Master of Arts / Full-Time
Studying art therapy in the Master's programme at Alanus University means thoroughly preparing yourself for the varied demands of working as a professional art therapist. Basis of the studies is the student’s own artistic competence and previous experience. During the sudy programme students can develop therapeutic abilities on the basis of medical-psychological, artistic and art-therapeutic findings and practice. Our focus on art therapeutic research provides the basis for further academic qualification and leadership activities.
Art therapy is a young discipline that uses artistic aesthetic means to stimulate healing and development potential. It incorporates both traditional forms of expression (drawing, painting and sculpture) as well as new media (photography, video, spatial installation/presentation). On the basis of a sustainable therapeutic relationship, the patient’s ability to creatively express him/herself is expanded through the processes of visual design applied in therapy. This opens up a new space for aesthetically supported development and experience, and facilitates an expanded, more in-depth exploration of disease processes, personal themes and paths towards development.
The course is divided into five areas of study that combine theory and practice.
- Art and Art Therapy 1st - 4th semester
Reflection on the artistic work process and development of a repertoire of artistic-therapeutic methods
- Medical-Psychological Expertise, 1st -2nd semester
Developmental psychology and fundamentals of pedagogy, approaches to prevention and rehabilitation, clinical psychology of children, adolescents and adults, crisis intervention and psychotherapeutic forms of treatment, psychooncology and palliative care
- Professional Skills in Art Therapy, 1st - 4th semester
Theory and methodology of art therapy, diagnostics and recording/analysis of findings, therapeutic self experience* and therapeutic relationship formation, specific art therapeutic approaches to various clinical pictures
- Research Skills, 1st -2nd / 4th semester
Specific approaches and forms of work in art therapeutic research, concrete research projects within the framework of the Master's thesis
- Art Therapy in Practice, 2nd - 4th semester
Practical applications of art therapy (four guided and supervised internships and projects in clinical and social institutions)
* Therapeutic self experience is part of the regular study programme.
An externally provided healing therapy cannot be credited for this.
Based on Artistic Experience
Skills in art therapy are mediated through the student’s own artistic experience as well as in theoretical discourses.
Strong Relation to Practice
The courses include several practical work in psychiatric, somatic and psychosomatic clinics, in social institutions or in addiction-treatment-centres. The practial work is supervised by the staff of the university.
Connected to the Current State of Research
The courses provide a differentiated overview of various fields of work and methodologies in current art therapeutic research. In the fourth semester students will have the possibilty to develop their own research questions independently.
Watch the video about our programme!
- First university degree in art, art therapy or art education
- Applicants with a first degree in another discipline can be admitted in exceptional cases. Aptitude for the field of art is determined during the entrance exam.
- 80-hour internship in art therapy or a related field of work
- Successful participation in the entrance exam
- Foreign applicants require proof of sufficient German language skills, both written and spoken
- Submission of an artistic portfolio with 20 recent works. Your artistic suitability will be determined during the admission procedure.
Applications to begin study in Autumn Semester must be submitted by July. After a successful application, you will receive an appointment for a personal interview.
International degree-seeking students are asked to contact the General Student Advisory Service for the admission procedure. Please contact the person at this office who is responsible for the degree programme you are interested in.
Your application consists of two parts.
- Your application documents, which are described below.
- Your artistic portfolio, which is submitted in digital form. You only need to bring your artistic portfolio with the original artworks to the admission procedure after you have been invited. For applicants from non-European countries, the submission of a digital artistic portfolio is sufficient. Please note the "Hints for preparing a portfolio".
Please prepare the following application documents:
- Curriculum vitae
- Letter of motivation
- certified copies of certificates
- Proof of a 4-week internship, completed in a social or art therapy context. (The internship can be submitted up to one year later).
- certificate of registration from a German health insurance company
- two passport photos
- for foreign students: Proof of sufficient German language skills (through TestDaF 4, DSH or an equivalent certificate).
Requirements for artistic portfolios
In addition to the written application documents, please submit an artistic portfolio with approx. 20 current self-created works (maximum format DIN A1). The works should be no older than 2 years. Rolled up works are not accepted. Catalogues and photo documentations are permitted. The portfolio must be accompanied by a signed declaration stating that the works were created independently by the applicant. All included works must be labelled with the applicant’s name, the portfolio with name and address.
Please send us your digital portfolio exclusively via an external hard drive (e.g.: WeTransfer or X-Transfer), in the form of a PDF or Power Point presentation. Single images cannot be accepted. The digital portfolio should be sent to: email@example.com
If it is not possible for you to collect the artistic portfolio in person, it can only be returned after you have sent in postage stamps in advance. For capacity reasons, the storage of the portfolio is only possible at short notice after the application procedure.
The admission procedure is planned in presence form. Should a change to an online admission procedure become necessary, we will inform you in advance.
Please address your portfolio to:
Alanus Hochschule für Kunst und Gesellschaft
z. Hd. Frau Barbara Milde-Schulz
The degree programme enables students to work, for example, in psychiatric, psychotherapeutic or oncological clinics, in rehabilitation facilities, in the social sector such as addiction prevention, health promotion in schools or in the context of intercultural integration projects.
Our new alumni clip offers further insights:
Scope: 20 recent works (originals not older than 2 years). Catalogues and sketchbooks (max. two) are also very welcome in addition.
What you should bear in mind when creating a portfolio.
The portfolio should:
- Show at least two different ways of working (techniques/materials). These can be, for example, drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, installation, conceptual, multimedia, performance or participatory.
- Convey a range of your artistic expression by incorporating at least two different ways of working.
- Express your individual artistic-aesthetic approach in a representative way and distinguish yourself through independence and originality.
- Make a personal involvement perceptible, which is qualitatively communicated to the viewer, e.g. through formal and/or content-related intensity, concentration, condensation, etc. The intensity of an involvement is shown by the inclusion of at least two different working methods.
The intensity of an engagement is not shown through repetition or the completion of conventional themes, but through the development of interest in a matter and its multifaceted exploration and realisation. The intensive exploration of the sensual - artistic - aesthetic expression, the technical and especially qualitative examination of a subject (not the motif), the choice of material, the handling of the material, all this should be taken into account in order to create a quality of expression by means of which your individual view of the world becomes visible. The visualisation of a mature style, an individual handwriting should be the aim of your selection.
- The presentation of your works should be done in a professional and appropriate way (similiar to an exhibition of your works).
- A presentation with expensive passe-partouts or collecting cases is not necessary, rather we appreciate it if an appropriate presentation style is found out of the work.
- The works should be identified (on the back) with your name, the title, the year of creation, the size of the work and the material used.
- Catalogues and sketchbooks are considered supplements and not works.
- The submission of your digital portfolio is in PDF or Ppt format. Please ensure that the photos are of good colour quality and depth of field. Information on the title, the year of creation, the size of the work and the material used is required, as well as a cover sheet with your name, address and the design period.
- Please send us your digital portfolio exclusively via an external hard drive (e.g.: WeTransfer or X-Transfer). Single images cannot be accepted.
We look forward to receiving your application!