Course Title: The Practicum Placement Research Project

Part A: Course Overview

Course ID: 037971

Course Title: The Practicum Placement Research Project

Credit Points: 24

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


360H Education


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007

Course Coordinator: Ms Gerry Katz

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 4650

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Successful Completion of Graduate Diploma in Creative Arts Therapy including Qualitative and Art-Based Research

Course Description

OTED 2094 is undertaken in Year 3 of the Program, and comprises three component learning opportunities for the student as follows:
1. Practicum Field Placement
2. Advanced Studio Workshop
3. The Minor Research Project Seminars.
It is expected that the interrelationship of these three components will provide the student with opportunities to apply knowledges and skills gained throughout Graduate Diploma studies to practice situations, and to the minor research project.
The Practicum Field Placement covers supervised practical work with client groups; the Advanced Studio Workshop (as outlined below) augments and compliments the practicum field placement experience. Teaching staff who are Creative Arts Therapist supervised students in practicum placements, and facilitate the learning experiences in the Advanced Studio Workshop.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Practicum Field Placement – (normally completed in one semester of work)

It is expected that the student will be able to:
(a) demonstrate therapeutic skill development using the creative arts;
(b) implement theoretical knowledge in a practice setting;
(c) develop relationships with clients that are safe, therapeutic and which enhance the client’s personal wellbeing;
(d) plan implement and evaluate creative arts therapy programs to meet the needs of a variety of
client groups through analysis of the capabilities and needs of clients, along with the
constraints of the therapy setting;
(e) utilise feedback and guidance from the practicum supervisor to enhance therapeutic work;
(f) apply a reflective approach to analysing processes within the context of Creative Arts Therapy

Advanced Studio Workshops:

• The Studio workshop learning experience is linked to the field placement in that the studio provides an opportunity for exploration and experimentation prior to, and during, hands-on work with clients or patients. The student is expected to:
• test models of creative arts therapy interventions, (the student could expect to work/learn, assisted by the workshop facilitator (s) and peers.
• relate the techniques and skills to conceptual learning, identifying the philosophical perspectives and theoretical premises of the approach under consideration.
• gain confidence in anticipation of ‘real-life’ practice situations.

The Project Seminar: This component, which is directed toward the Minor Research Project, is designed to assist the student to develop the Minor Research Proposal.

Overview of Learning Activities

The supervised Practicum is structured around individual and/or group work with clients, in conjunction with regularly scheduled individual and peer-group supervision meetings. This learning component requires a minimum of 80 hours of supervised practicum, with no less than 60 hours of hands-on therapeutic work with a client or clients. Individual supervision will occur through a variety of interactions, including on-site in the Placement venue, and telephone or e-mail discussions. Periodic group meetings will be scheduled with the Field Placement Coordinator and/or Program Coordinator. Input from Creative Arts Therapists working in the field, is offered when possible, through invitation to specific gatherings. The Practicum has been located at this point in the Program, (rather than being separated out and attached to individual courses) to ensure continuity of learning, and optimum development of professional knowledge and skills.

The Studio Workshop
comprises regularly scheduled sessions throughout the semester of 4 hours each in length, using the conceptual and practical aspects of an Arts Studio, and facilitated by MCAT Program teaching staff. In conjunction with learning contracts and practicum placement experiences, the student is encouraged to define the ideas or questions, which will form the focus of the interactive studio work with facilitators and colleagues/peers.
This learning experience provides an opportunity to apply the concept of ‘studio’ as a safe, contained space in which to experiment with approaches to creative arts therapy, (thus mirroring one of the central notions of therapy which fosters and provides opportunities for the client to try out different, perhaps new ways of conceptualising and expressing self in the world).
The student could expect to work/learn, with the assistance of the workshop facilitator (s) and colleagues/ fellow students, and will be expected to take up opportunities to generate discussion following the practical work. Within the discussion, the student will relate the techniques and skills used in studio practice to conceptual learning, identifying the philosophical perspectives and theoretical premises of the approach under consideration, and how this might relate to their learning goals / experiences. Such discussion is important in terms of validation of practice, as well as providing reaffirmation of prior learning and developing resources for the Minor Research Project.

The Minor Research Project Seminar
provides students with an opportunity to discuss individual Project proposals within a peer-group, facilitated by the Program Coordinator and/or members of the Program Higher Degree by Coursework Committee, and Project Supervisors. The Project Seminar comprises sessions of 3 hours each, in which students will be guided in the development of their individual proposals. The focus is on the formulation of the research question, and developing cogent statements in response to the requirements of the Project Proposal guidelines.

The course focuses on Creative Arts Therapy issues and practices, which derive from the philosophical, theoretical, and experiential learning through the Graduate Diploma phase of the Program into the Masters level of study. A continuing emphasis is on understanding self-as-therapist and the therapeutic effects of creativity and the arts. The Study program consists of the three main areas as set out above.

Overview of Learning Resources

Reference material which is pertinent to the work of the individual student, is selected from
Program Readings and Reading Lists as pertinent.

Overview of Assessment

The assessment for the course will take the form of a submitted portfolio, and will contain materials as follows: 
Student Learning Contract 
For the Practicum: Statement of Learning Goals; Sessions plans; Final Report 
For the Advanced Studio Workshops: Self-assessment Learning Log 
For the Minor Research Project Seminars: Completed Project Proposal, submitted for to the Program Higher Degree by Coursework Committee.