Entry requirements and training (dramatherapist)

This page has information on the entry requirements and training needed to become a dramatherapist.

To be a dramatherapist you need professional experience in an area of therapy or health care. This may be from working in, for example, nursing, social work, special needs or psychotherapy. Or you may have voluntary experience of working with people in a therapeutic setting. 

To practise as a dramatherapist, you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)  as a dramatherapist. In order to register with the HCPC, you first need to have successfully completed an approved postgraduate qualification in dramatherapy.

Courses can be full time or part time and take between one and three years.Each course is different, but they all cover:

  • theatre skills, approaches and techniques, including performance work
  • psychology and psychotherapy
  • related therapies such as art, music, dance/movement and play
  • personal development/therapy

For entry to an approved course, you usually need a degree-level qualification. This could be a degree in drama or in a psychological health related subject. Alternatively, you could have a relevant professional qualification, such as nursing, teaching, occupational therapysocial work or special needs.

You may be accepted onto a course without a degree or professional qualification if you have at least one year’s work experience with a relevant client group. Examples include nursing assistant, drama worker with people with special needs or support worker in mental health. You will need to show that you have practical experience in drama.

Degree apprenticeship

A level 7 apprenticeship for arts therapists (art therapists/art psychotherapists, dramatherapists and music therapists) has been approved for delivery. To get onto a level 7 apprenticeship, you will need to apply for an apprentice position with a health care provider. You can search for vacancies on the NHS Jobs website and Find an Apprenticeship website.

Once you’ve successfully completed a programme approved by the HCPC, you are then eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC. Once registered as a practitioner, you’ll be required to retain your name on the register by keeping your knowledge and skills up to date and paying an annual retention fee.

Want to learn more?

  • Dramatherapists need to be:

    • creative
    • flexible
    • resourceful
    • non judgemental
    • resilient in dealing with other people’s strong emotions
    • sensitive and mature
  • Dramatherapists need:

    • theatre skills and ideas
    • excellent communication skills
    • to be able to improvise
    • to be able to work with people from all walks of life
    • to be able to reflect on their own emotions
    • business skills for private practice
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