Diploma in Creative Arts Therapies

Part-time | 12-Days (Over 4 Months) | Exeter & Poole

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A man seeking art therapy from a female counsellorThis course holds Advanced Specialist training recognition status for participants who are qualified Counsellors or Psychotherapists.

For all other participants, the course is offered with Quality Checked Training status.

Get ready to be inspired. This part-time course is now additionally open to students in training as counsellors/psychotherapists, and for those who are already suitably qualified professionals. It is available to study in Exeter and Poole over 12 weekdays and has Advanced Specialist Training Status with the National Counselling Society (NCS).

  • Offers the opportunity for students to immerse themselves in, and fall in love with, their own creativity, before discovering how to safely, ethically and confidently integrate creative methods within their practice.
  • An inspiring, joyous and transformative learning experience, which will enable participants to enrich their work with clients through creative therapeutic methods.
  • Suitable for students in training as counsellors/psychotherapists, qualified counsellors, psychotherapists, counselling and clinical psychologists, and mental health and wellbeing professionals (such as nurses, doctors or teachers) who offer therapeutic work to clients.

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Course Description

“We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams" – Roald Dahl.

Key features:

  • Underpinning this course, is the principle that creativity has always been the essence of the human race. Creativity has emerged as a way of expressing ourselves, interacting with our environment, decorating ourselves, communicating with each other, attracting one another, communicating with spirits, visualisations, imagery, drama, poetry, explaining the cycles of life and death, exploring ideas, passing on history, storytelling, marking events, accessing our unconscious and the collective unconscious, art, music, dance, sculpture, architecture, healing, learning, celebrating... and more!
  • Participants will deconstruct the idea of creativity, exploring and reflecting upon their own relationship with it and all the associations it might offer, such as joy, anxiety, playfulness, shame and sensuality.
  • Students will experience and develop new understandings and appreciations of creativity, experimenting with a multitude of creative materials for example; including metaphor, music, voice, movement, mark making, and clay and natural materials. These creative materials may vary depending on the tutor leading the course. 
  • Offers the chance to learn about how to integrate creativity into practice to share with clients, including the concepts of therapist ‘presence’, how to hold the therapeutic space, and how to safely introduce, contract for and end the work.

What qualifications will I need?

To be eligible for this course you must:

  • Be a qualified professional who adheres to a code of conduct, or a student in training as a counsellor/psychotherapist. We also welcome applicants in other related roles within the helping professions, which may not have a professional body  - please contact us if you would like to discuss your eligibility.

Please note: 
Completion of this course does not provide a route to registration with the National Counselling Society (NCS) and detailed individual applications to NCS are required for this purpose, where applicable.

If you are interested in this course, you may wish to first book onto one of our Open Days or Open Evenings to find out more. Alternatively the Course Tutor would be happy to speak with you personally – please contact us if you would like us to put you in touch.

What will you study?


  • Section 1: Sensing.
  • Section 2: Experiencing.
  • Section 3: Sharing.

Learning and assessment:
The course involves a high degree of self-exploration, reflection and experimentation by students. In order to successfully complete the programme, students will need to immerse themselves in the experiences and learning, and become active and courageous explorers in the subject.

Assessment is based on: 
An ongoing creative project representing the student's own learning. This is shared informally with the group at the end of the course.

Attendance requirements:
A minimum of 80% attendance is required at timetabled teaching days. 

Iron Mill College Diploma in Creative Arts Therapies. 

Please note: Iron Mill College students who complete the course before having fully qualified as a counsellor or psychotherapist (i.e. where they are still to complete their placement hours and / or qualifying exams) will be issued with an interim attendance certificate and covering letter only - they will receive their full certificate once they fully qualify as a counsellor / psychotherapist. 

Please also note: Completion of this course does not provide a route to registration with the National Counselling Society (NCS), or any other professional body, and detailed individual applications to NCS are required for this purpose, where applicable.

Course Dates


Monday 7th November, Monday intake, 10am - 5pm. Please visit the 'Downloads Tab' for the full course schedule. 


Autumn Term: 
Friday 4th November, Friday intake, 10am - 5pm. Please visit the 'Downloads Tab' for the full course schedule. 

How much will it cost?

Courses commencing between 1st Jan'22 - 31st Dec'22:

Option 1 (Total Payable £1,015.00):
An Enrolment Deposit of £350.00 (Non-Refundable) followed by one instalment of £665.00.

Option 2 (Total Payable £1,070.00):
An Enrolment Deposit of £350.00 (Non-Refundable) followed by two instalments of £360.00 (payable by direct debit).

Option 3 Bespoke payment plans (Total Payable £1,070.00):
In order to facilitate students, Iron Mill College has introduced bespoke payment plans which can be tailored to meet your specific needs. Please contact us admissions@ironmill.co.uk or call us on 01392 219200.

Further information on fees:
Fees listed include VAT.

Applicants are invited to enrol by paying the Enrolment Deposit (which shall be fully non-refundable in all circumstances) as well as submitting all application documents (see the 'Applications' tab for further information). The balance of course fees is payable as per the relevant schedule option above.All applicants should ensure they read and understand the Terms and Conditions of the Student Agreement and the Tuition Fee Contract Agreement before applying and paying their Enrolment Deposit (Non-Refundable). To view both documents please visit the 'Downloads' tab. 

Tuition Fee Increases:
Tuition fees are reviewed in Autumn each year and are usually increased in line with CPI each January.

How to pay:
For initial course payments and deposits, you can pay online (credit/Debit card) by using the booking form on this web page. You can also pay all fees by credit / debit card, either in person at Iron Mill College in Exeter, or over the phone by calling 01392 219200. 

We also accept cash paid in person at Iron Mill College in Exeter, as well as cheques, which should be made out to 'Iron Mill College' and dropped in or sent to 'Iron Mill College, Morwenstow, 7 Barnfield Crescent, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1QT'. We can also accept payments by bank transfer and direct debit - please get in touch with us at 01392 219200 / enquiries@ironmill.co.uk for our bank details or a direct debit form. Please use your name as the reference when making such payments.

Additional expenses:
This will vary depending on your own circumstances, but all applicants must make sure they fully understand the additional expense requirements they will need to undertake during this course. Iron Mill College is unable to contribute to any of these additional costs; they are met by the student. These costs may include:

  • Travel and boarding costs.
  • Purchase of books.
  • Supervision that meets your governing body requirements.
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance: approximately £35-£90 per year. Discounts are available from some insurers for BACP members and monthly payment options are usually available.

Course commencement:
Please note: Iron Mill College makes every effort to avoid altering course times, course commencement and conclusion dates. However, should any changes be necessary, you will be notified at the earliest opportunity. All courses run subject to demand and the formation of a viable class cohort, based on the enrolment of a minimum number of successful applicants. A full refund of course fees paid, including any deposit, will be given to all applicants in the event that a course does not proceed and at least 14 days’ notice (prior to the advertised course start date) will be given to applicants, in the event of a course cancellation or postponement. The college cannot be held liable for any remedy, damages or compensation beyond this.

How do I apply?

You can apply by submitting the following documents and items:

  • Your £350 Enrolment Deposit (Non-Refundable) to reserve your place. Please complete the application form via the link in your deposit confirmation email to secure your place
  • If you require assistance in completing your application, please contact admissions@ironmill.co.uk

Successful applicants will be offered a place on the course once all of the above application documents have been received and the Enrolment Deposit paid.

Final Application Date:
The deadline for applications is 4 weeks before the start of the course. A decision will be made on whether the course will run, based on confirmed and accepted places, 4 weeks before the start date of the course. Any applications received after the 4 week deadline will only be processed at the discretion of the Programmes Lead / Course Lead.


Do other qualifications, not in counselling / psychotherapy (e.g. in social care, health, education etc.), enable me to apply for the Diploma in Creative Arts Therapies course?:
Yes, this programme is available to all suitably qualified professionals working therapeutically with clients in the fields of mental health and wellbeing. You must, however, be able to demonstrate that you are qualified to work therapeutically with clients in your stated profession and that your work adheres to a professional code of conduct. Please see the 'Applications' tab for further information of the evidence you will need to supply as part of your application for the course.

Are there interviews as part of the application process for the Diploma in Creative Arts Therapies course? / What should I include in the application personal statement?:
There are no interviews for this course. Applicants will, however, need to submit a personal statement as part of their application detailing how they meet the eligibility criteria for the course and why they wish to undertake the training. This must include information on their therapeutic work with clients (within a relevant mental health or wellbeing profession) and the qualifications / training which enables them to undertake this work. Applicants should also use the personal statement to demonstrate how they possess the following qualities:

  • A strong understanding of ethical practice and adherence to a professional code of conduct.
  • The time and commitment for the training.
  • Willingness to try new experiences.
  • A good level of balanced self-reflection and self-awareness.

Is there any funding available for the Diploma in Creative Arts Therapies?:
Unfortunately, there is no specific funding available for the Diploma in Creative Arts Therapies course. 

Are there any extra-curricular requirements on the Diploma in Creative Arts Therapies course?:
Beyond the taught hours and additional recommended reading, you will also need to actively engage in a process of self-reflection as you progress through the course. There is a requirement to complete one ongoing creative project - a creative representation of your story which will start on day one and you will continue to add to it until the last day of the course.

It will tell the story of your explorations - growing and changing with you. The ending of this process will in itself be a creative ritual and ‘rite of passage’. Students will be asked to share their story, or as much of the story as they feel they would like to share, with the others in their group at the end of the course.

This creative project might take the form of a model, art journal, creative writing journal, picture collection, poetry collection, collage, scrapbook, totem pole, photograph album / slideshow, video diary, cartoon story book, music collection, dance / movement performance, patchwork quilt, mosaic, or any other creative means.

Do I need to undertake placement while studying on the Diploma in Creative Arts Therapies course?:
No, there is not a placement requirement on this course.

Meet lecturer Betty Hemingway!

Dip Creative Arts is Quality Checked by the National Counselling Society (NCS).

This course alone is not a route to the Accredited Register nor does it fully equip a graduate to practice as a qualified counsellor. 

NCS Advanced Specialist Course Logo Resized_1

"I thoroughly enjoyed my advanced diploma course at Poole. Throughout the process we were encouraged to develop our own philosophy of counselling. I valued this chance to develop my own autonomy around what counselling meant to me. The group was motivated, supportive and fun! We became very close. Our tutor was very knowledgeable, experienced, supportive and inspiring. My journey was challenging and rewarding, the ethos of Iron Mill felt right to me prior to my enrolment, and this feeling has continued throughout my journey. It was worth the extra miles of travel to a place where I felt really at home..."
Bel G, Advanced Diploma Integrative Counselling Graduate

Why Iron Mill College?

Iron Mill College offers accredited courses, academic standards, experiential learning, experienced lecturers with student focused training and classes.

Why Iron Mill?

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Course Venues:   Exeter   |   Poole   


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