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.
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.
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 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
You should have:
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 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.
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 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.
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.
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
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 email@example.com and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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 course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Occasionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or 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 prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.
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