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Undergraduate study
Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy BSc (Hons)

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


Course overview


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 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

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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

An Introduction to Evidence-based Practice for Health Professionals

You examine the role of evidence-based practice and sources of evidence: primary and secondary research, guidelines, audits and evaluations to support clinical decision making. You develop skills in formulating focused questions, developing effective search strategies and literature retrieval.

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 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.

Professionalism for Health Professionals (Allied Health Professional Module)

This module is designed to facilitates your understanding of your role in the delivery of contemporary health and social care within the context of interprofessional practice. You gain a core understanding of professional issues relevant to practice, facilitating the development of professional behaviour, preparing you for the demands of practice and ensuring you are sufficiently informed and equipped to practice safely. The concepts of continuous professional development and lifelong learning and the tools to demonstrate this through the use of the e-portfolio are introduced. This will prepare you to produce evidence of professional development to maintain your professional registration with the Health and Care Professionals Council.


Year 2 core modules

Dissertation Planning for Health Professionals

You further develop your knowledge of research methods and critical appraisal. The module will build upon the knowledge of the different research methodologies gained at level 4 and allow you to apply that knowledge to design a project using primary or secondary research methods.

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

Community Building through Collective Occupations

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 we do this by focusing 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. In this module, cases from practice will be brought into the teaching, supported by external speakers. In addition, some lectures may be webcast from and to Amsterdam.

Developing Leadership and Service Improvement Skills for the Future Ready Practitioner

You develop a knowledge and understanding of healthcare policy, statutory and professional policy and explore the impact of these policies with respect to patient care, professional practice and service delivery. There is a strong emphasis on personal and professional development with an exploration of the theories and concepts underpinning continuous professional development, leadership, human dimension of change and quality improvement. You are required to provide evidence of your personal and professional development using an e-portfolio, to demonstrate critical reflection and action planning to ensure you are prepared for the demands and expectations of your role as a future-ready healthcare professional in both traditional and non- traditional settings.

Dissertation for Health Professionals

You consolidate and further develop the knowledge and skills gained during previous modules to progress the project you designed at level 5.

Preparatory work will have been undertaken at level 5 and will include: the completion of the ethics application and all supplementary documentation. Data collection forms will have been designed and the topic approved. Supervisor allocation will be made available prior to the start of the module and those students undertaking primary research or evaluation projects should have already submitted their ethics application prior to the start of the module. Supervisors will provide up to eight hours of one-to-one support through email, Teams and other forms of communication agreed between you and your supervisor.

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.


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 01642 738400 about our entry requirements

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

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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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.


Entry to 2022/23 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£14,000 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: Call us on 01642 738400 about our entry requirements

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2022 entry

UK applicants

Complete this enquiry form only if you have already obtained your qualifications and achieved grades. If you do not have these at this time, we will be unable to progress your enquiry - please re-visit and complete the form after you have received your results.

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International applicants

Our undergraduate courses are available through Clearing to international applicants. Please only complete this application form if you have already obtained your qualifications and achieved your grades. You must upload all requested documents including a copy of your passport, academic qualifications and English language qualification, and copies of any sponsor letters or maintenance documents to meet the requirements. If you have previously applied through UCAS for 2022-23 entry, please include your UCAS personal ID number in the course details box.

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2023 entry

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



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Choose Teesside

  • On video

    Occupational therapy student Hellen Wachepa

    Why Hellen is studying occupational therapy at Teesside University

    Occupational therapy student Paul Wilkinson

    Why Paul is studying occupational therapy at Teesside University

    Occupational therapy student Sara Sumners

    Why Sara is studying occupational therapy at Teesside University

  • Student and graduate profiles

    Marlee Pryde

    Marlee PrydeBSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

    The placements give you the best learning experiences as you work hands on with clients and learn from them and the professionals.

    Meet Marlee

    Kate Schindler

    Kate SchindlerBSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

    The course is really interesting, and I feel like I will be well prepared for my first job.

    Meet Kate

    Kelly Stevens

    Kelly StevensBSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

    Kelly has had a fulfilling experience at University, completing a number of placements and enjoying her campus surroundings.

    Meet Kelly


Service user and carer involvement

Service users and carers support all aspects of our students' lifecycle from recruitment to graduation.

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UK students


Telephone: 01642 738400

Online chat

International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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