Art Therapy Northern Programme

The programme has a well-established forty-year history and its current team is humorous, resilient and experienced. They have successfully trained people in a range of sectors, working across the UK and the world, making effective use of art therapy. The programme ethos is to make use of generic evidence in mental health and also to contribute to specific art therapy evidence.

The educational approach aims to help students to make disciplined adaptations to the changing circumstances of practice and to understand and work with service user movements.

Two courses are provided: the MA Art Psychotherapy Practice; and the Foundation Art Therapy course. The programme also offers access to a range of research opportunities. .The MA course is based on a partnership between Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust and Leeds Beckett University. The research opportunities involve a range of local universities. The Foundation Art Therapy course is based within the Trust.

We believe that art making within a therapeutic relationship can have the power to help a wide range of people. Art therapy aims to help people find ways to express what they feel about their lives and regain a sense of personal control. Human difficulty seems to us to be shaped by a world that includes social inequality and discrimination and attending to the effects of these is a necessary part of the art therapist’s work.

We also aim to listen to the voice of people who use and work in services in developing a collaborative approach to therapeutic work and mental health.

The Programme has a number of innovative features which build upon many years experience of higher education, research and work using art therapy. Since the recent landing of Dr Who in Sheffield there is confirmation that the city and the programme are at the centre of the known universe.

Many people well known in Art Therapy in UK helped develop the original courses: Dave Edwards, Helen Greenwood, John Henzell, David Maclagan, Professor Joy Schaverien and Dr Chris Wood all worked with Nick Howard to establish the course in Sheffield. You can find out more about our staff team here.

The MA Art Psychotherapy Practiceeveryone_the_best

This is the pre-registration course needed for practice as an Art Psychotherapist or an Art Therapist in the UK (these equivalent titles are both protected). Registration is with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

The most important aim of the course is to develop your confidence and expertise in providing art therapy for people with different emotional and mental health needs. Many art therapy clients are socially excluded and so you will learn to become a practitioner who can contribute to future service and independent provision by working alongside clients making changes in their lives.

This course is based on a partnership between Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust and Leeds Beckett University.

The Foundation Course in Art Therapy


This course is designed to provide an introduction to Art Therapy for people intending to train as art therapists and those who wish to gain some experience of art therapy for their own personal or professional development.


We take applications for the  Art Therapy Northern Programme courses throughout the year, please simply download the appropriate application form and send by post to the: Art Therapy Northern Programme, 101 Netherthorpe Road, Sheffield, S3 7EZ. Offers are made either for the coming academic year or for the next one depending on the places available. We encourage applicants to apply early because we receive a lot of applications for places.

Please send applications to the following email:

Further information

‘Art Psychotherapist’ and ‘Art Therapist’ are the protected titles for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council; both titles are equivalent and describe the same professional practice. It is not possible to practice legally without a qualification and without registration with the HCPC.


Research opportunities: higher research degrees

In addition to the courses above, opportunities exist for art therapists and art psychotherapists with established clinical experience to undertake a higher research degree including Doctor of Philosophy-PhD, Master of Philosophy-MPhil and Masters by Research-MRes.