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Graduate Diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy

Graduate Diploma

Serves a wide range of professionals in the educational, health and social service sectors.

Graduate Diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy


Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) is in a unique position to offer an expressive arts therapy programme as it serves a wide range of professionals in the educational, health and social service sectors, and it is set up to deliver courses for adults already in practice. For many years, requests have been forthcoming for a part-time arts therapy course for those unable to pursue it full-time. Hence, our Graduate Diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy (GDXAT) programme offers not only a part-time and more flexible option, but also includes different art forms like play, art, mind and body work, narrative and storytelling. Through these in-depth opportunities, professionals could employ expressive arts therapy to combine psychology and the creative process to promote emotional growth and healing. This multi-arts approach uses our innate desire to create - via play, art, music, dance, poetry or any other artistic form - as a therapeutic tool to help initiate change.

Our GDXAT creates new connections with emerging Asian models of expressive arts therapy in India and Hong Kong. It presents a psychological approach that is humanistic in orientation. As a Graduate Diploma, graduates will not meet the requirements for full registration as an expressive arts therapist or qualify them to practise as therapists. However, it may form the basis for the eventual development of a full master's programme which will qualify graduates to register as International Expressive Arts Therapists with IEATA (International Expressive Arts Therapy Association) that is based in the US.

Admission Requirements

Refer to general admission criteria for graduate programmes.

In addition, applicants will need to meet the following requirements:

Additional Admission Requirements*

  • Experience or familiarity, preferably, in two expressive art forms (e.g. visual art, music, dance, theatre/drama, printmaking, sculpture, etc.)
  • Preferably to have experience or training in one counselling model or approach
  • Preferably to be in the helping profession for at least 2 years, OR volunteering for at least 2 years in the care profession.
    Documentations or referral letters from organization(s) to verify work/volunteer experience is preferred for submission.

Application Submissions (Essay, Portfolio and/or Certificates)

For above additional requirements, you may submit the following:

  • Certificates of courses taken
  • Submission of portfolio showing experience/familiarity in the art forms. The portfolio can be presented in powerpoint slides.
  • Essay (at least 1000 words): Why the interest in this programme? Why you think you should be in this programme? What do you hope to gain from this qualification?

*Those who do not meet the additional requirements for above may still apply. Such applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Admission Interview

  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview.
This programme is currently unable to take in international students, i.e., you must be a Singapore citizen, permanent resident or a resident in Singapore (e.g., Employment Pass holder) in order to apply for admission.

Financial Assistance

The University offers course fee concession for selected graduate programmes. Please click here for more details.

Programme Structure

Students of our GDXAT programme are required to complete 30 credit units (cu) consisting of six core courses, inclusive of a personal creative practice with reflective journalling and some supervised practice, before they graduate. All courses are 5 cu unless stated otherwise.

GDXAT is also stackable towards the Master of Social Sciences, subject to meeting programme requirements


Practitioners in counselling, social work, teaching, special education, eldercare.

This Graduate Diploma enhances the skill-sets of the abovementioned practitioners to bring about more efficacious therapeutic outcomes in their work with their clients.

  1. How many intake(s) are there in a year for Graduate Diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy (GDXAT)?
    We have only one intake a year, in every July

  2. What is the maximum candidature to complete the GDXAT?
    The maximum candidature period is 2 years.

  3. How many courses do students take in each semester?
    Students are recommended to complete 3 courses per semester.

  4. What is the assessment structure?
    There will be two assignments and a written examination or end-of-course assessment for every course. Student will need to achieve a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of at least 2.5 to be awarded the Graduate Diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy.

  5. When are the lessons scheduled?
    Lessons are scheduled on four Saturdays per course from 8.30am to 5.30pm, with a lunch break of an hour.

  6. What happens if I do not complete the graduate programmes (e.g. Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Master) within the candidature period? Can I apply to take the remaining courses via CET pathway?
    Students who have not completed their graduate programmes within the stipulated candidature period will not be eligible for the award of the qualification for such graduate programmes. Such students however may apply to take, via the CET pathway, the remaining courses which they did not complete under their graduate programmes as part of their personal learning and development. Such application will be subjected to the CET admission requirement. However, as such students have exceeded the candidature period for their graduate programmes, they will not be awarded the qualification for such graduate programmes even after taking and completing the remaining courses via the CET pathway (“Condition”).

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