Art Therapist / Psychotherapist MSc - Level 7


Art therapists help people express difficult thoughts and feelings through creative activities.

Skills and knowledge

To become an Art Therapist you will need:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • knowledge of psychology
  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device


You can get into this job through a university course or an apprenticeship.

Routes into this job

You may be able to do an arts therapist degree apprenticeship.

You'll usually need a qualification or experience in art, drama or music to apply.


To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:

entry requirements vary

You'll need to complete a postgraduate qualification approved by the Health and Care Professions Council.

Full time postgraduate courses normally take 2 years to complete. Part time courses take 3 years.

You should have a degree in art or creative therapies to do a postgraduate course.

You may be able to apply if you've got a degree in a related subject, for example psychology, nursing or social work.


You'll usually need:

a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

To get a job as an art therapist, you'll need paid or volunteering experience with:

• community arts projects
• youth work
• people with disabilities or mental health issues

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice. Do It also have more information on finding voluntary opportunities.

Career progression

With experience, you could become self employed and create your own business.

You could also:

  • become a senior art therapist

  • manage a team of therapists

  • manage an arts therapy unit

  • move into teaching