Top marks for first Aesop Institute for Arts and Health professionals

7 October 2019

The first ever Aesop Institute for Arts and Health professionals, in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University, concluded in Canterbury last month.

The Aesop Institute was launched earlier this year in response to demand from both health and arts professionals for accredited, quality-assured arts in health training, that is tailored to personal learning requirements and fits around busy work schedules.

It aims to enable those working in the health or arts sectors to develop the values and beliefs, knowledge, skills and competencies relevant to the provision and growth of successful arts in health programmes.

2019 has seen the first cohort of Aesop Institute students come together for residentials in Folkestone and Canterbury and build work-based portfolios for assessment.

Students came from a variety of backgrounds in the arts and health field including producers, practitioners and healthcare workers.

Reflecting on the success of the first Institute, Professor Stephen Clift, Centre Director for the University’s Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, said:“I am delighted to have worked with Aesop in designing and delivering this negotiated module on arts and health. Participants on the course engaged very positively and everyone generously shared their perspectives and expertise in the field.  Reflective portfolios submitted for accreditation were of a very high standard.  I very much hope that the Aesop Institute will continue and go from strength to strength“

Feedback from students has been extremely positive with many confirming the need for continuing professional development in arts and health.

“I believe this course has tremendous value for professionals.  It has transformed the way I think about arts and health. I highly recommend it”
Aesop Institute 2019 student

Looking ahead to the future development of the Institute, Tim Joss Chief Executive and Founder, Aesop, said: “I’m thrilled that the first Aesop Institute was such a success. A big thank you to Professor Stephen Clift, our fantastic Course Director, the staff at the Canterbury Christ Church University’s Sidney De Haan Centre and all the guest speakers for their brilliant contributions. Based on the feedback from the health and arts professionals who attended, the Aesop Institute will be running again in 2020 and I’m looking forward to welcoming the second cohort of students!“

For further information visit: or follow #AesopInstitute on Twitter for the latest updates.  

Notes for Editors


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

  • The Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, in partnership with the University’s Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, is internationally recognised for its commitment to researching the potential value of music, and other participative arts activities, in the promotion of wellbeing and health of individuals and communities.
  • For more information on the work of the Centre visit:

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with  15,300 students across Kent and Medway. Its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 93% of our most recent 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: 12/11/2019 11:12:00