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School of Health Professions

BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

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UCAS tariff 128 - 112
UCAS course code B932
Institution code P60

3 years

(with placements)
Course type


Study location Plymouth

Do you want to help people to live the lives they want? This course will prepare you to help people deal with life challenges including ill-health, disability, and social problems. You’ll learn how everyday activities can be used and adapted creatively to promote health, wellbeing and a satisfying lifestyle, so that you graduate with the skills and knowledge needed to be an effective occupational therapist.

Ranked fifth in the UK

Our BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy course is ranked fifth out of all Occupational Therapy courses in the UK in the .

Careers with this subject

Occupational therapists work with people who are having difficulty in completing the everyday things that are important to them, which can vary. Their work is based on what their service users identify. They support individuals at home, in work and at leisure, by creating bespoke treatment programmes for people of all ages. Occupational therapists make a difference to people’s lives by enabling people to live with more confidence by promoting health and wellbeing.
Occupational therapists make a difference to people’s lives across a variety of settings. The type of illness or injury they work with varies, it is dependent upon the setting and whether the person is having difficulty doing the things that are important to them as a result of the illness or injury.
  • Physical
    Some of the conditions occupational therapists might see are service users who have experienced fractures or surgery, or may be suffering from long-term conditions such as fatigue or cancer.
  • Neurological
    Comprising of the anatomy, functions and disorders of the nerves and nervous system. Some of these conditions include Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, Dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Learning disabilities
    Occupational therapists work with a wide range of people with different types of disabilities. Some patient groups they might work with include people with dyslexia, autism, non-verbal disabilities or those with visual motor deficit.
  • Mental health conditions
    They help people who are struggling with adverse life circumstances such as grief, stress, anxiety, depression, bipolar and many more.
  • Diverse patient groups
    Occupational therapists work with people across the lifespan, from babies to older adults across a variety of settings.

Occupational therapy is a broad discipline. Some of the people you might work with include:
  • people living with cerebral palsy
  • refugees seeking asylum
  • people who are homeless
  • people who are in prison
  • children with developmental delays or physical and/or psychological needs that are impact their ability to thrive in childhood and meet milestones
  • older adults who need additional support to carry out day-to-day activities, OTs support their ability to remain an important part of their family and community
  • working within the LGTBQIA+ community
  • people with any physical and mental health needs that impact on their day-to-day life.
Within the occupational therapy profession there are a multitude of job opportunities. You could work in the NHS, within the public or private sector. For example:
  • Public Health in NHS hospitals
  • Community clinics
  • In people’s homes
  • At a school
  • Government agencies
  • GP surgeries
  • Nursing homes
  • Education and academia
  • Research
  • Leadership roles
  • Voluntary roles

Key features

  • A wide range of teaching and learning methods and assessments are used to suit all learning styles.
  • Experience problem-based learning designed to be practical and close to real-life issues faced by occupational therapists.
  • Interprofessional learning will prepare you for practice.
  • You will study a broad range of cutting edge theory and research from occupational science and occupational therapy.
  • You will benefit from accreditation by the .
  • Experience practice placements to develop a range of core skills required for professional practice.
  • Train and practice your professional healthcare skills in an inspiring purpose-built environment, InterCity Place.
  • Our programme is delivered by a team of well-published, internationally recognised, research-active occupational therapists.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • You’ll initially share teaching and learning with students from other health professions, allowing you to gain core generic knowledge and skills. We’ll introduce you to theoretical foundations and core skills, which will underpin practice. Gain practice skills through a seven-week supervised placement within a health, social or community setting in the South West. Develop problem-solving, reasoning skills and an embedded commitment to lifelong learning.

    Core modules

    • Occupational Studies: Biological and Psychological Foundations for Occupation (OCT406)

      A knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of the human body, from both a biological and psychosocial perspective are important foundations for understanding occupation and application to occupational therapy practice. This module is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of human anatomy, physiology, psychology and sociology.

    • Occupational Studies: Foundations for Occupational Therapy Practice 1 (OCT407)

      This module introduces philosophical and theoretical foundations of occupational therapy, introducing the student to concepts of the person, environment, occupation and performance. Core skills underpinning the professional practice of occupational therapy will be introduced.

    • Occupational Studies: Foundations for Occupational Therapy Practice 2 (OCT408)

      Students will use occupational analysis to identify and explore the components of occupational engagement. An introduction to occupational interruption and the impact on health and wellbeing. Students will study the interaction between person, occupation and environment and how this impacts meaningful occupations.

    • Occupational Studies: Humans as Occupational Beings Through Community Engagement (OCT409)

      This module will examine occupational science perspectives of humans as occupational beings across the life span. The dynamic relationship between engagement in occupation, health and well-being for individuals, groups and communities will be explored. Reflection on personal experience of community engagement will be included.

    • Practice Placement 1 (OCT410)

      This module enables students to experience occupational therapy within wider contexts of inter-professional or multi-agency practice. Students will experience collaborative working with colleagues from other disciplines. Through supervised practice, students will develop basic skills underpinning occupational therapy, relating this tocampus basedstudy.

    • Preparation for Practice (SOHP401)

      This inter-professional module will introduce students to professional practice and the inherent standards expected of them. The characteristics and identity of allied health professionals, as evidence based practitioners, will underpin learning.

    • Interprofessional Learning 1 (HIPL400)

  • Year 2

  • Profession-specific modules take a lifespan approach and are designed to provide an integrated core of essential knowledge and skills for Occupational Therapy (OT) practice. Modules on interprofessional working and research will help you become confident in your role as a developing OT. You'll also take part in the OT intervention process during your placement.

    Core modules

    • Occupational Studies: The Young Person; Interruptions and Transitions (OCT528)

      Students will apply the core skills of occupational therapy and occupational science to children and adolescents working with individuals, groups or communities. Assessing and applying appropriate skills and practice tools to sustain occupational engagement. Students will analyse and evaluate transitions and interruptions and their impact on performance of the central occupations relevant to this stage of the lifespan.

    • Occupational Studies: Adults; Interruptions and Transitions (OCT529)

      Students will apply the core skills of occupational therapy and occupational science to adulthood working with individuals, groups or communities. Assessing and applying appropriate skills and practice tools to sustain occupational engagement. Students will analyse and evaluate transitions and interruptions and their impact on performance of the central occupations relevant to this stage of the lifespan.

    • Occupational Studies: The Older Person; Interruptions and Transitions (OCT530)

      Students will apply the skills of occupational therapy and occupational science to older adulthood working with individuals, groups or communities. Assessing and applying appropriate skills and practice tools to sustain occupational engagement. Students will evaluate transitions and interruptions and their impact on performance of the central occupations relevant to this stage of the lifespan.

    • Practice Placement 2 (OCT531)

      The module builds on occupational therapy knowledge, skills and experience gained. Students will actively participate in the occupational therapy intervention process, demonstrating increased autonomy whilst being supervised. Knowledge and skills underpinning inter professional working will be further developed.

    • Occupational Studies: Exploration into Practice (OCT532)

      This module provides the opportunity to select and explore aparticular areaof occupational therapy practice of the students’ choice. Enabling an examination of an area of interest to broaden the profile of knowledge. Specific areas chosen will reflect current trends and developments in practice for occupational therapists as well as established practice specialisms, across a broad range of settings.

    • Project Studies (SOHP503)

      This module develops knowledge and skills related to evidence-based practice and lifelong learning. The content is designed to enable the students to understand different research designs, to evaluate the research literature and to prepare them to undertake research at undergraduate level. Meets all or part of HCPC Standards of Proficiency: 2b.1, 3a.

    • Interprofessional Learning 2 (HIPL500)

  • Final year

  • You’ll gain greater independence in your final placement and, with support, be able to demonstrate a range of core skills required for an entry level practitioner. Profession-specific modules prepare you for the responsibilities facing newly qualified graduates. Interprofessional modules help you develop and consolidate management and research skills, and lead you towards your imminent entry into the occupational therapy profession.

    Core modules

    • Occupational Studies: The Innovative Practitioner (OCT605)

      This module provides students with the opportunity to critically explore the concept of innovation, change management, clinical leadership, entrepreneurism andintrapreneurshipand their links with practice development.

    • Occupational Studies: The Contemporary Practitioner (OCT606)

      This module provides students with the opportunity to critically explore current and emerging trends in practice. Development of skills and confidence to support the transition into clinical practice. Considers the changing landscape of health and social care services locally, nationally and internationally.

    • Practice Placement 3 (OCT607)

      This module will require the student to demonstrate a range of core skills that will be required of a competent entry level practitioner. The student will develop increasing autonomy, working at times independently demonstrating professional reasoning skills and decision making relevant to clients’ needs and contexts of practice.

    • Occupational Studies: Occupation for Promoting Health and Wellness of Communities (OCT608)

      This module evaluates the importance of applying health and wellness principles to contemporary occupational therapy practice. It critiques and syntheses current and emerging theory and research on the impact of occupation to promote health and wellness of communities.

    • Inter-professional Working in Health and Social Care (SOHP602)

      Students will explore, in depth, areas of inter-professional working to include quality enhancement of service provision and the patient experience.

    • Project (SOHP605)

      This module consolidates knowledge and skills related to evidence-based practice and lifelong learning. The content will support the students to undertake research at undergraduate level, to discuss their findings in the context of the contemporary evidence base and to evaluate the implications of their activities on their future practice.

    • Interprofessional Learning 3 (HIPL600)

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Hons Occupational Therapy Programme Specification 2023 24 6942

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

128 - 112

All applicants must have five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade C/4 or above to include maths and English prior to commencing the course. A GCSE (or equivalent) in a science related subject (including social sciences) is preferable.
A levels
112-128 points from a minimum of 2/3 A levels, to include grades B/C and preferably biology, science or social science (psychology/sociology).
28-32 overall including 5 in a higher level subject preferably including biology/human biology, psychology or sociology.
IB English accepted if higher level = 4+ or 5 or standard level = 5+ or 6.
Overseas students not studying English within the IB must have IELTS (7.0 overall with min 6.5 in all elements).
Pass Access to HE Diploma (preferably in Science, Health, Nursing) with at least 112 UCAS points from a combination of Merits and Distinctions which much include 15 Level 3 credits in Science/Social Science.
T level
Accepted – preference pathways would be Health and Science. Typical offer will be confirmed once an application is received.
Standard offer is DDM and must contain science, health or social science. BTECs preferably in conjunction with a science or social science A level.
BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.
Equivalent qualifications may be considered. Alternatively if you have any questions or concerns about meeting the entry requirements listed above we would encourage you to contact the Admissions Team on +44 1752 585858 or email, where a member of the team can offer you further advice.

Extended entry requirements

  • You must pass disclosure and barring service and occupational health checks satisfactorily in order to be able to start this course.
  • If English is not your first language and you do not have GCSE English grade C/4 or above you will have to achieve an IELTS or equivalent qualification at the grades stated below.
  • IELTS – overall average score of at least 7.0, with a score of at least 6.5 in each element.
  • Meeting the academic minimum is the first stage of an application being considered. Applicants must also submit a strong personal statement in order to be considered further.
  • English language requirements
  • We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.
  • Students must be 18 years old or over at the start date of this programme.

Direct entry to year 2
If you have achieved certificated learning in addition to the entry criteria required for your programme of study, it may be possible to accredit this learning towards your chosen course. Full details on how to make an application are available on our open access MOODLE site ( download details on how to access the site and submit your claim and supporting evidence). Your application will then be assessed and you will receive confirmation by email on the status of your claim.
Deferred entry
Unfortunately we cannot permit deferred entry. However, if you have a query please refer to an experienced admissions administrator who will be able to explain the UCAS application process in more detail

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £16,300 £18,100
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Additional costs

Please be aware that there may be additional costs to undertaking your studies relating to printing of course materials, parking charges, and requirement for an initial outlay for travel and accommodation in respect of practice placement. If you have any questions regarding these costs please contact
If you are studying on a programme where placements are integral to your study there are costs associated with travel and accommodation. Please speak with the programme admissions tutor to find out more.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

NHS Learning Support Fund

The NHS Learning Support Fund provides additional funding for eligible healthcare students. It is supplementary financial support to the mainstream student loans system and is intended to support students whilst they train and gain professional registration. Please be aware that this funding is provided by the NHS and is reviewed periodically, which means levels of funding could be subject to change. For more information, please see the guidance available:.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code.
Apply for this course on the .
For more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the .
The deadline for the receipt of international applications is 31 May 2024 for entry in September 2024.
All NHS funded professional courses are required to select and interview their applicants using a ‘values based’ approach. As part of this process, your UCAS personal statement requires this additional information, which will demonstrate insight into your understanding of the importance of in your chosen professional discipline.

Progression routes

International progression routes

The offers foundation, first-year and pre-masters programmes that lead to University of Plymouth degrees. Courses are specially designed for EU and international students who are missing the grades for direct entry to the University, and include full duration visa sponsorship. You can start in January, May or September, benefitting from small class sizes, top-quality tuition and 24/7 student support.
Find out more at or contact our team at

Health students may be eligible to receive an additional £5000 each year

The NHS Learning Support Fund provides additional funding for eligible healthcare students. It is supplementary financial support to the mainstream student loans system and is intended to support students whilst they train and gain professional registration. The training grant is for £5,000.

What's it like to study occupational therapy at Plymouth?

Watch our short video giving you an overview of what it's like to study occupational therapy at the University of Plymouth. Academic Lead for Occupational Therapy, Dr Alison Warren, talks you through the highlights of the course and our students describe some of the benefits they've gained.
“There are many opportunities for you on an individual level – to come and enjoy the environment – but you'll also be coming to join a very strong occupational therapy programme and will leave with a respected qualification.”
Occupational therapy session at Sharpham Trust forest


Practice placements will take place generally in the South West of England, and are spread over the duration of your studies. You will complete a minimum of 1000 placement hours in total in a variety of settings. We have placements in health and social care settings, both acute and community as well as a growing number of non-traditional and third sector settings such as homeless hostels, refugee services and care farms.
While on placement you will work with a named educator and work alongside Occupational Therapists and other members of staff. Placements are assessed by achieving professional competencies while working in the practice setting and by oral presentations when you return to the University.
Professional accreditation
On successful completion of the course, you’ll be eligible to apply for registration with the .
Professional Practice
If you are enrolling on this course, we prefer you to be a member of the .
NHS Constitution
All our students are expected to adhere to the principles and values laid out in the .
Screening for health students
Additional checks are required for all health students. All offers are made subject to receipt of satisfactory screening in terms of your health, welfare and police checks. Read more about the required screening for health courses.
Please note: in order to successfully complete your course and be eligible to apply for a professional registration you must complete a specified number of practice placement hours along with your theoretical study. This is a requirement of the HCPC. You will only be able to take personal holidays during the specified leave periods for your course. This includes induction week where it is vital you attend ALL sessions.
Additional costs
  • If you are a bursary recipient you can apply for support with travel and accommodation costs associated with placements across Devon and Cornwall – however you should budget for some additional costs. Please note all additional costs must be met in the first instance by the student and reclaimed via the bursary unit after the placement.
  • Student access to free E-book provision is continually expanding and all core texts are available in the library however most students find it necessary to have their own copy of some core text books. This is likely to amount to a cost of approximately £130.
  • All lecture and workshop materials are supplied electronically – students will need to print out lecture notes and other materials as needed.
  • Uniforms are provided to all students – but suitable footwear may need to be purchased if you do not already own suitable flat shoes.

What could you do next? Let our graduates inspire you

Susan Ritchie
"Be open-minded to where occupational therapy could take your career path ...who knows where you may end up working." Susan Ritchie
Rhianna Dobson-Love
"We went on placement in each year of study. This was great because it gave you a taste of what it’s really like to be working as an Occupational Therapist". Rhianna Dobson-Love
Ashley Tate
"Being able to help my patients reclaim their independence and get them back home really makes my job worthwhile." Ashley Tate

The skills you need to be an allied health professional

We worked with on the 2020 Careers in Science and Healthcare campaign. A printed publication is enclosed within every copy of The New Scientist newspaper and the content is also .
The campaign featured exclusive content about the importance of the science and healthcare industries from key thought leaders and industry voices.
Helicopter ambulance paramedic
Matt Chan -MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) student
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International students

Thinking about coming to study in Plymouth? Find the answers to many of your questions here, as well as links to places where you can discover more.
Plymouth Hoe

English Language Centre

We offer a range of courses to help you develop your academic English language skills.
These include pre-sessional academic English courses for undergraduates, taught postgraduates and research students along with insessional language classes, tutorials and activities to support students who have English as a second language.
* These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni (Unistats) is updated annually in September.
The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Graduate Outcomes survey (GO) are made available to prospective students and their advisors through the (Unistats) website