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Undergraduate study

Course overview

This occupational therapy degree apprenticeship is ideal if you are employed as a healthcare worker and your employer is willing to support your professional development.

At Teesside University we have been training occupational therapists since 1994 and this apprenticeship route is in response to employer demand. The course follows a similar pathway as the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy and a successful apprenticeship journey will lead to your eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as an occupational therapist.

Occupational therapy continues to be a distinct and growing profession working in health, social care, the voluntary and the third sector as well as in private practice. Interventions are client-centred and therefore individually tailored to meet the needs of the client. This requires detailed assessment of the person’s functional abilities and clear goals set to help them maximise independence and efficacy in all areas of daily life. This may mean developing quite a different direction due to injury, disability or illness and this may be difficult and painful to accept. The occupational therapist needs to be a problem solver; a motivator and able to help clients analyse and evaluate the effects of a variety of interventions to find the best fit with them, and for them, in their future lives.

Course modules develop theoretical principles and skills that are directly related to occupational therapy practice. The course structure sees you undertake the theory that is required prior to each practice placement, so that a staged approach facilitates graded learning. In addition you also have the opportunity to take part in inter-professional education modules and shared learning.

Supporting information for applicants

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Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

An Introduction to Academic and Evidence-based Practice

You reflect on your own and other perceptions of an effective health care system and appreciate the contribution of other professionals in the healthcare team. The concept of person-centred care will be introduced and related issues such as communication skills, cultural awareness and ethical judgement will be explored.

An Introduction to Professional Practice

This interprofessional module introduces the core skills, values and behaviours that underpin your professional practice within health and social care with acknowledgment of the professional standards you must adhere to from your regulator and your own professional body.

Health and Wellbeing in Professional Practice

You consider the role of the allied health professional within the context of increasingly unhealthy lifestyles, and growing numbers of people with long term conditions. You are introduced to models of health including social, psychological, physical, cultural and environmental, and how these key concepts can influence quality of care and enhance the participation of individuals

Principles of Rehabilitation and Recovery in Healthcare

Within the health and social care sector, an increasing number of therapy assistants are working across the disciplines of occupational therapy and physiotherapy in the drive towards integrated care for patients and service users. This module focuses on the rehabilitation and recovery process from primary assessment to secondary care and discharge using a client centred approach. The biopsychosocial development of an individual through the lifespan will be considered in conjunction with discussion as to how congenital or acquired conditions may restrict an individuals’ potential for optimum independence in occupational performance at any stage in their life.

Structure and Function for Allied Health Professionals

You develop integrated knowledge of anatomy and physiology through small group working in variety of workshops, practical laboratories and student-led interactive sessions making use of relevant online tools and resources.


Year 2 core modules

Critical Enquiry for Occupational Therapy Professional Practice

You critically appraise the methodological and ethical aspects of research, evaluate research and evidence for occupational therapy professional practice and publication. You will be guided through the process for creating and maintaining a CPD portfolio in line with professional requirements, and encouraged to identify opportunities and engage with audit, consultations, research and evaluations.

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.

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.

Occupational Therapy Entrepreneurs Apprenticeship

You work collaboratively with other organisations, for example third sector and charities and use occupation to promote participation, health and wellbeing. You develop leadership, entrepreneurial and business enterprise qualities to lead, innovate and manage change, through marketing and promoting the benefits of occupational therapy

Occupational Therapy Theory and Professional Skills

You link your knowledge of underpinning occupational therapy theories and foundation sciences and apply it to practice. The underlying knowledge developed in Year 1 around structure and function is now applied to individuals experiencing occupational performance issues due to physical and/or cognitive dysfunction. Practical sessions will provide the opportunity to explore and apply occupation to complex conditions and circumstances reflecting both common and specialist practice experience.


Final-year core modules

Advancing Occupational Therapy Services (independent negotiated project)

You undertake a sustained, in-depth piece of independent learning which is a systematic review of evidence in an occupational therapy related field of your choosing, and produce two outputs (a 4,000-word article, and a student conference presentation or a stand-alone conference poster), reflecting typical professional dissemination activities.

Continuing Professional Development in Occupational Therapy

The module focuses on future readiness and will re-visit the Royal College of Occupational Therapists’ Career Development Framework introduced earlier in the course. You are guided through portfolio construction and the professional requirements of being a lifelong learner, how 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, considering occupational therapy and research careers, as you devise your own personal action plan.

Occupational Success Apprenticeship

This module prepares you for the challenges you may encounter as you begin your career as a graduate occupational therapist. You explore current drivers for practice and to investigate potential future trends, directions, and theory development. You will facilitate a professional discussion linked to managing a difficult situation and a 3,000-word reflection, critiquing the way you approached the situation, the techniques used and the emotions you felt, linking this to the underpinning theory.

Occupational Therapy Degree Apprenticeship End Point Assessment

The module aims to provide the necessary support for your end point assessment to ensure you can demonstrate knowledge and skills holistically, reflecting comprehensive learning and development, commensurate with practice needs in a portfolio.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

A range of diverse learning and teaching methods includes keynote lectures, seminars, small group work as well as practical skills sessions. You are given constructive feedback to enhance your learning opportunities. You are encouraged and supported to engage in self-directed learning throughout the duration of the course. You must successfully complete at least 1,000 hours of clinical practice to comply with the regulations of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Clinical placements enable you to assess and treat clients with varied clinical conditions, in a range of hospital and community settings. During placements you are supervised by experienced clinicians and receive visits from University tutors.

How you are assessed

You will encounter a variety of assessment methods as you progress through the course. The nature of the assessment will vary according to the learning outcomes of the module and also to ensure that you are not disadvantaged by any one method.

Methods of assessment include written and practical examinations, completion of practice portfolios, poster and oral presentations, written assignments and practice placements. In Year 3 a specific apprenticeship end point assessment includes professional discussion and observation of your practice in the clinical setting.
In the interests of professional safety, you must complete all modules successfully to demonstrate:

  • conducting assessment and treatment procedures safely and effectively
  • satisfactory clinical reasoning and problem-solving skills
  • satisfactory skills in communication and team working
  • evidence of appropriate selection and appraisal of methods of critical enquiry.

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

Entry requirements for apprentices must be aligned with the Occupational Therapy (Integrated Degree) Apprenticeship Standard which are:

  • Typically 3 A levels to include biology or human biology, or, an equivalent access qualification
  • Maths and English Level 2
  • You will be employed in an apprentice position with a healthcare provider.

Recognition of Prior Learning is available to apprentices and will be considered on an individual basis. 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.

Admission to the course is dependent upon:

  • academic entry requirements being met
  • satisfactory completion of an interview against set criteria
  • satisfactory references
  • completed work-based risk assessment process
  • receipt of a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service check.

The interview and DBS are the employer’s responsibility with assistance from the University.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

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

Opportunities are available for employment within the NHS, private sector or charitable trusts – in hospitals, GP surgeries, schools, industry and in the community. You could also consider a career working in clinical research or teaching, in the UK or overseas.

Work placement

Depending on your place of employment, you may be able to meet the requirements of the course within your own Trust. However, there may be occasions when you are asked to work in a different hospital or a different Trust to gain the necessary experience and to develop the necessary knowledge and skills in order to meet the required standards of practice.



Entry to 2021/22 academic year

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