UCC Adult courses

Therapeutic Play Skills - PG Cert

Course Fact File
CodePCTPPS
Duration20 Months
Teaching ModePart-Time
QualificationsPG Cert
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Fees€4,045 See Fees and Costs for full details.
Next IntakeMultiple start dates throughout the year

Course Outline

This new and exciting programme is delivered by the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy (APAC) in collaboration with ACE.

Play therapists help children overcome traumatic events in their lives. Through the use of play, symbolism and metaphor, therapists provide a safe space to allow children to become confident and an opportunity to safely express themselves.

Play Therapy training offers the unique experience of working with children using play and creative arts to explore, express and work through traumatic experiences safely. 

Play Therapy training comprises of three distinct levels with three exit points, PG Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills, PG Diploma in Play Therapy and MA in Practice Based Play therapy.

Students who complete the postgraduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills are ‘Therapeutic Play Practitioners’; on completion of the PG Diploma the title is ‘Play Therapist’.

On completion of the Postgraduate Certificate Course, participants can practice safely and effectively using therapeutic play skills in a variety of settings to provide emotional support to individual children with a mild to moderate presentation of difficulties/concerns using non-directive therapeutic interventions under an umbrella organisation with a Designated Liaison Person on site and appropriate clinical supervision in place. 

Postgraduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills

Students will complete 30 credits as follows:

  • ED6705 Non-Directive Play Therapy (5 ECTS) 
  • ED6706 Child Protection, Attachment and Clinical Practice (5 ECTS)
  • ED6707 Expressive Arts Therapies (5 ECTS) 
  • ED6712 Clinical Practice (Therapeutic Play)1 (15 ECTS)

Course Practicalities

The Postgraduate Certificate modules are delivered over 5 x 3 days face-to-face block weekends (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays) comprising tutorials, workshops, and theory-based lectures. Learning will mainly be experiential and collaborative in nature, using dyad and triad therapeutic training workshops, group process, role-play, sculpts, vignettes and case presentations to enhance experience-based learning in accordance with the UCC group work policy: Group Work | University College Cork (ucc.ie). Further reading and other investigative assignments will provide new information and consolidation of material from the experiential work encountered within the taught modules. Additional tutorials are delivered online to enhance understanding of theory. Participants will also be required to complete 100 hours of clinical placement practice with children and will engage in ten hours of Group Clinical Supervision which is delivered over the five weekend blocks in two-hour segments.

A Summer School is available every summer for students that may not be in a position to attend modules scheduled on weekends due to work/family. The Summer school provides the opportunity for students to complete the taught elements before clinical placement during their summer holiday time, where they may be in a position to do the 15 days all together.

Who Teaches This Course

Lecturers are facilitated by exceptionally proficient professionals from The Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy (APAC). These educators possess a robust foundation in play therapy and bring with them a wealth of field experience, which they adeptly convey to the students

Next Intake of the Course

This course has multiple start dates throughout the year. Please contact Programme Coordinator Riona Doolan at riona.doolan@ucc.ie to find out about the next start date. All applicants must be approved by the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy before they can register on this course. Please email: contact@apac.org.uk for more information.

It is mandatory for students to engage in clinical supervision with a Play Therapy Ireland registered supervisor. For more information on Clinical Supervision please visit: https://apac.org.uk/clinical-supervision/  

Why Choose This Course

Play Therapy is a progressive profession, offering children the opportunity to explore their traumatic experiences using play and creative arts, clay, music, movement, sand play, roleplay, therapeutic stories, and creative visualisation.

Play Therapy is supported by clinical outcomes, evidencing the efficacy of Play Therapy. Therapists work with children aged 4 years to 13 years old (Primary school level).

Play Therapy training offers the opportunity to explore fundamental theoretical constructs, which enables the therapist to understand emotional and behavioural responses a child may demonstrate as a result of their experiences. 

Play Therapy Practitioners employ the Integrative Holistic Model, using diverse theories and techniques to assess clients, develop case conceptualisation. While acknowledging the interconnectedness of their clients' challenges from a holistic view of family dynamics, cultural influences and soca-economic factors, Play Therapy Practitioners can offer effective and nurturing therapeutic experiences that foster healing and growth.   

The Play Therapy courses are evidence-based programmes and delivered in collaboration with the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy (APAC). The curriculum places emphasis on experiential and theoretical learning, reflective thinking, professional and research skills. It includes a broad range of perspectives on attachment, child development and neuroscience theories within Play Therapy practice. Students are required to undertake 100 clinical hours of working with children at the Postgraduate Certificate level. Students require a set minimum ratio of clinical supervision whilst undertaking clinical work with children.

Skills and Careers Information

This programme has enabled graduates to secure employment/contracts practicing with the educational sector at primary school level, HSE, TUSLA, CAMHS and related mental health organisations and charities. 

Other MA and Postgraduate Diploma graduates have gone on to set up successful private practices and others support children’s mental health on a national, local, and individual level. 

Requirements

Applications will be accepted from candidates who:

  • Have attained a minimum 2H1 on a relevant undergraduate honours (Level 8) degree or equivalent qualification within a relevant field such as psychology, counselling, psychotherapy, health care, education, social care, social work, or early years and childhood development. 

AND

  • Can demonstrate at least two years of relevant professional experience working directly with children within a relevant field such as psychology, counselling, psychotherapy, health care, education, social care, social work, or early years and childhood development. 

Consideration under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) may also be given to applicants who:

  • Have attained a minimum 2H1 level 7 qualification or 2H2 level 8 qualification within a relevant field such as psychology, counselling, psychotherapy, health care, education, social care, social work, or early years and childhood development.

AND

  • Can demonstrate at least five years’ experience of professional experience working directly with children within a relevant field such as psychology, counselling, psychotherapy, health care, education, social care, social work, or early years and childhood development.

English Language Requirement

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency. In general, all applicants whose first language is not English must have attained IELTS level 6.5 minimum overall score, with a minimum of no less than 6.0 in any single section or a TOEFL score of 90 overall.

Garda Vetting

All applicants must be approved by the Academy of Child and Play Psychotherapy before they can register on the course.

All students must satisfy Garda Vetting Requirements before they can begin their placement module. Please see the UCC Garda Vetting Policy for more information. Students will be sent details on how to apply for UCC Garda Vetting upon registration at the start of the course. For further information please see the link below:

UCC Student Garda Vetting Policy and Procedure

Applicants will be called for an interview. 

Fees and Costs

€4,045

Additional costs may be required for Garda Vetting and therapeutic tool kit. 

It is mandatory for students to engage in clinical supervision of their practice with a Play Therapy Ireland registered clinical supervisor, https://playtherapy.ie/contacts.

The financial responsibility for clinical supervision will lie with individual students.

For further information on fees and financial supports please click here

 

How To Apply

To apply for this course, please contact the Programme Coordinator Riona Doolan at riona.doolan@ucc.ie to make an initial enquiry about this course and further details on how to get in touch with the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy. Please email: contact@apac.org.uk for more information.

 



 

 

Contact Details For This Course

Year 1 Modules

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

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