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What makes Occupational Therapy at the University of 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.

  • Our MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) is an accelerated qualifying programme for graduates with a suitable and relevant first degree; it is not suitable for qualified Occupational Therapists.
  • Successful completion of the course gives you eligibility to apply for registration with Health and Care Professions Council and membership of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.
  • The MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration)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.
  • The course runs in parallel with the MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-registration) integrating collaborative working, and evidence-based person-centred practice.
  • You are supported to gain more than 1,000 hours of practice-based learning in a variety of practice settings.
  • Our Occupational Therapy BSc (Hons) achieved 100% Student Satisfaction in the 2021 National Student Survey


Key features

  • You will develop occupational therapy practice skills through work-based learning and our excellent on-site facilities, including Ability House, a purpose designed home setting and simulation suites.
  • You will develop critical knowledge and skills to become an evidence-based practitioner, able to develop, design and deliver sustainable occupational therapy services for clients, communities and populations.
  • Your Practice Placement modules are an important aspect of the education of an Occupational Therapist and are continued throughout the two years of the programme with strong industry links to ensure the programme embraces contemporary practice and provides diverse placement opportunities.
  • We work in partnership with service users and carers to inform the design of the programme as well as involving them in aspects of delivery, enabling you to directly interact with, and learn from, service users and carers.
  • You will develop effective team working and communication skills through inter-professional learning, projects and placements enabling you to facilitate group education and to work within a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Small class sizes and a supportive teaching team, who are all qualified occupational therapy practitioners

What is Occupational Therapy

Logos of the Health and Care Professionals Council and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists

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 (RCOT) and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT).

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

£5,000 support for healthcare 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.

More details about the payment

Register your interest

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Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

A typical applicant will demonstrate evidence of:

  • A degree at 2:2 or above with evidence of knowledge or experience in the research process and / or completion of an undergraduate dissertation or independent study
  • Sufficient numeracy and literacy to meet the requirements of the course. For example, 4 GCSEs (or equivalent) including maths and English at Grade 4 and above. University of Worcester GCSE Maths and English equivalency tests will be accepted. See Admissions Policy for other acceptable qualifications.
  • 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).
  • A strong interest and demonstrated understanding of the breadth of the role and the skills required to be a registered occupational therapist is necessary.

We recommend downloading this document containing additional information about the course and the application process before making your application.

Additional requirements

  • We welcome applications from disabled students. More information and guidance on disability and becoming a health and care professional can be found on the Health and Care Professions Council website.
  • Satisfactory Occupational Health Clearance is required including fitness to undertake placement.
  • A strong interest and demonstrated understanding of the breadth of the role and the skills required to be a registered Occupational Therapist is necessary.
  • Personal attributes and values consistent with the profession including empathy, respect, compassion and the ability to listen.
  • No offers will be made without interview.
  • Meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee an interview, or a place on the course.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) requirements

Enhanced disclosure under the DBS is a requirement for entry. Applicants are asked to provide evidence of this prior to admission, and at the latest before placement allocations are made. Students on the course are also asked to declare any changes in their DBS status at the beginning of each academic year on SOLE and to sign an Occupational Therapy Code of Conduct which is in the course handbook. Students are required to pay for their Enhanced DBS check.

If you have lived outside the UK for six months or more in the past five years, we will need to see a criminal record check from the country you were living in.

Work Experience

Applicants must gain some work experience, shadowing an Occupational Therapist and have thoroughly researched the breadth of the Occupational Therapy profession. They must be aware of the core areas of practice and where Occupational Therapists work, within and outside of the NHS. The diversity of the profession cannot be understood from one workplace visit and further research will be needed. Applicants should access information about the profession from the following websites, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and Health and Care Professions Council, and Step into the NHS and Health Careers

Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and by feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Module content is continually reviewed to ensure that teaching and learning is evidence based and reflects best practice. Detailed module information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. 

Year 1


  • Applied Health Improvement (ALHS4001) - 15 credits
  • Professional and Collaborative Practice (ALSH4003) - 15 credits
  • Evidence Based Occupational Therapy (OCTH4004) - 30 credits
  • Essential Occupational Therapy Practice 1 (OCTH4005) - 30 credits

Year 2


  • Essential Occupational Therapy Practice 2 (OCTH4006) - 30 credits
  • Leading Contemporary Practice (ALHS4007) - 15 credits
  • Critical Perspectives of Occupational Therapy (OCTH4008) - 15 credits
  • Dissertation- Research for Healthcare  (ALHS4002) - 30 credits
Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and by feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. 


This MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) course will be delivered full-time over two years, with each year comprising 45 weeks of learning; this is required to incorporate your practice based learning placements. There will be a minimum of 1,000 hours in practice placements, ensuring that you have enough opportunity to achieve a breadth of experience in a variety of settings, such that successful completion will ensure you can practice as an autonomous newly qualified practitioner.

You are taught through a combination of interactive lectures, practical skills sessions and small group seminars. Teaching will include both online and face-to-face teaching methods. Practical sessions are focused on developing Occupational Therapy specific and professional skills. Seminars enable discussion, developing your understanding of topics covered in lectures.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in the 2nd year of the course.

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 from Student Services and Library Services, and also the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will help you to flourish and be successful.

Contact time

The MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) programme will be delivered over 2 years, across a minimum of 45 weeks of the year.

In a typical week, students will have around 10-15 hours consisting of a mix of on-campus and some on-line synchronous and asynchronous teaching. The exact blend of on-campus and on-line teaching will vary however, students can expect a minimum of 1-1.5 hours per week of on-line teaching. Students should expect to undertake between 35 and 40 hours of study each week.

Full-time practice learning placement equates to 34 hours for practice learning, leaving students with 3.5 hours academic or placement related study per week. 

Independent self study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 25 hours of personal self-study per week.  Typically, this will involve completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations.

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. 


2 years full-time


Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that whilst we try to be as student centred as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week; and some classes can be scheduled in the evenings.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners. Service users and practicing professionals, who may deliver sessions related to their clinical speciality or health condition and experiences, also support your teaching.

Teaching is based on research and consultancy; all permanent members of the Occupational Therapy staff have a higher education teaching qualification and are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments. 

Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, presentations and practice assessments. You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. The assessments will take place both within the University and practice placement environments. Practice-based learning will be pass / fail, while the Level 7 academic work will contribute towards the final grade.

Feedback is intended to support 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 submission.  

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.


Where could it take you?

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 are prepared in the MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) course to work in 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.

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.  Some examples of placement experiences can be found in our blog.


How much will it cost?

Course fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2020/21 is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements. Students are required to meet all costs associated with placement e.g. travel costs to and from placement.

Financial support

Students applying for this course may be eligible for a student loan from Student Finance England. To register and start the application process, please visit

Students studying post-graduate courses in health care, including MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) are eligible to access student finance in line with undergraduate pre-registration courses.

How to apply