Art Therapies Theory and Research in Relation to Practice One - Level Seven - 7TA504

About this module

The arts therapy student should have core knowledge of human development, health and disability from social, psychological and physiological perspectives. The development of language, communication, verbal and non-verbal, and human relationship are key areas of understanding in clinical assessment of clients. As well as considering the pathology and psychopathology of contemporary diagnostic groups used within the clinical environment, there is also a need to consider a wider range of factors influencing diagnosis, including cultural contexts.

In order to effectively present the integration of these ideas with key theories and Arts Therapies models the student needs to be able to select appropriate data, apply skills in critical thinking, integrate key ideas from a variety of theoretical disciplines, and organise and communicate these ideas through the written and spoken word. This module therefore also aims to develop the core critical and cognitive skills necessary for postgraduate study and professional clinical practice.

Module Content

Students will study theories on human development including the areas of physiology, play, stages of non-verbal communication and psychology.

Key features of mental illness studied in the context of assessment and treatment within contemporary health and social care settings.

You will Identify and consider key models and ideas from psychology, psychotherapy and psychiatry that inform Arts Therapies theory and practice.

Consideration will be made of medical and non-medical models and their implications within clinical diagnosis and practice.

Development will take place of the critical and cognitive skills necessary for post graduate study and professional clinical practice.

You will develop your writing and research skills including the selection of appropriate data, critical thinking and organisation and communication of ideas through the written and spoken word.

Module Learning and Teaching Methods

This module is shared between the MA Art Therapy and the MA Dramatherapy. It will therefore comprise some joint teaching; some joint teaching with programme specific break out groups, and some programme specific teaching. Opportunities for formative activity will also be made available in the Autumn semester through critically reflecting upon a case material to develop clinical reasoning skills.

A minimum of 80% attendance is a requirement in order to pass the module. Failure to attend can result in non-acceptance of assessed work for the module and also a Fail and Return decision whereby students are required to retake the module in its entirety. In exceptional cases, approved extenuating circumstances may be offered when implementing this ruling.

Scheduled learning and teaching activities:         15%

Guided independent study:                                       85%

Module Assessment Method

Formative Assessment

You will submit a short piece of writing in response to a fictitious case example. This should demonstrate your clinical reasoning and evidence the linking of theoretical ideas to potential clinical applications, your critical reflections on the continuum between health and illness, function and dysfunction, an awareness of and sensitivity to the physical, psychological and social impact dysfunction may have on the individual. Feedback will be provided on your submission by the programme team

Summative Assessment

Component 1: COURSEWORK

4000 word article review. You are asked to locate a published piece of literature pertaining to Arts Therapy practice which includes either case studies or clinical vignettes and write a 4,000 word review of it.

(All learning outcomes, 100% weighting)

Learning Beyond Registration

Learning Beyond Registration (LBR) is a vital part of developing competent, capable health service practitioners prepared to deliver a dynamic, flexible, quality, client-focused service. If you're employed by the NHS in the East Midlands then you may be eligible for fee-free access to our LBR modules and/or programmes. You'll need to supply evidence of approval from your line manager and Trust Education Lead when you apply.

Find out more about LBR at Find out more at

Continuing Professional Development

CPD is a core element of every health and social care professional's development journey. We have CPD modules at undergraduate and postgraduate levels (levels 6 and 7), which have all been tailored to meet the needs of practitioners and managers working within the health and social care sectors. We have modules to suit nurses, occupational therapists, hand therapists, radiographers, psychotherapists, and those working within complementary therapies.

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Fact file

Which professions is this module aimed at? All Health Professionals

Course code: - Module code: 7TA504

Module level: Level 7

Module credits: 20 credits

Learning outcomes

Module Learning Outcomes

At the end of the module the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to select appropriate data, apply critical thinking and organise and communicate ideas through the written word.
  2. Identify and critically reflect upon one question/issue/aspect raised by the article.
  3. Apply ideas from Arts Therapy theories and human development theories and your critical reflections to critically analyse the selected article.

Fees and finance

Studying via LBR

If you're employed by the NHS in the East Midlands you may be eligible for fee-free access to out LBR modules. You'll need to supply evidence of approval from your line manager and Trust Education Lead when you apply. Find out more at

Self-funded CPD

If you're self-funding, then the team you need to contact depends upon how you wish to study. Some modules are available online whereas others are studied on campus, through distance learning or a mixture of the two.

Where will I study?

You'll study this course via on campus learning at Britannia Mill. 

Contact details

To find out more about studying this module through the LBR scheme, please contact the LBR team:

T: +44 (0)1332 591992

Or visit

For campus, blended or distance learning modules please contact the College of Health and Social care team:

T: +44 (0)1332 591703