Norwegian version
Two palms smeared with paint in different colors

OsloMet to launch master’s degree programme in Art Therapy

From autumn 2024, OsloMet will offer a master’s degree programme in art therapy. The master’s degree programme will help respond to the growing need for mental health care.

“The Department of Art, Design and Drama is excited to finally be able to offer a master’s degree programme in Art Therapy,” explains Liv Dahlin, Head of the Department of Art, Design and Drama at OsloMet.

Art therapy will be offered as a programme option alongside the existing master’s degree programmes at the Department of Art, Design and Drama.

“We want to give more people the opportunity to specialise in this important subject area. Currently, there are no master’s degree programmes in art therapy in any of the Nordic countries. This means that students have travelled abroad to other European countries in order to complete a master’s degree in art therapy,” she explains.

The Master’s degree programme in Visual and Performing Art already includes four programme options with different admission requirements: Art in Society, Fashion and Society, Drama and Theatre Studies and Art and Design Education.

Portrait of Liv Dahlin

Liv Dahlin, Head of Department of Art, Design and Drama, is pleased to be able to offer courses in Art Therapy. Photo: Benjamin A. Ward

Need for expertise

Art therapy uses creative works with images as communication in therapeutic relationships. The approach is used to prevent ill health and promote mental and physical health and quality of life.

Today, art therapy is most widespread in various forms of mental health services. There is an increasing focus on drug-free therapy and community-based care. It is therefore important that we develop, use and research the impact of complementary treatment options such as art therapy.

"There is a great need for expertise that can meet the increasing mental health challenges experienced by people of all ages and with different cultural backgrounds. Here, art therapy can play an important role by integrating art, creative development, research and clinical skills into therapeutic processes.”

“We are incredibly proud of the study programme, which can help meet future needs in mental health care in particular,” Dahlin notes.

Art therapy is also used in the somatic health services and there is excellent research evidence from and experience of using art therapy at an international level, including as an adjunct to cancer treatment.

The art therapy programme option provides various career opportunities in the public and private sectors, including within health and social care, as well as teaching and research.

The programme option is offered as a part-time programme.

At OsloMet, there is nearly 25 years of art therapy experience, through further education in art therapy. This one-year advanced programme in art therapy is now being replaced by the new master’s degree programme.

Professor Mimmu Rankanen has the academic responsibility for the programme.

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Published: 03/11/2023 | Hilde M. Kringeland