entry Requirements and Admissions

Offers will be based on merit alone. Scholarships are available.

You should normally possess an arts education or psychology degree. If you do not have a first degree (or equivalent), but have at least two years’ professional experience working with the arts in a community, educational or care setting, you will be considered for non-standard entry.

An offer will normally only be made after interview.

We particularly encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in higher education, such as students with disabilities and members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. Find out more information on Central’s commitment to equality and diversity.

English Language Requirements

Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to prove their English language proficiency by gaining an overall score of 7.0 in an IELTS test. We do accept equivalent English language qualifications. Applicants are advised to gain this certification as early as possible.


If you are selected for an interview for a place on the Drama and Movement Therapy, MA course, we will require you to bring the following:

  • written evidence of your qualifications, such as your undergraduate degree. If you do not have an undergraduate degree, you are asked to write an essay (1500 words) on your current understanding of Drama and Movement Therapy and why in particular you would like to do the Sesame Training. If required, please bring this with you on the day.

The interview process will take a whole day. The morning session will involve experiential group work. The afternoon will involve an individual interview, lasting 30 minutes, with two members of the Course Team. The timetable for the individual interviews will be completed at the end of the morning session and you will be free to leave once you have had your interview. If you have any specific travel arrangements, please let us know in advance and we will try to accommodate that.

Please bring clothes to wear that are suitable for a practical voice and movement session.

The interview process will also give you an opportunity to find out more about the course and the School.

International Interviews

Central is not able to consider applicants for this course at its international interviews.

Distance Interviews

Central does allow applicants to undertake a distance interview for this course. If you live abroad and are unable to attend an interview in person you may, at the discretion of the Admissions Tutor, be offered the opportunity of a distance interview. If you are selected for interview in this manner you will be contacted (normally by email) in order to arrange a suitable time for an interview. This will be conducted on Skype, telephone or by ‘live’ email exchange and will normally be based upon material you will have been asked to submit in advance. The interview will be conducted by the Admissions Tutor in liaison with a colleague who will have sight of your submitted materials.


View profiles of the academic staff who teach on this course. Click on each staff member to see their CV.

Richard Hougham, MA

Principal Lecturer, Course Leader Drama and Movement Therapy

Dr Alyson Coleman, MA, Pg Cert, PhD

Lecturer, Drama and Movement Therapy

Beyond Central

Graduate employment and career pathways include:

Dramatherapy posts working with NSPCC, Camden Council, NHS Sussex Partnerships; people with learning disabilities; bereavement services.

Arts Council funded collaborative research projects.

Recent graduates have also innovated new outreach projects such as the Saharawi project working with refugees in the Sahara and work as a Psychosocial Outreach Manager with the Danish Refugee Council.

Students have also continued further study on postgraduate Research Degrees.


Notable graduates include:

Fiona Bird (2012) is working as a Dramatherapist for  the adoption service and post adoption support charity, Family Futures.

Roanna Bond (2015) is a Dramatherapist in Folkestone and Maidstone for Kent and Medway NHS Trust. This is within a  therapeutic community for East Kent Personality Disorders Service and at the Trevor Gibbens Unit, a medium secure forensic unit.

Beth Clements (2006) is Founder of Beth Clements Consulting, a leadership development company. Previous to this, she was responsible for managing the Creative Therapy Department of Centrepoint, working with young homeless people between the ages of 16-25.

Laura Main (Sesame 2015) Works in a permanent role working with a group of adults with learning difficulties towards a public performance, which is due to be shown at The Tabernacle Theatre in Notting Hill in April 2017.

Konstantza Maniatopoulou (2009) is a Psychologist  and Dramatherapist working in Greece, employed by the Directory of Secondary Education of Aitoloakarnania (Special Education). She is working with Adolescents and Young People with LD/ ASD / EBD.

Matilda Mudyvanhu (2015) is a Freelance Dramatherapist, and recently collaborating on a project with Dr Katherine Low and Dr Shema Tariq, using drama and creative arts to work with a group of women living with HIV in London. Their work was conducted alongside a PRIME research project, and was presented on International Women’s Day in 2016.

Emily Mundy (2010) Co-founded The Drama Therapy Partnership, offering drama therapy projects between six and twelve weeks, mainly working with young people and young adults, and those with mental health issues.

Laura Scott (2015) is a Dramatherapist working for the Novalis Trust, a centre for individuals with emotional and behavioural difficulties, and special educational needs.

Andrew Royle (2008) is a practicing Dramatherapist, and the Founder and Director of The Drama Therapy Space.

Myriam Rey (2013) made a short documentary film, This Island's Mine, about the Hunter Heartbeat Method and the Flute Theatre's work which has won the Arts and Humanities Research Council Inspiration Film Award.

Laura Scott (2015) is a Dramatherapist working for the Novalis Trust, a centre for individuals with emotional and behavioural difficulties, and special educational needs.

Related Courses


Colin Campbell

Graduated 2014, dramatherapist in schools, psychiatric hospitals and with a bereavement charity.

I came on to the course as one of the more mature students (aged 49) looking for a career change. I found that this was never a problem. It was a fantastic time of learning and development for me. The mixture of experiential and academic learning is challenging and rigorous, but I felt well supported throughout. I now have the skills and knowledge that allow me to work with and, hopefully, make a difference to many vulnerable people.

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