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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    Full-time: 2 years, Part-time: 3-4 years

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    05 December 2019

Additional Entry requirements:

Normally a minimum of one year’s full-time experience (or part-time 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.


UK applicants are expected to attend an interview at QMU and will be required to bring their art portfolio. Interviews will take place normally between December and May. Interviews for international students will be conducted over Skype and will be required to submit an electronic portfolio.

Criminal records check:

A satisfactory criminal records check will be required.

Course Description:

The creation of art in the presence of a trained art psychotherapist 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.

Art psychotherapists work with people to access their own image-making abilities. You could work with people of any age, from very small children to young people, adults and older adults, 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 have 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 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.

Teaching, learning and assessment

You will attend classes, work in groups and carry out independent learning. Assessment methods include reports, essays and presentations. You will undertake a practice placement. Placements are vital to your learning process. You will undertake 110 days of supervised practice placement spread over two semesters. For full-time students that is two days per week and for part-time students it is one day per week. Your placements could be in various settings throughout Scotland, including education, voluntary and healthcare environments. Placements are allocated by QMU.

Teaching hours and attendance

For full-time students, classes in Year One usually take place from 9-6.15pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In Year Two classes take place from 9-6.15pm on Thursdays only.

For part-time students, classes in Year One take place on Tuesdays, 9am-6.15pm and Wednesdays, 9-1pm. In Year Two, classes take place on Wednesdays, 9am-6.15pm. In Year Three and/or Four, classes will take place on a Thursday only, 9am-6.15pm.

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.

The Art Studio will be open for practice during evenings and weekends, outside of normal teaching hours.

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). The course meets the requirements of the Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Proficiency for Art Therapists.


Level 1 (full-time: year 1/ part-time: years 1 & 2)

  • Art Psychotherapy Practice Placement 1 (30 credits)
  • Art Psychotherapy Therapeutic Skills & Inter-Personal Learning Groups 1 (30 credits)
  • Interdisciplinary Studies 1 (30 credits)
  • Pre-registration Research Methods (30 credits)

Level 2 (full-time: year 2/ part-time: - Years 3 & 4)

  • Art Psychotherapy Practice Placement (30 credits)
  • Interdisciplinary Studies 2 & IPL Groups 2 (30 credits)
  • Clinical Project (60 credits)

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (September 2019) but are subject to change. In the event that modules are changed, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.


You will graduate with the knowledge and practical confidence to start work as an art therapist thanks to the course’s strong research component. Training as an art psychotherapist has the potential to be a dynamic and exciting career. Art psychotherapists work with a wide range of clients and communities, individually or with groups, within the public and private sectors. You could work in the UK or travel and use your skills to make a difference much further afield.

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

Visit the MSc Art Psychotherapy (International) page on the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh website for more details!




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Recipient: Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

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