Our BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy course helps you to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes to enable you to work with clients of all ages who may have physical, mental health, learning difficulties or social challenges to address.
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 three-year programme enables you to take advantage of interprofessional learning (IPL), encouraging professionals to learn with and from one another - 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. Alternatively, if you are already in full-time employment in a relevant role, and have the support of your employer, you may be interested in our Occupational Therapy Degree Apprenticeship which also leads to BSc Occupational Therapy.
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.
We combine a number of teaching styles such as lectures, seminars, enquiry-based and blended learning, as well as enabling you to undertake practice placements in the workplace. The use of peer support and self-directed learning enables you to take control of the learning experience and manage your development of knowledge and skills.
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.
Successful completion of this course provides you with an opportunity to access a professional qualification in occupational therapy.
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, 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.
Before you make your application, take a look at our frequently asked questions section at the bottom of our undergraduate department pages. Here you will find hints and tips on what we are looking for.
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 if you have any questions relating to getting your DBS check.
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.
As you may be aware, the UK government has now revoked legislation that requires all health and social care staff working in sites regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Whilst vaccination is not essential, we encourage our applicants and students to be fully vaccinated. Find out more about what this means for applicants to this course.
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. The course is led by Selena Hammond. Selena qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2003, and has practised in a variety of settings, including inpatient orthopaedics, A&E, and Hand Therapy.
We also have expertise in the areas of learning disability, brain injury and hand therapy. Specialist guest lecturers additionally lend external expertise to our academic staff. Full details of our staff can be found on our HSC Staff Profiles.
Within our School of Health and Human Sciences, 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 BSc Occupational Therapy, we have a specialist lab at our Colchester Campus which provides you with access to relevant equipment and facilities within supported environments to further develop your skills in helping people in the home.
We also arrange off-site visits to 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.
Our student-run Occupational Therapy Society is also involved in many internal and external events.
Successful completion of our BSc (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.
97% of our School of Health and Social Care students are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2020).
UK entry requirements
GCSE: 5 GCSEs at C/4 or above (to include Maths, English and Science). Acceptable alternatives to our GCSE Maths and English requirements are listed further down this page.
Plus one of the following
This Access diploma must be supported by level 2 Maths, Science and English (either as GCSE or Functional Skill - Level 2 qualifications), if relevant units not taken as part of the Access Diploma.
T-levels: Distinction, depending on subject and units studied -advice on acceptability can be provided.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information. Maths in the IB is not required if you have already achieved GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above or 4 in IB Middle Years Maths. We accept grade 4 in either Standard Level Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or Standard Level Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation.
GCSE/level 2 requirements
All applicants must have, or be working towards, acceptable level 2 Mathematics, English and Science qualifications such as GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent.
Study towards admitting qualifications within the last 5 years is required. Please get in touch if you think you might not meet this requirement.
Alongside academic criteria, applicants need to demonstrate knowledge of the scope of Occupational Therapy and practice settings, together with effective communication skills.
You must also have 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 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.
For 2021 entry, applicants must be aged 18 or over on 1 January 2022.
We welcome applications for Year Two or final year entry, but they must be submitted by 30 April 2021. These applications will need to go through the APEL process, as applicants are required to have studied a comparable first year at another institution and (where applicable) to have completed comparable Professional Capabilities through placements. Applicants for Year Two and Final Year also need to meet the GCSE Maths, Science and English, or acceptable alternatives, requirements.
If your achieved or pending qualifications meet our requirements, you will be invited to attend a compulsory interview via Zoom.
Eligible applicants that choose us as their firm choice will be able to take advantage of a flexible offer. This offer will specify alternative entry requirements than those published here so, if your final grades aren’t what you had hoped for, you could still secure a place with us. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.
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 (or equivalent).
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.
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 01: CORE
COMPONENT 02: CORE
COMPONENT 03: CORE
COMPONENT 04: CORE
COMPONENT 01: CORE
COMPONENT 02: CORE
COMPONENT 03: CORE
COMPONENT 04: CORE
COMPONENT 05: CORE
Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.
Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.
The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.
You can find further information on how to apply, including information on transferring from another university, applying if you are not currently at a school or college, and applying for readmission on our How to apply and entry requirements page.
If you are an undergraduate student who has received an offer from us to study with us in October 2022, you will be invited to interview with us by Zoom from the comfort of your own home. We use the interview as an opportunity to get to know you, to find out about your ambitions, and to hear about how prepared you are for the course. It’s important for us to be sure that you know what you’re signing up for, so we’d expect you’ve done some research about the course and the associated careers it may lead to. We have some more information about how to demonstrate you have what it takes at the bottom of our undergraduate page.
If you are an undergraduate student from the UK who has received an offer to study with us in October 2022, you will receive an invitation to attend an Applicant Day. Our Colchester Campus Applicant Days run from December to May on various Wednesdays and provide the opportunity to meet your department, tour our campus and accommodation, and chat to current students. For further information, please head to our Applicant Days webpage. If you are an EU or International student, or can’t make any of our Applicant Days, we’ll be running a series of virtual events called Experience Essex Online throughout the year. To find out more, check out our Visit Us webpage.
Home to 15,000 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 tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see 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.
Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:
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.
Want to quiz us about your course? Got a question that just needs answering? Get in touch and we’ll do our best to email you back shortly.