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Art Psychotherapy (International) MSc

Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Art Therapy Psychotherapy

Course type


Course Summary

The MSc Art Psychotherapy is based in our School of Health Sciences and offers a stimulating learning environment with a practical focus. The life-changing potential of therapy, the power of artistic expression and your desire for a more meaningful career all meet on this unique course. If you have at least one year’s experience in a caring profession such as psychiatry, education, social services or the voluntary sector, this course will help you build on your experience and develop new skills as an art psychotherapist.

The creation of art can have a profoundly positive effect on people with emotional, behavioural, mental health or physical problems. Art therapy is not a recreational activity (although the sessions can be enjoyable) but a form of psychotherapy that helps people address confusing and distressing issues.

As an art therapist you will work with clients to access their own image-making abilities. You could work with people of any age, from very small children to young people, adults and the elderly, helping them to use art media to express themselves and communicate. You may work with groups or individuals, depending on clients' needs.

You and your client will 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, the only MSc in Art Therapy in the UK, will introduce you to the profession, theory and practice of art psychotherapy. Regular practice placements working with real-life clients will build on your theoretical learning and allow you to apply your developing skills. Your learning will be enriched by the interdisciplinary structure of the course as you study alongside your peers on our Music Therapy and Play Therapy MSc courses. 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.

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. 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 a PgCert.

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


2 years

Start date



Pre-registration Research Methods (30 Credits)
Interdisciplinary Studies 1 (30 Credits)
Art Psychotherapy Therapeutic Skills & Interpersonal Learning Groups 1 (30 Credits)
Art Psychotherapy Practice Placement 1 (30 Credits)
Art Psychotherapy Practice Placement 2 (30 Credits)
Clinical Project (60 Credits)
Interdisciplinary Studies 2 & IPL Groups 2 (30 Credits)

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Students need to have a 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.