If you’re passionate about art and believe in the potential for creative practices to improve wellbeing, the BA (Hons) Creative and Therapeutic Arts degree provides the opportunity to develop your future practice in community and educational settings. This therapeutic art course, which is unique in Wales, has three distinct areas of study – art practice, professional practice placement, and theoretical input. You’ll be encouraged to make meaningful connections between each core subject to become a creative arts practitioner.
Whether you’re interested in fine art, design, craft or creative community engagement, you will find a wide variety of creative disciplines. What’s more, you’ll be taught by experts at the forefront of the creative and therapeutic arts workforce, who will provide you with an excellent platform to gain experience of working creatively with others. Follow Creative and Therapeutic Arts on Twitter and read our Essential Guide.
The first year provides initial personal exploration and development of your artwork, within a therapeutic framework. The focus is on exploring, developing and applying an understanding of personal and participant creativity. A study of human development will help raise awareness of a range of developmental issues. You will learn about the basic principles of working therapeutically and how to construct beneficial and experimental creative activities. A placement in an educational setting provides an opportunity to link theory with practice within a structured environment.
While extending knowledge of art within a therapeutic context, you will continue to develop your practical skills. You will explore issues connected with working as part of a multidisciplinary team and collaborate with other students. Learning is consolidated, developed, applied and assessed while working creatively and therapeutically with small groups on selected education or community arts placements, which also provide a stimulus for consideration of a research focus for your third year.
In your third year, you will focus on personal research linked to a placement. You will be required to plan and develop a focused research project by way of independent study. This involves the production of protocol and ethics documentation for consideration and approval by the University’s Research and Ethics Committee. Further development of your art is pivotal at this stage, as is research linked to practice while on placement. This will provide an opportunity for you to explore and direct your emerging professional practice in preparation for employment.
You will take part in collaborative sessions as well as learn through placements in an educational setting. In the final year, you will undertake an independent research project.
Assessment consists of coursework, essays, peer presentations, creative and therapeutic peer workshops, independent study and professional work on placement. There are no examinations within this programme.
The Creative and Therapeutic Arts team are keen to encourage students to become involved with working with a wide range of groups in order to broaden their experience and understanding while on the degree.
Placements form an important part of the Creative and Therapeutic Arts degree and our partnerships with a range of settings mean you will gain a wealth of practitioner experience to boost your CV.
Placement partnerships include opportunities in community settings, such as charities, women’s refuges, children’s play therapy settings, nursing homes, learning disability services, centres for refugees and asylum seekers, social groups for adults with dual sensory impairments, and more. We also have partnerships with over 50 schools and learning centres with a breadth of innovative and specialist provision.
Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.
Interview: This will include a discussion of your current involvement with art. You will also be required to produce a portfolio of work, which should be no less than 20 pages, demonstrating your art practice.Where Art has not been studied as part of formal education, applicants should look to pursue art classes, night school and/or independent studio practice. Read our Essential Guide for more information.
BCC to exclude General Studies
Grade C and BC at A Level to exclude General Studies
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit
29 points to include 16 points at Higher Level
60 credits overall to include 45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 18 Merits and 15 Passes
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances Other: You will also need an enhanced DBS check.
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.
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 significant 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.
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£500 - £1000||
Art materials for projects. Cost varies depending on individual projects
|Field Trips||£150 - £300||
|Additional assessment or memberships: Disability assessments||£300 - £350||
This fee includes £44 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
|DBS Updating Service||£13 - £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: Portfolio||£80 - £100||
For graduate exhibition
|Other: Art workbooks/printing/placement files||£50 - £100||
You will need to pay for your work books and printing costs.
|Other: Placement travel||£60 - £100||
Dependent on length and location of placement
|Other: Sing-along manual||£16 - £24||
If wish to do accredited course in Year 3
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year 1 of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
Employment opportunities exist within education, health and the third sector, including community arts projects.
This Creative and Therapeutic Arts degree is a potential pathway to postgraduate study, including the MA Art Psychotherapy or MA Music Therapy, leading to Health Professions Council (HPC) registration as an Art Psychotherapist or Music Psychotherapist (subject to specific entry requirements).
As a USW 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.