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Undergraduate study

Course overview

Occupational therapy has an important role in health and social care. It is a process of facilitating change through activity to improve people’s quality of life and to enable them to reach their maximum level of function and independence. This degree course equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to apply to register with the Health and Care Professions Council as an occupational therapist.

From September 2020 all new and continuing students on this course will receive a £5,000 maintenance grant each year if they’re eligible. They will not need to pay it back.
Full details here

You are required to demonstrate the values and beliefs of the NHS Constitution as you become an integral part of a multiagency team, providing the expertise to ensure that clients reach their maximum level of independence. This is a full-time course and in addition, as part of the placement experience, you will be required to participate in a shift pattern rota or work weekends. You are allocated to placements within health and social care settings, enabling you to develop and apply your knowledge and skills to become a safe and autonomous professional practitioner. This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council and accredited by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists and Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

Student VoiceThe School is committed to the development of quality courses and to the enhancement of the student experience. To that end the Student Voice is central to the design and delivery of the learning experience. We invite you to provide feedback at key points in your student journey and ensure that we respond to your feedback through our 'you said, we did' approach.

Professional accreditation

On successful completion of the course, you will be eligible to apply for registration as an occupational therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Our pre-registration occupational therapy provision has been accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

Please note 100% attendance is expected during this course.


Supporting information for applicants

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Course details

The emphasis in Year 1 is on gaining relevant knowledge and comprehension related to occupational therapy as a profession and related contributory life sciences. You are introduced to underpinning core beliefs and values of occupational therapy. You gain knowledge of the basic assessment and treatment skills necessary when working with clients. As well as developing a broad range of practical skills. You will learn how to use the best evidence to support your practice and will also develop your communication skills. Professional regulations, governance and ethics of practice are also explored. You will undertake two practice placements.

Year 2 consolidates the links between theory and practice, for both practice and research. You evaluate the effectiveness of a range of occupational therapy assessment and treatment interventions, undertake a practice placement and a period of voluntary work. You develop your communication and service user engagement skills and have the opportunity to explore our communities, considering their impact on individuals and relationships.

In Year 3 the emphasis is on preparation for professional life and developing a plan for continuing professional development. You also develop the ability to synthesise and evaluate data from a range of sources into a comprehensible form. You also undertake two practice placements, with one being in a new area for occupational therapy.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Building Evidence for Occupational Therapy

This module is an introduction to higher education key skills, skills in applying evidence to occupational therapy practice, professional development and lifelong learning.

The explicit development of learning skills will be a focus, so you can take greater responsibility for your own learning.

Occupational Being, including Practice Placement 1

This module introduces you to information from the contributory sciences of anatomy, physiology, psychology and sociology (including cultural aspects) to enhance your understanding of the individual as an occupational being.

It shows how engaging in occupation is central to health and well-being.

You study major body systems, such as the nervous, muscular-skeletal and circulatory systems in a developmental and optimum performance context, which enables you to apply this knowledge in a clinical placement setting.

This then provides a basis for understanding how various life course experiences may influence the functioning of these systems.

Occupational Therapy Professional Practice

This module provides a core underpinning on professional practice issues that are relevant to all practitioners.

We explore skills and development issues for the you through the use of interactive learning.

Content focuses upon key transferable skills and essential practice skills – preparing you for the demands of practice placements, and ensuring you are sufficiently informed and equipped to practice safely.

Principles of Occupational Therapy

This module introduces you to the core concepts and philosophies of occupational therapy.

The framework of person, environment and occupation is used to explore central ideas.

The study of occupational therapy philosophy will be rooted in the historical development of the profession and developed to include occupational science and theoretical frameworks.

Promoting Independent Lives, including Practice Placement 2

This module introduces you to the occupational therapy process emphasising the gathering of information and setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time - limited (SMART) goals.

The concepts of disability and illness are discussed with the involvement of service users to emphasise the individual's subjective experience of disability, and aspects of independence and interdependence.


Year 2 core modules

Occupation, including Practice Placement 3

This module enables you to gain the fundamental resources you need to use occupation in the clinical context.

You have the opportunity to explore and experience different occupations in different situations and in the context of different clinical conditions using clinical reasoning.

You are expected to link the clinical theory from the year one ‘Occupational Being’ module as well as the underpinning theories, models and approaches linked to occupational performance.

Occupational Therapy Process

This module enables you to explore the impact of illness, disability or trauma for people with physical, mental and social impairments and learning disabilities on occupational performance.

The community context as well as specific issues dealing with environmental design is embedded into this module.

The Occupational Voice

You explore the multiple influences on experiences of health and wellbeing through the medium of service user engagement. You develop your knowledge and awareness of wide ranging contemporary influences, developing your skills in line with necessary professional competencies.

Utilising Evidence for Occupational Therapy

This year long module enables you to use appropriate evidence for occupational therapy practice.

It links to the College of Occupational Therapy position statement on research and builds on the skills learned in the first year module ‘building evidence for occupational therapy practice’

It also supports you in the development of portfolio evidence.


Year 3 core modules

Facilitating the Future Development of Occupational Therapy Services

You draw together previous learning from the second year module Utilising Evidence for Occupational Therapy into a functional, practical final project - demonstrating initiative, insight, creativity and entrepreneurial thinking.

Meeting the Challenge for Occupational Therapy Practice

This module enable you to further develop your non-clinical professional skills and insight to prepare for your first graduate role and to support you in life long learning.

The module covers employability issues, leadership, ethical decision making and the personal skiils required to enable you to meet contemporary challenges in your practice.

Practice Placement 4

You engage in the occupational therapy process in a practice setting to apply theoretical frameworks and to select, apply and evaluate appropriate treatment media, demonstrating the clinical reasoning process. Supported by a practice educator you will spend six weeks on practice placement to develop skills enabling you to understand which models and approaches apply to that area of practice as well as being able to select, apply and evaluate appropriate treatment media.

Practice Placement 5

This module provides you with the opportunity to promote the contribution of occupational therapy services within the legal and ethical boundaries of the profession. You will negotiate a placement in a diverse practice area of interest to you.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

As an adult learner, your learning takes place in a variety of settings and contexts, using many different methods to achieve learning outcomes, for example lectures, seminars and practical sessions. The quality of occupational therapy education at Teesside has been assessed as 'excellent' by the Quality Assurance Agency and much of the occupational therapy-specific teaching takes place in the well-equipped activities of daily living suite, with adjoining seminar room. This includes a simulated bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. In addition, there is a practical room and group work room.

There is a requirement throughout the course for you to complete successfully 1,000 hours of practice placements on which you are assessed for clinical and professional competence by a trained practice placement educator.

How you are assessed

You are assessed on your academic work and on your practice placements. A variety of assessment methods is used throughout the course such as case studies, assignments, presentations and practical and written examinations. Successful completion of these assessments demonstrates your ability to meet the Health and Care Professions Council standards of 'proficiency'.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Call us on 0800 952 0226 about our entry requirements

For additional information please see our entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

Once the course has been successfully completed you can apply to register with the Health and Care Professions Council. Registered occupational therapists practise in the UK and overseas, in all areas of health and social care. You will work closely with other professionals such as doctors, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, social workers, psychologists and nurses.

Alternatively you may choose a career in a charity or any other emerging areas of practice. Occupational therapists also work in private practice, research and education.


Information for international applicants


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Useful information

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Entry to 2020/21 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

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Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

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