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Play Therapy Training

About the Training Courses Section

This section is divided into courses for therapeutic play and play therapy training recognised by Play Therapy Ireland (PTIrl) and accredited by Play Therapy International (PTI) and other courses.

Accredited courses are ones that meet the standards set by PTI and other organisations including National University of Ireland. 11 reasons for choosing a PTI accredited course, run in Ireland by APAC (The Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy)

Irish recognition of the APAC/NUI play therapy training

The National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (the NQAI) have approved the alignment of the following three awards with the National Framework of Qualifications (the NFQ):

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Practice Based Play Therapy
  • MA in Practice Based Play Therapy

This means that participants successfully completing the courses will have awards fully equivalent to those made by an Irish university and are at level 9. This is an important consideration for employers. The APAC/NUI programme is the ONLY play therapy training running in Ireland (as at May 2010) at this level, that is accredited by a University with approved Irish equivalence.

The detailed alignment of the awards with the National Framework of Qualifications is shown in the table below:

Award Level on FHEQ for England, Wales and Northern Ireland UK Credits Irish NFQ Level Irish NFQ Award-Type ECTS Credits
Postgraduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills

Postgraduate Certificate

Level 7

60 Level 9 n/a 30
Postgraduate Diploma in Play Therapy

Postgraduate Diploma

Level 7

120 Level 9 Post Graduate Diploma 60
MA in Practice Based Play Therapy

Masters Degree

Level 7

180 Level 9 Masters Degree 90

The programme provides incremental progression for those interested in a career within Play Therapy. The programme is usually delivered on a part-time basis over three years. Year one leads to a Post Graduate Certificate comprising 60 UK credits (30 ECTS); year two leads to Post Graduate Diploma comprising 120 UK credits (60 ECTS) and year three leads to an MA comprising 180 UK credits (90 ECTS). All awards are at FHEQ Level 7.

UK Credits are double ECTS e.g. 120 UK credits equal 60 ECTS.

Other Courses

are ones that have been reviewed by PTIrl as ones likely to be of interest and to be of a good standard.  We are always seeking information from providers of good quality courses.

Play therapy is starting to attract training providers, in Ireland, who are offering various courses. Apart from the APAC/NUI programme there are no other courses validated by a university and do not provide the option of a university academic post graduate award. There are no other courses that are accredited to the international standards administered by Play Therapy International. APAC courses are the only ones in Ireland that publish data that show the clinical outcomes of their students’ practice – between 70% and 83% of children show a positive change. These are very important considerations for employers.

Profession Structure Model

Training & Resource Providers

Providers of resources for and training in therapeutic play, play therapy and creative arts therapies are invited to submit details of their resources, courses and organisations for publication on the PTIrl web site. (There is no charge for a simple listing but we reserve the right to accept and edit the content and normally ask for a reciprocal link). Please send details to

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