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, learning difficulties, or social challenges to address. If you already have a degree, and have carried out some relevant experience, then this programme could be your route into occupational therapy.
There's never been a better time to train as you can now apply for a £5000 grant that you won't need to pay back! There is also an extra £3000 funding available depending on your personal circumstances. You can find more information about eligibility and how to apply on the HSC Scholarships and Funding page.
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 School of Health and Social Care is proud to work closely with our Service User Reference Group (SURG). SURG is made up of service users, carers, and volunteers who generously share their first-hand experiences of health and social care. We work collaboratively with SURG to design our courses to ensure that we truly are putting the needs of patients and clients at the heart of what we do. SURG are involved as part of our course application processes and often form part of our interview panels. This helps us to be confident that we are selecting the right applicants for the course and their future careers. SURG members also support the delivery of our teaching sessions and research activity, which means you’ll benefit from an insight into their lived experiences of living with a diagnosis, health condition, or circumstance. You’ll find that not only does your clinical knowledge expand, but your empathy, compassion and ability to advocate develops also. You can find out more about SURG by reading their blog here.
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, mental health, learning difficulties or social 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.
The cost of required uniform will be fully covered by the school.
DBS and Occupational Health Checks
This course requires a satisfactory Occupational Health Check and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (including child and adult barred list check) - both of these are organised by the University. Please contact our DBS team or Occupational Health team if you have any questions in relation to these checks.
You will also be required to register for the DBS Update Service (information relating to this service can be found here). You will need to register for this within 30 days of your DBS certificate being issues. The Update Service costs £13 per year, which the University will reimburse. You will need to keep the subscription to this Service active for the duration of your course. If you do not register for the Update Service within 30 days, or your registration lapses, and you later attend placement where this is a requirement, you will have to pay for a new DBS check, which will enable you to sign up to the Update Service. Please contact our DBS team if you have any questions relating to this.
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. Further information about how to obtain an Overseas Criminal Record check can be found on the Gov.uk website.
We continue to recommend Covid and flu vaccination to all of our students. This is to protect both yourself and the vulnerable people that you may meet throughout your placement.
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.
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.
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.
Successful completion of our MSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy 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, and become a professional member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.
If you are an 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.
If you are an international student and you have already qualified in your home country as an Occupational Therapist, you may not need to complete this course to work as an Occupational Therapist in the UK. We recommend you contact the HCPC to explore your eligibility to work as a qualified Occupational Therapist in the UK.
“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
You should have:
You must also have:
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.
For this course, you will be required to register for the DBS Update Service (information relating to this service can be found here). You will need to register for this within 30 days of your DBS certificate being issued. The Update Service costs £13 per year, which the University will reimburse. You will need to keep the subscription to this Service active for the duration of your course.
If you do not register for the Update Service within 30 days, or your registration lapses, and you later attend a placement where this is a requirement, you will have to pay for a new DBS check, which will enable you to sign up to the Update Service. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions relating to this.”
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 must be submitted with your online application:
Applications will be considered from full fee-paying international students for 2023 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 email@example.com. 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 will be via Zoom, details of which will be provided in advance.
If you are already a registered occupational therapist, please see Continuing Professional Development on our Health and Human Sciences web pages.
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 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 student 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.
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.
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.
We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.
Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.
Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.
|Status||What this means|
||You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
|Core with Options
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.|
||You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.|
|Compulsory with Options
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.|
The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.
Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.
In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.
Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:
The department or school the module will be taught by.
In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.
|The module number.||
The UK academic level of the module.
A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.
A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.
A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.
The term the module will be taught in.
COMPONENT 01: CORE
COMPONENT 02: CORE
COMPONENT 03: CORE
COMPONENT 04: CORE
COMPONENT 05: CORE
COMPONENT 06: CORE
COMPONENT 01: CORE
COMPONENT 02: CORE
COMPONENT 03: CORE
COMPONENT 04: CORE
COMPONENT 05: CORE
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:
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
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.
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.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.
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