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Overview

The MSc Art Therapy promotes art-making and the art process as a primary mode of communication within the context of psychotherapeutic relationship.

Summary

The course features a number of innovative features. The MSc Art Therapy will promote an evidence-based integrative and pluralistic stance, founded on a relational and person-centred way of being, guided by trauma informed care principles and underpinned by working within ethical and professional requirements.

The MSc Art Therapy is committed to an integrative model of wellbeing that embraces the biopsychosocial-spiritual dimensions of healthcare. We also share a pluralistic commitment to respecting and promoting diversity and empowerment. The relational foundation will also be informed by diverse theories and research, including psychodynamic, attachment and developmental theories and neuroscience research. The approach will also be systemic, informed by systems and ecotherapeutic theories and research.

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About this course

In this section

About

The MSc Art Therapy is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the statutory regulator of the profession of Art Therapy/Art Psychotherapy and other allied health and care professions in the UK. The MSc Art Therapy is a pre-registration clinical training course run by the Belfast School of Art and validated by Ulster University. The course is recognised by the British Association of Art Therapists, the UK professional body, and also by the Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists, the Irish professional body.

The programme encompasses workshops, lectures, seminars and site visits. Students’ Art Therapist and artist identities will be promoted, particularly in experiential groups: training groups and studio practice. 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 Practice Education within the placement and also by ongoing supervision from experienced HCPC Registered Arts Therapists/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, HCPC Registration permits practice of Art Therapy / Art Psychotherapy in the UK and use of the legally protected titles: “Art Therapist” or “Art Psychotherapist”.

Attendance

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.

Attendance must be in compliance with the University’s attendance policies.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Art Therapy: Theory and Practice

Year: 1

This module will examine the history nature and parameters of Art Therapy and effective practice within professional, ethical, legal boundaries and requirements. It aims to develop understanding, skills and attitudes relevant to working within an evidence-based framework, adapting practice to suit client need. Understanding will be developed about relevant theories and Art-making/experiential techniques and theoretical learning in groups will explorea art processes and theories of group work and the management of group process and diversity in groups

Art Therapy: Development of Theory and Practice

Year: 1

This module will examine the history, nature and parameters of Art Therapy and effective practice. It aims to develop understanding, skills and attitudes relevant to working within an evidence-based coherent integrative pluralistic framework, adapting practice to suit client needs. Building on this, the Art Therapist's practice needs to be tailored to the needs of the client and adapted in a culturally competent way. Understanding will be developed about relevant theories and techniques and the relationship between research and practice.

Art Therapy Practicum 1

Year: 1

This module will introduce the Practicum component of the programme. It will enable students to begin the practice of Art Therapy under clinical supervision and with the support of the placement and Practice Educator. It will introduce students to professional practice within professional, ethical, legal boundaries and requirements. This module will run alongside the academic module(s), training groups and studio group module. Students will be in personal therapy and this must run concurrently with placements.

Year two

Art Therapy: Working with Diversity

Year: 2

This module explores skills and attitudes relevant to working with cultural diversity and fostering Art Therapy multi-cultural competency. Understanding will be developed in distinguishing between human health and illness. We explore diverse cultural perspectives on areas such as; mental health difficulties, special and additional needs, age and generational influences, developmental and acquired Disabilities, Religion, Ethnicity (and race), Social status, Sexual orientation, Indigenous heritage, National origin, and Gender.

Art Therapy: Continuing Professional Responsibility

Year: 2

This module will examine reflexive practice, routine systematic evaluation of practice, evaluating practice, collaboration, clinical audit and career-long learning - all within a culture of quality assurance and clinical governance and also within professional, ethical, legal boundaries and requirements. The Art Therapist must be committed to reflexive practice, and to improve services. Understanding will be developed about relevant theories and techniques Art-making / experiential and theoretical learning in groups.

Art Therapy Practicum 2

Year: 2

This module will continue the Practicum component of the programme. It will enable students to develop and continue the practice of Art Therapy under clinical supervision and with the support of the placement and Practice Educator. Students will further explore professional practice within professional, ethical, legal boundaries and requirements. It aims to continue to develop understanding, skills and attitudes relevant to practice and to working within an evidence-based coherent integrative pluralistic framework, adapting practice to suit client needs. The module also aims to develop the following programme components: Supervision Groups, clinical seminars. This module will run alongside the academic module(s), training groups and studio group module. Students will be in personal therapy and this must run concurrently with placements.

Year three

Art Therapy: Praxis and Research

Year: 3

This module will examine Art Therapy research - within a culture of research governance, clinical governance and quality assurance and also within professional, ethical, legal boundaries and requirements. It aims to further develop understanding, skills and attitudes relevant to research and to working within an evidence-based coherent integrative pluralistic framework, adapting practice to suit client needs.

Art Therapy Practicum 3

Year: 3

This module will continue and conclude the Practicum component of the programme. It will enable students to gain further experience of the practice of Art Therapy under clinical supervision and with the support of the placement and Practice Educator. It aims to increase understanding, skills and attitudes relevant to practice and to working within an evidence-based coherent integrative pluralistic framework, adapting practice to suit client needs. This module will run alongside the academic module(s), training groups and studio group module.

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:

  • (a) an honours degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent qualification, normally in visual arts / Fine Art, (or psychology, psychotherapy or allied therapeutic area; or a relevant professional qualification e.g. nursing, social work, medical, teaching etc.); or demonstrate their ability to undertake the course through APEL.
  • (b) demonstration of commitment to own ongoing art practice and to emotional and psychological exploration of self and gaining personal insight & self-awareness from own art process. If invited for interview, a brief portfolio demonstrating this will be required.
  • (c) at least 1000 hours minimum work experience in a clinical / psychological helping capacity in a professionally relevant caring context (e.g. mental health, health/social care, residential social work, special education, counselling setting), or its equivalent. Paid or voluntary work is acceptable.
  • (d) 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. This involves demonstrating capacities consistent with training to become a therapist, including: self-awareness, psychological mindedness, emotional resilience, robustness, and the capacity to be self-reflective and to form and maintain appropriate empathic relationships with clients. This is assessed in a combination of ways: health related questions, searching questions at interview.
  • (e) all applicants must have a good command of English. (see English language requirement section)
  • Desired criteria may also be taken into account if applications exceed places.

All successful applicants will need to complete an enhanced Access NI security check or equivalent.

Applicants will be required to submit references from two Referees relating to their: 1) academic work & 2) professional work.

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.

Teaching and learning assessment

The programme encompasses workshops, lectures, seminars and site visits. Students’ Art Therapist and artist identities will be promoted, particularly in experiential groups: training groups and studio practice. 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 Practice Education within the placement and also by ongoing supervision from experienced HCPC Registered Arts Therapists/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.

Assessment is by coursework and also in Practicum modules by cumulative practice assessment.

Students should be aware that role play (as both client and therapist) and experiential learning is an important learning and teaching method on the training and will be asked to give their agreement to take part in this.

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”.

Graduates of previous art therapy training in Northern Ireland have typically found sessional, part-time and/or full-time work related to art therapy/art psychotherapy working with adults, young people and children in a number of mental health settings, the third sector and education.

Work placement / study abroad

Clinical placements abroad may be possible if approved by the University and a relevant clinical organisation.

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.

Academic profile

The MSc Art Therapy tutor team have extensive clinical and academic experience and have published research and presented nationally and internationally. They have specialist expertise, including in trauma work, ecotherapeutic practice and practice with clients in diverse settings and across the lifespan.

Apply

How to apply Request a prospectus

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

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 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:
£5,900.00

International:
£14,060.00  Scholarships available

Additional mandatory costs

Students must be prepared to enter mandatory individual personal therapy for a minimum of 75 hours throughout the training and this must be concurrent with being in placements and with a University approved therapist. This is paid for by the student, in addition to the course fees. The costs of this vary significantly and may range between £25 to £80 per session. This provides a personal experience of learning about therapy and also supports the emotional demands of the training. Whilst the content of this therapy work is confidential within normal parameters, personal therapists are required to submit a report regularly confirming the hours completed and noting any serious concerns about the student practising.

Whilst students are covered by University insurance, students are strongly encouraged to take out their own additional professional indemnity cover and this may be required by some placements.

The additional cost of travel to and from placements and the University should be taken into account.

Studio fee for specialist art equipment may be required and is normally up to £100 and contributes to additional materials used by students.

Weekend intensives (normally 2 per year) and field trips may incur additional costs.

Students purchase materials for their own coursework.

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.

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Dr Caryl Sibbett

E: c.sibbett@ulster.ac.uk

For more information visit

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Belfast School of Art

Disclaimer

  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.