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Art, Psyche and the Creative Imagination – MA

  • Status: Applications Closed for 2024/2025

  • Campus: Clare Street, Limerick City

  • years: 2

  • Fees: €6,250 (first year €2,083, second year €4,167 – payment plans may be available)

Interested in this course? Fill out our expression of interest form.

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Course Overview

MA in Art, Psyche and the Creative Imagination is a blended mode MA programme envisioned to offer a transformative learning environment that aims to enrich personal, social and cultural life contexts by exploring the interface between art and psyche and by cultivating a practice of the creative imagination. This is an interdisciplinary programme with an emphasis on depth psychology, informed by the arts and underpinned by the processes of creative imagination. Throughout the programme, students will learn to engage with the unconscious and experience different aspects of the psyche through dreams, imagery, and active imagination, utilising the arts to augment and inform their understanding. This course is ideal for creatives seeking fresh perspectives on their work, and who are interested in fostering a working relationship with the creative nature of the unconscious. It should also appeal to anyone in the healing professions, the creative industries, those with a practice in psychotherapy or counselling and, more generally, anyone interested in Art and Psyche.

Note that upon completion of year 1 modules (30 credits in total) it is possible to exit the programme with a Post Graduate Certificate. Upon further completion of year 2 modules (adding up to 60 credits) it is possible to exit with a Post Graduate Diploma. Completion of the 30 credit dissertation/exegesis in the second year then allows for an MA in Art, Psyche and the Creative Imagination.

Contact Details

Mathew Mather


What are the entry requirements?

Candidates need to fulfill the following admission criteria: 

(a) A minimum 2.2 honours degree (Level 8) in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences; or (b) A minimum 2.2 honours degree (Level 8) in an area outside the fields mentioned above, but with evidence of strong interest, experience and ability in the area, as determined during the interview; or (c) Equivalence based on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) which meet Level 8 2.2 learning outcomes. Applicants with equivalent qualifications on the European and International frameworks will also be considered, but with evidence of strong interest, experience and ability in the area, as determined during the interview.

  • All qualified candidates will be interviewed either in person or online (such as via MS Teams or Zoom) in order to assess their interest in the area, suitability and psychological readiness.
  • Successful completion of the Certificate in Jungian Psychology with Art Therapy (Level 8) may count favourably for suitability.
  • Candidates will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.
  • The final dissertation/exegesis of the programme may require ethical approval as well as Garda vetting.

How to Apply – All Candidates

Before you make your application, please be aware that it is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure they have read the entry requirements and procedures and submit with supporting documentation. Please note we will not be in a position to pursue applicants for outstanding documents. Only complete applications with the appropriate supporting documentation which satisfies eligibility requirements will be sent to the Programme Team for assessment.  Once your application has been submitted, you will receive an acknowledgment email from us within 3-5 working days.

Places are available and will be offered on a first-come-first-serve basis to suitable applicants until full.  Initial closing date is the 10th June 2024. Subject to available places, a second closing date as the 17th September 2024.   

Course Modules

  • Art and Psyche: Maps and Models

    Credits: 20 (across the full academic year)

    Art and Psyche: Maps and Models.  At the outset, this module provides the context for the creative imagination and its origins. It introduces ‘maps’ and ‘models’ of psyche using methods of experiential learning together with theoretical paradigms of interpretations.  It critically considers mythological structures (maps) such as Joseph Campbell’s monomyth and Maureen Murdock’s Heroine’s Journey in relation to personal and cultural contexts. Models of the Psyche from the depth psychological tradition (with emphasis on analytical psychology) are introduced and applied using experiential learning, and evaluated through critical reflection in light of contemporary developments in the field. Here, an understanding of the nature of the psyche provides a foundation for personal development and change, but also for the application of theory to the broader sociocultural sphere and in light of contemporary social and cultural problematics. In this context the arts, with emphasis on the visual arts, are used as case studies, of where depth psychology can be used as an interpretative paradigm for the creative, especially visual arts. This module includes guest lecturers.

    Assessment: Creative & Reflective Journal; Online Contributions as etivity-based discussion forum; Presentation and an Essay.

  • Professional Portfolio: Reflective and Reflexive Strategies

    Credits: 5 (across the first semester)

    Professional Portfolio: Reflective and Reflexive Strategies  supports students in developing or extending a personal, professional or expressive practice centered and grounded in an exploration in the field of art, psyche and the creative imagination. This will facilitate the development of a more authentic, in-depth position as reflective practitioners, at the juncture of theory and practice. Professional identity, and developing an understanding individual voice, expression and contribution to the field is pivotal here. In tandem with experiential and praxis centered activities, students will compile a Professional Development Portfolio (PDP). This will take the form of an audio-visual and textual document, to be maintained continuously throughout the semester. As a digital archive, it will contain critical reflection on learning experiences, visual documentation of activities, extracts from reflexive journals, examples of individual engagement with the ideas, thoughts, creative and imaginative activities experienced throughout the learning journey. In Year 1, practical support for the (PDP) will include workshops in how to create photo/video stories, including skills training in photo & video, editing to create a professional and compelling portfolio of learning.

    Assessment: Etivity-based discussion forum; Praxis & Digital Workshops and a Professional Development Portfolio

  • Professional Portfolio: Facilitation and Dissemination

    Credits: 5 (across the second semester)

    Professional Portfolio: Facilitation and Dissemination builds on Professional Portfolio: Reflective and Reflexive Strategies. This module continues to provide students with the skills and resources towards developing their practices in the field. Students are guided to develop appropriate facilitation skills and present a group facilitation project. The practical emphasis of this module includes an overview and case studies of a range of facilitation exercises. Examples: workshops, rituals, demonstrations, celebrations, therapeutic sessions, process-work. Learning includes scope of facilitation and skills such as participant engagement, attentiveness and group dynamics. Students will continue to develop their PDP (professional development portfolios) e.g. with biographies, practice vision/position statements, C.Vs. and explore how to contribute to the field by considerations such as publishing, membership, agency and activism. The changing landscape of the field is explored through topics such as funding opportunities. Learning is informed by best-practice examples and case studies. Reflective and reflexive practice techniques are further integrated within the delivery of the module.

    Assessment: Etivity-based discussion forum; Group Presentation and a Professional Development Portfolio.

  • Integrative Practice: Personal and Cultural Contexts

    Credits: 20 (across the full academic year)

    Integrative Practice: Personal and Cultural Contexts introduces theoretical frameworks, methods and case studies to allow for depth experiences and interpretative possibilities for both personal and cultural contexts. Its theoretical underpinning is based on the depth psychological tradition (with emphasis on analytical psychology) as applied to personal process, the broader sociocultural sphere, and in relation to the arts. This module includes theoretical orientations and praxis of: interpretation and appreciation of dreams, images, the arts; psyche and soma (an embodied somatic approach) and the field of ecopsychology. The cultural complex and psychohistory are also introduced as a means of exploring the value and applicability of depth psychological concepts to the sociocultural sphere, to include the role of the arts. The module also considers aspects of Jung’s ‘mature work’ together with key post-Jungian developments on topics such as alchemy and synchronicity. In valuing experiential learning the module allows for the development of the creative imagination and integrative practice as a means of enhancing personal life, and to augment professional practice. As per module 1, this module includes guest lecturers.

    Assessment: Creative & Reflective Journal; Online Contributions as etivity-based discussion forum; Presentation and an Essay.

  • Research Skills: Methods

    Credits: 5 (across the first semester)

    Research Skills: Methods introduces students to the value of research, and a range of methods applicable to the professional use of research in the areas of art, psyche and the creative imagination (also touching on art therapy). These methods will equip students with effective critical, theoretical and analytical skills while also selecting appropriate methodologies as relevant to an identified research question. Students will apply selected methods as relevant to the formulation and exploration of a chosen question. Emphasis will be on Qualitative Research methods, Case-Studies and Practice-Based Research (PRB). Conceptual frameworks as well as avant-garde methods, such as derived from Jungian Arts Based Research, are introduced and evaluated. Locating the research within relevant philosophical worldviews is also considered.

    Assessment: Etivity-based discussion forum, Presentation and a Methods Report.

  • Research Skills: Project Design

    Credits: 5 (across the second semester)

    Research Skills: Project Design builds on the module on Research Skills: Methods by introducing a range of further research methods appropriate to Art, Psyche and the Creative Imagination and/or art therapy style projects. This includes a range of contemporary arts based and depth psychological based methods (to include ethical considerations). Emphasis is placed on methods such as Arts Based-Research, Jungian Arts-Based Research, Alchemical Hermeneutics and Terrapsychological Inquiry. Case studies are used to elaborate. The focus of this module is also to identify and articulate your own position in relation to the material covered. How do you identify key questions, select the appropriate research methods, and devise a cohesive project design.

    Assessment: Etivity-based discussion forum, Presentation and a Project Design Report.

  • Dissertation

    Credits: 30 (beginning February 2025 and hand-in for September 2025)

    Dissertation requires the completion of a Final Project, which can consist of either a written thesis paper, or a practice-based project with accompanying exegesis. The project concept is informed by prior modules of the programme and complemented by self-directed research. Each student will propose and initiate a project based on their own chosen topic aligned to their specialised area of interest. The project should be of value to the area of Art, Psyche and the Creative Imagination, and should also clearly illustrate its contemporary relevance to the field. The project aim is to address the transformative potential at the interface between Art, Psyche and the Creative Imagination. The Research Skills: Project Design module should form the foundation of this Final Project, and include a clear project concept, research question/s, literature review, methodology and implementation plan to include logistics, ethics, as well as health and safety considerations.

    Assessment: review and feedback seminars; presentation and a thesis (or exegesis plus showcase/exhibition)

What can you do after this programme?

This MA is designed to augment professional practice and also aids personal development, according to the life context of the participant. Completion of the programme would enhance employability prospects in a range of disciplines, with emphasis on the healing and care professions, the arts and the creative industries.  The programme would enable participants to devise and create offerings within their own area of interest or specialization that could be delivered within their own professions, communities or interest groups.  There is also considerable scope to act or collaborate with a range of culture-providers in one form or another to fulfil a role of adding to cultural discourse and creativity.

Post Graduate studies within the department include research Masters and Doctorate studies.

More Information

The ethos of the course is also informed by various fields including the wisdom traditions, mythology, somatics and ecopsychology, that enable students to find uniquely creative responses to the challenges of our times. It is also an answer to a call by notables in the field, such as James Hillman (one of the key founders of Archetypal Psychology), to open depth psychology into the cultural sphere. The theoretical underpinning is largely informed by depth psychology, with an emphasis on analytical psychology. Context-based learning allows for a deepening of the student’s creative process for personal development purposes as well as other life contexts, including analytic, therapeutic, academic and artistic. The programme combines theoretical and practical learning in the form of a carefully considered experiential journey which leads to the integration of knowledge through encounters with psyche that values its regenerative and creative nature. The final dissertation or exegesis provides an opportunity for bringing forth a research project informed by creative imagination knowledge and practices. This cross-sectoral work aims to bring unique, depth-orientated contributions derived from the personal psyche to provide well-considered and necessary impetus to cultural change.

The first year of the programme involves 16 contact days, as well as one (sometimes two) evenings per week for online engagement (see indicative calendar pdf). Contact days are mostly scheduled for Friday and Saturday combinations (apart from two Thursdays), to facilitate commuting and international students.

Online delivery is done using a platform such as MS Teams or Zoom, and is mostly in the format of a ‘live’ online classroom. These are recorded (subject to lecturer discretion), and uploaded to the learning platform. The online learning platform (currently Moodle) is used to facilitate discussion forums, sharing of resources, and to sequence course content during the academic year.

A student-led social media space (currently, we use MeWe) is also used to facilitate informal collaborations and sharing.

View the indicative calendar here. 

Currently, the core team is comprised of Dr Mathew Mather (programme Director), Lyn Mather, Dr Tracy Fahey and Laura Mc Morrow. See Tracy’s website at  and Laura’s website Mathew is a lecturer at LSAD. He has a PhD in Jung and Alchemy from the University of Essex, and is author of The Alchemical Mercurius: esoteric symbol of Jung’s life and works (Routledge 2014). Lyn has an MA in Art Therapy, a background in art and arts facilitation and is a practicing art therapist. She utilizes Jungian theory in her approach to art therapy.

The programme includes guest lecturers (specific guests for academic year 2024-2025 still to be confirmed). The MA has the support of the Irish Society of Jungian Analysts, and an agreement is in place with the International School of Analytical Psychology in Zurich, Switzerland (ISAP-Zurich). See:

Art & Psyche Research Group

The full programme fee for this course is €6,250. Costing is based on credits taken per year. In Year 1 (starting September 2024) this is 30 credits, requiring a payment of €2083. Payment plans may be available, subject to approval.

Timeline pathway for new entrants, starting in September 2024

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