Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine - Barts and The London

Creative Arts and Mental Health

This innovative and unique MSc in Creative Arts and Mental Health is jointly run by the Centre for Psychiatry and the Department of Drama and offers an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge and research, with a particular emphasis on theatre and performance in the creative arts. It covers the history, theory, and practice of performance in relations to all aspects of mental health promotion and the prevention and treatment of mental illness. Directed at a combination of education professionals, artists, scholars, and mental health practitioners, it offers students the opportunity to learn in detail, from both arts and science perspectives, about how art and performance can be used to think critically about and engage the public with concepts and experiences of mental health and the mental health system. The course necessarily reflects a critical analysis of the scientific method(s) of mental health research and practice and explore the use of arts-based research, evaluation and dissemination methods.
The primary aims of this course are to develop students’ ability to think critically about the relationship between the arts and mental health and mental health care practices in a national and international context. Specifics aims are to develop and enhance:
  • the ways in which mental health professionals, arts practitioners and others interested in mental health and wellbeing work together in both clinical and non-clinical environments;
  • the ways in which mental health experiences are represented in the arts and in popular culture, and how arts-based practice may help to expand and nuance both clinical and popular understandings of patient and clinician experiences in the mental health system;
  • perceptions and assumptions about ways in which arts-based practices may support recovery;
  • critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current practice in arts/mental health collaborations, with an eye to developing best practices for collaboration among arts workers, clinicians, mental health researchers, and - crucially - people with lived experience of mental health issues.
The course is not clinical, therefore the students will not leave with a clinical accreditation in mental health practice. Rather, the course is practice, research and reflection-based and is designed to encourage each student, whether coming from an arts or a sciences background, to critically consider the strengths and the limitations of his or her existing knowledge base. Whereas other courses in arts and mental health hierarchies the disciplines and treat the arts as a "therapy" tool, this course seeks to interrogate the assumptions underlying such disciplinary hierarchies in order to develop genuine best practices for better, more effective collaborations among arts practitioners, health care practitioners and patients, in order to serve the interests of all who work within mental health and social care systems.
Programme information – Important points to note here [PDF 85KB]
Creative Arts and Mental Health is available to study to at MSc or PGDip levels.

Completion of the first four modules is accredited for exit with a PGDip in Creative Arts and Mental Health. The PG Dip option is a full time option only. Completion of all 5 modules will lead to an MSc.

In term 1 students take Module 1- Critical Mental Health Sciences and Module 2- Performing Mental Health.

In term 2 students take a choice of two existing Module 3 options offered by the Department of Drama (Cultural Industries or Independent Practical Project) and Module 4- Key Critical Figures in Mental Health Practice.

In term 3, students completing the MSc award also take Module 5 and undertake a dissertation on an original topic in the field.
Period of Study.
FULL TIME: PGDip and MSc options are available full-time and students complete all study components within one academic year.

PART TIME: Part-time MSc students participate in the first four modules in the same way as the full-time students but for part-time students, module five (i.e. the research and dissertation module) can be completed over the second year instead of finishing in the first year, allowing additional time and flexibility for conducting research that needs a longer time-frame and for flexibility to pursue other work or commitments.

Flexible Study
We offer a variety of modes of study including full-time and part-time options, giving students many choices to suit their existing workloads and lifestyles. Part-time study is ideal for those with work or other commitments.

Further information about the course can be downloaded here [PDF 302KB] (pdf). The course prospectus can be found here [PDF 450KB] (pdf).


The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 results have shown that Queen Mary University of London has risen to 9th place among multi-faculty institutions in the UK. The Centre for Psychiatry was ranked 5th in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 for research on public health, health services and primary care.

The Department of Drama is consistently rated in the top two programs in the country on a variety of league tables. Drama’s core faculty include internationally recognized experts on intercultural theatre and performance, early modern theatre and performance, live art, applied performance in the community, and theatre and performance made for and with vulnerable populations.

Key Academics

Course Directors:


Further Information on general course queries and applications

MSc Administrator: mha-admin@qmul.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7882 2013

Rehana Patel, Academic PG Programmes Manager rehana.patel@qmul.ac.uk 
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7882 2038

Detailed programme information can also be found by clicking here.

UK Students

The typical entry requirement for this programme is a 2:1 but offers will vary dependent on an applicant’s academic background and experience.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate strong academic thinking, reading and writing skills via a personal statement and references. We wish to include people from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds and career pathways, especially people working in art organizations and the volunteer sector. Individual meetings can be arranged to discuss specific circumstances.  Some applicants will be interviewed to discuss entry onto the course.

International Students

Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website . If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency.

Find out more about our English language entry requirements.

If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

Apply now

Teaching and learning takes place through a mix of interactive lectures and seminars, group work, case studies and practical workshops. Lectures and seminars present a theoretical framework while group discussions focus on practical applications of the theory presented in the lecture. In addition, Module 3 includes a work placement related to creative arts and mental health, which is facilitated by the tutors and lecturers in this programme through existing and new partnerships with the performing arts community, voluntary organisations and mental health organizations.
You will be assessed by a range of methods:
  • Module 1: Essay
  • Module 2: Essay
  • Module 3:
    • Option 1: Project Plan and Project Report
    • Option 2: Continual Assessment, Performance or Presentation, Portfolio of Documentation
  • Module 4: Essay
  • Module 5: Dissertation

Tuition fees for Home and EU students 2019 entry

Tuition fees for International students 2019 entry


There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students, which include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.