About the course

 MA Art Therapy

The MA Art Therapy is approved by The Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is situated in the vibrant School of Creative Arts. The programme offers opportunities for students to develop their artistic identities in tandem with receiving a through training in the skills and knowledge required for safe therapeutic practice.

Students attend placements throughout the course and develop their professional skills through clinical supervision, reflective practice groups and by articulating their practice in writing, research and multi-media presentations. Focusing on the public sector, placements range from adult and child mental health, rehabilitation, palliative care, learning disabilities, forensic settings and schools.

The programme guides students toward achieving employment in health care, education and/or voluntary organisations.

The programme can be studied in two modes - full-time for 2 years or part-time for 3 years. A clear indication of the mode chosen should be stated on application forms.

Fact sheets 2019 Course fact sheet 1 MA Art Therapy
Programme specifications 2019 Programme specification 1 MA Art Therapy

MA Art Therapy Gallery

Why choose this course?

The aim of the MA Art Therapy is to train art therapists for employment in the public sector. This includes theoretical and practical knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to a range of client groups and settings. You are offered a broad theoretical foundation in the key principles of psychodynamic and humanistic psychotherapy, neuropsychology and other evidence based practice in relation to current art therapy theory and research. The programme area also offers a range of pre and post qualification opportunities such as the University Certificate Arts Therapies and Wellbeing Foundation, Introductory and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) short courses and research opportunities up to PhD.

The MA Art Therapy at UH places particular emphasis on the relationship art therapy has with broader visual art culture. Experiential learning is key to the training, with time and space given to the continuing development of the students’ creative practices.

The MA Art Therapy course has links with the Faculties of Public Health, Health and Human Sciences and European organisations such as ECArTE. The University is within easy reach of London by rail and road.

The core staff team have an excellent reputation in terms of teaching quality and practice and research in their fields. The programme also employs a range of professionals with clinical and research expertise with a range of client groups.

You have access to a state of the art Learning Resources Centre which contains a wealth of material on related disciplines, maintained by specialist staff who provide support and advice when needed. 

Key staff

Programme Leader Andrew Marshall-Tierney

Professional Accreditations

MA Art Therapy

Course details


The qualification leads to an award that is recognised for professional registration purposes by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Career opportunities vary from work in the NHS, social services, the voluntary sector and increasingly in main stream education. Art Therapists frequently work on a sessional basis or part time in a range of settings. Students receive lectures and workshops on entrepreneurial skills such as fundraising, setting up new services and how to market themselves post-qualification.

Teaching methods

The learning experience offers clinical, theoretical and artistic opportunities and is comprised of the following areas of study:

Theory and Research

Lectures and seminars focus on psychodynamic principles, current practice and research. They provide the theoretical framework for understanding the context in which art therapy is currently practiced and researched. Excellent tutorial support is offered.

Experiential Groups

A range of workshops and groups explore group processes and develop the student’s understanding of effective, creative and safe practice.

Studio practice is a key aspect of the programme. Students can access a number of facilities within the School such as ceramics and photography studios as well as the dedicated art therapy spaces.

Clinical Placement and Supervision

Students undertake 120 days of clinical placement on the course. Supervision is a key component of this. Clinical supervision is provided on the placement whilst reflective practice groups are held by experienced clinical supervisors at the university. The programme holds the view that a range of clinical experience is necessary whilst studying in order to maximise the student's employment prospects.​

Introductory Reading List

Download the complete Introductory Reading List here. 

Short Courses 

Introduction to Art Therapy: One and two-day courses, Visit this link for more information.

Arts Therapies and Wellbeing Foundation: Mondays 6pm-8pm Sept-May, visit this link for more information.


  • Year 7
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Discourse and Reflection: Art Therapy 30 Credits Compulsory
    Creative Economies 15 Credits Compulsory
    Research and Enquiry 15 Credits Compulsory
    Developing Art Therapy 3 15 Credits Compulsory
    Consolidating Art Therapy 60 Credits Compulsory
    Introduction to Art Therapy 60 Credits Compulsory
    Developing Art Therapy 2 30 Credits Compulsory
    Developing Art Therapy 1 15 Credits Compulsory
    Research and Enquiry (Online) 15 Credits Optional
    Creative Economies (Online) 15 Credits Optional
  • Fees & funding

    Fees 2019

    UK/EU Students

    Full time
    • £6890 for the 2019/2020 academic year
    Part time
    • £865 per 15 credits for the 2019/2020 academic year

    International Students

    Full time
    • £9520 for the 2019/2020 academic year
    Part time
    • £1185 per 15 credits for the 2019/2020 academic year

    In addition to fees, it is necessary to budget for personal therapy. (See ‘Personal Therapy’ section below). Travel expenses to placements are also the responsibility of trainees. Wherever possible, placements are arranged within a reasonable distance of the trainee’s home in order to minimise costs.

    Personal therapy:

    Some experience of personal therapy can be useful prior to application but it is not a pre-course requirement. However, once a student is enrolled, it is a mandatory aspect of the course that all students must be in personal therapy for the duration of their training.  It is usual for therapists to expect attendance throughout the calendar year except for usual holiday breaks; this may entail attendance outside college term times. Therapy can be art therapy or verbal psychotherapy.  Attendance should be once weekly. Applicants should be aware that this is an additional item that must be budgeted for. Some organisations and individual therapists may be prepared to offer a reduced rate to students.

    Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

    *Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

    View detailed information about tuition fees

    Read more about additional fees in the course fact sheet

    Other financial support

    Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

    Living costs / accommodation

    The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

    View detailed information about our accommodation

    Entry requirements

    2019/20 Academic Year 

    The programme welcomes students from a variety of backgrounds and cultures.

    Download our complete entry requirements. 

    How to apply

    Course length
    • Full Time, 2 Years
    • Part Time, 3 Years
    • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    24/09/201920/05/2020Apply online (Full Time)
    24/09/201920/05/2020Apply online (Part Time)


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    28/09/202020/05/2021Apply online (Full Time)
    28/09/202020/05/2021Apply online (Part Time)


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    28/09/202120/05/2022Apply online (Full Time)
    28/09/202120/05/2022Apply online (Part Time)
    We welcome applications from international and EU students