BSc Occupational Therapy


The School of Health Sciences offers a superb learning environment that enables students to fulfil their potential and ensures our graduates are fit for practice in the modern and ever-changing health and social care sector.

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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


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Occupational Therapists work closely with people who have an illness, injury or disability to help them live their lives to their full potential. You could be helping a young person with anorexia, or an elderly person with mobility issues. The profession is extremely varied and requires a great deal of ‘out of the box’ thinking alongside clinical reasoning. Our course prepares you with the wide range of skills, knowledge and experience you need for an exciting and rewarding career.

We will support you to become the very best Occupational Therapist you can be. You will join a supportive community, working together to gain first-hand experience and deliver first-class care.

We are ranked 19th in the UK for Occupational Therapy (Complete University Guide, 2018). We also have a great reputation with our partner NHS Trusts, and are proud that our students graduate with excellent career prospects and good honours.


By studying our Occupational Therapy BSc programme, you are choosing an exciting and rewarding profession that focuses on developing extraordinary partnerships with people and helping to make lasting, positive changes in their lives.

Occupational therapists work with people who find it difficult to participate in life due to illness, injury or disability. We enable them to do the things they need or want to do. You will be taught to consider the physical, psychological, social, spiritual and environmental needs of your patient, helping them to develop the skills and confidence to carry out practical and purposeful activities. For more information on Occupational Therapy, you can visit the British Association of Occupational Therapists.

By studying our BSc Occupational Therapy programme you will receive the best possible academic grounding, which is highly regarded by our students. Our students enjoy a varied and interactive learning experience, with early patient contact and an innovative approach to education, based on current research.

You will be part of small teaching groups, becoming involved in a close-knit student body and enjoying a supportive learning culture. We also have superb, dedicated learning facilities including: anatomy room, assistive technology suite, and other well-equipped rooms – all designed to help you develop the skills and abilities you will need to pursue a career in this challenging profession. As part of our recruitment process, the values of the NHS Constitution will be explored at interview, with successful candidates demonstrating how these are reflected in their own beliefs. 

This Occupational Therapy Degree course is fully approved by and prepares you for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Course Structure

The course builds up your Occupational Therapy knowledge and skills in a structured way through the three years of study, with a curriculum made up of carefully planned compulsory modules.

First Year

In the first year you will engage with core Occupational Therapy theory and practice. This will include exploring the values underpinning health and social care in order to develop academic study skills. A two week placement introduces you to the workplace, whilst a further four week placement will allow you to establish theory practice links.

Second Year

The second year of study addresses biological, psycho-social and spiritual perspectives of health. You will study specific health conditions in order to understand how Occupational Therapy relates across diverse areas of practice. You will also take part in 14 weeks of placement experience to continue to build your practice profile.

Final Year

During your final year you will continue to develop your knowledge and skills, as you explore Occupational Therapy theory and practice using creative media. You will also study a variety of contemporary health topics, as well as the legislation and policies that drive the health and social care agenda. You will complete 14 weeks of practice placement, which includes an eight week elective placement, with the opportunity to plan and undertake a placement of your choice.


You will be assessed through a combination of course work and project work, designed to support your academic progression. Coursework assessment methods include essays, integrated assignments, poster and oral presentations. There is also a final year dissertation. Throughout the course you will have to pass all your placements.
Development of problem solving and analytical skills will be monitored throughout all of your modules. In addition, you will be expected to generate a professional portfolio, which will support your professional development.

More information

Course Modules 2018/9

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


This is an inter-professional module for year 1 students of occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy. A number of standards of proficiency that are common to each of these professions will be addressed. You will: #be prepared for the wider contexts of being a health and social care professional #learn about the diversity of contexts in which services are delivered; including public health and health promotion #explore how services remain client-centred with consideration of equality and diversity #consider the importance of practising within the legal and ethical boundaries of your profession #learn about your role, taking into account your professional identity, values and behaviours whilst recognising the roles of other professions #be introduced to reflective practice and the need for continuing professional development #have the opportunity to develop your academic skills and explore the importance of research in order to underpin your practice.




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.




As an occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language student, you are required to complete clinical practice hours as part of your degree. Mandatory training is a requirement of these programmes, stipulated by the commissioning body; Health Education East of England. It is important that you undertake a number of training sessions to ensure your own safety and that of service users, staff and anyone else you encounter.




You will explore 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 you with an understanding of human development, health and wellbeing and biopsychosocial functioning across the lifespan. This approach will enable you 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. You 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. You 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, you will synthesise and apply the acquisition of new knowledge and skills via enquiry-based learning, in preparation for practice placement.




This module introduces you to the foundation skills required to be a health and social care professional with university and inter-disciplinary skills-based teaching in conjunction with practice placements. You 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 run jointly with speech and language therapy students where shared learning is appropriate for all professional groups. You will take part in a community engagement experience where you will gain experience interacting with the public in a variety of settings. This takes place early on in the course without the pressure of being formally assessed. Further core skills will be delivered including exploring challenging behaviours; motivational approaches to healthcare delivery and supervision and tools for independent learning. You will explore the importance of 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 you to develop and apply early competencies in preparation for future practice placements and more complex practice skills. Throughout the module, you will explore early employability attributes and begin to develop your 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.



Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


NEW - AVAILABLE IN 2019/0 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.




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 commissioning body; Health Education East of England. 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.




NEW - AVAILABLE IN 2019/0. This module develops the student's 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. The students learning, delivered through a series of EBL triggers, will enable them to devise appropriate client-centred interventions that facilitate occupational goals. Whilst exploring the diverse settings in which occupational therapy is delivered, and providing the opportunity to participate in shared interprofessional learning events, this module also encourages the students to begin to think about themselves as leaders working as part of an interdisciplinary team.




NEW - AVAILABLE IN 2019/0 - his 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.



Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


The module will prepare you to be prepared for current service issues which will impact on your future working life. It will build on your knowledge of health policy gained on practice placements and in other parts of the course and will provide the opportunity to analyse evolving government initiatives, policies, issues of patient and public involvement, clinical governance, service improvement, fitness for practice and quality service provision when working in the NHS or in social services. This module will also address the wider context of practice by looking at the contribution other professionals, patients and carers make to health and social care delivery. It is designed to focus on current issues and practices in health and social care service provision. The module is delivered over whole days of teaching and learning experiences, each of which focuses on a theme and all have a clear relationship to quality service provision. All workshops within the themed days use the service improvement tasks. The following topics are included; introduction to quality and service improvement, quality and the therapist, developing business cases, management of change, quality in services, measuring quality, service user involvement and issues in practice.




This module draws together theory and practice from Occupational Therapy Practice 1 and Occupational Therapy Practice 2 modules preparing you to become a confident and competent occupational therapist. Building on a broad understanding of the scope of occupational therapy practice, this module deepens your 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 two facilitates inter-professional practice through shared learning with the physiotherapy students. You will analyse the unique and innovative contribution of their profession in a range of health and social care pathways. Building on a broad understanding of the scope of occupational therapy practice, this module deepens your understanding enabling you to critically analyse the complexities of occupational therapy interventions. Through the critical exploration of occupational science and the profession's philosophies and practice in a range of diverse and developing contexts you will be able to synthesise theory and practice alongside increasingly sophisticated clinical reasoning skills. You will be able to evaluate problem solving, clinical reasoning and evidence-based decision-making in practice. You will develop personal responsibility in your own life-long learning through the informed choice of options. You will develop skills in abstract writing and poster presentation to a level commensurate with post-registration professional practice.




This module facilitates the transition towards becoming a competent and autonomous practitioner. Placement 5 is of 6 weeks duration and occurs in semester one. Placement 6 (elective) is of 8 weeks duration, occurring in semester two and is chosen and organised by you with opportunities to utilise your core skills and knowledge within a specialised area of practice in a national or international setting. You will continue to build upon your skills, knowledge and professional development with a focus on increasingly complex interventions. By the end of Placement 6, you will have accrued a broad profile of placement experience, working with a range of different client groups in different settings. You are prepared for practice through a series of progressive sessions which include the transition from level 2 to level 3 learning with an emphasis on progression from student to newly qualified practitioner, ongoing preparations for the elective [final] placement and integration of learning from other year 3 modules. In addition, you will have dedicated plenary sessions which provide an opportunity for sharing reflections on the previous placement. The module is assessed through increasingly progressive learning outcomes, including formal assessment within the criteria of safe practice, professionalism, clinical reasoning, interpersonal skills, client management, information management and personal and professional development. In addition, this module is assessed through a formative Portfolio Profile Viva and a summative Professional Development viva voce presentation.




This module will support you in completing your dissertation, started in Year 2, which assesses the skills of enquiry through a structured literature review and completes the professional development theme which runs throughout the three years. It also prepares you for professional practice through topics addressing the change from student to practitioner. You will be taught to identify and respond to changes in health and social care, and be innovative and critical in using research evidence to support your practice. You will also prepare for the transition from student therapist to professional practitioners through lectures and individual and group reflections.




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

Entry Requirements

  • A Level BBB
  • International Baccalaureate 31 points including 6 5 5 at Higher Level
  • Scottish Advanced Highers CCC
  • Irish Leaving Certificate BBBBBB or 2 subjects at H2 and 4 subjects at H3
  • Access Course Pass with Merit in 45 credits at Level 3 in a Health, Care or Science subject
  • BTEC DDM in a Health, Care or Science subject
  • European Baccalaureate 70%

Entry Requirement

We look for applicants to have a clear understanding of the profession ideally with relevant voluntary or paid work in health care, an interest in people, a strong academic attainment and a broad academic base.

You are required to have 5 GCSEs at a minimum of grade 4 or grade C including English Language, Mathematics and a Science subject. (Please note that we are not able to accept Adult Numeracy or Literacy, Key Skills, City & Guilds, Functional Skills or Access to HE credits in lieu of GCSEs.)

General Studies, Critical Thinking, Public Services and AS-levels are not considered.

Applications are encouraged from those with non-traditional qualifications. Applicants with the following qualifications are required to demonstrate 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or grade C including English Language and Mathematics.

Access to Higher Education Diploma in a Health, Care or Science subject Pass with Merit in 45 credits at Level 3
Bachelor Degree (hons) 2.2
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
Certificate of Higher Education 55%
City & Guilds Advanced Extended Diploma in Health and Care (Health or Care pathway) Distinction
Diploma of Higher Education 55%
Foundation Degree in a Health, Care or Science subject 60%
Foundation Year in a Health, Care or Science subject 70%
Open University (60 credits) in a Health, Care or Science subject 55%


We do not consider Apprenticeships, NVQs (any level) or Work-based Level 3 Diplomas (previously NVQs) as meeting the minimum academic entry requirements, although these can be used as evidence of recent study. We will also not consider an applicant who has an academic fail from a health based degree programme, including where an exit award has been achieved.

Due to competition for places on this course, meeting (or being predicted to meet) the minimum academic entry requirements is not a guarantee of selection for interview.

Graduates may wish to consider our accelerated Masters programmes.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students from all academic backgrounds. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including speaking, listening, reading and writing) at the following level:

IELTS: 7.0 overall (minimum 7.0 in any component)

We may also accept a number of other English language qualifications. Review our English Language Equivalences here.

INTO University of East Anglia 

If you do not meet the academic and/or English language requirements for this course, our partner INTO UEA offers progression on to this undergraduate degree upon successful completion of a foundation 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

English for University Study at INTO UEA



Of the applicants who pass the initial screening stage, the strongest will be invited to interview.

The interview lasts approximately 40 minutes and follows a multiple mini interview format across four stations. When applicants enter the interview room, they will find a series of four 'stations' to circulate through, spending approximately 7 minutes at each. Interviews explore a range of issues, including the applicant's suitability for the profession and whether the applicant holds the NHS values as reflected in the NHS constitution. Please note that we do not disclose interview questions.

Further information regarding the interview day can be found here.

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. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry and to contact directly to discuss this further.

Special Entry Requirements

We prefer applicants to demonstrate evidence of recent formal academic study within 5 years of the start of the course.  This is to ensure they are equipped to succeed on this academically rigorous course. 

If you have not studied for an academic qualification within the last 5 years, and particularly where your previous study does meet our entry requirements, do contact our Admissions office ( 

We want to hear from you to assess whether your work, life or previous educational studies are suitable evidence for demonstrating your motivation, potential, knowledge and ability to study the course.  We want you to succeed and an application and offer will only be considered where we believe that an applicant has the potential to complete the course with a good final degree classification. The Admissions Office can also give you advice on further study, if required, that can help you make a future application to the course.

All applicants should note that, due to competition for places on this course, exceeding, meeting (or being predicted to meet) the minimum academic entry requirements is not a guarantee of selection for interview.


One intake in September each year.


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. 

The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for 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 system 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 must be sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The UCAS code name and number for the University of East Anglia is EANGL E14.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances with the Admissions Service prior to applying please do contact us:

Undergraduate Admissions Service
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

Please click here to register your details via our Online Enquiry Form.

International candidates are also actively encouraged to access the University's International section of our website.

    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: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515