Postgraduate study
Health & Social Care

PgDip/MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration)

This course builds on your academic skills whilst helping you to develop the clinical competence to practice as a newly graduated occupational therapist. You explore the profession across the breadth of occupational therapy practice, experiencing a number of clinical and practice settings including a non-traditional context. In addition to intervention strategies you gain experience in applying sound clinical reasoning and learn something of the professional role within multidisciplinary and multiagency practice.

Course information

Part-time

  • Not available part-time

Contact details

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    School of Health & Social care postgraduate study

    Find out how studying health and social care at postgraduate level can boost your career opportunities and what Teesside University has to offer.

 

We include a problem-based approach within our learning and teaching, and learning opportunities with students from other professions. By successfully completing this course you are eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and membership of the College of Occupational Therapists.This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council and accredited by the College of Occupational Therapists and World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

Students studying this programme who obtain an NHS bursary can't also apply for a postgraduate loan from the Student Loan Company. From September 2017 funding for this programme will change. The website will be updated once this has been confirmed.

Year 1 outlines what an occupational therapist is. We consider the world as a place of occupational opportunity and people as occupational beings. Through a series of modules you consider the philosophy of the profession, practice skills and beliefs, findings and understanding research, and the professional knowledge base required to develop strategies for intervention.

Following two placement experiences you learn to apply the occupational therapy process using evidence from a range of sources. This is supported by input from practice colleagues and service users. You also develop the practical skills needed to demonstrate fitness to purpose. You are encouraged to draw on your placement experience and apply it in your learning. You build on your undergraduate research experience and further explore the research process and its relevance to your interests.

Year 2 helps you understand the professional constructs which determine the scope and viability of occupational therapy. You develop your entrepreneurial and professional skills, and learn about non-traditional or role-emerging practice areas to equip you for an ever-changing workplace. You also start your major project in Year 2, developing academic expertise in your area of research. Your project continues throughout the second year and is submitted in December. You have two more practice placement experiences over the summer.

Modules

Year 1 core modules

Doing, Being and Becoming

This core module provides a critical foundation to your knowledge of occupational performance issues. It enables you to critically evaluate the role of occupational performance issues in development and functioning. Throughout the sessions you debate the role of occupation as doing, being and becoming -and you consider the role of occupation in countering occupational disruption, deprivation and dysfunction for the individual. You learn through weekly sessions through a mixture of formal taught material, providing underpinning structures and knowledge relating to core theory, philosophy and practice; and exploratory sessions based on activity and debate around the issues raised.

Enabling Performance Through Occupation

You develop your practice skills and begin to use occupation as a means to enable. You consider the occupational therapy process in practice and explore the implications of impairment on occupational performance for individuals with a wide range of needs. You learn how to gather and critically evaluate information about an individual’s occupational performance, understanding the role of impacting factors on function. You explore the role of the occupational therapist in different practice contexts, focusing on community practice and your contribution to the client’s recovery as part of the wider team. You explore a range of intervention skills such as assessment, evaluation, individual therapy and group work skills. Sessions include a mixture of lectures and practical material with supporting problem-based learning sessions. You are encouraged to prepare knowledge, explore practice skills and engage in debate. Sessions also include elements to help prepare you for your assessment.

Occupation and Performance

This module introduces you to the professional philosophy and theories underpinning occupational therapy. Occupation is a basic need for people of all ages, necessary for survival and adaptation. Using occupation as the basis for learning, you consider the implementation of that theory in common areas of occupational therapy practice. You integrate and synthesise theories of underpinning sciences with theories of occupation, and consider their combined impact on an individual's occupational performance. You explore theoretical structures and models which organise practice, and consider the art and skills necessary for their delivery. You also critique these models and their theoretical underpinnings.

You learn through lectures supported by practical sessions, for example how creative activities might be used therapeutically. A problem-based learning approach also supports the learning process. You are able to draw on evidence from the professional knowledge-base available to occupational therapists to better understand the theoretical framework.

Practical Research Methods for Occupational Therapy

This module provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills to design and manage relevant empirical and review-based research projects. Indicative content is focused on key aspects of designing qualitative and quantitative studies, collecting practical data, managing and analysis, as well as systematic reviews of literature and documentary analysis. You address aspects of scientific and ethical credibility of key research paradigms with an emphasis on the qualitative methodologies. You are expected to have already formulated a research question before the start of the module. The module content is delivered through key lectures, small group work, practical exercises, laboratory-based sessions and peer group presentations.

Practice Placement 1 (6 weeks)

Here you engage in the occupational therapy process in a practice setting. You learn to appreciate the philosophy of occupational therapy and begin to identify how theory enhances practice. You spend six weeks with a practice educator in one of a variety of settings. During this placement and Practice Placement 2, you are expected to be placed in a physical health and a mental health setting (or similar) to vary practice your placement experience. Before the placement you attend a series of preparatory sessions - these include practically applying skills, for example manual handling and developing skills for your professional role. You have access to a practice placement virtual learning environment, providing materials to support your placement. You will demonstrate how occupational therapists work in practice settings and will be able to identify how the process is applied to service users. You will also be able to identify a service user's level of occupational performance and the impact of illness and disability on his/her functional ability. You take part in weekly supervision sessions throughout the placement and are assessed by the practice placement educator on applying your skills, integrating theory into practice, and using and evaluating skills. You will have a mandatory review of progress meeting halfway with an academic tutor in attendance.

Practice Placement 2 (8 weeks)

An opportunity to engage in the occupational therapy process in a practice setting and apply theoretical frameworks to the practice area. You spends eight weeks with a practice educator in one of a variety of settings. You have access to a practice placement virtual learning environment, providing materials to support the placement. You can demonstrate how an occupational therapist works in the clinical setting and identify which models and approaches can be applied. You are also expected to identify the service user's level of occupational performance and functional ability. You participate in weekly supervision sessions throughout the placement with the practice placement educator, and set and discuss jointly agreed objectives. This also includes a mandatory review of progress session halfway through with your academic tutor in attendance. You will be able to identify the service user's level of occupational performance and the impact of illness, disability on his/her functional ability. You are also expected to reflect on your overall practice experience.

Transformation through Occupation

Here you build on your practice placement experience. You establish a greater understanding of the complexity of occupational therapy intervention - you focusing on how an individual’s ability to engage in occupation and the context of that experience allows them to develop a meaningful transformation in life. You develop an understanding of how the tacit use of occupation can be used to create change in experience and outcomes in the life of an individual. You draw on your practice placement experience, contribute to seminars and lecture discussions, and lead the case-based tutorials.

 

Year 2 core modules

Major Project

This module is available if you are undertaking the MSc Occupational Therapy. It is an opportunity to carry out a piece of research, complete a research paper and defend your area of research through an oral poster presentation. You start the module in the spring term – it runs for four sessions before it is bisected by Practice Placements 3 and 4. It resumes in the autumn term and runs for a further four sessions before it concludes in December when the assignment is submitted. The module is also open to occupational therapists who have previously gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Therapy who wish to return and top up to master's level. You must demonstrate advanced capabilities in retrieving, critically appraising and developing knowledge and understanding in a topic related to occupational therapy. You develop your skills in considering ethical issues and advanced skills in presenting research. We encourage evidence of planning, managing and evaluating the research process through individual and group tutorials as well as via a midpoint formative feedback interview.

Practice Placement 3 (Role Emerging) (4 weeks)

An opportunity to engage in the occupational therapy process in a practice setting, to apply theoretical frameworks and to select, apply and evaluate appropriate treatment media. You spends four weeks in a practice setting – in an emerging area of practice or a traditional setting with a focus on service development. You can identify the models and approaches applied to the practice setting and select, apply and evaluate appropriate treatment media. The focus of intervention is on the participation, access and engagement for service users. You are assessed by the practice educator for applying skills to the setting, integrating theory into practice, and using and evaluating skills – you are awarded a pass or refer.

Teaching sessions prepare you for your placements. In the final five weeks of term you spend one day a week on placement with sessions at the University to support your learning. Here we use learning sets to help you develop negotiation and planning skills. You attend the placement full time for three weeks. You will be able to demonstrate how an occupational therapist works in this setting, identifying the appropriate models and approaches for practice. You must complete a project, developed in conjunction with the placement team and aimed at an aspect of service improvement. This contributes to completing your placement learning outcomes.

Practice Placement 4 (9 weeks)

The final placement is an opportunity to consolidate and synthesise theory and practice, and critically evaluate your professional skills. You spends nine weeks with a practice placement educator in a practice setting. Before the placement you attend a series of preparatory sessions – these include practically applying skills, for example manual handling and developing skills for your professional role. You have access to a practice placement virtual learning environment, used to provide materials to support the placement. You will be able to demonstrate how an occupational therapist works in the practice setting, identifying which models and approaches can be applied. You are expected to identify the service user's level of occupational performance and functional ability. You take part in weekly supervision sessions with the practice placement educator throughout your placement. Together you set and discuss agreed objectives within these session - this also includes a mandatory review of progress session halfway with your academic tutor in attendance. You will be able to identify the service user's level of occupational performance and the impact of illness, disability on his/her functional ability.

Professional Development in Occupational Therapy Practice

You consider the context of occupational therapy practice and the current issues that will affect your transition from student to professional practitioner. Topics vary due to the changing nature of professional issues. You examine and debate professional and ethical issues in relation to best practice, drawing on your professional practice experience. There is a particular focus on the expectations of first post experience of graduate therapists, debating and identifying challenges to practice. You undertake a first post mock interview as well as a portfolio clinic and service user story as a problem-based learning trigger. You also consider how to develop your professional lifelong learning and occupational therapy business development in relation to public health issues. You are introduced to keynote debates in workshops and seminars, while practical sessions further develop you personally and professionally.

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

This well-established, progressive course incorporates biological, social and clinical sciences with health policy and research methods. You take a problem-based approach to learning and share learning with students from other disciplines across the University.

The course consists of lectures, seminars and practical sessions. We promote teamwork and encourage you to appreciate the many disciplines contributing to healthcare. You are supported through a personal tutor and a range of School and University strategies.

How you are assessed

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

Career opportunities

Many employment opportunities exist for graduate occupational therapists in health and social care, schools and voluntary agencies. Occupational therapists also work closely with other professionals such as doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, psychologists and social workers.

Entry requirements

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

You should have:

  • a 2.1 honours degree (contact admissions before applying)
  • evidence of study within the last three years
  • you must also be eligible for a Department of Health bursary. Find out more through the NHS Student Bursaries website).

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

Admission to the course depends on:

  • academic entry requirements being met
  • satisfactory application form
  • successful interview
  • satisfactory references
  • completed work-based risk assessment process
  • enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

During and on completion of your course, you must declare any convictions, cautions or allegations to the University and relevant professional body before applying for registration.

Your personal statement is measured against the following criteria:

  • your ability to complete all sections of the application form fully and correctly
  • the level of all qualifications and grades must be specified
  • appropriate academic entry requirements achieved or predicted
  • evidence of study over the last three years
  • a personal statement supportive of your chosen programme that demonstrates an understanding of the uniqueness of the profession and role of the professional
  • evident motivation for completing the programme

At interview you will be measured against the following criteria, mapped against the NHS constitutional values:

  • knowledge of your chosen profession and career
  • an appreciation of the demands of the programme and your chosen profession
  • enthusiasm for the programme and profession
  • an understanding of professional values and attitudes in health and social care
  • an ability to communicate effectively
  • relevant background experience in this area
  • team skills
  • problem solving skills and creative activities.

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

  1. evidence of the required academic qualifications
  2. a successful work based risk assessment which will reflect the HEOPS recommendations - please read these here. For more information on all of the HEOPS standards click here
  3. an enhanced DBS check - 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.

Until the steps above have been completed, the offer of a place on the course remains conditional.

HEOP recommendations

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

Course information

Part-time

  • Not available part-time

Contact details

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