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Art Therapy

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.

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".

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.

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.

Entry requirements

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.

Duration

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.

Careers or further progression

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.

Further enquiries

For further information, please contact:
Dr Caryl Sibbett
E: c.sibbett@ulster.ac.uk

Application date

Application is through the University's online application system.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: September 2019

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