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MA Art Psychotherapy Practice

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Study Mode Full-time
Year of Entry 2022/23

Art Psychotherapy Practice

Study on this long-running Art Psychotherapy course, preparing you for practice as a successful Art Psychotherapist or Art Therapist in the UK. Currently applications for the January start of this course are only open to home students.

Everything you need to know...

What is the fee? Home: £7,235 per year
International/EU: £11,000 per year
How long will I study? 2 Years
Where will I study? Collegiate Campus
When do I start? January 2023

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Course summary

  • Engage in art-making while studying psychotherapeutic approaches.
  • Gain valuable experience on a work placement as part of the course.
  • Develop the transferable skills you need to practise effectively and ethically.
  • Help people in psychological distress and change their lives for the better.

This is a hands-on, experiential course which develops your theoretical knowledge and practical skills. You’ll learn how to work as a professional art therapist in sometimes complex and unpredictable settings – within the public, mental health, education, voluntary or independent sectors. You'll graduate with the skills and eligibility to apply for Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) status.


How you learn

All our courses are designed around a set of key principles based on engaging you with the world, collaborating with others, challenging you to think in new ways, and providing you with a supportive environment in which you can thrive.

On this course you’ll learn directly from HCPC-registered art therapists, engaging with real-world practice throughout. Our staff integrate art-making into theory teaching – experiential art-making is a core feature of the course. You’ll be encouraged to create a wide variety of art to reflect on, and to learn about working as an art therapist in a classroom or studio context.

You learn through 

  • art-making in fully-equipped learning spaces
  • a mix of individual and group sessions 
  • experiential creative groups
  • workshops
  • placements 
  • field trips, such as visits to exhibitions
  • practice-based learning 

Alongside art-making, you’ll learn about client-centred approaches in psychotherapy – enabling you to use models to adapt to different service settings. You’ll experience an integrated placement which runs throughout the course. You’ll also have access to our unique student support triangle to help with your personal, academic and career development.

Applied learning

Work placements

Your placement is a valuable part of your course – key to the development of your skills and personal resilience as an art therapist. Placements are integrated throughout both the part-time and full-time routes, either one or two days a week. They’re provided across different sectors and you’ll be supported by an onsite placement supervisor.

Networking opportunities

There are multiple opportunities to network with industry professionals and peers alike. We regularly host visiting guest lecturers – including other art therapists, researchers and service users. There are further opportunities for students to collaborate with tutors to visit or present at art therapy conferences.

Field trips 

In each year of the course, you’ll have the opportunity to take field trips and visits to art exhibitions or art therapy venues. You’ll also have the opportunity to exhibit your own work – both in physical exhibitions and online. 

Future careers

This course prepares you for a career in

  • hospital and community NHS services for adults, children and families with physical, mental health issues and learning disabilities
  • educational art therapy in schools
  • bereavement support
  • education
  • research
  • social enterprises and charities
  • educational settings for children and young people, and families
  • a range of community and social service settings
  • third sector settings
  • preventative work

Previous graduates of this course have gone on to work for

  • Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Trust 
  • Spectrum People, Wakefield 
  • other UK NHS Trusts
  • Ashgate Hospice Care, Chesterfield 
  • Psychotherapy Manchester CIC 
  • Brantwood School, Sheffield 
  • private practices

Where will I study?

You study at Collegiate Campus through a structured mix of lectures, seminars and practical sessions as well as access to digital and online resources to support your learning.

Collegiate campus

Collegiate Campus can be found just off Ecclesall Road, a bustling student district.

Collegiate Campus map | Campus facilities | Keeping safe on Campus

Collegiate Campus map

Collegiate Crescent
S10 2BP

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Students outside Collegiate Library
Collegiate library

Collegiate Library can be found just off Ecclesall Road. It's open 24 hours a day, every day.

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Equipment and facilities

Most of our teaching is conducted at our Collegiate Campus – right next to the vibrant student area of Ecclesall Road. The teaching spaces are equipped with state-of-the-art materials including digital art making. There’s also access to video production space and resources to support a range of art-making through alternative means – such as photography or clay animation. 

On this course you work with

  • fully-equipped art spaces
  • reflexive art making
  • stop motion animation
  • environmental art
  • digital capture equipment and software
  • online and digital gallery exhibitions
  • our Skills Centre for online resources, webinars and one to ones

Entry requirements

All students

To apply for the course, you must normally have a degree (2:2 or above) in a relevant area, such as Fine Art, Arts Therapies, Humanities, Psychology or Social Sciences.

Whatever degree you have, all applicants are expected to have a portfolio of current art work at the time of application that demonstrates a continuing interest in art making. You will be asked to submit examples of artwork as part of the application process.

Applications from professionals working in caring professions such as Social Workers, Nurses and Teachers, are also welcome.

All applicants need to show evidence of relevant pre-courses experience in a related field. It is also an entry requirement that applicants must have, at the time of application, at least a year’s experience of paid or voluntary work in a caring setting. (The BAAT web pages state that this should be the equivalent of a year's full-time work but can be accumulated over a longer period.) In interview we will ask about your art practice and what it means to you, as well as any psychological insights that your art practice provides.

If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 7.0 overall and a minimum of 6.0 in all skills, or a recognised equivalent. If your level of English language is currently below IELTS 7.0 we recommend you consider an appropriate Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve the required level of English. Please note that the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) require IELTS 7.0 with no element below 6.5 for registration.

Helping your application succeed


Experience of interacting with members of the public from a range of backgrounds in different settings is essential when applying to a health or social care course. This is so you will have an understanding of the diversity of the population who access health and social care.  It is important to be able to understand and explain how your experiences relate to the activities and qualities which are required for the profession at your interview.


You must provide a reference from a current or recent employer or educational institution.


If you are shortlisted, we will invite you to an online interview. To confirm your identity on the day please bring a valid form of photo ID with you, preferably a passport or photo driving licence.

View our interview guidance to ensure you understand the interviews process and how you can prepare for this.   

Course enrolment - professional requirements

Before enrolling you must fully declare the following information on the pre-admission declaration form provided during the admissions process:

  • unfiltered criminal convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings. For further information on unfiltered offences please see the Disclosure and Barring Service website.
  • involvement in disciplinary proceedings during paid or voluntary employment or education establishments
  • involvement with safeguarding proceedings, social services or related organisations
  • enrolment on a health or social work professional course at another University

In addition

Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Criminal Record Check

  • you will be required to undertake an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check prior to or during the enrolment week of your course. This will be provided by the University free of charge.
  • you will need to present valid identity documents (PDF) (PDF, 38.1KB) as part of the application process
  • if you have lived outside of the UK for more than six consecutive months in the last five years you must provide an overseas criminal record check. Further information on obtaining an overseas criminal record check.
  • where your DBS Enhanced Disclosure certificate contains any recorded information you must present this to the Professional Issues Team within ten working days of receipt of the certificate.

Occupational Health Screening

You will need to undertake occupational health screening to determine your suitability to undertake the course. This will be provided by the University free of charge. As part of this assessment you are expected to provide all relevant, truthful and accurate information to ensure a safe environment for yourself and service users.


You must undertake a programme of immunisations as required by the Department of Health and meet the immunisation and immunity requirements of placement providers. This will be provided by the University free of charge. Please obtain details of your immunisation history from your doctor so you can submit this during your Occupational Health Screening.

Pre-course Day

After completing the above professional checks, if you reside in the UK it is important for you to make every reasonable attempt to attend a Pre-Course Day event to undertake the next stage of the professional requirements for your course. The pre-course day is also a good opportunity to meet fellow applicants on the health & social care courses who will be starting their studies at the same time as you, as well as some current students and teaching staff. We will look forward to welcoming you on the day.

Other professional suitability information

Your full enrolment on your course will be confirmed when the Professional Issues Team have verified that your Enhanced DBS Disclosure (and overseas criminal record check where relevant) indicates that you are suitable to work with vulnerable groups including children and clearance from your health screening has been received. 

If your personal circumstances change in relation to any of the professional requirements, from when you apply to the end of your course, please tell the Professional Issues team immediately by calling 0114 225 5637 or emailing

Disability support

We strongly recommend that you tell us about any long term health conditions, learning difficulty or disability you may have. This is so we can assess whether we can deliver the course in such a way that you can meet the Health and Care Professions Council standards of proficiency and take part without disadvantage both in University and on placement.

You can contact our disability coordinator on 0114 225 2588 to explore any issues you may have, or you can contact our university disabled student support team on 0114 225 3964 (voice and Minicom).

The Disability Disclosure booklet provides information for students on health and social care courses and will help you understand the importance of disclosing your disability at the earliest possible stage. This is so you can be assessed for the support you may require to succeed on the course.

Open day

Our online open days give you an opportunity to chat live to our teaching staff and current students. You can explore the campus and view our facilities virtually as well as asking any questions you may have. To book your place at one of our online open days please follow this link: University open days.

Additional information for EU/International students

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page. You can also watch a video guide on how to apply.

For details of English language entry requirements (IELTS), please see the information for 'All students'.


Module and assessment information for future years is displayed as currently validated and may be liable to change. When selecting electives, your choices will be subject to the core requirements of the course. As a result, selections may be limited to a choice between one of two or more specified electives in some instances.

Year 1

Compulsory modules
Module Credits
Module: Art Therapy Practice Experience A (Ft) Credits: -
Module: Creating Original Practice Credits: 45
Module: Evaluating Research Methodologies Credits: 15
Module: Professional Practice Credits: 15
Module: Professional Reflective Practice Through Supervision Credits: 15
Module: Theoretical Approaches To Art Therapy Practice (Art Therapy Theories) Credits: 20
Module: Training Groups And Reflective Practice (Art Therapy Studios) Credits: 20
Module: Understanding Complexity In Practice Credits: 15

Final year

Compulsory modules
Module Credits
Module: Art Therapy Practice Experience B (Ft) Credits: -
Module: Art Therapy Thresholds Credits: 20
Module: Creating Original Practice Credits: 45
Module: Evaluating Complexity In Practice Credits: 15
Module: Professional Practice Credits: 15
Module: Professional Reflective Practice Through Supervision Credits: 15

Fees and funding

Home students

Our tuition fee for UK students starting full-time postgraduate study in 2022/2023 is £7,325 per year.

† If you are studying an undergraduate course, postgraduate pre-registration course or postgraduate research course over more than one academic year then your tuition fees may increase in subsequent years in line with Government regulations or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) published fees. More information can be found in our terms and conditions under student fees regulations.

International students

Our tuition fee for International/EU students starting full-time study in 2022/23 is £11,000 per year.

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Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs for Occupational therapy courses (PDF, 205.6KB)

Legal information

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and Student Regulations.


How do I apply?

You apply for this course via our online application form.

Apply for January 2023

You can also use the application form above to apply for future years of entry.

Not ready to apply just yet?

Why not come to our next open day? Open days are the perfect place to talk to staff and students, visit our campuses and get all the information you need. Alternatively, feel free to ask us a question.

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