- 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 masters in social sciences in Art Therapy in the UK and includes a strong research component.
This course is designed for people who have at least ones years experience of, or are currently, working in a caring capacity such as psychiatry, special education, social services and the voluntary sector.
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 psychotherapists 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 effect change.
For further information, please see our list of Frequently Asked Questions
MSc (240credits/120 ECTS)/ PgDip (120 credits/60 ECTS)/ PgCert (60 credits/30 ECTS).
At QMU and on practice placement
Full-time: 2 years; Part-Time: 3-4 years - intake bi-annually
September full time route - Next part time intake 2016
31 May 2016
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 and interpersonal leaning groups with a maximum of eight students.
You will undertake 110 days supervised practice placement over the training period. Practice Placements are allocated by QMU. All students are required to be in personal psychotherapy throughout the duration of the course. Students will attend supervision onsite 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. Year 1 classes for fulltime students take place usually from 9-5pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Year 2 classes take place from 9-5 on Thursdays only.
Part/time students attend classes on Tuesday 9-5 pm and Wednesdays 9-1pm for Year 1 and Year 2 on Tuesdays 9-1pm and Thursday only for Year3 and/or 4 of the part time route. You will also be required to carry out independent learning.
Teaching hours and attendance:
Full-time students attend placement two days per week and part-time students attend one day per week over two semesters.
Year 1: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9-5pm:
Year 2: Thursdays, 9-5pm
Year 1: Tuesdays 9-5pm & Wednesdays 9-1pm:
Year 2: Tuesdays 9-1pm:
Year 3: Thursdays 9-5pm
Part-time students wishing to complete their Clinical Project in Year 4 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, 8am- 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).
A UK honours degree or equivalent in the area of the visual arts supported by a portfolio of art work in a variety of media. Degrees in subjects such as psychology, social work, nursing, education etc. will be considered if supported by a substantial portfolio of art work over some years. A portfolio showing no more than 20 examples of artwork should demonstrate a serious involvement with art media and your own personal process of work with imagery. It is recommended that you include sketchbooks. Slides, photographs, CDs and DVDs of your work are acceptable. Some applicants prepare their portfolio by attending art classes over some years. Such a portfolio will need to be in a format like Flickr or on a website and is required to be sent in prior to an interview.
You must also have a minimum of one years experience of work (or part time equivalent) in a caring capacity or equivalent. Relevant care work includes a position as nursing assistant, project worker, arts instructor etc. or care work in a community setting, art teaching, facilitating art workshops. This could be with Social Services or Health Service departments. It is worth enquiring locally to ascertain if an Art Psychotherapist is employed and could offer voluntary work or allows a visit. Voluntary work in these areas is also very useful experience. Some experience of personal art psychotherapy or psychotherapy, or experiential workshops in art therapy, psychotherapy or the creative therapies, is desirable. In the absence of a degree experience, 8-10 years work experience in the caring professions could be considered for entry.
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.
Applicants in the UK are expected to normally attend a group interview at QMU. International students will receive a SKYPE interview. Interviews will take place on set dates, normally between January and May.
Criminal records check:
A satisfactory criminal records check will be required.
Home/EU - full-time:
£6000 per annum
Home/EU - part-time:
£4250 per annum
International - full-time:
£12500 per annum
Santander Scholarships - 1 x £5000 Scholarship could be available for an international student undertaking this course. More information about scholarships for international students
Funding Information for International Students:
Visit the International
section of the website.
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)
30 credits: Art Psychotherapy Practice Placement 2 (Practice Placement, Supervision Group)/Interdisciplinary Studies 2 & IPL Groups 2
60 credits: Clinical Project
The modules listed here are correct at the time of posting, but are subject to change.
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.
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.