Goldsmiths University of London Art Therapy
This programme will provide you with a broad understanding of the theories and practices of art psychotherapy necessary for safe and effective clinical work.
The Masters enables you to practice as an art therapist in the NHS, Social Services, and educational establishments, and to become a practitioner registered with the British Association of Art Therapists.
Your learning is underpinned by the principles and practices of psychodynamic psychotherapy practised within the context of mental health care, and informed by contemporary art practice.
Via theoretical studies, clinical work and experiential learning you will integrate cognitive understanding and practical experience with a developing awareness of self and other. The nature of the therapeutic relationship between client, their art work, and the art therapist is explored, and you have the opportunity to put your learning into practice through two 60-day placements which are supervised and supported in-depth.
You are encouraged to develop your own art practice and to situate your work in relationship to your development as a therapist, to contemporary art practice and to psychoanalytic theories. You must be in personal therapy throughout the programme.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Sue Williams
You should have at least one year’s full-time, or the equivalent in part-time hours, 1,500 hours’ relevant work experience. Find out more about these work experience requirements.
You should also have an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in visual arts/design, or in a related/relevant area, or a professional qualification.
Art graduates may come from any area of the visual arts, including applied crafts. We accept graduates who may have studied a combined subject degree course such as art/psychology or art/sociology as long as they are not entirely theoretically based, but contain a substantial amount of actual studio practice.
Examples of other approved subjects could be psychology, social science, and social anthropology – generally, subjects that are concerned with human behaviour, development and relationships. Such non-art graduates must demonstrate a long-standing commitment to and ability to practice in some form of visual art. With this in mind, if you’re a non-art graduate you must upload a digital portfolio of a representative selection of personal artwork with your application.
We recognise that there may be some very able candidates who do not conform to traditional educational patterns, so a small number of ‘special-entry’ places are allocated each year to non-graduates. The academic demands of the course are such that a reasonable level of further education beyond secondary level is required. Each special-entry application is assessed on individual merit, so it is essential to give full details of all educational achievements on application forms. Reasons for any interruptions or early terminations to courses of studies must be clearly outlined. If a non-graduate applicant has not undertaken any formal art education, the above-stated commitment to practice in the visual arts is expected and, again, examples of artwork must be sent with applications.
Applicants are asked to disclose any criminal record, disciplinary record, significant periods of time off work and significant health problems in writing after interview.
If we wish to make an applicant an offer of a place on the course, an anonymised version of the applicant’s written disclosure will be reviewed by a panel which considers the applicant’s suitability for therapeutic studies training. Applicants will be asked to complete an application form for an enhanced disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service. There is a fee to apply for a disclosure certificate. Further information about payment is sent with the offer of a place. If an applicant has lived overseas they may also be asked to obtain the equivalent of the UK enhanced disclosure certificate from the relevant overseas authority. Once the copy of the enhanced disclosure certificate is received by the college, applicants may also be asked for further information concerning any convictions, cautions or other relevant information that it reveals, as well as references from the probation service or other organisations. This process is additional to normal ‘fitness to train’ processes.
Some experience of personal therapy can be useful prior to application but it is not a pre-course requirement. However, once you’ve enrolled you will be required to undertake personal therapy for the duration of your training.
Successful applicants are advised to commence therapy as soon as they receive the offer of a place on the course. In practice, many applicants have some experience of personal therapy before they apply and, whilst not mandatory, this is clearly advantageous.
Information regarding entering personal therapy may be obtained from the department’s secretary. Applicants who are already in therapy but are unsure as to whether or not their situation meets course requirements should write in with full details for advice.
Fitness to train
You’ll need to meet fitness to train criteria to be considered for this programme.
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.
For this programme we require:
IELTS 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing
If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.