Arts Therapies, MSc

In Estonia, the term "creative arts therapies" is used as a synonym for arts therapies. A creative arts therapist is a specialist in psychotherapy and rehabilitation with a master's degree in arts therapies or equivalent. This is a two-year master's programme that is taught in Estonian. Arts therapies programme includes three specialisations: art therapy, dance and movement therapy, music therapy.

Language Estonian

Creative arts therapies or arts therapies are the systematic and science-based application of creativity and arts-based methods and techniques to achieve goals based on the client's health status and to promote well-being. A creative arts therapist is a specialist of psychotherapy and rehabilitation with a master's degree in arts therapies or equivalent.

Kunstiteraapiad 2020 Arts therapies

Art therapy students in class.

The arts therapies programme is accredited and meets the requirements of the professional standard of creative arts therapist.

Arts therapies study programme objectives    

Provide opportunities for the students:    

  • To acquire systematic knowledge in arts therapies;    
  • To achieve professional competence in the application of arts therapies on the psychotherapeutic, functional, palliative, diagnostic and recreative level of intervention (in the field of music therapy, visual art therapy or dance and movement therapy) and scientific approach to therapeutic practice;
  • To view the area of arts therapies in a wider healthcare and societal context;
  • To acquire capability to determine personal needs for shaping one's professional further education.
  • Graduate degree: MSc - Master of Science in Health Sciences (Arts Therapies)
  • Programme language: Estonian

Arts therapies study programme learning outcomes

For students:

  • has an overview of fields of application of arts therapies (health promotion, health and social care, rehabilitation, education) and levels of intervention (diagnostic, psychotherapeutic, functional, recreative, palliative);
  • has an overview of evidence base and client group related intervention possibilities;
  • knows the requirements of professional ethics of the creative arts therapist;
  • knows the relationship between creative self-expression, creativity and health; 
  • is able to use the group resources and knows the dynamics of the therapy group;
  • is capable to read professional literature in English and use the English language in professional conversation;
  • is able to learn independently and integrate a wider health related knowledge with his/her speciality;
  • knows the principles and methods of research on arts therapies;
  • is able to identify research problems related to arts therapies, set research goals, formulate research questions and hypotheses and choose research methods appropriate to achieving the set goals;
  • is able to carry out quantitative and qualitative data analysis;
  • is able to work with sources, critically read scientific texts and write properly formatted research texts;
  • is able to understand the necessity of scientific research in the context of practical therapeutic work.




The programme is only available in Estonian. 

Academic Staff

Eda Heinla

Estonian Research Information System: ETIS

Eha Rüütel

Estonian Research Information System: ETIS

Marika Ratnik

Estonian Research Information System: ETIS

Eve Lukk

Estonian Research Information System: ETIS


Postgraduate Destinations


The arts therapies programme is accredited and meets the requirements of the professional standard of creative arts therapist.


Publications in chronological order:

Krüger, V., Macedo, E., Addessi, A. R., Rüütel, E., Warner, C., Carvalho, A., & Bunt, L. (2020). Learning how to learn: The role of music and other expressive arts in responding to Early Leaving from Education and Training (ELET) in the STALWARTS project. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 20 (3). https://doi.org/10.15845/voices.v20i3.3084

Rüütel, E., Luik, M., & Ratnik, M. (2020). Musical activities as a tool for a class teacher to include students in a school lesson. CFMAE: The Changing Face of Music and Art Education, 10, 107–122.

Luik, M. (2019). Group supervision supporting music therapy student’s study process. ANSE periodical for professional exchange and networking: European Journal for Supervision and Coaching, 1(3), 26−34. https://anse.eu/publications/anse-journal

Ratnik, M., & Rüütel, E. (2019). The field of work of the school art therapist and its unique potential for the school’s support team. Problems of Education in the 21st Century, 77(1), 142−155. https://doi.org/10.33225/pec/19.77.142

Luik, M. (2018). Music therapy in prison: Developing emotional skills. LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.

Rüütel, E., Kruus, K., Ivanova, A., & Laas, K. (2018). Structured short-term group art therapy for patients with fibromyalgia. A pilot study. Journal of Rehabilitation Sciences: Nursing, Physiotherapy, Ergotherapy, 18(1), 42−52. https://doi.org/10.33607/rmske.v1i18.753

Rüütel, E., Vinkel, I., & Laanetu, M. (2018). Vibroacoustic therapy and development of a new device: A pilot study in the health resort environment. Universal Journal of Public Health 6(5), 240−246, http://doi.org/10.13189/ujph.2018.060502

Kaldur, T., Majore-Dūšele, I., & Mägi, M. (2017). Crisis, creativity and society: Dance movement therapy embodying interdisciplinary pathways: 2nd European Association Dance Movement Therapy Conference, Milan, Italy, 9−11 September 2016. The Journal of Applied Arts and Health, 8 (3), 411−422. https://doi.org/10.1386/jaah.8.3.411_5.

Ratnik, M., & Rüütel, E. (2017). School factors affecting Estonian students`s subjective well-being at the basic school. Problems of Education in the 21st Century, 75(6), 599−611. http://oaji.net/articles/2017/457-1513710735.pdf

Rüütel, E. (2017). Loovteraapia kontseptsioonist, rakendamisest ja tõenduspõhisusest [The concept, implementation and evidence base of creative arts therapy]. Eesti Arst, 96(11), 661–668. https://eestiarst.ee/loovteraapia-kontseptsioonist-rakendamisest-ja-toe…

Rüütel, E., Vinkel, I., & Eelmäe, P. (2017). The effect of short-term vibroacoustic treatment on spasticity and perceived health condition of patients with spinal cord and brain injuries. Music and Medicine, Special Issue: Vibroacoustic Therapy: Research and Clinical Practice, 9(3), 202-208. https://doi.org/10.47513/mmd.v9i3.541

Heinla, E. (2016). Estonian teachers' creative teaching methods: Supporting mini-c creativity in the classroom. In: I. Briška, D. Kaleja-Gasparovica (Ed.), Creativity is everywhere. Radošums mums visapkart (pp. 14−17). SIA "Izdevniecib RaKa".

Luik, M. (2016). Muusikateraapia meditsiinis [Music therapy in medicine]. Eesti Arst, 95(11), 747−748. https://eestiarst.ee/muusikateraapia-meditsiinis/

Heinla, E. (2014). Estonian students’ creative thinking in connection to their creative self-efficacy at university and self-esteem. In: E. Xeni, R. Fisher, L. Howard & K. Monteith (Eds.), Creativity in education, research and practice (pp. 67−74). Inter-Disciplinary Press.

Heinla, E., & Nemeržitski, S. (2014). Students' perceptions regarding expression of creativity in post-Soviet Estonian society. The International Journal of Creativity and Human Development, 1-12.  http://www.creativityjournal.net/index.php/contents/articles

Zajedova, I., & Rüütel, E. (2014). Folk dance practice and transmission of the folk dance tradition by expatriate Estonians in Sweden and Germany. Český lid – Etnologický časopis 101, 57−76. https://www.jstor.org/stable/24330174

Nemeržitski, S., Loogma, K., Heinla, E., & Eisenschmidt, E. (2013). Constructing model of teachers' innovative behaviour in school environment. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 19(4), 398−418. https://doi.org/10.1080/13540602.2013.770230

Rüütel, E. (2013). Solution-focused art therapy in prevention and treatment of eating disorders. In E. Krevica & K. Martinsone (Eds.), Arts therapies for different client/patient groups (pp. 67−83). Riga Stradins University.

Rüütel, E., Zajedova, I., & Arraste, A. (2013). Motivational underpinnings of Estonian folk dance practices among the Estonian diaspora over time. Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore, 54, 97−118. https://doi.org/10.7592/FEJF2013.54.ryytel_zajedova_arraste

Heinla, E., Rüütel, E., Mõistlik, M., & Liiväär, L. (2012). Students’ creative thinking related aspects of school climate. In R. Jacobs (Ed.), Creative engagements with children: International perspectives and contexts (pp. 13−22). Inter-Disciplinary Press.

Mõistlik, M., Liiväär, L., & Rüütel, E. (2012). School creative lessons from 13-14 year old pupils' perspective and its relevance to teachers. Problems of Education in the 21st Century, 41, 42−51. http://journals.indexcopernicus.com/abstract.php?icid=990601

Nemeržitski, S., & Heinla, E. (2012). Relationship between arts-related hobbies, creative activities and creative thinking among school students, and its relation to wellbeing factors that support creativity. CFMAE: The Changing Face of Music and Art Education, 4(1), 81−96.

Rüütel, E. (2012). Solution-focused approach in art psychotherapy. In P.-M. Hautala & E. Honkanen (Eds.), Kuva kantaa – kuvataideterapia kasvatuksen, opetuksen, hoidon ja kuntoutuksen tukena (pp. 181−185). Satakunnan Ammattikorkeakoulu.

Sein-Garcia, M., Rüütel, E., Scotti, V., Hentinen, H., Tartes-Babkina, H., Vahtrapuu, A., & Ratnik, M. (2012). Materials and natural materials in art therapy. In P. Simi & O. Tuomela (Eds.), Promoting natural materials (pp. 150–154). Turku University of Applied Sciences.

Sein-Garcia, M., Vahtrapuu, A., Rüütel, E., Tartes-Babkina, H., Scotti, V., Hentinen, H., & Ratnik, M. (2012). Materials in art therapy [Educational film]. Tallinn University.

Zajedova, I., & Rüütel, E. (2012). Comparative analysis of the role of Estonians folk dance activity. In Faravid: Pohjois-Suomen Historiallisen Yhdistyksen Vuosikirja (pp.193−210). Oulu University Press.

Gramakovski, K.-L., & Rüütel, E. (2011). Relationship between the first grade students’ adjustment to school and creativity. In J. Mikk, P. Luik & M. Veisson (Eds.), Preschool and primary education (Estonian studies in education) (pp. 77−90). P. Lang.

Mõistlik, M., & Rüütel, E. (2011). Therapeutic outcomes from music lessons: what supports and influences pupils? The Changing Face of Music and Art Education, 3, 45−58. 

Rüütel, E., & Vinkel, I. (2011). Vibro-acoustic therapy – research at Tallinn University.  In M. Prstačić (Ed.), Umjetnost i znanost u razvoju životnog potencijala. Art and science in life potential development (pp. 42−44). Croation Psychosocial Oncology Association; Croatian Association for Sophrology, Creative Therapies and Arts-Expressive Therapies; Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences University of Zagreb.

Contact us!


AddressRäägu 49, 11311 Tallinn

Phone(+372)  6391 750


Related programmes

Well-Being and Health Behaviour, M.A.

School of Natural Sciences and Health

Are you eager to learn about people and their concerns and emotions? Would you like to know how to approach and measure a person's well-being in a science-based way? Are you ready to find solutions in the future to help people live healthier lives and prevent premature illness? Come and learn new valuable knowledge that contributes to your current speciality, and with relevant knowledge and experience it is possible to influence the individuals and health situation in your community through health promotion processes and team leadership.

Master's Studies
Cyclical studies
2000 €
View curriculum

Health Behaviour and Wellbeing, PhD

School of Natural Sciences and Health

During the programme, the students are taught the principles of carrying out research and its practical application to pursue a career in higher education, research and development institutions and in health care system by integrating knowledge with health technologies that meet present-day expectations, taking into account the peculiarities of health administration.

PhD studies
1 junior research fellow, 1 doctoral student
View curriculum