Play Policy and Practice
The MA Play, Policy and Practice programme aims to develop students’ professional practice. The programme is underpinned by contemporary play theory and introduces key tools, techniques and models to enable the student to establish a sound understanding of the theory and practice of the wider context of play across disciplines. The course modules incorporate knowledge content relating to the impact of adults on the play of children and adolescents, and indeed on the potential impact of those in positions of power on the play and/or playful exploration and expression of their workforce. It examines how environments can exclude and/or foster play and playfulness as well as the frames of reference and personal experience that inform and influence beliefs about and attitudes towards play.
The students’ application of theory and understanding of play will be developed through practical, experiential sessions aimed at developing the students’ knowledge and confidence as practitioners. Students will develop a more critical awareness and understanding of the concepts and theoretical frameworks that underpin contemporary understanding of play opportunities and their impact on well-being, relationships and inclusion.
The programme offers the student an opportunity to utilise the processes and outcomes of an academic research study as a mechanism for professional development through enhanced research practices via an extended research project. Students will select and apply appropriate techniques and analysis to answer a research problem as a means of improving insight and context into professional practices within a play-based area of practice.
The degree has a particularly unique application to the market in Wales as children’s access to sufficient opportunities for play in Wales is subject to legislation and has an acknowledged status in community life, with the consequential duty of providing opportunities and spaces through a well-informed workforce across a variety of disciplines. The programme explores the links between play and Wellbeing where appropriate.
While in Wales the MA Play, Policy and Practice has an imperative that does not currently exist in England or other devolved areas of the UK, there are few opportunities for studying Play at Master’s level throughout the UK but the agenda of play across the life-span and our need to take play and playfulness seriously for different population groups is increasingly being recognised. The bringing together of different disciplines to look at play policy and practice holistically is a new and exciting development.