Postgraduate Course

MSc Occupational Therapy

(Pre-Registration)

MSc Occupational Therapy

Overview

The details
Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration)
October 2020
Full-time
2 years
Colchester Campus

Our MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration) programme helps you to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes to enable you to work with clients of all ages who have physical, mental health or learning difficulties. If you already have a degree, and have carried out some relevant experience, then this programme could be your route into occupational therapy.

This pre-registration course is a two-year accelerated programme which enables you to take advantage of interprofessional learning (IPL), encouraging professionals to learn with and from each other – an understanding that helps to ensure you have the expertise to respond adequately and effectively to the complexity of your clients’ needs, and ensures that care is safe, seamless and of a high standard.

Central to the philosophy of our programme is the value attached to ‘occupation’ and ‘activity’ as a means to achieving the health and wellbeing of individuals, which enhances their quality of life, thus enabling them to achieve their desired goals.

The cost of required uniform will be fully covered by the school.

Placement Opportunities

In order to prepare you for the work-place and enrich your learning, we organise the practice placement education for you with multi-professional health care teams in a wide range of settings. You will gain experience of working as part of a multidisciplinary team with people who have physical and mental health care needs.

Over a thousand hours will be spent in the practice environment, where you will apply the theory and practice of occupational therapy.

Whilst on placement you will have an educator allocated to you, and contact with a member of the academic team.

Placements encompass a variety of multidisciplinary health and social care settings based within the NHS, the Private Sector, Social Services, Voluntary Organisations and Primary Health Care Services.

If you are already a registered occupational therapist, please see Continuing Professional Development on our Health and Social Care web pages.

Professional accreditation

Accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) for the purpose of ensuring graduates are fit for the profession.

Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for the purpose of providing eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as an occupational therapist.

Why we're great.
  • Develop your practical skills with exclusive use of our dedicated occupational therapy labs.
  • Experience a wide range of practical areas and undertake work placements.
  • Learn alongside our students from other health professions, gaining an interdisciplinary perspective.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

A unique feature of our School is that most of our staff work or have worked within clinical practice. This enhances our grasp of the contemporary links between academic research, the major issues of the day and real-life practice.

Occupational Therapy is taught by registered experienced staff with a variety of different backgrounds. We have expertise in the areas of dementia, psychoanalytic thinking ion occupational therapy, acute care, hand therapy, neurological conditions and green care. Specialist guest lecturers additionally lend external expertise to our academic staff. Full details of our staff can be found on our HSC Staff Profiles.

We are delighted to be the first department in the University to have obtained the Athena Swan Silver Award for gender equality. This award recognises initiatives we have in place such as our mentorship system, our additional promotion of flexible work and study options, and our work to recognise the barriers to opportunity for BAME and LGBT members of our community.

Specialist facilities

Within our School of Health and Social Care, we have a range of specialist clinical laboratories and IT facilities to assist you with the effective learning and acquisition of new skills; for students of our MSc Occupational Therapy, we have a specialist lab at our Colchester Campus which provides you with access to kitchen, bedroom, and wheelchair facilities to help develop your skills in helping people in the home.

We also arrange off-site visits to farms, wheelchair services and other specialist external facilities to assist in your learning, and offer excellent physical and online resources in terms of libraries, computer labs, datasets, archives and other research materials.

Your future

Successful completion of our MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration) programme leads to eligibility to apply for registration as an occupational therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which then allows you to practise as an occupational therapist in the UK.

96% of our postgraduate School of Health and Social Care students are in professional employment or further postgraduate study within six months of graduating from Essex (DLHE 2017).

If you are a self-funding international student interested in working outside of the UK we would advise that you check registration procedures with the relevant professional body in that country.

“Studying to be an occupational therapist was, in some ways, the most difficult but easiest decision I ever made! At 42 years of age, with a well-paid job and young children, giving up our family security seemed rather risky. Nevertheless, I knew I needed to work with people and do something purposeful, that made a difference."

Susan McGill, MSc Occupational Therapy

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

Complete applications for this course must be received by 27 March 2020. If your application is incomplete or is submitted after this date it will not be considered.

You should have:

  • An honours degree, at grade 2:2 or above or international equivalent.
  • For those students for whom English is not your native language, you need to successfully complete the IELTS testing with a score of 7.0 or above, with no element below 6.5.
  • Successful performance at interview
  • Evidence of recent academic study (By this we mean a course or module with an assessable component taken in the last 5 years)

You must also have: two satisfactory references (including an academic reference and a work-based reference). Don't worry if you cannot provide your references when you make your application, as if we make you an offer you will be able to provide these at a later stage. References should be recent and verifiable, on official institution paper, signed and dated by the referee.

If a referee wishes to provide an email reference, it must be sent from the referee’s email account.

You must also have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (including child and adult barred list check) and a Occupational Health Check - both of these are organised by the University.

A satisfactory Overseas Criminal Record Check/Local Police Certificate is also required, in addition to a DBS check, where you have lived outside of the UK in the last 5 years for 6 months or more.Where it is not possible to obtain an Overseas Check a relevant professional reference may be accepted

The following documents should be submitted with your online application:

  • A personal statement
  • A current CV
  • Academic transcripts

International Students

Applications will be considered from full fee-paying international students for 2020 entry. As an international applicant you will be expected to meet the same minimum entry criteria as all other applicants, including evidence of a satisfactory work health check and enhanced criminal clearance prior to the start of the course – please contact us for further information ipl@essex.ac.uk. If you aim to work as an occupational therapist in a country outside of the UK, you will need to check with the relevant regulatory body of that country to confirm suitability.

NHS Constitution and Values

As part of the selection process, students will be expected to demonstrate good knowledge and a clear understanding of the scope of work that an occupational therapist is required to undertake as well as the significance of the NHS Constitution and its core values (you can find further information on these on the Health Education East of England website and the Gov.UK webpages.

Interviews

Interviews will take place from December 2019 for the September 2020 intake. If you are selected for interview, then you will also be required to sit a Literacy & Numeracy test.

Interviews for international applicants will be via Skype, details of which will be provided in advance.

Continuing Professional Development

If you are already a registered occupational therapist, please see Continuing Professional Development on our Health and Human Sciences web pages.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 7.0 overall, with a minimum of 6.5 in each component.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications.

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Example structure

Please note that our MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration) programme is an intensive two year course based at our Colchester campus.

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. These carefully selected modules will give you the chance to explore, question, and create powerful ideas. Picked to give you an extensive and in-depth education, they’ll equip you with the specialist knowledge, vital transferrable skills, and the confidence to make a genuine difference to the world around you.

We’re reactive, we’re pioneering, we never stand still, so modules might change from year to year in response to new developments and innovation. Those listed below show how a typical course might look, but more detail on course structure, including details of all optional modules, is available on our Programme Specification.

Interprofessional Collaboration and Development

Complex medical issues can be best addressed when interprofessional teams work together. The aim of this module is to develop your understanding of collaborative working practices by exploring current policy drivers, barriers and opportunities for team working, with the aim of improving patient care.

View Interprofessional Collaboration and Development on our Module Directory

Using Evidence in Health Care Practice

You will have the opportunity to build on your existing knowledge of research by exploring a variety of methodologies. This will prepare you for your second year of study when you will conduct your own original research project in an area of interest that is relevant to health care practice.

View Using Evidence in Health Care Practice on our Module Directory

Practice Placement One: EXPLORE

In this first five week placement, you will learn to develop an occupational focus, seeing people as occupational beings and using the occupational therapy process to understand their progress through a service. You will explore how this focus contrasts and complements the work of multi-disciplinary teams and other services. You will explore how the core values, skills and beliefs you have learned about so far are enacted in the placement setting, including communication skills and occupational theories.

View Practice Placement One: EXPLORE on our Module Directory

Foundations for occupational therapy

Within this module students will be introduced to the foundations for occupational therapy, studying informing theories and sciences of occupation, and learning core skills for professional practice. Theory and practice will be brought together in enquiry-based learning, developing your understanding of professional practice.

View Foundations for occupational therapy on our Module Directory

Occupational performance and process

This module focuses on the performance of occupation, investigating how the occupational therapy process is adapted in response to professional reasoning about the experiences of people using health and social care services.

View Occupational performance and process on our Module Directory

Advancing Professional Practice in Occupational Therapy

This module focuses on the informed and skilled use of occupation as a therapeutic medium to transform lives of individuals, groups and communities. You will start this module in Year 1 and finish it in Year 2.

View Advancing Professional Practice in Occupational Therapy on our Module Directory

Practice Placement Two: INITIATE

This six week placement requires active participation in practice; initiating elements of the occupational therapy process and sharing your professional reasoning at each stage. Your reasoning will involve thinking critically about the different aspects of practice and the knowledge and evidence which informs your practice. You will use reflection to develop awareness of yourself as a practitioner and identify areas for further learning. You will initiate interactions with other team members and those involved in this setting, based on the understanding of the contexts for practice.

View Practice Placement Two: INITIATE on our Module Directory

Research Activity

The aim of this module is to further advance your research and problem solving skills enabling you to carry out your own research in your future practice. This will involve the critical appraisal of research from a variety of sources to inform your own practice.

View Research Activity on our Module Directory

Advancing Professional Practice in Occupational Therapy

This module focuses on the informed and skilled use of occupation as a therapeutic medium to transform lives of individuals, groups and communities. You will start this module in Year 1 and finish it in Year 2.

View Advancing Professional Practice in Occupational Therapy on our Module Directory

Mastering occupation

This module focuses on the theories which inform occupational therapy, aiming for a deep critical investigation of their relevance for, and application to, contemporary practice.

View Mastering occupation on our Module Directory

The thinking therapist

This module focuses on a thinking therapist, who can evaluate and synthesise diverse experiences and sources of information, to lead innovations in occupational therapy and sustain continuing professional development.

View The thinking therapist on our Module Directory

Practice Placement Three: LEAD

This eight week placement will offer the opportunity for leadership, where you will demonstrate your practice based on decisions about how you work, using the best evidence, knowledge and understanding of the setting. This placement requires the development of innovative and creative ideas for practice based on sound theories. You will identify an issue arising from the context, generate and evaluate solutions and apply one as a practice innovation. You will also have the opportunity to discover quality monitoring processes and the implications of these in practice.

View Practice Placement Three: LEAD on our Module Directory

Practice Placement Four: MANAGE

This final ten week placement will require you to manage your own learning under supervision, fully engaging with the practice setting and its broader context. You will be required to demonstrate evidence of competent practice and readiness for transition from student to therapist. This placement requires demonstration of a highly professional level of skills and the use of critical evaluation and reflection to continually develop practice from a robust evidence base. You will be required to share your knowledge and skills.

View Practice Placement Four: MANAGE on our Module Directory

Teaching

  • Teaching staff include clinically qualified lecturers in adult and mental health nursing, physiotherapy and pharmacy, as well as health psychologists, medical sociologists, social policy, informatics and management specialists
  • The multidisciplinary nature of our School and its rapid growth has fostered a dynamic and innovative learning environment
  • Half of your study time is spent on the University campus and half working in clinical settings – for example, a ward, a health centre, in clients’ homes

Assessment

  • You are assessed through coursework, presentations, essays, case studies/portfolios, reflective accounts, OSCEs, examinations and direct observation of practice by the mentor in clinical settings
  • You also conduct a research dissertation

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£9,250

For more information about fees and funding for our pre-registration postgraduate courses, please visit our department pages.

International fee

£18,460

For more information about fees and funding for our pre-registration postgraduate courses, please visit our department pages.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2020 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Applying

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates.

Additional Documents

Official transcript(s), in English or a certified translation of your academic results to date, showing marks or grades, must be provided at the time you make your application. (Transcripts are not required from current or previous University of Essex students, or from students who have previously completed a degree at Colchester Institute awarded by the University of Essex).

A personal statement with a 500 word limit to support your application saying why you wish to undertake the course and what you hope to achieve from it. If you require a Tier 4 visa to study with us, your personal statement should refer specifically to your reasons for wishing to study in the UK, and why you have chosen your area of study.

An up to date CV must also be provided with your application.

We will also require two references during the application process; one verifiable academic reference, dated, signed and on official institution paper. The second reference must be work-based and this will be dependent on which course you are applying for, it could be for example, from a registered nurse or equivalent outlining the care duties that you perform and to what standard.

Don’t worry if you cannot provide references when you make your application, as if we make you an offer you will be able to provide these at a later stage.

LIFE AT ESSEX

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to over 13,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.


Find out more

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