BA (Hons) Creative and Therapeutic Arts

If you're passionate about expressive arts and believe in the potential for creative practices to improve wellbeing, the Creative and Therapeutic Arts degree 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, the Creative and Therapeutic Arts 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 degree 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.

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2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

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

Your first year focuses on building a creative learning community among your fellow students to support you throughout your studies. You’ll work independently and collaboratively, sharing knowledge and constructively critiquing each other’s work. You’ll also engage in an intensive project of professional engagement and training. This will culminate in expressive arts workshops in the community through collaborative working.

  • Art (1)
  • Professional Practice (1)
  • Creativity and Wellbeing: Theoretical Underpinnings
  • Academic Skills for Inclusive Practice

Year Two: Creative and Therapeutic Arts Degree

In the second year, you’ll have opportunities to diversify. Theoretical modules offer insight into a range of specialist contexts and ideas on how to work creatively within these, as well as exploring the nature of collaboration and participation. This learning is developed, applied and assessed while you work creatively and therapeutically on a placement.

  • Art (2)
  • Professional Practice/Placement (2)
  • Working Creatively to Facilitate Wellbeing

Year Three: Creative and Therapeutic Arts Degree

The final year provides scope for you to hone your identity as a creative arts practitioner. You’ll learn about the importance of evidence-based practice and evaluation, and refine your chosen specialist area through further placement opportunities in community, education and health settings. This year ends with a graduate exhibition, which has a keen focus on the therapeutic and inclusive potential of this practice.

All students will have the opportunity to enrol in an accredited qualification in SignAlong, a sign supported communication method which can be valuable in participatory arts practice, as part of their studies

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


You will take part in collaborative classes, workshops and lectures as well as learning through work-based placements in a range of community, educational and health settings. 

Find out more about our current research into learning disabilities and developmental disorders.


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 this expressive 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 is also dedicated studio space which students will have opportunity to access at specific points during their studies, for specific projects.

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.


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.

Additional Requirements

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. 

An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child & Adult Workforce and Child Barring List and subscription to the DBS Update Service. (Overseas equivalent required for non-uk applicants)


Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to exclude General Studies and normally include A Level Art, an Art & Design Foundation Diploma or a relevant background (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, and normally include A Level Art, an Art & Design Foundation Diploma or a relevant background (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass and normally include an Art subject or an Art & Design Foundation Diploma or a relevant background (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level.

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points in an Art related Access or hold an Art & Design Foundation Diploma or a relevant background.

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.

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.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

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

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £13800 

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: 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) £250 - £1000
Art materials for projects. Cost varies depending on individual projects
Field trips £150 - £300
Typically in Year 1
Additional assessment or memberships: Disability assessments £300 - £350
Where needed some grants are available through the University as well as application to the Hardship Fund
DBS * £53.20
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service * £13
Whilst optional at present, we strongly recommend you sign 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 you must register with the update service within 30 days of your enhanced DBS certificate being issued.
Other: Portfolio £80 - £100
For graduate exhibition
Other: Art workbooks/printing/placement files £25 - £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: SignAlong manual £16 - £24
If you wish to purchase a manual to accompany your study of this accredited SignAlong course
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. Please read our useful interview tips and portfolio guide before you apply.


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 leading to Health and Care Professions Council (HPC) registration as an Art Psychotherapist. Students have also progressed to the MA Arts Practive (Arts, Health and Wellbeing) as well as developing their own companies and freelance practices.

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.