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Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design

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Course name
Master of Arts in Arts Therapy
Course Category
Arts and Humanities
Type of Course
Full time
Level of course
Course Duration
2 - Years
Creative expression, the basis of arts therapy, can have significant impact on the healing process. Through the arts, creative therapists work and help people with trauma, addictions and psychological or emotional issues in mental health environments, prisons and the wider community. Whitecliffe’s Master of Arts in Arts Therapy (MAAT) and Master of Arts in Arts Therapy (Clinical) degree programmes develop the theoretical knowledge and professional skills required within this field.

The two year Master of Arts in Arts Therapy (MAAT) offers two approaches to arts therapy. The first, arts access or art as therapy, follows the philosophy that art is universally beneficial. Artists offer their experience and skills to people who would not otherwise access the arts. The second, art in therapy or art psychotherapy, involves using art within psychotherapy as a powerful mode of expression and means of healing.

Study is conducted primarily online so it is essential for you to have internet access. Seminars include industry guest speakers, tutorials and experiential workshops. The programme also includes locally-based case studies, supervised client contact and written research projects. The first three semesters consist of six compulsory courses while the fourth semester involves self-directed research electives.

The Master of Arts in Arts Therapy (Clinical) degree involves a third clinical year that extends and deepens your knowledge and skills in the principal subjects of creative arts and psychotherapy and can be entered following successful completion of the requirements for the two-year programme. Completion of this year leads to a Master of Arts in Arts Therapy (Clinical) degree and provides a pathway to professional registration as an arts therapist.

This clinical year involves a supervised placement as a trainee arts therapist, as well as intensive training on campus. The year has three components with associated assignments; student placement, supervision and participation in two intensive week-long seminars and two intensive three-day seminars during the year.
Not Given
Minimum Qualification
Not Given
Other Notes
Application documentation. Whitecliffe application form (including statistical information), as well as official transcripts of all prior post-secondary academic work and a Curriculum Vitae.

References. Three letters of reference. It is recommended at least one is written by an academic with direct experience of the applicant’s potential as a graduate student. References should give evidence of the candidate’s potential as artist/scholar and ability to work independently and contribute to Whitecliffe’s learning community.

Letter of intent (500 to 1000 words). This must include reasons for wanting to do postgraduate study. The letter of intent is assessed on academic form as well as content. It should outline a relevant personal philosophy and the areas of inquiry the applicant intends to pursue.

Evidence of computer proficiency. Applicants need their own computer, internet connection and email address for online communication.

Evidence of English language proficiency. Applicants whose first language is not English need a minimum IELTS of 7.5. (Further IELTS information on pages 39 and 53)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Whitecliffe offers RPL, which means students can apply to have relevant work and life experience acknowledged as equivalent to more formal learning.
Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design logo
Welcome to Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design. Congratulations on considering the Arts as a career choice. At Whitecliffe we recognise the central role of creative arts in today's world and pride ourselves on offering a vibrant range of arts and design oriented career opportunities.

At undergraduate level we educate students in traditional and contemporary aspects of arts and design. Skills of analysis, creative thinking, visualisation and critique are all nurtured, as are entrepreneurial skills.

At postgraduate level we provide higher learning and research opportunities in the fine arts as well as within our three unique master's degrees; arts administration; arts therapy and arts therapy (clinical). All our programmes are research-led so students continually have access to people with the latest knowledge in their fields.

The environment has always been a very important aspect of Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design and we're delighted with our new Balfour Road campus in Parnell, the area where we originally set up 26 years ago. Our main campus is now located at Brooke House on Balfour Road, near the Rose Gardens and overlooking Auckland Harbour.

We believe we offer you a unique opportunity at Whitecliffe to study in an environment that will develop your creative ability to its fullest potential. We are ready to support you in reaching your educational goals and encourage and challenge you to take the opportunities offered at Whitecliffe.
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