MA Art Psychotherapy Practice

The MA Art Psychotherapy Practice course will be delivered for new students in the 2021-22 academic year with Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust and a different university validating the course, Sheffield Hallam University.

A January 2022 start is anticipated and further application information will soon be available on this Art Therapy Northern Programme web site. General application enquiries can continue to be sent to Sue Turton (Programme Administrator) on

The MA Art Psychotherapy Practice is the pre-registration course required for practice as an Art Psychotherapist or an Art Therapist in the UK.

You can choose between studying two years full-time or three years part-time.

The course is delivered in partnership between Leeds Beckett University and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust.

It uses the combined experience of higher education and NHS services. Students benefit from the experience available to them in both organisations and their sense of what it means to combine theory with practice.

The programme continues to build upon the robust practice-based network of placements established over its many years of existence.

Entry requirements

To apply for the course, you must have a degree 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.

Satisfactory enhanced criminal history checks are required by all applicants prior to commencing their work placement experience. 


This programme aims to:

  • enable graduates to undertake safe and effective practice of art therapy in which visual art and the process of image-making play a central role in the context of therapeutic relationships.
  • meet the national training criteria for practice and registration as an Art Therapist or Art Psychotherapist (both titles are protected) in ways that encompass the standards of proficiency and those of conduct, performance and ethics.
  • ensure that students gain systematic knowledge and understanding of a range of theories and, at the threshold of their careers, they have the transferable skills to practice effectively and ethically in what are often complex and unpredictable specialised settings in the public or independent sector.
  • Produce therapists of a high quality who are able to play a leading role in the development of services.

Work placements

You will also take part in a placement, organised by course staff, consisting of 100+ days.

This offers you first-hand experience in providing art therapy for clients in a range of settings so you can achieve a good standard of proficiency in line with the requirements for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Work placements are available in a wide range of settings, including services for young people, general hospitals, medical centres, GPs, psychiatric inpatient wards, community mental health teams, forensic settings, services for people with learning disabilities, services for the elderly and some hospice settings.


The course fees for the MA Art Psychotherapy Practice in the 2020-21 academic year are:

  • Full-time - £6,000 per annum for two years

Course fees are subject to incremental increases each year and will increase to £6,500 per year in September 2021.

The precise details of these and of payment by instalments are provided by Leeds Beckett University when students register.

Find out more

You can find out more about the course by downloading our course overview.

This document includes information on:

  • Course background
  • Our approach to teaching, learning and assessment
  • Structure of the programme
  • Modules and credits
  • Support for learning
  • Criteria for admission

You may also find it useful to take a look at our pre-application guidance, course fact sheet and reading list.

Leeds Beckett University regularly reviews courses to ensure we are offering you the best educational experience. This course is currently being reviewed for 2020 entry, therefore the information below is correct for students joining us in 2019-2020, but there may be changes for students who wish to join us in 2020-2021.

These will be confirmed in the course specification made available to new applicants from June 2020.


Due to overwhelming demand for course entry in September 2020 the deadline for applications will now close at 5pm on Monday 01 June. Email applications are preferred but postal applications will also be accepted up to the deadline.  

To apply for a place you need to complete an application form, and send it by post, along with copies of certificates and two references, to:

Art Therapy Northern Programme
Netherthorpe House
101 Netherthorpe Road
S3 7EZ

Offers are made either for the coming academic year, or for the next one, depending on the places available.

If you have any queries about your application please email

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