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MSc Art Psychotherapy (International)

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  • Introduction
  • Key details
  • Entry requirements
  • Fees
  • Modules
  • Careers

- Graduates are eligible for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council UK.
- The course has an international perspective and welcomes students from across the world.
- It is the only MSc Art Psychotherapy in the UK based in a school of health sciences and includes a strong research component.

The discipline of art psychotherapy draws upon the visual arts, psychotherapy and psychology and is applied within psychiatry, special education, social services and the voluntary sector. Art psychotherapists work with individuals, groups and communities.

Art psychotherapists enable clients to access their own image-making abilities. The therapist and their client jointly explore the meaning of the process and image/art object in the light of personal experiences and/or interpersonal relationships that may sometimes be distressing or troubling. The aim is to facilitate the intra-personal and interpersonal communication of experiences that the client may initially find difficulty in discussing verbally. The art psychotherapist’s task is to support processes of emotional integration by providing a safe, reliable and containing therapeutic environment within which the client can create and use art making to develop insight and promote change.

This course is designed for people who usually have at least one year’s experience of, or are currently, working in a caring capacity such as psychiatry, special education, social services and the voluntary sector.

EXIT AWARDS: MSc (240 credits/120 ECTS)/ PgDip (120 credits/60 ECTS)/ PgCert (60 credits/30 ECTS)

Delivery: At QMU and on practice placement

Duration: Full-time: 2 years, Part-time: 3-4 years (intake biennial)

Start date: Full-time: September 2017; Part-time: September 2018.

Application deadline: Full-time, September 2017: 31 May. 2018; Part time, September 2018: 31 May 2018. Late applications will be considered.

Teaching, learning and assessment: You will attend classes, work in groups and carry out independent learning. Assessment methods include reports, essays, and presentations. Each year group contains 25-30 students. However, most classes take the form of supervision, seminar, lectures and interpersonal leaning groups with a maximum of 15 students. You will undertake 110 days supervised practice placement over the training period; placements are allocated by QMU. All students are required to be in personal psychotherapy throughout the duration of the course. Students will attend supervision on site at the practice placement setting and at QMU throughout the training. Full-time students attend practice placement two days per week and part-time students attend one day per week over two semesters.

Teaching hours and attendance: Year One classes for full-time students take place usually from 9-5pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Year Two classes take place from 9-5pm on Thursdays only. Part-time students attend classes on Tuesdays, 9-5 pm and Wednesdays, 9-1pm for Year One and in Year Two on Tuesdays, 9-1pm and Thursday only for Year Three and/or Four of the part time route. You will also be required to carry out independent learning. Full-time students attend practice placement two days per week and part-time students attend one day per week over two semesters. Part-time students wishing to complete their Clinical Project in Year Four will attend personal academic tutorials by appointment. All students will be required to carry out independent learning throughout the training programme. The Art Studio will be open for art practice on Mondays and Fridays, 9am-8pm.

Links with industry/professional bodies: Graduates are eligible for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as Registered Arts Therapists (Art) and are eligible for full membership of BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists).

UK Honours degree or equivalent in the area of the visual arts supported by a portfolio of art work (no more than 20 examples) in a variety of media over a period of time. Degrees in subjects such as psychology, social work, nursing, education etc. will be considered if supported by a substantial portfolio of art work. It is recommended to include sketchbooks, slides, photographs, CDs and DVDs are acceptable.

Normally a minimum of one year’s full-time experience of work (or p/t equivalent) in a caring capacity or equivalent. Relevant care work includes: nursing assistant, project worker, arts instructor, or care work in a community setting, art teaching, facilitating art workshops. Some experience of personal art psychotherapy or psychodynamic psychotherapy, or experiential workshops in creative therapies is desirable. In the absence of a degree, work experience of 8-10 years in one position will be considered for entry

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to take an IELTS test receiving an overall score of 7.0 and no individual component score below 6.5.

Interview: Home applicants are expected to attend an interview at QMU for which they will be required to submit their art portfolio electronically. Interviews will take place on set dates, normally between December and May.
Interviews for international students will be conducted over Skype.

Criminal records check: A satisfactory criminal records check will be required.

Fees information: Special Information for EU Applicants

The home fee rate will continue to apply to postgraduate EU students entering in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic years. EU students will continue to be eligible to apply for the SAAS tuition fee loan for the academic years 2017/18 and 2018/19. For more information, see the SAAS website.

Funding Information for International Students:
Visit the International section of the website.

Course Fees:
Visit the Fees section of the website. -
Graduates of the University who hold a verified QMU undergraduate or postgraduate award and who are admitted to a postgraduate award of QMU will be eligible for a 10% discount on the published fees.

Sources of Funding:
Visit the Funding section of the website.

Level 1 (f/t -year 1; p/t-years 1 & 2)

Art Psychotherapy Practice Placement 1/ Art Psychotherapy Therapeutic Skills & Inter-Personal Learning Groups 1/ Interdisciplinary Studies/Pre-registration Research Methods (?)

Level 2 (f/t- year 2; p/t- years 3&4)

Art Psychotherapy Practice Placement 2/ Interdisciplinary Studies 2 & IPL Groups 2

All modules above are worth 30 credits.

60 credits: Clinical Project

The modules listed here are correct at the time of posting (July 16), but are subject to change. In the event that modules have to change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no
detrimental impact to students.

Art psychotherapists work with a wide range of clients and communities, individually or with groups, within the public and private sectors throughout the world. The course meets the requirements of the Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Proficiency for Art Therapists. This degree carries 240 credits/120 European Credits which are transferable across Europe and attracts students from all over the world. Graduates work in a wide variety of different settings across the globe including health, education and the voluntary sector.

Case study:
Heather Tuffery, MSc Art Psychotherapy (International)

Since graduating in 2011 I have been employed and self-employed in a variety of posts and projects as both an art therapist and group worker.

As a student I spent the duration of my clinical placement at the Multi-Cultural Family Base (MCFB) working individually and in groups with vulnerable and disadvantaged children, young people and their families. Since graduating I have maintained my connection to MFCB and I am employed as a project worker for the Early Years Service, working as a group worker and art therapist. In this post I co-facilitate groups for parents and young children whilst also working with individuals. I have worked with the elderly with a range of needs including dementia and physical difficulties, in day centres, and residential care homes, running art therapy groups and arts projects. I continue to run an establish art therapy group in an Edinburgh residential care home. Working for The Teapot Trust I co-facilitate a weekly open art group that takes place in the outpatients waiting room at Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital. We work with both children and young people coping with chronic illnesses. The most recent collaborative community arts project I have been involved with is Hope Garden with Firrhill Community Council, co-facilitating a series of workshops for children and adults after a tragic suicide at a local green space. To further develop my personal and theoretical understanding of groups I am currently a student on the foundation course of the Institute of Group Analysis (IGA Glasgow).

In August 2012 I was invited by Dr Margaret Hills de Zárate to present my work, including an article on the reciprocal gaze in art therapy and the use of craft materials in large groups to the Lviv Art Psychotherapy Training Programme, Ukraine. I have also contributed to Queen Margaret University MSc Art Psychotherapy course and the Introduction to Art Psychotherapy course as a visiting lecturer, presenting clinical work and facilitating workshops.
Within these varied collection of roles I am committed to promoting and facilitating play and art-making processes.

MSc Art Psychotherapy (International)

After graduating from Athens School of Fine Arts in Greece, I wanted to pursue a career in Art Therapy.
During my search for schools I found Queen Margaret University to have programs that met my wants and expectations.
Being that English is my second language I had concerns about my academic performance. The program was made easier with the assistance of Queen Margaret's ELS department. I found it to be extremely helpful.

One of the most beneficial parts of the program was the practical experience I gained during my placement in art therapy settings. Working as a trainee helped me to combine theory and practice which enhanced my learning and understanding of art therapy. I was very fortunate that I was supervised by an art therapist in both of my placements.

The group supervision at the University was very supportive, enlightening and a great learning experience. It gave us the opportunity to share our placement experiences and promote our learning and understanding about diverse and different art therapy settings.

After graduation I moved to the USA, where my education needed to be evaluated by New York State Office of Comparative Education. The University assisted me greatly by providing all the necessary information and my education was approved.

I deeply appreciated the help, support and knowledge of my supervisors during my studies.
My over all experience at Queen Margaret University was very rewarding and fulfilling.

MSc Art Psychotherapy (International)

It is nearly three years since I graduated. Since then, I have been involved in various art/culture related projects back in home country, Korea. I am currently in my 3rd year of a PhD program, as well as practicing art therapy, part-time teaching and translating art therapy/psychotherapy literature for Korean readers. Recently, l applied for a full-time teaching position and I have made the first selection stage for the interview.



further information:

0131 474 0000 or
Margaret Hills de Zarate (Admissions Tutor)
+44 (0)131 474 0000

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last modified 09/11/2015
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