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Art Therapy

*This course is undergoing academic validation. Please note that the information displayed here is subject to change as part of this process.

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.

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".

Entry requirements

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.

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.


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.

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".

Further enquiries

For further information, pleadse contact:
Rachel Glynne
E: 
T: +44 (0)28 9536 7442
Also: E: 


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.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: September 2018.

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

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