Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 year

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2022/23)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2022/23)

UCAS points

72 (September 2023 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road and Britannia Mill, Derby Campus

Course description

Keen to use the arts in a positive and therapeutic way with others? Achieve your ambitions by studying on this innovative four year course which includes a Foundation Year.

  • Our Foundation Year provides you with a firm grounding in the skills and knowledge you need and introduces you to the subject area; enabling you to achieve your honours degree in four years
  • Gain exciting practical experience through completing work placements with our partner organisations
  • Advance to one of our acclaimed masters degrees if you would like to register and go into practice as an arts therapist
  • The Foundation Year course leads on to the full Creative Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing

If the arts have played a vital role in your own personal development, why not harness your creativity to make a difference in other peoples’ lives? Our pioneering BA (Hons) Creative Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing with Foundation Year shows you how.

Beginning with a Foundation Year

Starting at foundation level is ideal if it has been a while since you were in formal education; are planning a career change; would benefit from a more gradual introduction to university level study; or do not meet the entry requirements to join our three-year honours degree directly.

It gives you an insight into the therapeutic arts and working with people, as well as supporting you to develop the skills you need to achieve your goals.

On completion of the Foundation Year you will then commence study on the full BA (Hons) Creative Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing degree.

Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more

Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.

Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.

A smiling female with brown curly hair and red lipstick wearing red glasses

How Rachael is using music to help people

Find out why studying Therapeutic Arts at Derby was the right choice for Rachael who wanted to focus on the therapeutic and practical use of music.

Read Rachael's storyRead Rachael's story

What you will study

    Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

    Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

    Undergraduate Open Days

    The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

    Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

    How you will learn

    The course balances classroom-based theory sessions in the form of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and exercises with practical sessions involving studio, performance, and exhibition work. The focus is on developing your transferable skills so that you can adapt to varied and changing circumstances. Work-based learning and placements are a key part of your learning experience too, allowing you to develop your skills in working with people of differing ages, identities, backgrounds, and abilities.

    Throughout the course, you have access to guidance and advice from a personal academic tutor, and will also benefit from practice-focussed support sessions for academic skills, self-care, and employability.

    How you are assessed

    During your foundation year you will be assessed mainly by coursework, and with some in-class tests.

    For the remainder of your studies you'll be assessed in a variety of ways to help you develop a compelling skill-base. These include academic papers, reflective essays, exhibitions, performances, reflective journals and diaries, videos, and production projects. In some assessments, you will be able to choose how you are assessed, allowing you to work with your strengths.

    Who you will meet

    You will learn from highly experienced academics who are committed to supporting your success. All specialists in their field, they include active researchers, authors, Arts and Health Practitioners and Community Artists, qualified Arts Therapists, Musicians, Composers, Performers, and professional artists, all with outstanding professional networks. We pride ourselves on offering a supportive and engaging learning environment.

    The team includes Dr Clive Holmwood.

    The team also includes Keziah Smith, a qualified Art Psychotherapist who lectures on the MA Art Therapy and BA (Hons) Creative Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing programmes. Keziah has worked in a variety of settings including for the NHS within CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) and within specialist residential services with young people who have experienced significant trauma and those that care for them. More recently Keziah has set up mental health support within schools, working therapeutically with both young people and school based staff, as well as providing training, consultation and supervision.

    Personal academic tutoring

    Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

    Find out more about personal academic tutoring

    Entry requirements

    2023 entry

    These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2023 entry.

    RequirementWhat we're looking for
    UCAS points72
    A LevelDDD
    T LevelPass
    GCSEGCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at Level 2 as part of your course of study.
    Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2

    Offers will be made initially based on your application, including predicted grades and/or grades you have already achieved. You may be given the opportunity, within your offer letter, to submit a portfolio. If you submit a strong portfolio we will make you an unconditional offer, to reflect the quality of your work and your potential.

    Additional entry requirements

    English language requirements

    IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)

    Fees and funding

    2022/23 Fees (August 2022 - July 2023)


    £9,250 per year



    £14,045 per year


    Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

    Additional costs and optional extras

    How to apply

    Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

    UK students

    Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University
    International students

    On-campus courses starting in September 2022 and January 2023 are now closed to new applications from international students due to unprecedented demand. Applications for September 2023 will open in October. If you have any questions, please email

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University


    You’ll develop transferable skills which enable you to work creatively with people in a range of different settings, drawing on your knowledge of art, dance, drama or music.

    Our graduates have gone on to work in community arts, voluntary organisations, health, education and the corporate sector. Some have set up their own businesses.

    Ongoing careers support

    Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with help, guidance and support from day one of your course – and for up to three years after you’ve completed your studies.

    A close up of a mill building with a sign that says Banks Mill Studios

    Banks Mill Studios

    We also provide support for graduates starting out in the creative industries in the form of Banks Mill, an innovative space for creative and digital industries located in a landmark building within the heart of Derby city centre.

    Find out more about support servicesFind out more about support services

    Contact us

    If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

    Contact us Contact us

    Additional information about your studies

    Teaching hours

    Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

    Additional costs and optional extras

    We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

    Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.

    The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

    Included in your fees
    • Essential equipment for all practical workshops (e.g art materials and tools, musical instruments, drama props)
    • DBS Check approx £50
    Mandatory costs not included in your fees
    • Students may purchase additional resources for placement activities dependent on the nature of what they choose to deliver
    • Students will need their own waterproofs, wellies etc for the environmental sculpture event
    • Students may wish to purchase specific props and/or outfits for performances
    • Art materials beyond those supplied for specialist teaching e.g. large volumes of clay, large canvases and specialist paint/brushes, textiles/fabrics - especially for final year work
    • Students are expended to fund-raise to finance the production of the booklet supporting their final exhibition or performance, and refreshments for the opening evening
    • Students with specialist musical instruments beyond those available in the University will need to bring their own instruments
    Optional costs not included in your fees
    • Option to purchase personal copies of textbooks
    • Students may opt to engage in international trips and activities that are not fully funded, though bursaries may be available
    • Optional outings and trips will also require self-funding  

    Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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