MA Art Therapy

Practice as a culturally sensitive, competent and ethical art therapist.

As the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, the MA Art Therapy programme augments the range of mental health options available in Singapore and the region. This programme is distinctive in defining the professional discipline in contemporary ways that are culturally relevant and meaningful within Asian and global contexts.

This is a practice-based, intensive training programme that emphasises experiential learning through art making, reflection and research. The MA in Art Therapy at LASALLE is an ANZACATA approved training programme, preparing graduates to become professionally credentialed as Registered Art Therapists (AThR). 

As an art therapist, you purposefully facilitate an art making process to create self-expression, reflection, understanding and change with people and/or communities who encounter a range of stress, trauma, physical, mental or societal challenges and experiences. Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that helps people to effect change and growth through the use of art materials in a supported and safe environment. For those having difficulty expressing their thoughts and feelings verbally, art therapy is non-intrusive and can tap into the rich non-verbal aspects of communication and creativity.

Art therapists develop the necessary skills and training to effectively work with a variety of populations throughout the life cycle. They work within various medical, institutional, educational and rehabilitative settings that may include learning, development, medical conditions, social work, marginalised groups, crisis and trauma within communities, ageing and eldercare, to name a few. The practice of art therapy ranges from studio-based to clinical approaches, depending on the art therapist's level of expertise, practice and working environment. Art therapists remain sensitive to cultural awareness, difference and diversity, and adhere to international ethics and best practices.

The MA Art Therapy programme spans a range of psychotherapeutic concepts, theories and practices. The experiential model of the programme places an emphasis on acquiring critical knowledge and understanding of the philosophy of the modality itself. You will undergo a substantial period of clinical practice through supervised clinical placements. Clinical work is further explored and discussed through structured group and individual supervision at the College.

You will be encouraged to attain an autonomous and reflective stance in your learning, development and assessment in collaboration with tutors. This is a vital process in developing an approach to your professional practice as a confident, competent and ethical art therapist that will be based upon your ability to be analytical, critical, objective and self-reflective about your work.

The programme is groundbreaking in relation to the varied and distinctive social, cultural and spiritual frameworks within which it is being nurtured. Adopting a blend of Eastern and Western approaches, you will be encouraged to develop a reflective and contemporary philosophical and practical stance, as well as research and work in a range of settings both local and, if appropriate, international.

Self-reflexivity, mindfulness and a contemplative approach are practices you may draw upon to further embrace and/or expand your understanding of an Asian context. It is acknowledged that cultural difference and diversity are at the heart of current art therapy debate and discourse both locally and around the globe.

Course Details

MA Art Therapy

2 years (4 semesters)



Programme structure

The MA Art Therapy is a two-year full-time programme divided into four semesters of 13 teaching weeks. You must successfully complete the modules offered in sequence before you can progress to the next semester. You learn progressively, each module building upon the knowledge and skill base of the previous semester. The incremental learning structure of the programme ensures that you will acquire the essential knowledge and practical experience to become professional art therapists.

Semester 1

Psychodynamic Processes and Pictorial Analysis (15 CP)
Introduction to Art Therapy (15 CP)
Group Training 1 (15 CP)
Human Development and Clinical Theory (15 CP)

Psychodynamic Processes and Pictorial Analysis
This module will explore contemporary psychodynamic theories including object relations and inter-subjective theories to name a few, with in-depth training in the understanding of the symbolism of sublimation and the language of art. This module will provide an introduction to a range of visual methodologies. There will be an exploration of art therapy assessment techniques and processes used within art therapy practice, and current debates about how best to make use of these within contemporary practice will be included as part of the discourse.

Introduction to Art Therapy
This module provides the foundation for the programme and the theoretical framework for safe and professional clinical art therapy practice. You are introduced to the history of art therapy and psychodynamic theory that has evolved from object relations into intersubjective theory and how these theories can be connected to the making of artwork. The importance of attachment, transference and countertransference, sublimation and trauma are all elements for discussion and incorporated into assignments. You will develop a beginning understanding of key psychodynamic theory, concepts and terms as related to professional art therapy practice.

Group Training 1
In this module, you will learn about the facilitation of different kinds of art therapy groups as well as developing an understanding of dynamically based group therapy. Led by an experienced and dynamically trained therapist, you will develop an empathic understanding of group experiences, including the complexities of group dynamics, and will have the opportunity to co-facilitate a group.

Human Development and Clinical Theory
This module introduces students to the dynamics of human development across the lifespan looking at the psychology of child, adolescent, adult and geriatric development. The module examines these different stages of development and achievement through the additional lens of attachment and trauma. This module includes one paper which will integrate biological, psychological, social and environmental theories in understanding human development.

Semester 2

Research Methods in Creative Arts (30 CP)
Child and Adolescent Art Therapy (15 CP)
Clinical Placement 1 (15 CP)

Child and Adolescent Art Therapy
In this module there is an emphasis on developing therapeutic skills when working with children and adolescents. The coursework will be experiential as well as theoretical and practical. This module builds on dynamic skills, the awareness and understanding of human development and psychodynamic theory gained in semester one.

Research Methods in Creative Arts
This module introduces you to arts research through a thorough study of research methods and analytical techniques informing artistic and critical practices at the MA level. Research operates within a critical context and this module aims to prepare you to confidently articulate your practice, formulate your own critical arguments, and formulate methods to investigate and probe issues.

Clinical Placement 1
During the first week of semester 2 several Clinical Placement Primers will be scheduled to further prepare you for your first clinical placement. You must accumulate a minimum of 272 hours at placement and carry a clinical caseload, under supervision, in Singapore. You will learn to engage with patients/clients/ beneficiaries and develop your ability to facilitate art therapy in the placement setting.

Semester 3

Adult, Geriatric and Family Art Therapy (15 CP)
Clinical Placement 2 (15 CP)

Adult, Geriatric and Family Art Therapy
You are further introduced to specific theories and practical ways of working with adults, older adults and families. The coursework will be experiential and builds upon the core skills developed in semester two. There is one comprehensive paper that critically explores the complexities of diagnosis, ethical practice and consideration as applied to practical work.

Clinical Placement 2
In this module, you will be more fully engaged with individual clients and groups within their clinical settings. You will continue to develop your clinical art therapy skills and understanding of the dynamic, psychological processes of your clients in the Southeast Asian context. You will continue to explore these processes within the context of the therapeutic relationship in supervision at your clinical placement and at the College.

Semester 4

Group Training 2 (15 CP)
Clinical Placement 3 (15 CP)

Group Training 2
You will incorporate your theoretical and practical experiences over the course of your training into further exploring dynamically based group theory and practice experientially. You will take turns in leading your own experiential groups under the supervision of an experienced art therapist.

Clinical Placement 3
In this module, you will engage fully with individual clients and groups within your clinical setting. Emphasis is on the therapeutic relationship and your ability to function as an integrated member of a multidisciplinary team. You should be able to explore the treatment interventions, transference and countertransference and other psychodynamic processes within the artwork with greater ease.

Semester 3 & 4

Final Research (60 CP)

Final Research
In this module, you will engage in research on an aspect of art therapy of particular interest to you. The research topics, methods and presentation of findings will be discussed, negotiated and agreed upon with the Programme Leader and your research supervisor at the beginning of the module. This will allows you to seek advice from experienced researchers relating to the design of the research. Practitioners and researchers within art therapy will also provide you with differing perspectives to assist you in the development and the delivery of your research project. The reflective practitioner approach will provide evidence of a growth in understanding of art therapy practice.

More Information

Postgraduate research

LASALLE has a long tradition of practice-led research in art and design. The College aims to assume a significant role in Singapore for practice-led research in visual, performing and literary arts, and aspires to add the distinctive viewpoint of Singapore to research into artistic practice in the 21st century.

The Research Methods in Creative Arts module is a common module which all students are required to undertake. You will have the opportunity to interact with one another in the first term, to network with peers in other MA programmes and foster a stronger community of research practice that enhances your respective discipline of study as well as within the College.

You will be introduced to relevant professional methods of research and creation which may include profiles of and/or dialogue with creative professionals, critical/theoretical discourse, action research, visual object analysis, textual analysis, case studies, historical and ethnographic research, interviews, life stories/autobiographies, etc. You will also be introduced to research practices such as literature reviews, process-based discovery, bibliographical searches, quantitative and qualitative methods, citations and the construction of research questions.

Postgraduate students are constantly exposed to first-hand experience in current practices of research and creation, leading to the acquiring powerful knowledge and of a wide set of skills by the time you graduate. You will have opportunities to develop expertise in accordance with your research interests.

Programme highlights

The programme is formally approved by the Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapy Association (ANZACATA). Graduates are eligible to apply for professional registration (AThR) with ANZACATA. It may be possible to apply for professional membership with other international art therapy organisations and registration authorities. It is the graduate's responsibility to be familiar with the appropriate professional credential and membership organisations in terms of requirements and procedures for professional membership, credentials, and of working within a country outside of Singapore. You are encouraged to obtain student membership in any of the professional art(s) therapy organisations in addition to the Art Therapists' Association Singapore (ATAS).

Essential Elements of the Therapist's Training Experience

Personal Therapy
You are required to receive regular personal therapy during semesters 2, 3 and 4 of the taught programme; personal therapy in semester 1 is recommended. This provides art therapists-in-training with the opportunity to explore and reflect on issues that may arise for them during the experiential learning process. The programme maintains a list of recommended therapists; therapists on this list have been recommended by candidates and are not endorsed by the programme.

End-Of-Semester Meetings
At the end of each semester you will meet individually with the Programme Team to review your progress academically, clinically and artistically. You will have the opportunity to verbally review your fitness to practice with the Programme Team during these meetings.

Ethics And Workshops On Abuse/Violence Identification, Intervention, Documentation And Reporting Within The Local Context
Discussions on ethics will be integrated throughout the programme, in supervision and other coursework, in addition to a risk assessment workshop at the beginning of semester 1. Child abuse identification and intervention training will take place in semester 2 by a local agency, and in semester 3 training on elder abuse and a family violence identification and intervention workshop will be scheduled.

Cross-Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity
Therapists often provide services to culturally diverse groups of people with varying backgrounds and experiences. Throughout your course of study you are expected to further develop cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity as you develop your professional skills, identity, experience, and knowledge. This will assist in your empathic stance and will enrich your clinical skills while working in the rich diversity of cultures in Singapore and abroad.

You will be required to satisfy the programme of your fitness to work and undertake training, which involves children and vulnerable people. You are required to sign a Suitability Declaration related to criminal convictions and to occupational health prior to admission to the Programme. Assessment of your health and your occupational fitness will be based on your ability to satisfy the following criteria, taking into account the range of duties which you will undertake as part of your training, including clinical placement and community projects, and any health problems you may have.

  • You are physically able to cope with the day-to-day duties of your training (at the College and at the placement)
  • You can communicate effectively with children, parents, clients and colleagues
  • You have sound judgement and insight, and can remain alert at all times
  • You are able to respond to clients' needs rapidly and effectively
  • You can manage classes or groups
  • You do not constitute any risk to the health, safety or well-being of those in your care
  • You can, where disabilities exist, meet all these criteria through reasonable adjustments made by LASALLE

Concerns and/or questions pertaining to the your mental fitness to become a therapist will be discussed, documented, and assessed at the End-of-Semester meeting and as needed during the semester. Your progress will be monitored through regular faculty meetings, feedback from your clinical placement, and feedback from your supervision.

Suitability Declaration and Occupational Health
You are required to complete a suitability declaration indicating whether you have any criminal record and/or history at the point of admission to the programme. You will also complete an Occupational Health Declaration, verified by a medical physician prior to admission to the programme.

Interdisciplinary Projects
You are encouraged to consider and integrate collaboration across LASALLE faculties into your coursework where appropriate and according to individual interests.

Self-Reflective Journal Review
During the end-of-semester meetings you will present your self- reflective journal to the Programme Team to demonstrate your active engagement in a self-reflective process through visual and written means. You are to include response art, reflections from art exhibition and studio visits, reflections from course material and lessons, and documentation of art experientials from your training and/or outside experiences. The artwork can be cross faculty based and include drama, fine arts, design, media and film to name a few. Studio time is provided in the course schedule.

Graduate career paths

Art therapist, counsellor, educator, social worker, artist, researcher, writer.

Graduation catalogue archive

The graduating class of MA Art Therapy students puts up an annual exhibition at The LASALLE Show in May. Visit here to browse past year exhibition catalogues.


Tap into the illustrious minds of our faculty members who are movers and shakers in their own disciplines. They will impart, challenge and encourage, as they share their invaluable expertise and experiences with you.

Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, Media & Creative Industries
Head, School of Creative Industries
Programme Leader, MA Arts and Cultural Leadership
Programme Leader, MA Art Therapy
Lecturer, MA Art Therapy
Lecturer, MA Art Therapy

Admission Information

Important Dates

January 2023 Intake

MA Arts Pedagogy and Practice
MA Arts and Cultural Leadership
MA Asian Art Histories
MA Creative Writing
MA Design
MA Fine Arts

Start of semester: Jan 2023
Applications have closed.

August 2023 intake

MA Art Therapy

Start of semester: Aug 2023
Applications have closed.

Entry requirements


You must fulfil the following requirements: 

Academic requirements

  • A Bachelor's degree from a recognised local or international institution.
  • A minimum of IELTS 7.0, TOEFL iBT 100 or PTE Academic 65 for applicants from countries where English is not the first language or whose qualifications are obtained from institutions where English is not the medium of instruction.

Statement of Purpose

  • In 500 – 1,000 words, highlight your reasons for applying to this programme and how they relate to your future plans. You should also include a brief description of your research intention / interest(s) that you are keen to explore. You are required to submit your Statement of Purpose online.

Reference letter

  • Provide a reference letter to support your application. You are required to upload your reference letter online during your application.


  • Your portfolio should contain images of 10 - 15 pieces of your original artwork that demonstrate your creative practice. You are required to upload your portfolio online.


  • Shortlisted applicants will attend an interview. During the interview, you are required to participate in a dialogue regarding the purpose of your application. Please be prepared to talk about your background, what inspires you and your influences. We would like to find out what motivates you to learn, explore and experiment in your areas of interest. You should also share how you think the programme will benefit you in your future career choices or develop your research interests.
  • International applicants: if you are unable to attend the interview at LASALLE, an online interview will be arranged for you.

Other requirements

  • It will be preferable if you have prior educational knowledge in the fields of visual arts, psychology, medical, social or human sciences; or relevant work or voluntary experience in a rehabilitative setting.
  • You are also required to:
    - Commit to undergoing weekly personal therapy for the duration of the programme.
    - Sign a suitability declaration indicating whether you have any criminal record and/or history at the point of admission to the programme*.
    - Complete an Occupational Health Declaration, verified by a medical physician prior to admission to the programme.
  • Both forms can be obtained from the Division of Admissions.

* Please note that given the nature and sensitivity of confidential case materials, professional and ethical best practices and the potential vulnerability of the clientele, many clinical placement settings as well as potential employers require a mandatory background security check for potential student interns.


Tuition fees


Programme Duration Fees per semester Total fees
Years Singaporeans Singapore PR International Singaporeans Singapore PR International
MA Art Therapy 2 S$10,397 S$10,397 S$11,769 S$41,874 S$41,874 S$47,403
Note for postgraduate fees:
  • Total fees include 8% GST in 2023 and 9% GST in 2024.

Application fees

A non-refundable application fee (inclusive of 8% GST) is chargeable per application. Please ensure your application fee is paid and documents are submitted within seven working days from the submission date of your online application.

Singaporeans / Singapore Permanent Resident applicants International applicants
S$60 S$120


Basic materials for learning are provided by the College.

Students as developing artists are required to have certain items that are particular to them and cannot be shared. Such items include books, dance shoes, rehearsal clothes, safety boots, portable musical instruments, paints, canvas, basic tools, design software, cameras, etc., that will support students through their three-year learning journey. The College does not encourage the purchase of extravagant or costly materials or equipment. Lecturers will provide students with affordable suggestions.

Students are encouraged to have their own laptops for their education. For those who are unable to, computer labs are available on campus with requisite software for them to undertake their work.

There may be opportunities for students to undertake extra-curricular study trips to enhance their overall learning. Trips are not compulsory and may incur additional costs to students.

More information

Fee Protection Scheme (FPS)

Fee Protection Scheme (FPS) serves to protect students’ fees in the event a Private Education Institution (PEI) is unable to continue operations due to insolvency and/or regulatory closure. The FPS also protects students when the PEI fails to pay penalties or refund fees to the students arising from judgements made against it by the Singapore courts.

In seeking to be an EduTrust-certified PEI, LASALLE is required to adopt the FPS to ensure full protection to all fees paid by their students. Therefore, the FPS is compulsory for students who are taking BA(Hons), MA and Certificate programmes at LASALLE.

Diploma programmes offered by LASALLE are exempted from FPS under the EduTrust requirements of the Committee for Private Education (CPE).

More information on the Committee for Private Education

Medical Insurance Scheme (MIS)

All full-time students of LASALLE are required to be covered under the Medical Insurance Scheme (MIS). The annual coverage of S$20,000 includes school-related activities throughout the programme duration.

The current premium rate is $29.70 payable each semester. This premium rate is subject to change based on the prevailing premiums charged by the insurer.

Accepted modes of payment

All payment to LASALLE must be made in Singapore Dollar. In line with the Singapore government's move towards a cashless society, online payments are strongly encouraged. Below are the payment modes acceptable by LASALLE:

Payment method Payment mode

Online payment

  • Flywire
  • iBanking
  • PayNow/ DBS PayLah!
SAM (kiosk, web or mobile) / Singapore Post
  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • AMEX
  • NETS
Scholarships & financial support


In recognition of outstanding academic excellence, leadership potential, and a passion for creativity and innovation, LASALLE offers a variety of scholarships to new and current students.

Application dates for scholarships will be reflected in the various scholarship page. Other externally sponsored scholarships are also available to students. Enquiries and applications may be directed to the respective organisations.

Please note that miscellaneous fees are not covered by scholarships, bursaries or the Mendaki Tertiary Tuition Fee Subsidy (TTFS).

View scholarships offered


We are committed to providing a quality education for all our students, and believe that no deserving student should be denied admission because of financial difficulty.

A range of financial assistance schemes, grants and loans are made available to help meet a portion of the educational expenses of students.

Please note that miscellaneous fees are not covered by scholarships, bursaries or the Mendaki Tertiary Tuition Fee Subsidy (TTFS).

View bursaries offered


Frequently Asked Questions

Download Prospectus

Postgraduate Prospectus
Download PDF
MA Art Therapy Prospectus
Download PDF

Take the next exhilarating step with our MA Art Therapy Programme.