Arts Therapy

Whitecliffe Arts Therapy graduates are able to combine their passions for creativity and for working with others to enhance well-being. They develop the confidence to contribute to this dynamic, emerging field, harnessing their own experience and interests to pioneer new frontiers in this rapidly expanding profession.

Creative expression, which is the basis of arts therapy, can have a significant impact on the healing process. Creative therapists can enjoy rewarding careers in a variety of therapeutic settings in mental health environments, treatment agencies and in the community. Working through art, they help people with trauma, addictions and psychological or emotional issues. 

The Whitecliffe low residency Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Therapy (PG Dip AT) programme develops the theoretical knowledge and professional skills utilised within the field, and is a pre-requisite for applications to continue on the Master of Arts in Arts Therapy (Clinical) programme.

Students who have successfully completed the Postgraduate Diploma of Arts Therapy (Year One) are eligible to apply to continue on the Master of Arts in Arts Therapy (Clinical).

Exceptional applicants with equivalent Arts Therapy qualifications or significant Arts Therapy experience may be eligible for entry directly into the Year Two of the MA AT (Clinical) programme.  


The course supports students to articulate the principles of best professional practice for Arts Therapists; discuss social science theories as they apply to Arts Therapy; identify appropriate research methods and conduct a number of types of research; make art works and performances informed by Arts Therapy theories; formulate focused questions and identify and implement appropriate research methods to gather, analyse and report data in support of directed inquiry. Students learn to work effectively using Arts Therapy with individuals and with groups of people seeking help with a variety of presenting problems and must also complete a research dissertation and meet the registration criteria for appropriate professional bodies that includes supervised client contact hours. 


Whitecliffe Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Therapy requires attendance at 10 intensive weekend seminars, plus a substantial amount of independent course work. Students are free to continue in their employment, but must schedule release time as needed. Computer and Internet access are essential because communication with lecturers and other students is maintained online. Due to the high demand for entry into this programme from applicants all over New Zealand, Whitecliffe now delivers the course from Christchurch as well as Auckland.

Auckland - Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design Main Campus - 24 Balfour Road, Parnell 

Christchurch - ARA Art and Design Building - Corner of Moorehouse Ave and Madras Street, Christchurch


There is one intake each year in January for the PG Dip AT  and for the MAAT (Clinical) however, applications for admission can be submitted anytime. Applications received after the deadlines will be considered for entry subject to places being available.

The PG Dip AT and The Master of Arts in Arts Therapy (Clinical )have been approved and accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) under the provisions of the Education Act 1989.


The Arts Therapy Programme Director is Amanda Levey

For all Arts Therapy enquiries:


    Click on the image below to view or download the prospectus

    Arts Therapy Course Information below.


    Click here to download the Master of Arts in Arts Therapy (Clinical) Course Information

    Click here to download the Master of Arts in Arts Therapy Research

    National Qualifications Framework (NZQF) Level: 9
    NQF Credits: 360
    EFTS: 3.0
    Exit qualification: Master of Arts in Arts Therapy (Clinical)
    Qualification Code: PC4427
    Duration: 3 years low residency (inclusive of 1 year PG Dip AT)
    Next Intake: January of each year
    Application deadline: 1 October for february intake
    Campus: Main Campus, 24 Balfour Road, Parnell, Auckland 1010, New Zealand