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The programme has art-making and the art process at its core within the context of psychotherapeutic training.


The programme will promote an evidence-based integrative and pluralistic theoretical stance, founded on a relational and person-centred way of being, and underpinned by working within ethical and professional requirements.

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Belfast campus

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About this course

In this section


The MSc Art Therapy, seeking HCPC approval, is a pre-registration clinical training course run by the Belfast School of Art and validated by Ulster University. The Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) is the statutory regulator of the Allied Health Professions and Art Therapy is one of the Allied Health Professions.

The programme encompasses lectures, seminars, workshops. Students’ artist and Art Therapist identities will be promoted, particularly in experiential groups: training groups and studio groups. The MSc Art Therapy will also encompass practicum components, with students being on approved clinical placements in diverse organisational settings. These will be supported by ongoing supervision from experienced HCPC Registered Art Therapists / Art Psychotherapists, clinical seminars and personal therapy. To maximise student clinical and multi-disciplinary team experience and potential for employment, placements will be with approved agencies across statutory and voluntary settings and with clients across the lifespan.

Successful completion of an HCPC approved programme provides eligibility to apply for HCPC registration. It is a legal requirement that anyone who wishes to practise using a title protected by the Health & Care Professions Council Order 2001 (e.g. "Art Therapist" or "Art Psychotherapist") is on the HCPC register. Therefore, Registration permits practice of Art Therapy / Art Psychotherapy in the UK and use of the legally protected titles: “Art Therapist” or “Art Psychotherapist”.


MSc Art Therapy is delivered in part-time and full-time mode, with part time study over 3 years and full-time over 2 years. The course is based in Belfast School of Art, Belfast campus.

Start dates

  • September 2018
How to apply

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

Entry Requirements

Application process phase 1: application:

Required entry criteria leading to possible selection for interview:

  • an honours degree [2:2 or above], normally in visual arts (or psychology or allied area; or a relevant professional qualificiation e.g nursing, social work, teaching, medical etc'); or equivalent or demonstrate their ability to undertake the course through APEL
  • demonstration of commitment to own ongoing art practice, artist identity and commitment to own art process. If invited for interview, a portfolio will be required.
  • at least 1000 hours minimum work experience in a professionally relevant context e.g. mental health, health/social care, social services, education, counselling, or its equivalent. Paid or voluntary work is acceptable.
  • applicants must also be able to satisfy the panel at interview that they and their work is of a standard that will allow them to deal with the intellectual, material and emotional rigours of the course.
  • all applicants must have a good command of English. (see English language requirement section)

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 7.0 with no band score less than 6.5.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

Graduates of the MSc Art Therapy will be able to apply to the HCPC to Register as “Art Therapist” or “Art Psychotherapist”.

Professional recognition

Health and Care Professions Council, the (HCPC)

Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for the purpose of providing eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as an arts therapist.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

Start dates

  • September 2018

Fees and funding

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Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:

£13,680.00  Scholarships available

Additional mandatory costs

Students purchase materials for their own coursework.

Consumable workshop contribution of up to £100 is optional and contributes to materials used by students.

Field trips may incur additional costs.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


For further information, please contact:

Rachel Glynne


T: +44 (0)28 9536 7442



For more information visit

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Belfast School of Art