BA (Hons) Creative and Therapeutic Arts

If you’re passionate about art and believe in the potential for creative practices to improve wellbeing, the BA (Hons) Creative and Therapeutic Arts course provides the opportunity to develop your future practice in community and educational settings. Whether you’re interested in fine art, design, craft or creative community engagement, this course encompasses a wide variety of creative disciplines. You’ll be taught by experts at the forefront of the creative and therapeutic arts workforce, who will provide you with an excellent platform to gain experience of working creatively with others.

The Creative and Therapeutic Arts course has three distinct areas of study – art practice, professional practice placement, and theoretical input. You’ll be encouraged to make meaningful connections between each core subject to become a creative arts practitioner. Follow Creative and Therapeutic Arts on Twitter and Instagram.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
WX93 Full-time 3 Years September Treforest A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
WX93 Full-time 3 Years September Treforest A

Year One: Creative and Therapeutic Arts Degree

The first year provides initial personal exploration and development of your artwork, within a therapeutic framework. The focus is on exploring, developing and applying an understanding of personal and participant creativity. A study of human development will help raise awareness of a range of developmental issues. You will learn about the basic principles of working therapeutically and how to construct beneficial and experimental creative activities. A placement in an educational setting provides an opportunity to link theory with practice within a structured environment.

  • Introduction to Therapeutic Principles 
  • Art (1)
  • Human Development
  • Professional Practice/Placement (1)
  • Academic Skills for Inclusive Practice 

Year Two: Creative and Therapeutic Arts Degree

While extending knowledge of art within a therapeutic context, you will continue to develop your practical skills. You will explore issues connected with working as part of a multidisciplinary team and collaborate with other students. Learning is consolidated, developed, applied and assessed while working creatively and therapeutically with small groups on selected education or community arts placements, which also provide a stimulus for consideration of a research focus for your third year.

  • Art (2)
  • Professional Practice/Placement (2)
  • Application of Therapeutic Principles
  • Collaboration and Participation in the Arts
  • Working in Diverse Settings

Year Three: Creative and Therapeutic Arts Degree

In your third year, you will focus on evidence based practice related to a placement. You will be required to plan and develop a focused evaluation proposal. Further development of your art is pivotal at this stage, as is research linked to practice while on placement. This will provide an opportunity for you to explore and direct your emerging professional practice in preparation for employment.

  • Art (3)
  • Critical Reflection of Therapeutic Principles
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Professional Practice/Placement


You will take part in collaborative sessions as well as learn through placements in an educational setting. In the final year, you will undertake an independent research project.


Assessment methods on the course are varied and are typically coursework and practical in orientation. Assessment consists of coursework, essays, peer presentations, creative and therapeutic peer workshops, independent study and professional work on placement. There are no examinations within the Creative and Therapeutic Arts programme.


The Creative and Therapeutic Arts team are keen to encourage students to become involved with working with a wide range of groups in order to broaden their experience and understanding while on the degree.

Placements form an important part of the Creative and Therapeutic Arts degree and our partnerships with a range of settings mean you will gain a wealth of practitioner experience to boost your CV.

Placement partnerships include opportunities in community settings, such as charities, women’s refuges, children’s play therapy settings, nursing homes, learning disability services, centres for refugees and asylum seekers, social groups for adults with dual sensory impairments, and more. We also have partnerships with over 50 schools and learning centres with a breadth of innovative and specialist provision.


We have a multipurpose teaching space where most of the art and related lectures are taught. There is scope for workshops, more messy experimental work, as well as lectures and seminars in this space. There are also dedicated studio spaces for each year group which can be accessed throughout the week, where students are supported to develop their individual and collaborative art practices. The Creative and Therapeutic Arts course has its own range of specialist tools and resources which are used through the teaching within these dedicated spaces. Students also have priority access to a Mac computer lab which has a range of specialist software for use on art projects.  


The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.


The interview will include a discussion of your current involvement with art. You will also be required to produce a portfolio of work, which should be no less than 20 pages, demonstrating your art practice.Where Art has not been studied as part of formal education, applicants should look to pursue art classes, night school and/or independent studio practice. 

A DBS is required for the Creative and Therapeutic Arts course. If you are made an offer and you accept it, we will email you approximately three months before the start date to send you all the information you require to undertake the DBS. 

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 6 Passes (106 UCAS Tariff Points)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes (80 UCAS Tariff Points)

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances Other: You will also need an enhanced DBS check.

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9000 
  • Full-time International:  £12300 

August 2019 - July 2020 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (uniform and equipment) £500 - £1000
Art materials for projects. Cost varies depending on individual projects
Field trips £150 - £300
Additional assessment or memberships: Disability assessments £300 - £350
Where needed
DBS * £57.2
This fee includes £44 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service £13 - £13
Whilst optional, we strongly recommend signing up for this service especially if you are likely to have placements each year and wish to pursue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 19 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
Other: Portfolio £80 - £100
For graduate exhibition
Other: Art workbooks/printing/placement files £50 - £100
You will need to pay for your work books and printing costs.
Other: Placement travel £60 - £100
Dependent on length and location of placement
Other: Sing-along manual £16 - £24
If wish to do accredited course in Year 3
Site visits * £10 - £30
Visits to community settings, undertaken as part of taught modules, where students engage in their assessed project activities.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

Employment opportunities exist within education, health and the third sector, including community arts projects.

This Creative and Therapeutic Arts degree is a potential pathway to postgraduate study, including the MA Art Psychotherapy or MA Music Therapy, leading to Health Professions Council (HPC) registration as an Art Psychotherapist or Music Psychotherapist (subject to specific entry requirements).

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.