BA (Hons) Creative Expressive Therapies

Why choose this course?

Quality course - 92% of our students said that they were satisfied with the quality of the course overall, according to the 2014 National Student Survey (NSS).

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Fact file

UCAS code: W191 Art pathway, W590 Dance, W490 Drama, W391 Music

Start date: September

Course length: Full time: three years. Part time: up to six years

Campus: Markeaton Street, Britannia Mill, Derby Dance Centre and Kedleston Road, Derby

College: College of Health and Social Care

About this course

Impact on lives

The arts can have a huge impact on people’s lives and can be used in a positive and therapeutic way. If you love dance, drama, music or art and think it's played an important part in your own development, and you want to develop your skills so that you can work creatively with others, then this course is for you.

Tailor your course

During this course you'll be able to specialise in art, drama, dance or music, so that you can develop your artistic ability. These sessions involve studio, performance and exhibition work. You'll also learn about the potential of creativity and the arts to promote wellbeing and their therapeutic application in various settings such as the community, voluntary, health, education and the corporate sector.
Take a look at our students’ final year artwork

Get career ready

The course involves lots of group work where you can have the chance to reflect on your own personal development, awareness and communication skills. As part of this course, we'll give you a deep insight into leadership, coaching and group processes which will help you in your future career. You'll also study different therapeutic principles and the meaning of health and illness in the context of historical and cultural values.

Specialist facilities and links

We've designed fantastic specialist facilities to give you the best experience. There are dedicated art, dance and music studios and we have a new learning theatre based in the city centre if you choose the drama pathway. We've also got strong links with déda - the Derby dance centre.

You'll be assessed in many ways to help develop and vary your skills. These range from essays, reflective journals/diaries, performances, exhibitions, videos and production projects. You'll also get real opportunities to put your skills into practice during your work placements or through community projects.

Throughout the course you'll develop skills which are transferable. Our flexible and creative approach enables you to adapt to varied and changing circumstances. You'll also be studying therapeutic principles and the meaning of health and illness in the context of historical and cultural values.

Every year we hold a degree show to celebrate the work created by our final year students.

Accredited course

This course has been accredited by the National Council of Psychotherapists (NCP). This accreditation reflects the quality of the course and the excellent employability of our graduates. As a student on this course you’ll be able to join the NCP as a student member free of charge. Although this does not grant you the license to practice as a psychotherapist, it means that upon successful graduation, you will have the opportunity to apply for full membership with the requirement that you commit to further professional development.

What you will cover

Stage one

You'll study these modules:

  • Human Development and Creativity‌
  • Effective Interaction‌
  • Expression and the Arts‌
  • Working Creatively with People 1‌
  • Perspectives of Healing‌

And you'll choose one specialist pathway module from the following:

  • Visual Art‌ (Art Pathway)
  • Dance Making: Physicality, choreography and technique‌ (Dance Pathway)
  • E‌xpressive Drama (Drama Pathway)
  • Music and Musicianship 1‌ (Music Pathway)

Stage two

You'll study these modules:

  • Experience of Illness‌
  • Working Towards the Future‌
  • Inter-personal Development‌
  • Working Creatively With People 2‌

And you'll choose two modules from your chosen specialist pathway:

  • Visual Art 2‌ (Art Pathway)
  • Image of Self‌ (Art Pathway)
  • Dance Making: Choreography as creative story‌ (Dance Pathway)
  • Performance‌ (Dance Pathway)
  • Applied Drama 2‌ (Drama Pathway)
  • Performance‌ (Drama Pathway)
  • Music and Musicianship 2‌ (Music Pathway)
  • Performance‌ (Music Pathway)

Stage three

You'll study these modules:

  • Working Creatively in Context‌
  • Working Creatively on Placement‌

And you'll choose one module from your chosen specialist pathway:

  • Statement as Image‌ (Art Pathway)
  • Dance Production‌ (Dance Pathway)
  • Applied Drama 3 and Applied Drama 4‌ (Drama Pathway)
  • Music and Musicianship 3‌ (Music Pathway)

Entry requirements

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is required at the point of accepting a place at the University. The Disclosure and Barring Service was established when the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged in 2012 and will now provide the criminal records checking service for this programme.

Our entry requirements are usually 240 UCAS points, of which at least 200 will be from your core A2s (full A levels) or equivalent qualifications such as BTEC Diploma, International Baccalaureate, Scottish Highers etc.

We'll accept up to 40 points towards the total from level 3 qualifications such as AS levels (where those AS levels are not taken on to A2 level), the Extended Project or Music qualifications.

We don't accept points from Key Skills Level 3. If you have any questions about what is or isn't accepted, please contact our Admissions team.

We also accept the Access to HE Diploma.

Your points at level 3 will be in addition to 5 GCSEs at grade C or equivalent level 2 qualifications.

The UCAS tariff points are a guide - we'll also consider all the information that you've included in your application. We'll also want to see that you're enthusiastic and motivated to take this course and that you have the potential to benefit from coming to university.

General undergraduate entry requirements

How to apply

UK/EU students

International students

Information for international applicants

Applying for an undergraduate degree

Fees and finance

2015/16 Fees

This is a resource intensive course.

UK/EU students

  • Full time: £9,000 (each year)
  • £1,125 per module (you usually take the equivalent of 18 single modules)

International students

  • Full time: £11,190

These fees apply if you're starting this course between September 2015 and August 2016. We recommend you check fee details with us though, as they can change. Costs can increase each year.

2016/17 Fees

UK/EU students

  • Full-time: £9,000 (each year)

These fees apply if you're starting this course between September 2016 and August 2017. We recommend you check fee details with us though, as they can change. Costs can increase each year.

How you will learn

How you'll learn

Group work will enable you to reflect on your personal development, awareness and communication skills. You’ll study different therapeutic principles and the meaning of health and illness in the context of historical and cultural values. Our dedicated art, dance, drama and music lecturers offer a diverse range of experience to aid your learning, providing all the facilities you need to excel.

Our Britannia Mill studios are a dedicated facility to help you develop techniques such as ceramics and printing. Dance, Drama and Music pathway students will also spend some time at Déda Dance Academy. Our Kedleston Road, Britannia Mill and Markeaton Street sites are within a short distance of each other with regular transport links.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through essays, exhibitions, performances, reflective journals and diaries, videos and production projects.


All students participate in an Environmental Sculpture project and there are trips to various exhibitions, galleries, festivals and performances, some of which are abroad. As part of this course you'll also visit 'Big Wood' on the outskirts of Derby and investigate sculptures made from materials found in the wood.

Work placements

Placement, a key part of your learning experience, will develop your skills and help you decide on the right career path for you. There is a placement at Stage three which builds upon the modules Working Creatively with People and Disadvantage at Stages one and two.

Careers and employability

Your creative and transferable skills will enable you to work in a range of different settings. You might work in community arts, set-up your own business, or work creatively with people in various organisations. You could study further to become an arts therapist, social worker or teacher by undertaking a masters course in:

What our students say

Rachel Hoare, tells us about her experience on the course and her final work at The Big Show 2015.

"The course has shifted my aspirations. Before I might have been looking at jobs as a support worker but now I'm thinking more about how I can influence policy. I can't believe I'm saying that, but with the experience and knowledge I've gained I’m in a position where I could and should be applying for those higher level opportunities." Grace Goodbean, graduate Read Grace's full story

 "The key to a good education is to remember that you are in charge of your future and how you will develop as an individual; I can fully recommend Derby as an encouraging, challenging and nurturing place to educate and develop yourself." Jennifer Stafford-Curtis, graduate Read Jennifer's full story

"I graduated with a 1st class honours degree which I would never thought I could achieve. I believe I did this because of the lecturers I had. They were all amazing." Abigail Kirchmann, graduate Read Abigail's full story

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