Postgraduate Taught

MSc Art Psychotherapy

This course will prepare you to register with the Health and Care Professions Council to work as an art psychotherapist. It contains a beneficial placement element which will maximise the learning experience.

This MSc Art Psychotherapy is based in the School of Health Sciences at QMU. We invite applicants with a minimum of one year’s experience of working in the caring professions, such as psychiatry, education, social services and the voluntary sector. It will enable you to develop a career in this rewarding profession.

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

Why QMU?

  • This degree carries 240 credits/120 European Credits which are transferable across Europe and attracts students from all over the world.

Course overview

This MSc Art Psychotherapy is based in the School of Health Sciences at QMU. We invite applicants with a minimum of one year’s experience of working in the caring professions, such as psychiatry, education, social services and the voluntary sector. It will enable you to develop a career in this rewarding profession.

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.

As a student on this course, you will introduce you to the profession, theory and practice of art psychotherapy. Through a period of practice placement, you will also work with clients as a trainee therapist which will allow you to apply your developing skills.

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.



To obtain a specific postgraduate award at QMU you must complete a number of credit bearing modules. You can opt to study for the full MSc, a PgDip, or an e-PgCert.

Exit awards

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

Teaching, learning and assessment

You will attend classes, work in groups and carry out independent learning. Assessment methods include reports, essays, and presentations.


Teaching hours and attendance

Classes in Year One usually take place from 9-5pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In Year Two classes take place from 9-5pm on Thursdays only.

You will also be required to carry out independent learning. Students attend practice placement two days per week. All students will be required to carry out independent learning. The Art Studio will be open for art practice on Mondays, Fridays and weekends.

Class sizes

Each year group contains 25-30 students.

Links with industry/ professional bodies

Our 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)

  • 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)

  • 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 2018), 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.

Please check this site for any updates.

Single modules for CPD

It is not possible to study single modules from this course.


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. Graduates work in a wide variety of different settings across the globe including health, education and the voluntary sector.

Application deadline

1 May. This course is highly competitive with limited places. We advise applicants to apply early to 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 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, 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. 

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
Start Date
September 2019
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Fees & Funding

Related Professional Bodies


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