MA Art Psychotherapy

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 (HCPC) Art Psychotherapist. You may be a graduate or already working in a related area and looking to qualify professionally.

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. 

100% of our MA Art Psychotherapy graduates are in employment or further study six months after graduating Graduate Destination Survey 2016

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 3 Years September Newport City C
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 3 Years September Newport City C

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

Year One: MA Art Psychotherapy course 

  • Theory and Practice of Art Psychotherapy
  • Infant Observation
  • Art Modality and Studio Skills
  • Placement in a University Approved Setting
  • Study of Different Client Groups
  • Modality Specific Experiential Groups

Year Two: MA Art Psychotherapy course

  • One day Placement in a University Approved Clinical Setting
  • Modality Specific Group Clinical Supervision
  • Further Theory and Practice of Art Psychotherapy
  • Art Modality Skills and Techniques
  • Modality Specific Experiential Group
  • Introduction to Research Methods

Year Three: MA Art Psychotherapy course

  • Two-day Placement in a University Approved Clinical Setting
  • Modality Specific Group Clinical Supervision
  • Modality Specific Experiential Group
  • Research Methods and Dissertation

Please note: it is a course requirement that you are in weekly therapy for the duration of the course. Read our Essential Guide for more information.


You will study through essays, presentations, clinical placement, professional development, exhibitions, dissertation and viva voce assessment.

  • Year One: One day per week at university, a Monday; in the second semester (January), 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: 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. This enables our students to consider the room with service users in mind at all times. 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 in most environments. This may include non-traditional work in outreach mental health services, environmental art psychotherapy practice, museums and galleries as well as traditional therapy spaces which are ward based (acute mental health settings), in community and/or specialist non-statutory therapeutic services.

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 – all levels, 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 etc.


  • An undergraduate degree, an equivalent professional qualification or extensive experience in a related field.
  • Two references* uploaded with your application – referee details are not sufficient.
  • Enhanced DBS check
  • Significant practical experience (voluntary or paid) in a relevant setting, or with clients or service users, to demonstrate that you are able to work with a range of client groups.

*The references must be on letter headed paper or the referee can send them direct from a professional/work email address to

 If your first language is not English then we require IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component.

The demands of the MA Art Psychotherapy course and the profession require you to demonstrate a suitable level of life experience and maturity. Evidence of substantial experience of artistic practice including exposure to, and experience of, a variety of styles and media in the art form are also required. Please read our Guide for more detailed information.

We do not accept deferred applications for the MA Art Psychotherapy

Artistic portfolio required. Tutors will explain the course content and you will be given the opportunity to ask us questions in addition to us assessing your suitability for the course. We will wish to explore the professional experience you can bring to the programme and expect all applicants to be able to discuss and evidence their experience.

If you are selected to attend an interview we will contact you by e-mail to make a booking. This is a very popular course and we receive more applications than we have places.  Therefore, if you are selected to attend an interview we would strongly advise that you book yourself onto the earliest interview date to avoid disappointment as interview dates/spaces are limited.

Interview Dates

16th July (full)

23rd July

24th July

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Part-time UK and EU:  £1067 per 20 credits

    Please note the part-time UK and EU fee is £1400, however USW is offering a part-time UK and EU bursary of £333 which means students pay £1067 per 20 credits

August 2019 - July 2020 Fees

  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) * £100 - £300
Art materials for public exhibition . Year 1 & 2
Additional assessment or memberships: Professional body student fees £45
Years 1 - 3
Therapy £20 - £50
Years 1-3. Costs are per session/per week.
DBS * £57.2
This fee includes £44 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service £13
Whilst optional it is strongly recommended signing up for this service especially if you are likely to have placements each year and wish to persue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 19 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
Other: Professional Indemnity Insurance £45 - £75
Years 2 & 3
Other: Binding Dissertation £60
Year 3
Other: Placement travel *
Students have to fund travel and subsistence costs for their work placements. Costs will vary, depending on location.
Other: Infant Observation travel *
Students have to pay for travel to infant observation placement. Costs will vary, depending on location.
Other: Room hire for final exhibition *
Year 1 and Year 2 cost dependent upon choice of space


The Helen Kegie Bursary is aimed at students aiming to study within the subject areas of Social Work, Youth Work or Early Years, who have a permanent postal address with a CF or NP postcode and come from a low-income background. See more information about the Helen Kegie Bursary.

Apply directly to the University for this arts therapy course.

Admissions statement 

You are eligible to apply for professional UK HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) 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.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW arts therapy student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.