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.

You will find case studies on students and graduates of this course at the foot of this page.

This is the course entry for the academic year 2018/19.



Course Overview

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.

Exit Awards

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

Learning, Teaching 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 learning 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, 9-5pm and Wednesdays, 9-1pm for Year One and in Year Two, Wednesdays 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, Fridays and weekends.

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).


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

  • Art Psychotherapy Practice Placement 1
  • Art Psychotherapy Therapeutic Skills & Interpersonal Learning Groups 1
  • Interdisciplinary Studies 1
  • 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
  • Clinical Project

All modules are 30 credits, except Clinical Project, which is 60 credits.

The modules listed here are correct at the time of posting (September 2017), 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.

Quick Facts

  • 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 Psychotherapy in the UK based in a school of health sciences and includes a strong research component.

Application Deadline

1 May 2018 (previously 31 May). Late applications will be considered.

Entry Requirements

  • UK Honours degree or equivalent in the area of the visual arts supported by a portfolio of art work (no more than 12 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, and CDs and DVDs are acceptable.
  • Normally a minimum of one year’s full-time experience (or p/t equivalent) of work in a caring capacity or equivalent. Relevant care work includes: nursing assistant, project worker, arts instructor, care work in a community setting, art teaching, or 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 provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 7.0 and no individual component score below 6.5.

Interview: Home applicants are expected to attend an interview at QMU and will be required to submit their art portfolio electonically. Interviews will take place 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

More Information and Contacts

Admissions or Margaret Hills de Zarate on tel: +44 (0)131 474 0000

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2018/19 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Course Overview

At QMU and on practice placement
Full-time: 2 years, Part-time: 3-4 years (intake biennial)
Start Date
September 2018
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Fees & Funding

Related Professional Bodies


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