Health & Social Care

PgDip/MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration)


  • 2 years
  • Enrolment date: January

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Occupational therapy is a process of facilitating change through activity in order to improve an individual’s quality of life and to enable them to reach their maximum level of function and independence. Occupational therapists value the uniqueness of the individual and believe there is personal capacity for adaptation. This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council and accredited by the College of Occupational Therapists and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

What you study

Year 1 is an opportunity for you to understand what an occupational therapist is and how they see the world. It considers the world as a world of occupational opportunity and people as occupational beings. This is achieved through a series of modules which consider the philosophy of the profession, practice skills and beliefs, finding and understanding research, and the professional knowledge base.

Following two placement experiences you learn to apply the occupational therapy process, using evidence from a wide range of sources and develop the practical skills necessary to demonstrate fitness to purpose. You are encouraged to draw on the placement experience and apply that in your learning. You build on your undergraduate research experience and further explore the research process and its relevance to your own domain of interest.

Year 2 helps you to understand the context in which you will practise in terms of the political and social culture and the professional constructs which determine the scope and viability of practice. Entrepreneurial and professional skills are developed and the opportunity to engage in non-traditional or role-emerging practice areas equips you for an ever-changing workplace.

Following practice placements, the final dissertation gives you the opportunity to develop academic expertise in an area of research relevant to your own interest.

How you learn

This well-established, progressive and integrated course incorporates biological, social and clinical sciences with health policy and research methods. We include a problem-based approach to learning, with opportunities to share learning with students from other disciplines from across the University. This is underpinned through a range of lectures, seminars and practical sessions. We promote teamwork and an appreciation of how other disciplines contribute to healthcare. You are supported through a personal tutor system and a range of School and University-wide strategies.

How you are assessed

The course includes both oral and written assessments, with the opportunity to develop scientific posters and demonstrate practical professional techniques.

Career opportunities

There is a diverse range of employment opportunities available for graduate occupational therapists. They work in all areas of health and social care, in schools and for voluntary agencies. They also work closely with other professionals such as doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, psychologists and social workers.

Entry requirements

Please note - we are unable to reconsider unsuccessful applicants in the same application cycle, however you can reapply in the future and you will be required to meet the criteria as if you were a first time applicant.

Applicants should normally:

  • have a 2.1 honours degree (you are advised to contact the Admissions Tutor for further information before applying).
  • have evidence of study within the last three years.
  • You must be eligible for a Department of Health bursary (more info on the NHS Student Bursaries website).

Please note: EU applicants must have an overall IELTS score of 7 with no elements below 6.5.

Admission to the course is dependent upon completion of the following selection processes:

  • academic entry requirements being met
  • satisfactory application form
  • successful interview
  • satisfactory references
  • completed work-based risk assessment process
  • enhanced DBS check required.

During the course and on completion you will be required to declare any convictions, cautions or allegations to the University and relevant professional body prior to application for registration.

If you are successful in both shortlisting and interview you will receive a conditional offer which is subject to the following:

  1. evidence of achievement of the required academic qualifications.
  2. a successful work-based risk assessment which will reflect the HEOPS recommendation Please read these.
  3. enhanced DBS check. Please note that any warnings, cautions, allegations or convictions received in the last five years may have implications for your continued offer on the course.
  4. satisfactory references.

Please note until 1 to 4 have been successfully completed the offer of a place on the course remains conditional.

HEOPS medical student fitness standards

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

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