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    College of Health and Social Care Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas

    Nursing & Health

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    Full-time: 2 years

  • Course Type

    MA

  • Course Fees

    website

  • Last Updated

    17 September 2018

Course content

The course reinforces the centrality of the image and the role of the imagination in the practice of art therapy. It will give you experience of clinical art therapy practice under supervision, as well as experience of group work, studio practice and a critical understanding of current theoretical ideas.

**Applications to MA Art Therapy for 2018/19 academic year will be open in October 2018**

Professional registration 

The course aims to enable you to become eligible to apply for professional registration as an art therapist or art psychotherapist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), as long as you meet the HCPC’s requirements.

Develop your clinical skills

A fundamental part of the course is the Independent Scholarship, which will provide you with an opportunity to integrate your learning through conducting an arts based piece of research. This aims to assist you in developing your clinical reasoning and professional identity. 

During the course you’ll have a personal tutor who will monitor your overall progress. As well as the taught components of the course, you’ll also need to engage in personal therapy for a minimum of one hour a week throughout the training; this is a requirement for professional registration. This can be either individual or group therapy, which is psychodynamic in orientation.

Attendance requirements

The course is deemed as full-time and requires you to fulfil the following attendance requirements:

You will need to be available to attend the University from Septemtber to June for one day a week between the hours of 9am-7pm. This would currently be on either a Monday or Tuesday, depending upon which year you commenced the training. Your day of attendance at the University would remain the same throughout your training. The only exception to this is the block teaching week which takes place in September at the start of the second year of the course. You are invited to spend a week at the University developing ideas for your Independent Scholarship. If you are unable to attend for the full week due to other commitments we advise you to attend at least on the Monday.

Clinical placement

In addition to attendance at the University, you will also be required to undertake two periods of clinical placement. The first of these commences in January, during the first year of the course. This comprises attendance on placement for two days a week for 25 weeks. The days you attend placement are negotiated between you and the placement provider. The second period of placement runs throughout the second year of the course starting in September and requires two days a week attendance, for 35 weeks.

Examples of work

Explore our galleries of MA Art Therapy at Derby, with images of the Big Show 2016, Big Wood project, Independent Scholarship Exhibitions and studio spaces.

We’re proud to say that our courses are closely mapped against the health and social care sector. This ensures that our curriculum is up-to-date, providing you with the assurance that your learning is current and relevant. This does mean that we do have to respond to national changes such as government policy. As a result, some of the information about our courses may change. Please check the website for the latest information.

"The studio facilities are of the highest standard I have seen." Kate Rothwell, Head of Arts Therapies for the Forensic Directorate of the East London Foundation NHS Trust

What you will study

The course runs over two academic years and is made up of five core modules. Four modules are 20 credits each, while our Arts Therapies Independent Scholarship module is deemed a triple module (60 credits).

You’ll study modules such as:

  • Art Therapy Clinical Placement One
  • Art Therapy Studio
  • Art Therapy Clinical Placement Two
  • Art Therapy Experiential Group
  • Arts Therapies Independent Scholarship: A Body of Work

How you will learn

Real world learning is incorporated within the course through the requirement to undertake two clinical placement modules. These require you to complete 120 days of supervised clinical practice during the training. The course also offers opportunities to learn from guest lecturers. 

Assessments are practical, oral and written - there are no exams. Usually, assessment is through either written assignments, the production of artwork, oral presentations or reports based on performance in the clinical setting. You'll receive clear guidelines at the start of each module, about how you'll be assessed in that module.


Visit the Art Therapy (MA) page on the University of Derby website for more details!

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