Undergraduate Course

BSc Occupational Therapy

BSc Occupational Therapy

Overview

The details
Occupational Therapy
B939
October 2024
Full-time
3 years
Colchester Campus

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.

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.

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, 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.

Location

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.

Making your application

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 or Occupational Health team if you have any questions in relation to these checks.

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.

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.
  • We are ranked 14th for counselling, psychotherapy and occupational therapy for overall positivity score (National Student Survey 2023, English Broad Discipline Institutions).
  • You gain hands-on experience in a range of professional settings through practice placements.
  • Our close links with clinicians in practice will strengthen your career prospects.

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. The course is led by Selena Goodchild. 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.

Specialist facilities

The School of Health and Social Care is located at two sites; in the Kimmy Eldridge building at our Colchester campus and in the Gateway Building at our Southend campus. This course is based at our Colchester Campus only.

We have purpose-built Simulation Wards and Community Living Spaces at our Colchester Campus to meet the needs of a growing and lively School. View our image gallery and find out more about our

Your future

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.

98% of undergraduate graduates from the School of Health and Social Care are in highly skilled employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2022)

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

  • GCSEs: Mathematics, Science and English Language C/4. Acceptable alternatives are listed further down this page
  • A-levels: BBB - BBC or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A-levels.
  • BTEC: DDM - DMM or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of the equivalent of 2 full A-levels.
  • Other UCAS tariff qualifications, and combined qualifications: 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A levels or equivalent. Tariff point offers may be made if you are taking a qualification, or mixture of qualifications, from the list on our undergraduate application information page.
  • IB: 30 - 29 points or three Higher Level certificates with 555-554.
  • IB Career-related Programme: We consider combinations of IB Diploma Programme courses with BTECs or other qualifications.
  • QAA-approved Access to HE Diploma: 6 level 3 credits at Distinction and 39 level 3 credits at Merit.
  • T-levels: We consider T-levels on a case-by-case basis, depending on subject studied. The offer for most courses is Distinction overall. Depending on the course applied for there may be additional requirements, which may include a specific grade in the Core.

We also consider vocational level 3 qualifications for entry. If you are taking or have achieved any qualifications that are not listed here, email Undergraduate Admissions.

GCSE/level 2 requirements

All applicants must have, or be working towards, acceptable level 2 Mathematics, Science, and English qualifications such as GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent.

  • We accept OFQUAL regulated level 2 maths qualifications, including Functional Skills level 2, Key Skills level 2 or numeracy units taken as part of an Access to HE Diploma.
  • If you don't need a Student visa and are either a first language English speaker or have a lived in the UK for over three years, we can accept OFQUAL regulated level 2 English qualifications, including Functional Skills level 2, Key Skills level 2 or literacy units taken as part of an Access to HE Diploma.

Additional requirements

Study towards admitting qualifications within the last 5 years is required. Please email Undergraduate Admissions. if you think you might not meet this requirement.

This course has additional requirements including a satisfactory reference, Occupational Health Check and Disclosure and Barring (DBS) check. For more information see the Health and Social Care Undergraduate page

Contextual Offers:

We are committed to ensuring that all students with the merit and potential to benefit from an Essex education are supported to do so. For October 2024 entry, if you are a home fee paying student residing in the UK you may be eligible for a Contextual Offer of up to two A-level grades, or equivalent, below our standard conditional offer.
Factors we consider:

  • Applicants from underrepresented groups
  • Applicants progressing from University of Essex Schools Membership schools/colleges
  • Applicants who attend a compulsory admissions interview
  • Applicants who attend an Offer Holder Day at our Colchester or Southend campus

Our contextual offers policy outlines additional circumstances and eligibility criteria.

For further information about what a contextual offer may look like for your specific qualification profile, email ugquery@essex.ac.uk.

If you haven't got the grades you hoped for, have a non-traditional academic background, are a mature student, or have any questions about eligibility for your course, more information can be found on our undergraduate application information page or get in touch with our Undergraduate Admissions Team

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, or specified score in another equivalent test that we accept.

Details of English language requirements, including component scores, and the tests we accept can be found here

If we accept the English component of an international qualification it will be included in the academic levels listed above for the relevant countries.

English language shelf-life

Most English language qualifications have a validity period of 5 years. The validity period of Pearson Test of English, TOEFL and CBSE or CISCE English is 2 years.

If you require a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

Pre-sessional English courses

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.

Pending English language qualifications

You don’t need to achieve the required level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer.

If you cannot find the qualification that you have achieved or are pending, then please email ugquery@essex.ac.uk.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College

Structure

Course structure

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 and modules explained

Components

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
Core
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.
Compulsory
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.
Optional
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

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:

HR 100  4  FY

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.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Professional and Interprofessional Skills for Practice
(30 CREDITS)

The aim of the module is to introduce the concepts of professional and inter-professional practice and provide opportunities to develop understanding of the role of continuing professional development for health professionals.

View Professional and Interprofessional Skills for Practice on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Informing Sciences 1
(30 CREDITS)

The module supports students to develop a sound knowledge and understanding of the informing sciences. Students will be introduced to the basic sciences that inform professional practice, including anatomy, physiology, psychology and sociology and will complete a workbook throughout the module. Work will also be conducted in small study groups and there will be practical sessions focusing on biologically-based equipment.

View Informing Sciences 1 on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: CORE

Engagement in Occupation
(30 CREDITS)

Using students’ experiences from their first exploratory placement, this module will develop understanding of the occupational nature of human beings and explore how people engage in their occupations and identify the influences on their performance. Students will develop an understanding of occupational therapy theoretical framework through lectures, independent study, small-group activity and online support and resources.

View Engagement in Occupation on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: CORE

Concepts of Therapy
(30 CREDITS)

Drawing from placement experiences, this module will develop an understanding of the professional role and the role of others. There are many concepts and skills that are common between interprofessional colleagues, and in this module students will develop an understanding of the relative role, value and impact of therapy within multiple context and environments. The emphasis of this module is on further developing self-directed learning and engagement, which is supported by tutor-led and small study group activities.

View Concepts of Therapy on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Professional Reasoning
(30 CREDITS)

This module introduces students to the theory and practice of professional reasoning. Throughout the module students will draw on and extend their current knowledge and transferable skills in order to progress occupational therapy identity and skills. Small group work, tutorials and seminars will form the basis of the learning methods within this module.

View Professional Reasoning on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Therapy and Occupation
(45 CREDITS)

This module is designed to focus specifically on the practice of occupational therapy, and will develop students’ knowledge and skills in delivering occupational therapy. There will be opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge to develop evidence based occupational therapy skills and practice. Students will interact with occupational therapists and service users to share their knowledge and experiences relating to aspects of occupational therapy.

View Therapy and Occupation on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: CORE

Professional Enquiry
(15 CREDITS)

With a mixture of interactive and practical classroom-based lectures, this module focuses on literature searching, synthesising literature within a critical review and identifying a topic for further professional enquiry. Students will gain practical experience of collecting and handling a variety of data and developing analytical skills to gain an understanding of evidence in its widest sense.

View Professional Enquiry on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: CORE

Leadership in Service Enhancement
(30 CREDITS)

This module is designed to enable students to develop effective leadership skills through the identification and development of an idea to enhance services drawn from practice placement experiences. Students will extend their understanding of the considerations required to positively affect change to enhance service delivery and benefit service users.

View Leadership in Service Enhancement on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Advancing Occupational Therapy Practice
(30 CREDITS)

This module will enable the student to investigate professional practice within clinical, ethical, legal and managerial frameworks in preparation for professional practice. There will be an opportunity to explore aspects of practice and examine the influence of current trends from a national and international perspective.

View Advancing Occupational Therapy Practice on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Becoming a Practitioner
(30 CREDITS)

The module prepares students for employment within occupational therapy settings. Students will draw upon and utilise transferable and core skills to prepare them from employment as an Occupational Therapist.

View Becoming a Practitioner on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: CORE

Professional Enquiry Proposal
(30 CREDITS)

This module will develop evidence-based practice and research through self-directed learning. This autonomous working method will help to prepare students as pro-active professionals once qualified. Learners will work towards preparing and submitting an in-depth literature review and research proposal or service improvement project proposal.

View Professional Enquiry Proposal on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: CORE

Transition from Student to Occupational Therapist
(30 CREDITS)

This module aims to provide you with opportunities to explore the concepts of the transformative process from competent student to a novice practitioner. You will draw on your learning and experiences gained over the duration of the programme and reflect upon the personal relevance in order to facilitate the transformation from student to occupational therapist.

View Transition from Student to Occupational Therapist on our Module Directory

Teaching

Occupational Therapy students generally have 20 hours of teaching time per week, split across four days. You may be timetabled within the Autumn term to attend mandatory training in addition to the four days. On placement, Occupational Therapy students will be expected to commit to 5 days per week, Monday- Friday and within office hours (e.g. between 8am-6pm).

  • This course combines University learning, e-learning and practice-based learning
  • Teaching staff include clinically qualified lecturers in occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, adult and mental health nursing, 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

Assessment

  • You are assessed through coursework, presentations, essays, posters, portfolios, CPD profiles, examinations, innovative practice proposal and direct observation of practice by the mentor in clinical settings
  • You also conduct a research dissertation

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£9,250 per year

The Learning Support Fund is available for healthcare students starting their course on or after 1 August 2017. Please see the NHS BSA for more info.

International fee

£22,750 per year

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home/UK fees and funding information

International fees and funding information

What's next

Open Days

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:

  • 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

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.

2024 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Applying

Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full details on how to apply can be found on the filling in your UCAS undergraduate application web page.

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.

Offer Holder Days

If you receive an undergraduate offer to study with us in October 2024 and live in the UK, you will receive an email invitation to book onto one of our Offer Holder Days. Our Colchester Campus Offer Holder Days run from February to May 2024 on various Wednesdays and Saturdays, and our Southend Campus events run in April and May. These events provide the opportunity to meet your department, tour our campus and accommodation, and chat to current students. To support your attendance, we are offering a travel bursary, allowing you to claim up to £150 as reimbursement for travel expenses. For further information about Offer Holder Days, including terms and conditions and eligibility criteria for our travel bursary, please visit our webpage.

If you are an overseas offer-holder, you will be invited to attend one of our virtual events. However, you are more than welcome to join us at one of our in-person Offer Holder Days if you are able to - we will let you know in your invite email how you can do this.

Interview

Undergraduate students who apply for our health-related courses are required to pass a compulsory interview before an offer can be made. If you are shortlisted for interview based on your application, you will be invited to interview with us via Microsoft Teams. We use the interview as an opportunity to get to know you, to find out about your ambitions, and assess 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

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Visit Colchester Campus

Set within 200 acres of award-winning parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.


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Virtual tours

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.

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

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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