Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Therapy Course Outline
Creative expression can have significant impact on the healing process for people with trauma, addictions and psychological or emotional issues. Arts Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that utilises creative modalities including visual arts-making, drama, dance/movement, creative writing and nature-connected arts within a therapeutic relationship to improve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
The Whitecliffe Arts Therapy Approach
Whitecliffe 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.
The Whitecliffe programme offers a spectrum of approaches to Arts Therapy.
- ‘The arts as therapy’, follows the philosophy that participation in creative activities is universally beneficial. Artists offer their experience and skills to people who might not otherwise access the arts.
- ‘The arts as therapy’ or arts psychotherapy, which involves using the arts within psychotherapy as a powerful mode of expression and means of healing.
Students will gain an understanding of how an arts therapist can work along this spectrum depending on the population worked with and the individual level of previous psychotherapy training and experience. It is a highly innovative programme offering a variety of creative Arts Therapy modalities.
Applicants are expected to be proficient in at least one of these when entering the programme and to achieve a basic grounding in the other modalities during the programme. The programme supports students to develop culturally sensitive practices responsive to the Maori worldview and other cultures.
The Postgraduate Diploma of Arts Therapy and Master of Arts in Arts Therapy (Clinical) are low-residency (blended delivery) courses of study to provide flexibility for students in the workplace and/or travelling to study.
The Postgraduate Diploma is offered in two locations, Auckland and Christchurch, and is scheduled for ten weekends - one per month February to November - in each location. The Postgraduate diploma offers an introduction to the foundation philosophy, skills and theories relating to the field as a stand-alone qualification, or can provide the prerequisite for application for progression onto the Masters qualification. Progression requirements include assessment of a student’s suitability for clinical practice and academic ability to undertake level 9 research.
The Master’s programme is currently offered in Auckland only. The seminar delivery pattern is four intensive seminars per year for two years.
Three Interrelated elements of the MAAT programme
Intensive 4-5 day seminars
Held four times annually to enable students to:
- Engage in theoretical and experiential learning with faculty, peers, and local and international practitioners.
- Participate in group process and self-reflexive practices
- Build clinical, research, and presentation skills.
- Creative studio
- Social Aspects of Arts Therapy
- Psychology of Arts Therapy
- Group Arts Therapy (Professional Practice)
- Arts Psychotherapy
- Research and Arts Therapy
- Professional Practice (Training and Supervision)
- Research Prep and Research Project
In the final year of study, students complete an independent research project based on the proposal developed in the second year of study. The project is supported by a research supervisor.
To successfully complete the MA and be eligible for professional registration with the regional professional body ANZACATA, during the final 18 months period of study, students must complete 750 hours of supervised clinical practice - achieved via placements that involve work with real-world clients and populations. Students are encouraged to seek out a variety of placement opportunities, assisted by faculty. External Arts Therapy supervision is funded by the College.
An undergraduate diploma or degree qualification in a relevant field, equivalent to NZQF Level 7 or, in exceptional circumstances, eligibility for admission is considered on the basis of recognition of prior learning, including both professional and/or life experience.
The Postgraduate Diploma of Arts Therapy and Master of Arts in Arts Therapy (clinical) are low-residency courses of study to provide flexibility for students in the workplace and/or travelling to study.
The Postgraduate Diploma is offered in two locations, Auckland and Christchurch, and is scheduled for ten weekends - one per month February to November - in each location. The Postgraduate Diploma offers an introduction to the foundation philosophy, skills and theories relating to the creative arts therapies in readiness for taking skills into the workplace for those working in a related field as a stand-alone qualification, or can provide the pre-requisite for application for progression onto the Masters qualification.
Progressions requirements include assessment of a student’s suitability for clinical practice and academic ability to undertake level 9 research.
The Masters programme is currently offered in Auckland only. The seminar delivery pattern is four intensive seminars per year for two years.
Key Information for Students
Matt EllwoodHead of Department - Fine Arts
Matt Ellwood completed his undergraduate studies at Auckland University’s Elam School of Fine Arts and has a PGDip in Teaching from Auckland College of Education.Continue reading
Amanda LeveyProgramme Director - Arts Therapy
Amanda gained her psychology degree from the University of Melbourne, and did extensive training in the USA in the Halprin Method.Continue reading
Lynnemaree PattersonHead of Department - Certificates
Lynnemaree received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Whitecliffe College in 2005. Prior to that she taught Expressive Arts in Papua New Guinea.Continue reading
After gaining a Bachelor of Counselling at the end of 2013, Kathrin worked in two NGO with people of all ages who had an abuse history.Continue reading
Matt Dowman received his BFA from Whitecliffe in 2002, and a MFA with honours from Auckland University’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 2004.Continue reading
Henry SymondsSenior Lecturer - General
Henry Symonds completed his undergraduate studies at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town.Continue reading
Christina ReadSenior Lecturer
Christina Read emigrated from the United Kingdom in 2003. She has an MFA from Elam School of Fine Art, University of Auckland.Continue reading
Kennedy Kioa FaimanifoLecturer
With over 13-years’ experience in Digital Art + Design, Kennedy is teaching our Certificate in Digital Media + Design at our Manukau campus.Continue reading
Bio to comeContinue reading
Caryline BorehamSenior Lecturer
Bio coming soon
Bio coming soon
Oleg PolounineFine Arts Technician
Bio coming soon
Dr Julia TealeLecturer
Dr Julia Teale gained her PhD from the University of Auckland and her MFA at the University of Cape Town, Higher Dip Fine Art, Technikon Natal.Continue reading
Noel IvanoffMaster of Fine Arts Lecturer
Noel completed his undergraduate studies at the School of Art, Otago Polytechnic before completing a certificate in advanced studies at St Martins School of Art in London.Continue reading
Yoon Tae KimPhotography Technician
Bio coming soon.Continue reading
Wendy is a practicing artist and registered clinical arts therapist who works alongside Whitecliffe's arts therapy students.Continue reading
Yolunda HickmanActing Programme Director - MFA / Lecturer
Yolunda Hickman completed her MFA at Elam in 2013 and is a current Doctoral candidate there with a focus on the visual semiotics and limitations of communication systems.Continue reading
Rose Meyer gained a Master of Fine Art with First Class Honours in 2015 and a Post Graduate Diploma of Arts Management with Distinction in 2017 at Whitecliffe College.Continue reading
Richard completed his MFA from the University of Auckland in 2001. He employs a multi-disciplinary practice including; sculpture, photography, installation plus more.Continue reading
Pip RanbyPlacement Coordinator / Lecturer
Pip is the general co-ordinator for the first year of the Master of Arts in Arts Therapy programme, and leads the co-ordination and teaching of the clinical skills training.Continue reading
Melissa completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2003, and her Master of Fine Arts in 2012, both at Whitecliffe College.Continue reading
Jill completed her undergraduate studies in 1991 at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Australia and gained an MFA with First Class Honours.Continue reading
Giles lectures in contextual studies in New Zealand / Pacific art and design history; Contemporary art and design history, Fashion theory and more.Continue reading
Glen gained his Master of Fine Arts at the Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University, in 2012.Continue reading
Clayton has a diploma in teaching majoring in Art and Physical Ed from the University of Canterbury.Continue reading
David is a documentary and editorial photographer, digital producer, writer and field recordist.Continue reading
Bettina works as a lecturer in the MAAT and course co-ordinator for the PgDip in Christchurch for Whitecliffe College.Continue reading
Dr Deborah GreenProgramme Director, Arts Therapy
Deborah began her career in applied theatre and adult education and worked for 15 years within the South African University and Health sectors as theatre director.Continue reading
Jacquie PhippsHead of Department - Learning and Teaching
Jacquie graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a Bachelors of Arts (Hons.) in English Literature with supporting studies in Classical Studies and Art History.Continue reading
Where could this programme take you?
Many of our graduates have been employed by their clinical placements after completion of the course such as special schools, prison rehabilitation, drug and alcohol services, school counselling, trauma services, disability services, community mental health settings. Graduates of the Whitecliffe Arts Therapy programme are instrumental in extending the field’s reach into new applications. Graduates of MAAT (clinical) are eligible to become professional members of the Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapy Association. Professional members with suitable background and experience are able to go into private practice and apply for registration to be a counsellor for ACC, provide counselling through the WINZ Disability Allowance Scheme and register for programmes such as the “I Am Hope” free counselling scheme for youth
Jobs related to this programme
Mental Health Facilities
Drug and Alcohol Services
Community Mental Health Settings
Talk to our team
If you would like to ask us a question or request more information, please detail your enquiry using the form below. If you would like you can contact us directly on 0800 800 300, email us or use the contact us form.