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The part-time MA Art Psychotherapy course at the University of South Wales provides you with the fundamental training and skills to become a qualified Health and Care Professions Council Art Psychotherapist.

On the MA Art Psychotherapy course, you will benefit from training alongside trainee Music Therapists as well as participating in experiential and supervision groups. In addition, you will go out on placement in supervised and University-approved placement settings in the second and third years, and a pre-clinical experience placement in the first year. 

What you will study

In your first year of the Art Psychotherapy training, you will participate in Infant or Child Observation, providing you with a strong grounding in human development and observational skills that will inform your studies. You will benefit from the use of the bespoke facilities on campus to support your learning and further develop your creative skills and art form. Experiential group, supervision groups and other course components, talks and discussions will provide an insight into the principles, practices and application of Art Psychotherapy.

Year One

Module: Theory and Practice of Art Psychotherapy, incorporating:

  • Infant or child observation
  • Seminars and workshops with highly experiential and participatory content relating to study of theories and concepts relevant to Art Psychotherapy practice and the arts therapies in general
  • Study of a range of client groups
  • Modality specific experiential groups
  • Group supervision
  • Placement in a University-approved setting

Module: Art Psychotherapy Skills 1, incorporating:

  • Role play and video recording of peer practice
  • Study of generic and specialist Art Psychotherapy skills

Year Two

In the second year of your training you will begin to explore evidence based Art Psychotherapy practice and therapeutic approaches to meet the needs of diverse populations and client groups. You will further develop your specialist Art Psychotherapy skills and continue to learn through experiential group, supervision groups, workshops, lectures, show cases and participatory teaching.

Module: Therapeutic Approaches and Evidence Based Practice, incorporating:

  • Lectures, seminars and workshops pertaining to specialist Art Psychotherapy practice
  • Group supervision
  • Modality specific experiential groups
  • Introduction to research methods
  • One-day placement in a University-approved clinical setting

Module: Art Psychotherapy Skills 2, incorporating:

  • Role play, facilitation and video recording of peer practice
  • Study of advanced specialist Art Psychotherapy skills

Year Three

In the third and final year of your studies, you will continue to learn, and increasingly facilitate peer learning, through group supervision, experiential groups and practice based research. You will undertake an independent study of a specialist subject relevant to the Art Psychotherapy practice and complete a research project of your choice. Support is provided through dissertation and research supervision, tutorials, peer discussion and presentations.

Module: Art Psychotherapy Research and Practice

  • Research methods and research project
  • Seminars, lectures and workshops with focus on specialist Art Psychotherapy practice and research
  • One or two-day placement in a University-approved clinical setting
  • Group supervision
  • Modality specific experiential groups

Please note: it is a course requirement that you are in weekly therapy for the duration of the course.


You will study through classroom teaching, presentations, clinical placement, professional development, exhibitions, dissertation, self-directed and independent study and viva voce assessment.

  • Year One: One day per week at university, a Monday; in the second semester, this will change to one day at university and one day at placement
  • Year Two: One day at university, a Tuesday, and one day at placement
  • Year Three: One or two days at placement and one day on campus, a Wednesday


Summative assessment will take the form of course assignments, presentations, examinations, projects, and dissertation. These assessments will make use of, for example, case studies, workplace investigations, experiential learning in university and placements, literature searches and the outputs to be assessed will include written reports, verbal presentations, essays and portfolios of evidence/work.

Formative assessment will be collated from placement providers via placement report and student self-assessment, course staff and group leaders in form of group supervision report, accumulative feedback from classroom and peer feedback.


Our trainee art psychotherapists have the opportunity to experience a number of placement settings and organisations whilst on the course. Innovative and non-traditional ways of working in art psychotherapy are also explored together with the concept of what ‘therapy space’ may look like in practice.

A unique feature of our Art Psychotherapy course is training in ‘live’ art psychotherapy rooms where client therapy work is undertaken at other times during the week. Organisation of resources, safety and boundaries, room furniture and ambience are important to explore and it enables the students to gain key transferable skills in being able to set up therapeutic spaces. This may include non-traditional work in outreach mental health services, environmental art psychotherapy practice, museums and galleries as well as traditional therapy spaces.

Placements include a range of organisations and settings such as:

  • NHS (PMHT, CMHT, specialist services – forensics secure and medium secure wards, eating disorders services, CAMHS, perinatal mental health services, learning disabilities, palliative care, physical and chronic conditions and arts in health and wellbeing programmes within the NHS); Education (primary, secondary, specialist, further education, YOT); social services, youth offending agencies, specialist agencies (trauma recovery centres, sexual assault referral centres, private forensic settings, substance misuse and recovery services); charity (palliative care and hospice care, AiHWB, social enterprises and arts based organisations in rural areas) etc.
  • Innovative practice: therapy in museums and galleries, outreach and environmental therapy.


You are eligible to apply for professional UK HCPC registration on successful completion of the Masters course. Graduates of this MA Art Psychotherapy course can go on to private practice after two years full-time/four years part-time supervised practice, or into employment in settings including NHS psychiatric and other hospitals, Social Services departments, education settings including special education, the criminal justice system, the voluntary sector and community projects. Read graduate stories from Kathleen and Chloe. Students could also choose further study towards a professional research degree, or career routes in higher education teaching and clinical supervision. For more information on careers for Art Psychotherapists visit The British Association of Art Therapists website.

Visit the MA Art Psychotherapy page on the University of South Wales website for more details!





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Recipient: University of South Wales

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