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Art Psychotherapy MA

Course code


Start date


Placement available

Mode of study

2 years full-time



UK £12,650

International £25,000

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This programme will offer you the advanced skills, knowledge and confidence to respond to a wide range of health needs across physical, mental health and community sectors as an art psychotherapist. As a graduating student you will be able to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (link here). The MA Art Psychotherapy programme is provided in partnership with CNWL NHS Foundation Trust and this means work placement experience is at the core of this programme.

The MA qualification is approved by the HCPC and you will gain experience of working in health contexts, including the NHS and third sector. This qualification aligns with Healthcare Employers strategic objectives and goals related to workforce planning and the strategic aims set out by NHS England and local NHS Trusts to have closer working relationships with the third sector.

Please click here for more information on the course.

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Course content

The course is two year full-time starting in September. It includes two clinical placements that run alongside academic teaching. At the heart of this programme are the cultural values of responding to the social and health care needs of the participants and this may vary according to the socio-economic context, age, disability, gender, sex, race and religion. You will learn ways of understanding different approaches to art psychotherapy which means you can tailor the practice according to the people you work with. You will be taught evidence-based practices by leading practitioners, including arts-based innovative approaches to collaboration and co-production that are safe, effective and well managed.

The first placement (Placement A) is for the first year of the programme and the second placement (Placement B) for the duration of the second year of the programme.

This course can be studied 2 years full-time, starting in September.

Year 1

Year 2

This course has a placement option. Find out more about work placements available.

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Our exciting range of modules are currently under review and may be updated for 2024.

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Careers and your future

Our qualification is approved by the HCPC and you’ll gain experience working in health contexts, including the NHS and the third sector. Our partnership with CNWL NHS Foundation Trust means work placement experience is at the core of this programme. Throughout the course, two clinical placements run alongside academic teaching. You’ll be taught evidence-based practices by leading practitioners, including arts-based innovative approaches to collaboration and co-production that are safe, effective, and well-managed.

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UK entry requirements

A 2:2 (or above) UK Honours degree or an equivalent internationally recognised qualification in a visual arts degree or in a discipline related to the programme such as psychology, occupational therapy, social work, or nursing. 

In addition, successful applicants must complete the following:

Submission of a portfolio: 

All applicants should be prepared to submit a portfolio of artwork demonstrating an in-depth understanding of aesthetics and image making processes. The portfolio should include:

  • Written examples of reflections on art within a healing context
  • Images (12 JPEGS max)
  • Written and verbal explorativewell-informed thinking to reflect on the following areas: a) the use of image-making to facilitate relational change b) reflections on aesthetics and how aesthetics are shaped by cultural, ethnic and indigenous contexts

Ideally the portfolio should be presented in an online format, for example as an Adobe Portfolio (more information on Adobe Portfolio can be found at or alternatively Microsoft Sway (

Work experience: We recommend 12 months comprehensive and relevant work experience, which may be voluntary work in a health, social services, education, special needs, community centre or charity setting. You should supply a CV with your application that details this experience. 

Interview: Competitive applicants will be invited to take part in an interview with the academic department.

Further details about the format of the interview will be available soon.

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EU and International entry requirements

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 7 (min 6.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 64 (59 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 68% (63% in all areas)
  • TOEFL: 98 (min 23 in all areas) 

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason. We offer our own BrunELT English test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options through our Brunel Language Centre.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants. This information is for guidance only and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Entry requirements are subject to review, and may change.

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Fees and funding

2024/25 entry


£12,650 full-time


£25,000 full-time

More information on any additional course-related costs.

Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase. 

See our fees and funding page for full details of postgraduate scholarships available to Brunel applicants.

Scholarships and bursaries

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Teaching and Learning

We use an array of teaching and learning strategies on the MA, including group lectures, role-play, workshops, experiential learning (e.g. dynamic group art therapy work), tutorials, writing and arts-based learning experiences. Lecturers will introduce conceptual material and we will direct learners to explore this in relation to arts therapies, either individually or in collaboration with peers.

The seminars and practical workshop sessions will provide smaller group contact and the opportunity to practice, review, discuss and debate the practice and theory, knowledge and understanding of evidence informed Art Psychotherapy. The sessions sometimes will require learners to make non-assessed presentations to the peer group and the tutor, either individually or as part of a team making use, where appropriate of ICT.

Individual and small group assignments and presentations build critical awareness and give opportunities to explore and develop the practical implications of theory. Dissertation research will give learners the opportunity to integrate knowledge about pertinent clinical advances, and to familiarise learners with the rigours of independent investigative work.

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Assessment and feedback

Formative Assessment Strategy

The programme uses a range of formative (interim) assessment methods leading to summative (final) assessments to help you to assimilate and understand complex learning material. We will often use formative assessments at the end of learning sessions and these enrich the learning experience through assessing for learning rather than only an assessment of learning. Formative assessments will focus on five areas of learner experience: reliability, validity, feasibility, acceptance, and impact. Reliability will focus on art psychotherapy theory and practice required for using the arts as well as practice and knowledge about the professional environment and competencies. Examples of formative assessments include case study analysis, clinical simulation, practice observations and feedback, peer assessments, surveys of practice. The placement uses an ongoing placement digital portfolio which can utilise images and writing for the purposes of supporting formative assessments involving the placement supervisor and tutor and contributes towards the final placement digital portfolio for your summative assessment for each year. The expectation is that the placement digital portfolio reflects assimilation of critical thinking with an advanced applied knowledge of clinical practice in art psychotherapy.

Summative Assessment Strategy

The summative assessments progress from formative assessments and are based on many of the same principles that enable you to learn and assimilate knowledge. Throughout the programme we have positioned summative assessments to reflect the required depth of learning consolidation required for effective application of practice and theory. Further to this the summative assessment strategy will ensure that you are ‘work force ready’ enabling professional competency, increasing employability and offering an accessible and inclusive approach to learning. We use summative assessments to develop your skills and abilities and to assess levels of competence. The nine modules for the award combine different modes of assessment which are positioned carefully throughout the course to support your learning.

Read our guide on how to avoid plagiarism in your assessments at Brunel.