Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: Up to 6 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road and Britannia Mill, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

Learn how to use the arts as a tool to work with others in a positive and therapeutic way on this innovative course.

Continue your study to gain an integrated Masters award, working in further community arts placement settings, and researching the impacts of Arts and Health practice.

Go beyond the classroom with the latest equipment, technology and study spaces to bring your learning to life. Have a look around our Therapeutic Arts facilities in our Virtual Open Day tour.

If the arts have played a vital role in your own personal development, why not harness your creativity to make a difference in other people’s lives? Our pioneering BA (Hons) Creative Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing programme is the only course of its kind in the UK that allows you to apply your skills in art, dance, drama, and music towards making a difference to the lives of others.

This programme offers you opportunities to develop your skills and express yourself in the art form of your choice through specialist studio sessions, performances and exhibition work. Playful exploration of all art forms will empower you in applying the arts as a tool when working with others to promote physical and emotional wellbeing.

We explore how the arts and creativity can be applied therapeutically in community, voluntary, health, educational, and corporate settings. We also look at different therapeutic principles and the meanings of health and illness in the context of historical, societal, and cultural values, and the role of the arts in meeting personal and community goals and needs.

Real-world learning in action

At every level of study, we offer exciting opportunities for you to put your skills into practice – and make more informed decisions about your future career path – through work placements and community projects.

At Level 6 of the course, you will undertake a placement thanks to our thriving partnerships where you could gain experience with arts groups, hospitals, hospices, schools, charities, or organisations supporting adults and children with disabilities. This is a fantastic opportunity to work creatively using multiple art forms to make a difference to the lives of your participants.

Many of our students take part in collaborative projects in the wider community and have devised and led drama sessions for prison inmates; run creative arts workshops for people with brain injuries; and toured schools with programmes aimed at tackling bullying and peer pressure.

Gain ‘career-ready’ skills

You will undertake a substantial amount of groupwork where you can reflect on your own personal development, awareness, and communication skills. You will also also gain experience of leadership, coaching, and group processes which will be invaluable in your future career.

There are opportunities for you to learn with, and from, students from other disciplines. This will prepare you to work in a multi-professional and multi-disciplinary teams after graduation, and ensure the best possible outcomes for your clients and service users.

An inspiring study experience

You will hone your skills in our superb facilities, including dedicated art, dance, drama, and music studios for therapeutic arts.

We offer guest lectures by leading professionals in the field, and you will also take part in environmental, site-specific arts workshops, as part of the ‘Big Wood’ project, based on the outskirts of Derby, to help you think beyond studio spaces.

Pursue your personal interests

Your course will culminate in an Independent study which allows you to explore areas of your own choosing within the applied arts & health subject area, whilst also offering a platform to demonstrate your academic and/or creative talents to potential employers.

This could take the form of either a  scholarly, theory-led Dissertation, or a practice-led Body of Work (such as drama, dance, or music performance(s) or an art exhibition), together with supportive written work.

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Mindfulness movement

Senior Lecturer Dave Home travelled around the work enriching lives beyond the classroom.

Follow Dave's journeyFollow Dave's journey
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What you will study

You'll study modules such as:

  • The healthy practitioner
  • Effective communication
  • Human development and play
  • Working creatively with groups
  • Arts, culture and wellbeing
  • The creative self
  • The Developing Practitioner
  • Concepts of Self
  • Group Work with Diverse Populations
  • Interpersonal Development
  • Arts for Health
  • The Emerging Pracitioner
  • The Professional Self
  • The Professional Practitioner
  • The Nature of Evidence
  • Group Work in Community Placement or Group Work in Community Extended Placement*
  • Independent Scholarship or Independent Study*

* You will choose either Group Work in Community Placement and Independent Scholarship or Group Work in Community Extended Placement and Independent 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.

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How you will learn

The course balances classroom-based theory 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. Placements are a key part of your learning experience too.

Throughout the course, you have access to guidance and advice from a personal tutor and will also benefit from academic skills sessions.

How you are assessed

You’ll be assessed in many ways to help you develop a compelling variety of skills. These include essays, exhibitions, performances, reflective journals and diaries, videos and production projects.

Who you will meet

You'll learn from highly experienced teachers who are committed to your success. All specialists in their field, they include active researchers, authors and industry practitioners with outstanding professional networks. We pride ourselves on offering a supportive and engaging learning environment.

The team includes Programme leader, Dr James Williams and Dr Clive Holmwood.

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

Who will teach you

Dr James Williams
Programme leader

James Williams is a Senior Lecturer in Therapeutic Arts (Music) teaching composition, improvisation, and performance. James is the Programme Leader for BA (Hons) CET and previously lectured in Music Composition for four years at the University of Hertfordshire where he taught music theory and perspectives on electroacoustic and electronic composition.

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Entry requirements

September 2021 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points 112
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSE GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS 6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / Audition



Yes - see portfolio information

Alternative entry qualifications

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Offers will be made initially based on your application, including predicted grades and/or grades you have already achieved. Following this, if you submit a strong portfolio we will make you an unconditional offer, to reflect the quality of your work and your potential.

An Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service certificate cleared by the University is required for this course. We will contact you with information on how to complete this once you have applied. More information.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year

£1,155 per 20 credit module


£14,045 per year


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

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK students

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

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

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.

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.

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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.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

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.

Minimum numbers

Please note that this course is subject to minimum numbers in order to run.

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