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MPhil & PhD in Art Psychotherapy

  • Length
    3-4 years full-time or 4-6 years part-time
  • Department
    Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies

Course overview

We offer opportunities for students who want to pursue research in art psychotherapy.

For MPhil and PhD study, you usually register for research by written thesis (although there are also possibilities for research based on a written element and studio practice).

Whatever your topic, you have your first supervisor in Art Psychotherapy and may have your second in another department – Art, Educational Studies, Psychology, or Sociology, for example.

You meet your supervisors regularly for discussion and guidance, and present your work to the Art Psychotherapy research student group.

You also attend the Goldsmiths Research Methods Training Course.

Supervision is currently available in the following areas:

  • art therapists and their art
  • cross-cultural issues
  • evidence-based practices
  • group work
  • history and development of the professions in the UK and internationally
  • occupational choice, career development and role change of arts therapists and arts therapy trainees
  • clinical work with various client populations

Current research topics include:

  • key issues in art psychotherapy with the blind
  • the creative experience inside and outside an art psychotherapy group
  • the image as an assessment tool with children who have an autistic spectrum disorder
  • thinking about art with adults who have learning disabilities
  • art therapists’ working environments

You'll be assessed by a thesis and viva voce.

Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Sally Skaife

Department

The Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies
has human relationships at its heart

Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies

You’ll benefit from the wealth of experience of our staff and their commitment to ensuring that you’ll leave us as a reflective, research-minded professional.

We offer programmes in Community Studies, Social Work, and Therapeutic Studies.

Our degrees are informed by our commitment to social justice and applied practices – whether you want to:

  • understand and challenge the ways that vulnerable individuals and groups are disadvantaged and marginalised
  • become a social worker, community and youth worker, therapist or counsellor
  • change people’s lives through dance, drama and music

You’ll benefit from the wealth of experience of our staff and their commitment to ensuring that you’ll leave us as a reflective, research-minded professional.

Find out more about the Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies.

Staff

Staff who specialise in counselling and therapy include:

Find out more about staff in the Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies

Student profiles

Jacky

"The atmosphere and culture of Goldsmiths was perfect for developing my interests"

"The atmosphere and culture of Goldsmiths was perfect for developing my interests in collaboration and diversification, and an aim that the visual arts practice methodology of my research would contribute to broadening the knowledge base of UK art psychotherapy. I am now an independent Art Psychotherapist and my work includes lecturing, research, supervision, private practice, and consultancy, including periodic work for the Health Professions Council as a Continuing Professional Development Assessor for the Arts Therapies."

Entry requirements

You should normally have (or expect to be awarded) a taught Masters in Art Therapy/Art Psychotherapy. 

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

Equivalent qualifications
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 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you'll need to have: 

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • Contact details of a second referee
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)
  • Details of your research proposal

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

Before you apply for a research programme, we advise you to get in touch with the programme contact, listed above. It may also be possible to arrange an advisory meeting.

Before you start at Goldsmiths, the actual topic of your research has to be agreed with your proposed supervisor, who will be a member of staff active in your general field of research. The choice of topic may be influenced by the current research in the department or the requirements of an external funding body. 

If you wish to study on a part-time basis, you should also indicate how many hours a week you intend to devote to research, whether this will be at evenings or weekends, and for how many hours each day.

Research proposals

Along with your application and academic reference, you should also upload a research proposal at the point of application. 

This should be in the form of a statement of the proposed area of research and should include: 

  • delineation of the research topic
  • why it has been chosen
  • an initial hypothesis (if applicable)
  • a brief list of major secondary sources

When to apply 

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

If you're applying for external funding from one of the Research Councils, make sure you submit your application by the deadline they've specified. 

Selection process 

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Find out more about applying.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

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