Master of Arts in Arts Therapy

National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level: 9
NQF Credits: 240
EFTS: 2.0
Exit qualification: Master of Arts in Arts Therapy
Qualification Code: PC3426
Duration: 2 years low residency
Next Intake: February
Application deadline: 1 October for February intake
Campus: Main Campus, 24 Balfour Road, Parnell, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

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

The Whitecliffe low residency Master of Arts in Arts Therapy (MAAT) programme develops the theoretical knowledge and professional skills utilised within the field. Students work as an artist or arts therapist within a range of arts, including visual arts, drama, music, dance movement and writing.


The course offers two ways of working with groups of people and individuals using the arts. The first, arts access or art as therapy, follows the philosophy that art is beneficial for all people and involves artists offering their experiences, skills and enthusiasm to people who would not otherwise have access to the arts. The second, art in therapy or art psychotherapy, follows the philosophy that the arts have the potential to heal, particularly in the area of psychological health such as post-traumatic stress.


Whitecliffe Master of Arts in Arts Therapy requires attendance at 17 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.

Click on the image below to view or download the prospectus



The MAAT weekend seminars include guest speakers, tutorials, discussion groups and experiential workshops. The programme also involves case studies, supervised contact with clients and written research projects undertaken in the student's home location. During their first three semesters students complete six compulsory courses. In their fourth semester, students select from a group of self-directed research electives. Research can include work-related experience.


There is one intake through the year for the MAAT (February) however, applications for admission can be submitted anytime. Applications received after the deadlines will be considered for entry subject to places being available.

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


For all Arts Therapy Programme enquiries contact:

  • Postgraduate Programme Manager, Pam Young Contact Us  or
  • HoD Arts Therapy Programme, Amanda Levey Contact Us

 Click here to download the  Master of Arts in Arts Therapy Course Information.