BSc Occupational Therapy

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Key facts

(Unistats, 2018)

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“The variety of experiences offered to us as student therapists has been huge."

In their words

Tom Smith, Occupational Therapy Graduate

UEA is ranked in the UK's top 10 for Overall Satisfaction in Counselling, Occupational Therapy and Psychotherapy (NSS 2019) and top 15 for Occupational Therapy in the Complete University Guide 2020.

Occupational therapists play a critical role in helping people of all ages to overcome challenges caused by illness, ageing or an accident, so that they can continue their everyday occupations. By entering onto our three-year course, you’ll be taking the first step towards an exciting and rewarding profession that focuses on developing extraordinary partnerships with people and making lasting, positive changes to their lives by empowering them to reach their maximum potential.

As well as giving you a solid and varied academic grounding, our programme will provide you with early patient contact and access to superb facilities, including our anatomy room and assistive technology suite. So you can develop the practical skills which will prove vital to making your career a success.

Overview

As an Occupational Therapist, you’ll need to be a caring and compassionate individual who is determined and committed to supporting the people in your care. You will have exceptional communication skills, enjoy problem solving, have a flexible approach and enjoy working in a busy, multidisciplinary team. You will be keen to develop your leadership and research skills, alongside a holistic approach to care.

You could be based in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, community centres, schools, social services and nursing homes. You may be working at the centre of a multi-professional team that includes doctors, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals. Your skills will be in high demand, and could lead you into a career of specialist roles, management, education or research. You may choose to develop your skills even further through professional development opportunities.

Throughout the course you’ll share modules with physiotherapy and speech and language therapy students. And you’ll take part in small teaching groups, allowing you to get involved with a close-knit student body and supportive learning culture.

Our three-year course is fully approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

As part of our recruitment process we’ll explore the values of the NHS Constitution at interview, with successful candidates being able to demonstrate how these are reflected in their own beliefs.

Course Structure

Course Structure

The course will build your Occupational Therapy knowledge and skills in a structured way, with a curriculum made up of carefully planned compulsory modules. All modules are a year long, and consist of a mix of profession-specific and inter-disciplinary learning, varying in weight from 20 to 60 credits.

Throughout the three years you’ll engage in a variety of different learning experiences, from lectures, seminars and small group activities, to experiential learning opportunities. Introductory sessions at the start of each academic year will ease your transition between academic levels.

In the first year you’ll engage with core occupational therapy theory and practice. You’ll start to explore concepts of occupational science, and how occupation can be used as a therapeutic intervention.

You’ll complete a human sciences module, covering anatomy, physiology, psychology and sociology. And you’ll undertake a two-week placement to introduce you to the workplace, with a further four-week placement designed to help you establish theory-practice links.

In your second year of study you’ll really get to grips with what it means to practice occupational therapy. You’ll examine the biological, psycho-social and spiritual perspectives of health. And you’ll study specific health conditions in order to understand how occupational therapy relates across diverse areas of practice. You’ll also develop the key research skills required of a healthcare professional and take part in two further placements of six and eight weeks.

In your final year you’ll continue to develop your knowledge and skills, exploring Occupational Therapy theory and practice using creative media. You’ll study a variety of contemporary health topics, as well as the legislation and policies that drive the health and social care agenda.

Throughout the year you’ll become increasingly independent and responsible for your own learning, in preparation for your transition to qualified professional life. You’ll complete a further 14 weeks practice placement, consisting of a six week placement and an eight-week transitional placement, which you can plan and undertake in the location of your choice.

The course is highly interactive and you’ll have opportunities throughout to develop your skills through hands-on experience.

Teaching and Learning

You’ll be taught through a blend of lectures, seminars, workshops and student-led learning for the first year of study. In your second and third years you’ll also have the opportunity to explore enquiry-based learning approaches (case studies) in practice modules, enabling you to take ownership of your academic development.

Half of your learning will be done alongside Physiotherapy students and a further 10% alongside Speech and Language Therapy students. 33% of the course involves practical education alongside other OTs in practice settings. 

Independent study

This is a full-time course requiring a commitment of 36 hours per week. An average week will have approximately 18 hours of contact time, with the expectation that – in your non-contact hours – you’ll complete self-directed learning to prepare for upcoming sessions. 

You’ll be encouraged to engage in reflective practice to consider how you can improve for any future assignments.

The course will give you an excellent balance of independent critical thinking and study skills, helping you grow into a self-motivated learner, an expert researcher, and an analytical thinker.

You’ll develop confidence in your written work through engagement with evidence-based practice. And throughout your degree you’ll be given guidance on your work and provided with constructive feedback to help you improve.

Academic support is available to make sure you get the most from your studies. You’ll be allocated a member of the occupational therapy faculty as your personal advisor, who’ll support you throughout your three years.

You’ll also have access to UEA’s Learning Enhancement Team, based in Student Support Services, to help with your study, writing, research and assignment skills. They can review your work and offer practical tips on how to improve. 

Assessment

You’ll be assessed through a combination of course work and project work, designed to support your academic progression. Course work assessment methods include essays, integrated assignments, poster and case presentations.

We’ll assess your problem-solving and analytical skills as they develop, and you’ll create a professional portfolio to support their development.

Placements are also central to the course, and you’ll have to pass all of them in order to progress.

Study abroad or Placement Year

In your third year you’ll complete a transitional eight-week placement. You can choose where you’d like to complete the placement, based on your previous practice experience. There is the option to undertake your placement overseas, broadening your understanding of occupational therapy within a different country and culture.

After the course

Once you graduate, you’ll be eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council and join the Royal College of Occupational Therapists as a professional member.

Throughout your career you’ll have the chance to make a real difference, giving individuals a renewed sense of purpose, opening up new horizons, and changing the way they feel about the future.

You’ll enjoy a broad range of career opportunities, and the skills you’ll develop could lend themselves to new emerging roles too, such as working with asylum seekers or refugees, the police or the fire services.

Career destinations

Acute health and social care

Private practice

Research/education

Working in the community

Mental health services

Third sector charities

Discover more: https://www.uea.ac.uk/health-sciences/careers-and-employability/your-career

Course related costs

You can find information regarding additional costs associated here

http://www.uea.ac.uk/about/legalstatements/finance-and-fees/additional-course-fees

You can find information regarding additional costs associated here

http://www.uea.ac.uk/about/legalstatements/finance-and-fees/additional-course-fees

Course Modules 2020/1

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

FOUNDATIONS OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

This is an inter-professional first year module for occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy, and it addresses a number of standards of proficiency that are common to each of these professions. This module will prepare you for the wider contexts of being a health and social care professional. During this module you will learn about the diversity of contexts in which services are delivered; including public health and health promotion. You will explore how services remain client-centred with consideration of equality and diversity. You will consider the importance of practising within the legal and ethical boundaries of their profession. This module will teach you about the role, taking into account your professional identity, values and behaviours whilst recognising the roles of other professions. You will be introduced to reflective practice and the need for continuing professional development. This module will give you the opportunity to develop your academic skills and explore the importance of research in order to underpin your practice.

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HUMAN SCIENCES

This module develops the fundamental theoretical background to the clinical sciences necessary for practice. You will explore the bio-psychosocial processes underpinning human function. Focus will be on the 'normal' structure and function of the body by understanding the basic anatomical, physiological, psychological and sociological processes underpinning human life. Learning outcomes will inform professional practice modules in occupational therapy and physiotherapy.

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MANDATORY TRAINING 1

This module is designed for occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language students who are required to complete clinical practice hours as part of their degree. Mandatory training is a requirement of these programmes, stipulated by the governing professional bodies and our clinical practice partners. It is important that students undertake a number of training sessions to ensure their own safety and that of service users, staff and anyone else that they encounter.

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OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY THEORY AND PRACTICE 1

Occupational Therapy Practice 1 explores the core principles of occupational therapy philosophy, its theoretical foundations, knowledge and core skills underpinning professional practice. The module will be delivered in parallel with Human Sciences 1 which will provide the learner with an understanding of human development, health and wellbeing and biopsychosocial functioning across the lifespan. This approach will enable the learner to develop an understanding of humans as occupational beings across the lifespan. The module will introduce and examine the importance of scientific enquiry that defines and informs professional practice, including occupational science. The learner will explore the meaning of occupation, occupational disruption and the design and use of occupation as a transformational practice within the modern health and social care arena. Students will build upon their understanding of occupational science, developing an appreciation of clinical reasoning and its importance in informing professional practice. An early emphasis is placed upon the use of adaptive, relational and interactive modes of communication to support therapeutic engagement and reflection. Towards the conclusion of the module, the learner will synthesise and apply the acquisition of new knowledge and skills via enquiry-based learning, in preparation for practice placement.

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PRACTICE EDUCATION 1

This module introduces students to the foundation skills required to be a health and social care professional with uni- and inter-disciplinary skills-based teaching in conjunction with practice placements. Students will have the opportunity to experience current practice in occupational therapy and physiotherapy. You will be introduced to core clinical skills through inter professional learning, such as effective communication for assessment and solution- focused intervention. Some sessions will be joint with speech and language therapy where shared learning is appropriate for all professional groups. You will engage with a community engagement experience where you will gain experience interacting with the public in a variety of settings early in your course without the pressure of being formally assessed. Further core skills to be delivered include exploring challenging behaviours; motivational approaches to healthcare delivery; supervision and tools for independent learning. You will explore the importance of the resilience and adaptability within health and social care and the need for good practice based skills. In conjunction with practice placement, taught practice based skills at this level will enable students to develop and apply early competencies in preparation for future practice placements and more complex practice skills. Throughout the module, students will explore early employability attributes and begin to develop their employability development portfolio. You will develop and reflect upon the development of practice placement skills through the learning contract. There will be employability content introduced at this stage.

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Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE

This module considers the value of research in the systematic evaluation of practice. This module will build on the introductory research elements covered in Year 1 under the Foundations for Professional Practice. Using pedagogic approaches based on blended learning, the research component will introduce qualitative and quantitative methodologies, using experiential activities to develop a basic understanding of primary research and an understanding of critical appraisal skills.

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MANDATORY TRAINING 2

This module is designed for Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech and Language students who are required to complete clinical practice hours as part of their degree. Mandatory training is a requirement of the governing professional bodies and our clinical practice partners. It is important that students undertake a number of training sessions to ensure their own safety and that of service users, staff and anyone else they encounter.

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OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY THEORY AND PRACTICE 2

This module develops the students' understanding of occupational science, related to occupational therapy models of practice, frames of reference and their application to the practice of occupational therapy. Building on the focus of year one, the individual as an occupational being, the students will develop their understanding of barriers to occupational performance across the lifespan by examining changes to physical health, psychological and social well-being and the environment. The students will be required to integrate and apply knowledge and understanding of the human sciences to inform and develop their clinical reasoning. Whilst the focus is on dysfunction of the human body and mind, related issues such as management of specific conditions, recovery processes and promotion of healthy lifestyles are explored. Whilst exploring the diverse settings in which occupational therapy is delivered, and providing the opportunity to participate in shared inter-professional learning events, this module also encourages the students to begin to think about themselves as leaders working as part of an interdisciplinary team.

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PRACTICE EDUCATION 2

This module builds on practice education 1 with university and inter-disciplinary skills-based teaching alongside students' practice placements. Interdisciplinary contents include: note writing and information governance, resilience and, examining the professional's role within teams together with a clear appreciation of mentoring theory and practice. You will build upon your core skills from practice education 1, evidencing increased competency with management skills, including team working and management. You will continue with clinical skills sessions from the previous year. You will also further build upon your ability to effectively identify and manage practice-based problems and deploy effective strategies to manage these. You will continue to reflect and build upon your employability attributes in readiness for level 6. university-professional sessions will be directed by individual course requirements.

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Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

OT PROFESSIONAL THEORY AND PRACTICE 3

This module draws together the theory and practice from OTP1 and OTP2 modules preparing the student to become a confident and competent occupational therapist. Using an EBL format that builds on a broad understanding of the scope of occupational therapy practice, this module deepens the students' understanding of the complexities of occupational therapy interventions through the critical exploration of the profession's philosophies and practice in a range of diverse and developing contexts. Semester 2 enhances inter-professional practice through shared learning with the physiotherapy students. The students analyse the unique and innovative contribution of their profession in a range of health and social care pathways. Learning is delivered through a series of EBL triggers, enabling students to critique, develop and deliver person-centred interventions that facilitate occupational goals. Whilst exploring the diverse settings in which occupational therapy is delivered, this module also enables students to continue to develop interdisciplinary, working, leadership and employability attributes as part of their professional development.

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PRACTICE EDUCATION 3

This module build upon Practice Education 2 with uni and inter-disciplinary skills-based teaching alongside students' practice placements. This module explores the transition of the student towards competent and autonomous practitioner. Students undertake a 6-week placement, concluding with a transitional placement which is organised by the student and tailored towards their desired area of practice. The elective provides the opportunity to apply core skills and knowledge acquired over the duration of the programme. Within placement education 3, students build upon their knowledge, clinical skills and professional development, evidencing the ability to engage with assessment and intervention at varying levels of complexity. To date, students will have experienced a broad range of professional practice from a varied portfolio of placements. The student will advance and actively apply the practices of leadership, management, supervision and mentoring. Students are prepared for practice via a series of progressive lectures and seminars aimed at the transition from level 5 to 6. Teaching is focused on integrating learning from previous placement education modules and progressing towards the standards of a newly qualified practitioner. Students undertake preparation sessions for the elective placement as well as plenary sessions to reflect on practice development. The learning outcomes for this module are progressive in nature and are assessed using formal assessment criteria including, safe practice, professionalism, clinical reasoning, interpersonal skills, client management, information management and personal and professional development.

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RESEARCH POLICY AND PRACTICE

This module is about research and evidence-based practice in the current healthcare climate. It prepares students for practice through topics addressing the transition from student to practitioner through evidence-based practice and professional awareness. Third year students should be equipped to contribute to the culture of enquiry both within their profession, and across the broad area of health and social care and how these relate to research and evidence. They must appreciate the broad professional research-base essential for evidence-based practice and for the development of professional practice. It is also important that they are explicitly prepared for the change from student therapist to professional practitioners. This module provides these attributes. The module has been designed to complement the whole programme, in addition to being harmonious with the HCPC's Standards of Proficiency and the Council of Allied Health Professional's position statement " Developing research skills within AHP pre-registration education".

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Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

  • Frequently asked questions

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  • Ask a Student

    This is your chance to ask UEA's students about UEA, university life, Norwich and anything else you would like an answer to.

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  • Your career

    Discover more about your future career including employability opportunities

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  • UEA Award

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    Read it UEA Award

Entry Requirements

  • A Level BBC or BCC with an A in the Extended Project
  • International Baccalaureate 30 points
  • Scottish Highers ABBBB
  • Scottish Advanced Highers CCD
  • Irish Leaving Certificate 1 subject at H2, 5 subjects at H3
  • Access Course Pass with Merit in 36 credits at Level 3 and Pass in 9 credits at Level 3, in a Health, Care or Science subject
  • BTEC DMM in Health, Care or Science
  • European Baccalaureate 65%

Entry Requirement

We’d also encourage an application if you hold or are working towards one of the following qualifications:

Bachelor Degree (hons)

2.2

Certificate of Higher Education

55%

Diploma of Higher Education

55%

Foundation Degree in a Health, Care or Science subject

55%

Foundation Year of an undergraduate degree programme at a UK university, in a Health, Care or Science subject

60%

Open University (60 credits) in a Health, Care or Science subject

55%

CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education (Early Years Educator)

B

CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Children's Care, Learning and Development, or Children and Young People's Workforce, or Health and Social Care (including Technical Level)

B

City & Guilds Advanced Extended Diploma in Health and Care (Health or Care pathway)

Distinction

 

UEA recognises that some students take a mixture of International Baccalaureate IB or International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme IBCP study rather than the full diploma, taking Higher levels in addition to A levels and/or BTEC qualifications. At UEA we do consider a combination of qualifications for entry, provided a minimum of three qualifications are taken at a higher level. Please email admissions@uea.ac.uk if you would like to check whether any particular combination of qualifications would be suitable for entry onto this degree programme.

Please note that we do not consider A levels in General Studies or Critical Thinking, Apprenticeships, NVQs (any level) or Work-based Level 3 Diplomas (previously NVQs) to meet the minimum academic entry requirements, although these can be used as evidence of recent study.

We’ll be unable to consider you for this course if you’ve obtained an academic fail from a previous health based degree programme, including where an exit award has been achieved.

Graduates may wish to consider our accelerated Masters programmes.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

Applications from students whose first language is not English are welcome. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including reading, writing, speaking and listening):

IELTS: 7.0 overall (minimum 7.0 in each component)

We will also accept a number of other English language qualifications to meet this requirement. Review our English Language Equivalences here.

INTO University of East Anglia 

If you do not meet the academic and/or English language requirements for direct entry our partner, INTO UEA offers progression on to this undergraduate degree upon successful completion of a preparation programme and an interview:

International Foundation in Pharmacy, Health and Life Sciences

INTO UEA also offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study:

Pre-sessional English at INTO UEA

Academic English at INTO UEA

Interviews

The strongest applicants will be invited to interview. Please note that meeting (or being predicted to meet) the minimum academic entry requirements will not guarantee that you will be selected for interview.

The interviews will explore a range of issues, including your suitability for the profession and the NHS values (as reflected in the NHS constitution). We’ll look to consider your motivation to study this course, as well as whether you have a clear understanding of the profession (ideally with relevant voluntary or paid work in health care), and an interest in people.

Please note that we do not disclose interview questions. You can find further information about the interview process here:

School of Health Sciences - Interviews

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.  We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. If you’re planning to apply with deferred entry, you are advised to indicate your reason for this on your UCAS application.

Special Entry Requirements

We’d prefer you to be able to demonstrate evidence of recent formal academic study within 5 years of the start of the course. This is to ensure that you’re equipped to succeed on this academically rigorous programme. If you have not studied for an academic qualification within the last 5 years please email admissions@uea.ac.uk to enquire further. 

Offers to successful applicants will be subject to a satisfactory occupational health check, an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and two satisfactory references.

If necessary, the Admissions Service will be happy to provide you with advice on further study that might help you to make a future application to the course. Please email admissions@uea.ac.uk with any questions or if you need any further information.

Intakes

The annual intake is in September each year.

GCSE Offer

You are required to have 5 GCSEs at a minimum of Grade C or Grade 4, including Mathematics, English Language and a science.

Course Open To

UK, EU and Overseas applicants.

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support

Tuition Fees

Information on tuition fees can be found here:

UK students

EU Students

Overseas Students

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. 

You can find all of the Undergraduate Scholarships offered at UEA here, including information about eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The application allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it is sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The Institution code for the University of East Anglia is E14.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Please complete our Online Enquiry Form to request a prospectus and to be kept up to date with news and events at the University. 

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515