by the Staff & Students of MA Art Therapy, University of Derby

“The MA Art Therapy studies at the University of Derby are based in Britannia Mill, the former home of a bustling textile factory. The weave that was integral to textile production there embodies the challenges faced by students as they attempt to balance and knit together the individual threads of the course, creating a well balanced fabric of knowledge.

The MA is an intensive two-year course leading to a professional qualification as a healthcare practitioner. It consists of academic study, personal therapy and the creation of an artistic portfolio alongside vocational placements that require a commitment of two days each week. These placements span the spectrum of Art Therapy, including schools, child and adolescent mental health services, eating disorder units, adult mental health, inpatient wards and third sector settings such as hospices and addiction services. 

It is a testament to the resilience of these future art therapists that they were able to carry on in circumstances we could never have foreseen.

The Independent Scholarship is a further strand, demanding that students explore themselves artistically and psychologically to create a final piece that weaves together their experiences and personal development over the last two years in the form of a written critique, body of artwork and viva. The artworks from this research make up the exhibition you are about to see. 

For the Class of 2020, the virtual exhibition also represents challenges they have faced and hurdles overcome. It reminds us of the difficulties in continuing and adapting during a global pandemic which prevented the majority of students from completing their placements. This collection of artwork is the culmination of two years’ hard work and is the final aspect of study before the students move onto professional practice. It is a testament to the resilience of these future art therapists that they were able to carry on in circumstances we could never have foreseen.”

by Sue Linnell

Class of 2020,
MA Art Therapy,
University of Derby

A Message For Our Graduates

“The studio spaces are often infused with light that seems to aid in inspiration, visioning and playfulness and is one that we hope has offered a place for all the trainees to imagine and re-imagine, rebuild and form new identity and communities of art therapy practice.

The image below is to remind all of the power of group and the learning and experience of sitting being feeling still silent making sharing… a memory of many circles.

To your continued dreaming and singing with the bones. It’s been a wild ride this last two years.

My huge appreciation for joining us on this journey and congratulations.”

by Kirsty McTaggart

Programme Leader & Senior Lecturer
MA Art Therapy,
University of Derby