BSc Occupational Therapy


Hear from Katie. Find out what it’s like to study Occupational Therapy at UEA

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Key facts

(Unistats, 2018)


Discover more about Occupational Therapy and hear from our graduate Ruth.

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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

Learn to help people to conquer their difficulties and get on with their lives at a university ranked 12th in the UK for Occupational Therapy (The Complete University Guide, 2019)

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.


As a qualified Occupational Therapist (OT), you’ll need to work in close collaboration with other healthcare professionals, which is why our programme has a strong inter-professional focus, embodying the principles that facilitate effective teamwork. You’ll develop a professional identity of your own, while gaining a greater awareness of the roles and responsibilities of all partners in health and social care.

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.

Highlights of Occupational Therapy at UEA

Our three-year course which is fully approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) ensures you are:

  • Able to practice autonomously, using your knowledge and skills to make complex decisions while critically evaluating your own practice.
  • A lifelong learner, capable of using reflective practice within a framework of continuing professional development.
  • An active research consumer, basing your practice on high quality research evidence, and able to contribute towards the culture of enquiry within the profession.
  • Flexible, innovative and responsive to change. Able to manage yourself and others within shifting contexts of health, social care and education; enhancing service development, while ensuring quality and productivity.
  • Able to work safely and effectively within your scope of practice, understanding the impact of culture, equality and diversity so you act in the best interests of service users at all times.
  • Proactive in leadership and the management of others.
  • A skilled team member, operating effectively within interdisciplinary and multi-agency environments.

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. 


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.

Optional 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


Working in the community

Mental health services

Third sector charities

Discover more:

Course related costs

You can find information regarding additional costs associated here

You can find information regarding additional costs associated here

Course Modules 2019/0

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


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.




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.




Interprofessional collaboration and working is proven to improve outcomes in health and social care. In this module you'll meet and work with others from across healthcare programmes at UEA in a 2 hour learning event. You will explore how teams can work in different scenarios where the focus is on cognitive impairment and communication difficulties across the lifespan. You'll begin to reflect on your personal and professional development, and begin to explore how you will collaborate and work with other professions to provide integrated person-centred care. In the 2 hour session you will also have the opportunity to become a Dementia Friend. You'll also have the option to complete a Reflective Workbook to guide your foundational learning on Dementia Awareness and Learning Disability Awareness. You will be assessed on this through a set of multiple choice questions.




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.




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.




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.



Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


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.




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. The students' learning, delivered through a series of Enquiry Based Learning (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.




This module builds on practice education 1 with uni 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 and a clear appreciation of mentoring theory and practice. Student will build upon their core skills from practice education 1, evidencing increased competency with management skills, including team working and management. Students will continue with clinical skills sessions from the previous year. Student will further build upon the ability to effectively identify and manage practice-based problems and deploy effective strategies to manage these. The student will continue to reflect and build upon their employability attributes in readiness for level 6. Uni-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 2 modules, preparing the student to become a confident and competent occupational therapist. Building on a broad understanding of the scope of occupational therapy practice, this module deepens the students' understanding of the complexities of occupational therapy interventions. Semester 2 facilitates 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. Through the critical exploration of occupational science and the profession's philosophies and practice in a range of diverse and developing contexts the students will be able to synthesise theory and practice alongside increasingly sophisticated clinical reasoning skills. They will be able to evaluate problem solving, clinical reasoning and evidence-based decision-making in practice. Students will develop personal responsibility in their own life-long learning through the informed choice of options. They will develop skills in abstract writing and poster presentation to a level commensurate with post-registration professional practice.




This module builds upon Practice Education 2 with uni- and inter-disciplinary skills-based teaching alongside students' practice placements. It 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.




This module completes the professional development theme which runs throughout the three years. It supports the student in completing their dissertation, started in Year 2, which assesses the skills of enquiry through a structured literature review. It also prepares students for practice through topics addressing the transition from student to practitioner. Students 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 practice. They will also be prepared for change 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

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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 subjects at H2, 5 subjects at H3
  • BTEC DMM in a Health, Care or Science subject
  • European Baccalaureate 65%

Entry Requirement

Along with one of the qualifications above, you’ll need to hold 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or grade C including English Language, Mathematics and a Science. Please note that we are unable to accept Adult Numeracy or Literacy, Key Skills, City & Guilds, Functional Skills, BTEC Level 2 or Access to HE credits in lieu of GCSEs. If you hold alternative qualifications and would like to know if we’ll consider these in place of GCSEs, please contact the Admissions Service to enquire further (

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

Other Qualifications

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

Access to Higher Education Diploma in a Health, Care or Science subject

Pass with Merit in 36 credits at Level 3, and Pass in 9 credits at Level 3

Bachelor Degree (hons)


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


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)


Certificate of Higher Education


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


Diploma of Higher Education


Foundation Degree in a Health, Care or Science subject


Foundation Year in a Health, Care or Science subject



Along with one of these qualifications, you’ll need to hold 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or grade C including English Language and Mathematics. Please note that we are unable to accept Adult Numeracy or Literacy, Key Skills, City & Guilds, Functional Skills, BTEC Level 2 or Access to HE credits in lieu of GCSEs. If you hold alternative qualifications and would like to know if we’ll consider these in place of GCSEs, please contact the Admissions Service to enquire further (

We do not consider 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. Please note that 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.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

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

IELTS: 7.0 overall (minimum 7.0 in each component)

We will accept a number of 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 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


The strongest applicants will be invited to interview. Due to the competition for places on this course, please note that meeting (or being predicted to meet) the minimum academic entry requirements will not guarantee that you will be selected for interview.

We interview using a ‘multiple mini interview’ format. You will spend approximately 7 minutes at each of four different ‘interview stations’ as part of this process. The interviews will explore a range of issues, including your suitability for the profession and the NHS values (as reflected in the NHS constitution).

Please note that we do not disclose interview questions. You can find further information about the interview day on our HSC Interview Days page.

Gap Year

We’ll welcome an application from you if you’ve 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 intending to apply with deferred entry, you are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to do this when you apply. Please contact the Admissions Service ( if you would like to discuss this further.

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 contact our Admissions Service ( to enquire further.

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.

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

We want you to succeed, and we’ll only consider making you an offer if we believe that you’ll have the potential to complete the course with a good final degree classification.

The Admissions Service will be happy to provide you with advice on further study, if required, that can help you make a future application to the course. Please contact us ( with any questions or if you need any further information.



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

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

Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515


    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