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Undergraduate study

Course overview

An occupational therapist (OT) supports people experiencing illness or disability to facilitate recovery and overcome barriers, enabling them to do the occupations (daily activities) they need or want to do. This support aims to improve their function, independence and quality of life.

An OT works with adults and children of all ages with a diverse range of physical and mental health conditions in settings including health and social care organisations (hospitals and the community), education, charities and private practice.

The course is accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists. This offers you a wider range of future working opportunities in the countries affiliated to the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. It also enables students from the Republic of Ireland to work in Eire.

Technology is integral to your learning, ensuring you are future-ready. A new OT suite, opening September 2021, includes a simulated home, shared teaching area for group activities, and a four-bed ward area that mirrors the real practice environment. Other facilities include creative, art and pottery areas for you to gain group work and activity analysis skills.

The course has been written with the involvement of service users and carers lived experiences which ensures your learning remains relevant to the ever-changing landscape of professional practice. Modules include traditional health and social care employability, and private practice and entrepreneurship.

All new and continuing eligible students on this course will receive a £5,000 learning support fund each year, which is non-repayable. Eligible students can also apply for reimbursement of essential expenses for travel and accommodation to attend practice placements.

Top 5 reasons to study this course

  • Varied and unique career prospects across all areas of health and social care
  • Our strong links with local social care services, the NHS trusts, private and charitable organisations, and service users ensure the course content is relevant and current
  • On campus OT facilities mirror aspects of clinical practice environments including creative group work rooms, a four-bed hospital ward and a simulated home
  • Over 1,000 hours of practice placement experience
  • The teaching team has over 60 years academic experience and knowledge in a wide range of clinical practice

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

Your career in occupational therapy commences in Year 1 as you undertake modules that provide the theoretical underpinning of occupational therapy, clinical sciences and an introduction to research and study skills. University theory and practice placements are alternated for you to put theory into its practice context. The whole course is structured in this way. Interprofessional learning activities including modules shared with other disciplines will be undertaken, and professional regulations, governance and ethics of practice are also explored.

Year 2 has two practice placements. Practice placement 2 is at the beginning of the academic year, and practice placement 3 starts in March. Year 2 builds upon the first-year modules to consolidate your learning and help you feel confident in your practice as the conditions and assessments you undertake become more complex.

Your final year international module, Community Building through Collective Occupations is your opportunity to learn with and from other learners and staff from across Europe. Other models will support your preparation for work. You also undertake your final practice placement, and your final major project.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Facilitating Independence and Inclusivity

You focus on facilitating independence through the occupational therapy process. There will be recognition that optimum health can exist within the context of disability and this is underpinned by concepts of health promotion, and reference to the environment and use of current assistive technology and equipment within the home. Services users will be involved to enable you to explore barriers to participation from a real-life perspective. You will analyse, develop, or modify therapy and environments, giving particular attention to future home design to develop independence and enhance occupational performance through a range of practical activities.

Lifespan, Living and Health

You focus on what makes us an occupational being. This includes functional anatomy, physiology, lifespan development and the role that sociocultural differences contribute to us being diverse individuals. From birth to the end of life, humans engage in a range of occupations which affect their health and wellbeing. In an interactive and reflective way, this module will help you to begin to consider the link between how individuals engage in occupations and their personal health and wellbeing.

Occupation for Wellbeing

This module focuses on the centrality of occupation in human life and transformative potential of occupation. You explore occupation-based activity analysis and the relationship between the person, environment, and occupation. Underpinned by the philosophy, values, and attitudes of the occupational therapy profession you consider the process of change and how individual behaviour can influence this. Restoring and maintaining health and wellbeing will be explored in the context of the role of public health and campaigns.

Preparation for Occupational Therapy Practice

You will focus on preparing for practice, covering all aspects of effective communication, non-discriminatory practice, workplace mandatory training, understanding lifelong learning, with tools to support this, what it means to be a professional, team working and expectations of the workplace. You study the legal and ethical boundaries of occupational therapy practice including the concept of confidentiality and the principles of information governance alongside the requirements of safeguarding confidential information and maintaining records in accordance with HCPC and RCOT standards, and local policies and procedures. This module incorporates a six-week practice placement

Theory and Evidence in Occupational Therapy

This module establishes a foundation of understanding of key academic concepts underpinning both future study and contemporary practice. You are introduced to conceptual and philosophical foundations within occupational therapy and occupational science. Alongside this, you understand the role of research and scholarship to the profession, employing evidence informed approaches to support critical thinking. The module is underpinned by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists’ Career Development Framework (Evidence, Research and Development pillar), and you are encouraged to explore and challenge theory and evidence.


Year 2 core modules

Critical Enquiry for Occupational Therapy

This module builds on research skills developed in the first year to enable you to critically appraise the methodological and ethical aspects of a research, evaluate research and evidence for professional practice and publication. There will be opportunities to review literature, critically appraise evidence and evaluate how the skills of critical enquiry might positively contribute to occupational therapy practice. You will be expected to participate in and take a lead, in a weekly journal club throughout the module.

Facilitating the Occupational Voice

You foster an awareness of the multiple influences on experiences of health and wellbeing, through the medium of service user engagement, developing the skills necessary to hear and interpret the ‘occupational voice’ and engage fully in understanding the client process in contemporary practice. You develop your knowledge and awareness of wide-ranging contemporary influences, whilst the delivery mode allows you to undertake a range of tasks which develop skills in line with necessary professional competencies. This module is delivered in collaboration with service users, and incorporates a six-week practice placement.

Occupational Therapy Core Skills

You link your knowledge of underpinning occupational therapy theories and foundation sciences and apply it to practice. This knowledge is fundamental to the use of occupation in a wide range of practice contexts (hospital, community and other sectors) and to meet a wide range of service user needs. A wide range of subjects will be covered, reflecting the diverse aspects of occupational therapy practice and the occupational therapy process, including groupwork skills, creative occupations, vocational rehabilitation, emerging digital technologies, environmental adaptations, orthotics/splinting, wheelchairs and seating.

Occupational Therapy for Entrepreneurs

This module is underpinned by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists Career Development Framework: Leadership pillar. You work collaboratively with other organisations, for example third sector organisations and charities using occupation to promote participation, health and wellbeing. You develop leadership and entrepreneurial qualities to lead, innovate and manage change, through marketing and promoting the benefits of occupational therapy. You will be supported to visit and analyse organisations and community-based facilities which provide leisure and social opportunities to experience and evaluate occupational barriers. This module incorporates Practice Placement 3.


Final-year core modules

Advancing Occupational Therapy Practice

You undertake a sustained, in-depth piece of independent learning, including a systematic review of evidence in an occupational therapy or occupational science related field of your choice. You will then produce a research article and either a 10-minute conference presentation orR a stand-alone conference poster to disseminate your findings. This module will be underpinned by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists’ Career Development Framework (Evidence, Research and Development pillar)

Community Building through Collective Occupations

This module is about working in and with communities. You focus on occupational engagement questions and issues which are experienced by a group of people or a community. Working with communities is central, and you focus on the power of collective occupations. From an occupational perspective, it is important that members of the community, who wish to, have the support they need to engage in meaningful activities and social connections. It is expected that occupational therapists will expand their work with communities and organisations in the future focusing on the needs of that community. You examine cases from practice, and benefit from outside speaker sessions.

Lifelong Learning in Occupational Therapy

You focus on future readiness and will re-visit the Royal College of Occupational Therapists’ Career Development Framework. You will be guided through portfolio construction, applying for employment and professional requirements of being a lifelong learner. Opportunities are present for you to critically evaluate and reflect on your personal approach to education in the occupational therapy profession and in inter-professional arenas. Your occupational aspirations will be explored and supported through a range of participatory sessions. This module incorporates the final practice placement.

Occupational Success

This module enables you to be prepared for the challenges encountered in a career as a graduate occupational therapist. You develop non-clinical professional skills and will work towards the Career Development Framework. Participation in this module enables you to develop leadership, entrepreneurial, and advocacy roles to represent the occupational therapy profession competently and confidently.


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

You are expected to have:

  • a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above including English language, maths and science. Key Skills/Functional Skills Level 2 in Communication and Application of Number can be accepted in place of English and maths GCSE. Please note these are not required if you are doing an Access course – however, you must have English and maths as listed below.*

Plus any of the following qualifications:

GCE and VCE Advanced Level
112 points from three A levels preferably biology to at least AS level, excluding general studies.

AS Level
These are only acceptable combined with at least two A levels, excluding general studies.

Access course
112 UCAS points from a QAA-recognised Access course (any combination)
*We can accept level 2 Access units in communication and maths in place of English and maths GCSEs.

BTEC QCF Extended Diploma
112 points (DMM) in a science or health subject.

CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care
120 points (B) in health and social care.

Foundation degree
A pass in a health or science subject, preferably biology.

Irish Leaving Certificate
120 points from five Highers/Honours subjects, preferably including biology.

Not acceptable

Scottish Highers
117 points from four or five Highers, preferably including biology.

Advanced Scottish Highers
112 points from three Advanced Highers, preferably including biology.

For further detailed entry requirements for this course please visit

You're encouraged to seek some work experience before you apply.

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

If you have at least an upper second-class honours degree and are considering applying for an undergraduate course you may be eligible to apply for a master's degree in occupational therapy.

The selection process includes shortlisting of your application, following which, if successful you will be invited for an interview.

Your personal statement will be 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
  • personal statement that supports your chosen course and demonstrates an understanding of the uniqueness of the profession and the role of the professional
  • motivation for completing the course is evident
  • satisfactory references.

At the interview you will be measured against the following criteria which is mapped against the NHS Constitution:

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

If you are invited to an interview and the date is not suitable we may not be able to offer you an alternative date due to the high volume of applications received for this course but it is important that you contact the admissions office immediately.
If you are successful in both shortlisting and interview you will receive an 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 recommendations - please read these here. For more information on all of the HEOPS standards click here
  3. an enhanced criminal history (DBS) check may be required for certain modules or placements which involve working with children and/or adults at risk. Where an enhanced DBS check is required, applicants will cover the cost of these checks which can only be processed through the University.
  4. satisfactory references.

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

International applicants
  • International applicants must have IELTS 7.0 with a minimal score of 6.5 in all sections or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 100/120 (in conjunction with a Teesside University English language test)* before an unconditional offer is made
  • If you are successful at shortlisting you will be invited to attend an interview (which may be in person OR video call) in one of our international offices in either India, Malaysia or China, or through a secure web link (which will be arranged by the University).
  • If you can not attend an interview as stated, you will be unable to proceed with your application.

*Students holding TOEFL qualifications at the required grade will be able to combine the qualification with a Teesside University English language test to meet the English language requirement. The English language test will assess listening and speaking competency.

For international enquiries please email

The maximum amount of the pre registration course that may be considered for RPL for occupational therapy must be less than or equal to one third of the total pre-registration course and may include practice based learning. The hours of practice based learning being considered for RPL must have been successfully completed and must not exceed the scheduled hours for the equivalent point of the course.

For general information please see our overview of 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


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

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Entry to 2021/22 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: B920 BSc/OT
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 112-128 tariff points and interview

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

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UK students


Telephone: 01642 335008

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International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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