School of Health Professions

MOccTh (Hons) Occupational Therapy

Stand out from the crowd with an integrated Masters degree in occupational therapy from the University of Plymouth. This full-time, four-year programme offers a challenging and rewarding study experience that will develop your practice, leadership, management and research skills. Explore the philosophy of the profession and the underpinning sciences that guide practice, whilst developing skills in reflection and an appreciation of life-long learning ready for a rewarding career.

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 these 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

  • Four-year integrated masters programme.
  • 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 and working within multi-disciplinary teams.
  • 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 leading to internationally recognised qualification.
  • 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.
  • The programme is delivered by a team of well-published, internationally recognised, research-active occupational therapists.
  • Opportunities to select modules that align with your career aspirations.
  • Start your occupational therapy career with enhanced clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • The initial year of the MOccTh (Hons) is fully integrated with the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy programme. You’ll 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 introduce you to the core and essential knowledge and skills needed for Occupational Therapy (OT) practice. Modules on interprofessional working and research will help you to develop your professional identity. During a nine-week practice placement, you will have the opportunity to participate more in the occupational therapy process and start to articulate your clinical reasoning.

    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.

    • Relevance of Evidence to Practice (SOHP502)

      This module is aimed at understanding the relevance ofevidence basedpractice (EBP) to professional practice. The students learn how to use research to guide best practice. They will identify a question relevant to professional practice, analyse and evaluate the literature in the area

    • Interprofessional Learning 2 (HIPL500)

  • Year 3

  • You’ll gain greater independence during a twelve week practice 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 research skills and understanding of the wide multi-disciplinary team and help you to prepare for masters level study.

    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 Design for Research (SOHP604)

      Students will explore methodology and methods relevant to the development of a research project and by the end of the module will formulate a research proposal. The module will explore defining and refining a research question, selecting and appraising methodology, ethical considerations, selecting and appraising data collection and analysis techniques.

    • Interprofessional Learning 3 (HIPL600)

  • Final year

  • The final year of the programme facilitates the production of an individual research project and core modules will enable you to consolidate your professional reasoning skills. In addition, you can tailor the programme to your interests, through selecting to complete a module exploring either international occupational therapy or innovation in healthcare.

    Core modules

    • Investigating Trends in Occupational Therapy Practice (OCTP716)

      This module enables students to explore current trends within professional practice and wider political and socio-economic context. Students will have facilitated in exploring an identified trend through an opportunity to engage in shadowing in a relevant practice context.

    • Enhanced Professional Reasoning (OCTP721)

      This module will provide students with opportunities to consolidate and further develop their professional reasoning. A range of clinical and professional reasoning models will be critiqued. These models will be applied to scenarios from practice in order to provide a deeper level of interpretation.

    • Research Dissertation (SOHP705)

      Over the course of this module students will complete their dissertation as part of their Masters programme under supervision from the module team and a named dissertation supervisor. Students will undertake an individual research project and this is presented as an individual project report/ article. Formative: presentation to peers.

    • Contemporary Leadership (OCTP723)

      This module aims to share the contemporary thinking in relation to leadership theory and its relevance to professional practice. Students will be supported to relate this theory to their own personal and professional development in addition critically exploring its capacity to impact on global, organisational and team dynamics.

    Optional modules

    • Innovation in an Ever Changing Marketplace - Entrepreneurship for Health and Social Care Professionals (SOHP706)

      This module will be delivered using a blended learning approach. Through a series of seminars, tutorials, webinars and e-learning students will explore the concepts of marketing, entrepreneurship and innovation relating to independent practice, social enterprise, charitable organisations and the NHS. Students will examine and gain an understanding of law and policy related to their field of interest.

    • International Perspectives and Practice Requirements for Health and Social Care Practitioners (SOHP707)

      This module will enhance students' knowledge of their profession within a global context. It will provide the opportunity for health and social care practitioners to explore current research and development related to a range of countries.

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:

MOccTh Hons Occupational Therapy Programme Specification 2023 24 6941

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


UCAS tariff
136 points, usually with a minimum of Grade B in a Science or Social Science. These may be obtained from a range of qualifications, potentially in combination, to be assessed on individual applications. The below list of examples is not exhaustive:
GCSE Profile
5 GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above to include Mathematics, English, and Science, and usually obtained in one sitting. Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application.
A level
136 points, usually with a minimum of Grade B in a science or Social Science. Excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking.
International Baccalaureate
33 overall with Higher Level Grade 6 in Science or Social Science.
GCSE equivalence: Higher Level = 4, Standard Level = 5 in Maths, English, and Science.
If overseas and not studying English within the IB, applicants must have IELTS 7.0 overall with 6.5 in all elements.
Access to HE Diploma
Pass Access to HE Diploma with 36 Level 3 credits at Distinction and to include 15 Level 3 credits in Science or Social Science. Remaining credits at Level 3 must be at Merit.
T level
Accepted – preference pathways would be Health and Science. Typical offer will be confirmed once an application is received.
BTEC RQF National Extended Diploma/ QCF Extended Diploma
BTEC National Extended Diplomas and Extended Diplomas are considered on an individual basis, depending on the units that are studied. They may be considered on their own or alongside A level Science or Social Science, which will be assessed on application. Please contact the admissions team for further guidance.
Other qualifications
Equivalent qualifications may be considered, such as relevant Open University courses (e.g. SK299 Human Biology) if other academic points requirements are met, but not in an appropriate subject.
Applications from recent graduates
Applications are welcome from graduates who have successfully completed a degree, have normally studied within the last 5 years, and hold (or will hold) a minimum of a 2:1 classification in a relevant area.
Applicants who have not completed their studies in the English language:
IELTS: 7.0 overall with 6.5 in all elements.
For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.
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 or above you will have to achieve an IELTS or equivalent qualification at the grades stated above.
  • 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.
  • Students must be 18 years old or over at the start date of this programme.
Further information
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

All students within the School of Health Professions will spend time in placements away from university. The South West is a largely rural region, which often requires students to travel longer and further distances than may be expected when universities are in largely urban areas. In many cases, students will stay away from home for the duration of that placement. Some students on these courses are eligible for reimbursement of additional travel and accommodation costs over normal daily travel costs. This support is part of the Learning Support Fund administered through the NHS Business Services Authority. However, this should be investigated by the student to make sure this applies to their chosen course of study.
It is difficult to give a precise estimate of placement costs for each individual programme, due to the geographical spread of placements, and duration. However it is recommended you attend an Open Day to find out more about what placement costs can be anticipated or discuss placement with a member of our admissions teams.
Despite these costs, placements offer an excellent opportunity to learn from experienced practitioners and are recognised as an essential part of students' development towards becoming a registered practitioner.
Further information
More details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are included in Faculty of Health additional costs.

Undergraduate Merit Scholarship for international students

Scholarship value: £2000 off your tuition fees in year one.
To recognise continued academic achievement, you may also receive:
  • 10% off the successive years tuition fee if an overall grade of 60% or above is maintained
  • 20% off the successive years tuition fee if an overall grade of 70% or above is maintained.
To be eligible you must:
  • achieve one grade above your academic offer.
  • meet our standard English Language requirements.
This scholarship will be offered automatically, providing you meet the eligibility criteria. A separate application will not be required.

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.

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.

Why study MOccTh (Hons) Occupational Therapy at Plymouth

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.
Matt Chan -MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) student

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

Our staff

Occupational Therapy students in Sharpham woods.
Occupational Therapy students in Sharpham woods.