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What makes Occupational Therapy at Worcester special?

Occupational therapists play a key role in helping people regain, maintain or improve their participation in life. Often they work with people whose ability to take part in life has been impacted by injury, disability or illness. Occupational therapists also work with individuals and groups whose ability and freedom to take part in life is restricted by other circumstances. This includes those who are detained in prison, or in immigration centres, as well as people who are homeless, or are refugees.

At Worcester, we value compassionate, effective and ethical care. Study occupational therapy and become equipped with the skills and experience you will need to support others to live the life of their choice. We have a strong focus on leadership in our programme, helping you to develop both as a therapist and as a dynamic practitioner throughout your career.

The Occupational Therapy BSc (Hons) will be underpinned with a School-wide commitment to interprofessional learning that aims to develop skilled and compassionate practitioners who have the confidence to engage with and promote professional, social, and political change in health and social care. This course runs in parallel with the Physiotherapy BSc (Hons) integrating collaborative working, and evidence-based person-centred practice. 



Key features

  • Excellent facilities, including Ability House – our own on-site educational facility, and clinical suites equipped with extensive simulation equipment
  • A supportive teaching team, who are all qualified occupational therapy practitioners
  • Strong industry links ensure the programme embraces contemporary practice and provides diverse placement opportunities
  • You are supported to gain more than 1,000 hours of practice-based learning in a variety of practice settings
  • Your practical skills are developed through placements throughout the course
  • Accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) and the Health and Care Professions Council

What is Occupational Therapy?

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Several Occupational Therapy students are assisting another student with a zimmer frame

£5,000 support for healthcare students

From September 2020, the Government announced that eligible students on Dietetics, Midwifery, Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health), Occupational Therapy, Paramedic Science, Physiotherapy and Radiography (diagnostic) courses will receive a payment of at least £5,000 a year, which they will not need to pay back.

More details about the payment
Our occupational therapy degree is accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and the Health and Care Professions Council.

Approved by the Health & Care Professions Council and accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

Successful completion of the course gives you eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and membership of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

At the University of Worcester we recognise the World Federation of Occupational Therapists’ (WFOT) Mission Statement that Occupational Therapy is ‘…an art and a science…’ We reflect this in the entry requirements for the degree and whilst there are benefits to studying science related subjects such as human biology and psychology, we also value other subjects as we know that there are many relevant and transferable skills that students can bring to the study of human occupations.

The University’s Strategic Plan highlights the maxim ‘Inspired for Life’ and strives to be an accessible place of learning for everyone who has potential regardless of age or background. Therefore we want to attract people with a passion for Occupational Therapy what ever route they have taken to find that passion and the course here at the University of Worcester.

Academic entry requirements

  • GCSE English at grade C/4 or above

And one of the following:

  • 120 UCAS tariff points or BBB (General Studies not accepted). 120 points must be achieved in A2 subjects or equivalent
  • BTEC Extended National Diploma. Subjects which will provide most relevant foundation for Occupational Therapy study will relate to health, social care and working with people however other subject areas will be considered where an individual shows potential for the profession: DDD.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate: 6 Higher Level subjects grade H3 or above at one sitting to include English at grade H2
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma welcomed - 60 credits in total, with a minimum of 45 credits at Level 3 with at least 24 credits at Distinction and the remainder at Merit. Access courses cover a wide range of topics. Ones that consider aspects of health, social care and working with people will provide the most relevant foundation to studying occupational therapy. Other subject areas considered where an individual shows potential for the profession. At least 120 UCAS points must be achieved
  • International Baccalaureate: Obtain a total of 128 UCAS tariff points from a maximum of 3 International Baccalaureate Higher Level Certificates

T Levels may be used to meet the entry tariff requirements for this course. T Level subjects considered for this course include:

  • Education and Childcare
  • Health
  • Healthcare Sciences
  • Science

It can be beneficial to have carried out some recent study to help with the transition into University. However, we know that some people may have had a considerable gap between study and application for the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy Degree. We would encourage potential applicants to contact the Admissions team or the BSc (Hons) Admissions Tutor to discuss their individual situation further. Please be aware that this discussion may result in potential applicants receiving the recommendation that they undertake a Foundation Year (or equivalent Access Studies) as an entry route into Occupational Therapy as a way to both enhance academic study skills as well as gaining valuable learning relevant to the profession before applying to study occupational therapy.

For any questions about the course and entry criteria please contact Admissions Team C for information:

Work experience

Applicants are strongly encouraged to gain some work experience with an occupational therapist where possible. Where direct shadowing is not possible applicants are encouraged to think about other experiences that would be beneficial, for example supporting people of different ages to carry out occupations they want or need to do such as reading with younger children at school or helping a charity or working in a care home. It is essential that applicants have taken time to research the breadth of the profession. They must be aware of the core areas of practice and that occupational therapists work in a wide range of settings. Applicants should access information about the profession from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and Health and Care Professions Council, and Step into the NHS and Health Careers, as well as carrying out their own broader research.

Personal Statements

Applicants should ensure that their personal statements are focused on a clear interest and motivation for becoming an Occupational Therapist. Applicants should also:

  • Be able to reflect on their work experiences in relation to their future studies and their career
  • Demonstrate team-working and leadership skills; for example in your work, hobbies or sports
  • Show clear awareness of the qualities and values that are needed to become a healthcare professional
  • Demonstrate strong verbal and inter-personal communication and listening skill
  • Be able to work with a wide variety of different people as individuals, and provide examples of this
  • Have strong and creative problem solving and thinking skills
  • Have clear motivation for a career in Occupational Therapy, and have made a reasoned career choice
  • Be able to articulate clearly why they are interested in a career in Occupational Therapy

All offers are subject to satisfactory Health Clearance, including fitness to undertake placement, and Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service. Students will also be required to sign a Code of Conduct and Fitness to Practice disclosure on commencement of the course.

No offers will be made without Interview. Meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee an interview, or a place on the course.

For full details please see the UCAS website.

The University strongly recommends that all students join the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT). Joining this professional body will enable you to access a wide range of academic material that will enhance your learning. Additional benefits include clinical negligence insurance that may be necessary for practice learning in some non-NHS practice placements. Not becoming a member may affect your opportunities to experience the widest range of placements.

English Language Requirements:

Applicants whose first language is not English and who are required to provide a language test certificate as evidence of their proficiency must ensure that it is, or is comparable to, IELTS level 7.0 with no element below 6.5. (HCPC 2018)
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) - 7.0 with no element below 6.5

Don't quite meet the entry requirements?

Applicants who do not meet the above entry requirements for the 3 year BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy course may be eligible to apply to the 4 year Occupational Therapy BSc (Hons) with Foundation Year course.

"I am pleased to have chosen this area and course as it has helped me to develop as an individual."

Carly Pridmore, BSc Occupational Therapy graduate

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Course content

Course content

Please see below the sorts of topics covered in each year of the course.

Year 1


  • Essential Occupational Therapy Practice 1 
  • Art and Science of Occupational Therapy 1 
  • Academic Skills for Occupational Therapy 
  • Introducing Evidence Informed Occupational Therapy 
  • Health and Wellbeing 
  • Foundations for Professional Practice

Year 2


  • Essential Occupational Therapy Practice 2 
  • Art and Science of Occupational Therapy 2
  • Environments of Practice 
  • Research Module: Developing the Evidence 
  • Teamworking for Professional Practice 

Year 3


  • Essential Occupational Therapy Practice 3 
  • Generating the Evidence (Dissertation) 
  • Innovation in Practice 
  • Enhancing Employability
  • Leadership for Professional Practice 
A member of the Firstpoint Team is helping a student


IMPACT is the university's people with lived experience group. We support the School of Allied Health and Community, the Three Counties School of Nursing and Midwifery, and the Three Counties Medical School, in the integration of Service Users and Carers throughout the educational process. We look forward to working closely with you as you learn with us.

Find out more about our 'IMPACT' group
Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support (through the personal academic tutoring system), enables you to reflect on progress. You will also build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of interactive workshops, lectures, seminars and group activities. Interactive workshops take a variety of formats and are intended to enable the application of learning through discussion and small group activities. Seminars enable the discussion and development of understanding of topics covered in lectures and group activities are focused on developing subject specific skills.

Approximately 1/3 of classroom activities are shared with the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy course, to support your development as a health & social care professional.

You will also complete over 1000 hours of practice learning, working alongside experienced clinicians in a range of areas, locations and specialities. Students will need to travel up to 90 minutes to their placements.

In addition, regular meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled throughout the programme.

Contact time

In a typical week at level 4 contact hours will be between 13-14 hours and at level 5 students will have 15-17 hours contact hours of teaching per week. In level 6 students will normally have slightly less contact time (11-13 hours) to facilitate independent study. On average, 90% of teaching will be campus-based face to face teaching with 10% blended online learning.  

Typically, class contact time each week is structured around a 1-hour lecture and a two-hour practical, or a 2-hour lecture/seminar.  

Students will undertake placement hours at levels 4, 5 and 6. Full-time practice learning placements equate to 34 hours for practice learning in each week of the placement block. All of these learning hours will be formally recorded and signed by an authorised signatory.   

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time spent at university or engaging directly with teaching staff through alternative platforms, students are expected to undertake around 20 –26 hours of personal self-study per week (depending on level of study). Typically, this will involve preparing for classes through reading set text, finding out additional information or engaging with an activity such as watching a related film clip to generate critical thinking skills. They may be beginning to plan the assignments related to the modules of study. They are expected to read around topics introduced in class to further extend their knowledge and identify areas that need clarification in class. 

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources. 


The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:   

Year 1: Case study, essays, oral viva, reflective essay, health promotion plan.  

Year 2: Essays, case study, group presentation, reflective essay, debate, poster presentation.  

Year 3:  Essay, oral viva, dissertation, training package design and delivery. 


You will receive lots of informal feedback throughout the 3 year degree both from University Tutors as well as from Placement Educators when in practice to help you constantly develop and grow as an occupational therapy student.

You will also receive formal feedback from Placement Educators on practice assessments and from University Tutors on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback supports learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of handing in the assignment.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet the team

Sophie Smith (4)

Dr Sophie Knight

Sophie qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1997 and worked in a variety of settings in practice, predominantly in Adult Social Care. In 2009 Sophie made the move to working in higher education and was a lecturer and Placement Education Tutor at Bournemouth University until October 2018 when she moved to the University of Worcester. She is now a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy and is Admissions Tutor for the degree course. Sophie is working on her PhD part time whilst working full time, the focus of the research is the role and meaning of food for older people. Sophie loves working with students and says that they have taught her a lot over her ten years of university life. Occupational Therapy is one of the most rewarding and exciting professions and being part of the journey for new generations of Occupational Therapists is a privilege.

Alison Double (2)

Alison Double

Alison qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1994 and has worked in all sorts of settings and roles since then; inpatient, community, schools, management and abroad.

Her clinical speciality area is the use of sensory based approaches in assessment and treatment; using Ayres Sensory Integration theory.

Terri Grant

Terri Grant

Terri qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1996, just as the education system adjusted to degree-level education. The vast majority of her career was spent as a specialist Stroke Rehabilitation Occupational Therapist, although she enjoyed roles in acute physical health, rheumatology & hand therapy and as a wheelchair therapist before finding a love of all things neuro.

Before leaving the NHS Terri was one of the founder members of the now well-established and successful Community Stroke Service in Worcestershire, and she really enjoyed working to support the development of students, support workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and nurses as part of her team leadership and management role in the service.

In 2014 Terri worked as an associate lecturer on the BSc Occupational Therapy course here at Worcester, which gave her the confidence to leave the NHS and pursue teaching full-time from 2015. Since then, she spent three years as Practice Education Lead for Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy and is currently the course leader for the MSc (Pre-registration) Occupational Therapy course.

Lotoya Neil (4)

Lotoya Neil

Lotoya has lived, studied and worked in the West Midlands area for over 25 years. She feels very connected to the local community as a result and enjoys working with people to help them live a Well Life. Her diverse work experience and qualifications have led to her current role at the University of Worcester. She has worked in both acute and community settings for Social care, the NHS and private organisations.

Lotoya qualified as a Physiotherapist at the University of Birmingham in 2005. Since then, she has studied Injection therapy at Keele University, and gained a Masters in Health and Social Care at Birmingham City University. Having experienced the atmosphere and course content at various Universities, she believes that the University of Worcester has a supportive community feel and delivers high standards and quality courses. Joining the Practice Placement Team at the University of Worcester in December 2018 compliments her private practice physiotherapy. She believes in keeping her clinical skills up to date in an environment that leads to best practice and involves herself in research and teaching. 

Annabel Heaslop (5)

Annabel Heaslop

Annabel qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2005 after graduating from the University of Queensland, Australia. She worked clinically in paediatric Occupational Therapy both in Australia and the UK within a range of settings including acute, community and schools.

Annabel joined the team at University of Worcester in January 2017 and worked within the practice education team, supporting both students and clinicians within the scope of student placements. She loves working within practice placements and feels that she can use skills developed over her career to work with students and clinicians. In 2022, she moved into the role of Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy.

Emma Clayton

Emma Clayton

Emma qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1997 and since then has predominantly worked in the NHS within the area of Neurology. Emma currently works part time leading an NHS neurology Occupational Therapy outpatient service and has also over the years combined her NHS role with other part time roles including disability assessment, working in a 24 hour care private neurological rehabilitation setting and as a principal investigator for 2 research projects. Emma has been a practice educator for many years and particularly enjoys having students on placement and supporting them to link theory and practice.

Emma started as an associate lecturer with University of Worcester in 2014 and has supported a variety of modules over the years before becoming a permanent member of the team in 2022.

Emma was born, grew up and still lives in St Johns, Worcester and spends a lot of time watching her 2 sons and husband playing football.

Anneka McGee (resized)

Anneka McGee

Anneka has been a qualified Occupational Therapist since graduating in 2005. She initially worked within in a Physical and Mental Health rotation which gave her a great insight into the various roles of an Occupational Therapist. Following this, she spent 13 years working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. During this time, Anneka has held both clinical and leadership roles within the team which allowed her to utilise my Occupational Therapy reasoning and clinical skills.

Whilst working in practice Anneka has completed various qualifications in Play Therapy, Sensory Processing, leadership skills and Coaching and Mentoring which has enabled her to integrate her OT skills and promote the profession in many different environments and within the multidisciplinary team. She is very passionate about Occupational Therapy and the opportunities the profession has to make a difference and encourage dynamic, holistic approaches.

Mary Archer

Mary Archer

Mary has over ten years’ experience working in the NHS. She began her career working in an acute rotational post, which gave her a good foundation for her OT career.

She gained experience of working within stroke rehab, oncology, surgical and general medicine.

In 2014 Mary entered into a specialist Occupational Therapy role, providing assessment and provision of assistive technology for people with severe physical disabilities and/or communication difficulties.

UOW_1032 (002)

Caroline Nelson

Caroline has been an Occupational Therapist since graduating in 2000, working continuously in clinical practice for over 20 years. She initially worked on a rotation consisting of community learning disabilities, orthopaedics and general medical and then went on to spend most of her career working in paediatrics.

Caroline began her paediatric career by working in the community, in schools, homes and a child development centre, helping children who had difficulties with a variety of activities. She then moved to a Special school for children with physical difficulties and sensory needs to complete a project evidencing “The benefits of having an Occupational Therapist based within the school,” the result of which was funding approval for a full-time post.

Following this, Caroline moved to an acute hospital which specialised in trauma and orthopaedics, for just over 13 years.

Alexander Smith better

Alexander Smith

Alex qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2011. Since qualifying Alex has had a varied career mixing clinical and research roles along the way.

In keeping with this, Alex continues to work as a Stroke Specialist Occupational Therapist at Wye Valley NHS Trust. This he feels allows him to remain in touch with the everyday needs of patients, to conduct NHS based research and to be able to translate the most up to date research into practice for patient benefit.

Before joining the team at the University of Worcester, Alex completed a Stroke Association funded PhD fellowship, in which he led the APORIAS study as Chief Investigator for 11 NHS sites in England, recruiting over 200 patients. He is currently analysing the study data for publication and presentation at conferences.

Lauren Edwards 2

Lauren Edwards

Lauren is a Specialist Neurological Occupational Therapist supporting clients, families and carers in rehabilitation from neurological injury. When she is not lecturing, she also works within the rehabilitation technology sector as she believes the future of healthcare is not only in adopting technology but in empowering people by giving them the tools they need for rehabilitation.



Occupational Therapists are employed in a wide range of organisations and specialities. Many work for the National Health Service and Social Care organisations but there is a growing body of therapists employed by Charities, Voluntary Organisation and in Private Practice. Occupational Therapists work with people of all ages from childhood through to the end of life and support people with physical and mental health needs, learning disabilities and those whose opportunities are restricted by circumstance.

Students study a specific module in their final year covering the constantly changing nature of employment as an Occupational Therapist in the modern world. Practical interview and self-development skills are taught and practised and students have opportunities to meet with local employers to develop an understanding of what makes a successful candidate for a specific job role. Opportunities are provided for students to explore the employment possibilities of the NHS, Social Care, Private Sector and Voluntary Organisations.

The variety of placement experiences and, specifically, the contemporary placement experience are developed to enable students to demonstrate their unique selling point as a newly qualified Occupational Therapist. Some examples of placement experiences can be found in our blog.

Graduates will be eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC as an Occupational Therapist and to apply for full membership or RCOT. This will enable you to pursue careers within the NHS and private sector. Opportunities exist in hospitals, community settings, uniformed services and the public or voluntary sectors

Two students are walking next to each other and smiling

Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential

Fees and funding

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £16,200 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Funding for Occupational Therapy students

The Government has announced that, from September 2020, students on Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Paramedic Science courses will receive a payment of at least £5,000 a year, which they will not need to pay back. 

Find out more about this payment.

Additional Costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

Essential costs: costs incurred for travelling to, and staying at, placement location. Students who are eligible for Learning Support Fund can reclaim these costs, but they must be paid by the student first. The £5000 NHS bursary is designed to support students with the initial expenditure until such time as reimbursement can occur.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Chestnut Halls' at £131 per week to 'Oak Halls' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

Lois Connelly

Lois Connelly achieved a First-Class Honours in Occupational Therapy.

“I am so pleased that I was able to achieve my First-Class Honours,” said Lois, “I received a 2:1 in my previous degree and it was always a goal of mine to get higher this time around!”

Lois is now a community occupational therapist supporting individuals with acute physical health conditions to be independent and stay in their own homes instead of being admitted to hospital.  Lois’ long-term aspirations are to become a senior occupational therapist and eventually to become a part-time university lecturer.

How to apply