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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 leads to the learner's eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as an occupational therapist.
We are ranked 4th for graduate prospects for counselling, psychotherapy and occupational therapy in the Complete University Guide 2023. (53 institutions were ranked, tees.ac.uk/source)
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 the apprentice undertake the theory that is required prior to each practice placement, so that a staged approach facilitates graded learning. They also have the opportunity to take part in inter-professional education modules and shared learning.
Please note, we can only respond to enquiries from employers, or individuals with agreement from their employer to undertake an apprenticeship.
Supporting information for applicants
Year 1 core modules
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.
Learn the core skills, values and behaviours that underpin health and social care and the professional standards you must follow from regulators and professional bodies.
You consider the role of allied health professionals within the context of increasingly unhealthy lifestyles and growing numbers of people with long term conditions. Learn about social, psychological, physical, cultural and environmental health models and how these influence the quality of care and individuals’ participation.
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.
Develop your knowledge and understanding of normal structural and functional anatomy and physiology.
Year 2 core modules
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
You consolidate and revisit taught theory from previous modules, critically evaluating your performance of professional skills prior to qualification. You gain support for the assessment and ensure you can demonstrate your knowledge and skills holistically, reflecting comprehensive learning and development in line with practice needs. Face-to-face content facilitates your practical learning and theory, while online learning provides materials to consolidate your learning. Gain further clinical practice skills through simulation practice education hours.
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. The apprentice is given constructive feedback to enhance their learning opportunities. They are encouraged and supported to engage in self-directed learning throughout the duration of the course. They must successfully complete at least 1,000 hours of clinical practice to comply with the regulations of the Royal College of Occupational Therapy. Clinical placements enable the apprentice to assess and treat clients with varied clinical conditions, in a range of hospital and community settings. During placements they are supervised by experienced clinicians and receive visits from University tutors.
How you are assessed
The apprentice is assessed by a variety of methods as they progress through the course. The nature of the assessment varies according to the module learning outcomes and ensure that the apprentice 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 (EPA) includes professional discussion and observation of their practice in the clinical setting.
In the interests of professional safety, the apprentice 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
To be accepted on to a degree apprenticeship course you must have support from your employer and meet the course entry requirements.
• hold Level 2 qualifications in English and maths before starting their apprenticeship. Find out more.
• typically have three A levels or equivalent
• be currently, or on entry to the course, employed as an apprentice occupational therapist with a healthcare provider
• demonstrate the appropriate values and attitudes for the programme through an interview with you, as the employer and University.
• have a satisfactory enhanced DBS disclosure
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
Opportunities are available for employment within the NHS, private sector or charitable trusts – in hospitals, GP surgeries, schools, industry and in the community. Apprentices could also consider a career working in clinical research or teaching, in the UK or overseas.
Depending on the apprentice's place of employment, they may be able to meet the requirements of the course within their own Trust. However, there may be occasions for the apprentice 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.