New course for arts and health professionals to develop wellbeing programmes

20 November 2018

A new training course for busy Arts and Health Professionals who wish to develop and run successful arts in health programmes has been launched by Aesop and Canterbury Christ Church University.

Aesop Institute 2019 is aimed at those who wish to devise and run successful arts and health programmes and will enable professionals from both sectors to develop the values and beliefs, knowledge, skills and competencies required to achieve this.

In a speech this month to the King’s Fund, Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, spoke of the life-enhancing benefits of the arts and social activities, and how as a society we should be making greater use of their power to improve the nation’s health and wellbeing.

The Health and Social Care Secretary said the arts are an ‘indispensable tool’ for the NHS, adding that social prescribing can be used to “help shape our health and social care system” and should be seen as fundamental to preventing the over-use of medicines and offer a cost-effective treatment that is “better for patients, and better for society”.

Aesop is a bridge-builder, connecting the worlds of health and the arts. A charity and social enterprise, the organisation’s mission is to help health harness the powers of the arts, and help the arts gear up to deliver health improvement.

Aesop’s Chief Executive and Founder, Tim Joss, said: “I was in the room when Matt Hancock spoke and asked him how to make the indispensable tool of the arts available to all. He started listing elements of the Aesop Institute curriculum! We clearly need many more health and arts professional experts linking in these two sectors. We need artistic quality and health improvement advancing hand in hand. And we need university accreditation to boost the status and quality of this important work.”

For over a decade the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health at Canterbury Christ Church University has conducted research on the benefits of participation in the arts to the quality of life and wellbeing of individuals and communities.

Professor Stephen Clift, Director of the Centre, said: "I am delighted that Canterbury Christ Church University is collaborating with Aesop in creating this innovative module in arts, health and wellbeing. It will give both arts and health professionals an opportunity to explore issues of direct relevance to their ongoing work and development in this field, and gain university accreditation."

This newly designed course will start with a three day residential in Folkestone in May 2019, with a two-day follow-up residential in September 2019

Researchers and experienced innovators in arts in primary and community care will provide current perspectives on developments in the field during the programme. From May to September Aesop Institute students will develop and deliver arts and health programmes, fully supported by the Aesop Institute team.

For further information and how to apply visit:


Notes to editors

  • The module is accredited by Canterbury Christ Church University and students who successfully complete the programme will be awarded academic credits at Level 4 through 7 dependent on highest level of qualifications.


Launched in 2014, Aesop’s mission is to realise the potential of UK’s world-class and wide-reaching arts sector to transform people’s lives. Health is our initial focus: helping health harness the powers of the arts, and helping the arts gear up to deliver health improvement. Uniquely, we start with health challenges, and incubate and support arts enterprises with a social purpose (‘aesops’). These employ high quality artists and, from a health point of view, are designed to be evidence-based, cost-effective, sustainable and scalable. As well as its flagship ‘aesop’ (Dance to Health) and the Active Ingredients Project, Aesop presents a biennial Arts in Health Conference & Showcase for Health Decision-makers and it created the first evaluation framework for arts in health programmes.


Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with 16,000 students across Kent and Medway. Its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • Over 94% of our UK undergraduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2016/17 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey


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Last edited: 02/01/2019 12:28:00