BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

Why choose this course?

Employable graduates – 93% of students were in work or further study six months after finishing this course.

A course for people who want to help others reach their potential

  • Study a course accredited by the College of Occupational Therapists and approved by the World Federation of Occupational TherapistsCollege of Occupational Therapists logo
  • Engage with an experienced teaching team who have worked in a range of settings
  • Gain first-hand experience by undertaking exciting placements in sector
  • Learn how to help people overcomes the obstacles that prevent them from reaching their full potential.

Student satisfaction – 95% of students were satisfied with the overall quality of this course, according to the 2014 National Student Survey (NSS).

Show All

Fact file

UCAS code: B920

Start date: September

Course length: full time: three years

Campus: Kedleston Road site and Britannia Mill, Derby Campus

College: College of Health and Social Care

About this course

Accredited course

This course is accredited by the College of Occupational Therapists ,and approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists and the Health and Care Professions Council

(HCPC). You’ll be able to apply to the HCPC when you graduate, for registration to practice.

Explore your potential on placement

Occupational therapists help people overcome barriers that are preventing them from reaching their full potential in areas such as their paid or unpaid work, self-care activities or sports and leisure. You’ll go on three placements, which could be in the NHS, social services or private and voluntary sector health and social care environments. You’ll also have a personal tutor who will guide and support you throughout the course.

Shared experience

Specialists in areas of occupational therapy practice, service users, patients and carers will come in to the University to share their professional experience with you. By studying alongside other health and social care students, you'll develop a wide knowledge of the work of an occupational therapist in different settings. Through the practical skills based sessions, you will also develop valuable skills to take into your future practice.

We've got great teaching facilities, including a rehabilitation kitchen and bathroom, and replica hospital ward, which you'll use to develop your practical skills.


What you will cover

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are usually 280 UCAS points at A Level, excluding General Studies, of which at least 240 Points (grade A-C) will be from your core A2s (full A levels) or equivalent qualifications such as BTEC Diploma, International Baccalaureate, Scottish Highers etc.

We'll accept up to 40 points towards the total from level 3 qualifications such as AS levels (where those AS levels are not taken on to A2 level), the Extended Project or Music qualifications. We don't accept points from Key Skills Level 3 or NVQ. Your points at level 3 will be in addition to 5 GCSEs at grade A-C  including Maths and English, or equivalent level 2 qualifications.

Students with life and work experience will need evidence of academic achievement at level 3 or above within the last two years.  This can include A Levels, BTEC, Access courses or Open University modules. Other qualifications may also be considered, but NVQ qualifications are not accepted. Including older qualifications and more recent qualifications, this would need to equate to 280 points/24 credits at merit for Access courses. We accept general Access as well as health-related Access qualifications. You will also need Maths and English at GCSE Grade C or above. Access qualifications are currently under review for 2015 applications, details will be available shortly.

You'll need to be familiar with at least two areas of occupational therapy, shadowing experience with an Occupational Therapist, ideally in more than one setting is desirable.

You’ll need to be fluent in English, for overseas students the IELTS at level 7 or equivalent is also required.

If you are offered a place on this course you will need to undergo health screening. On application you will need to undergo an enhanced criminal record check which is done through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). This course is ‘exempt’ from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and therefore you are required to declare any convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings that are not "protected" (i.e. filtered out) as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013). The amendments to the Exceptions Order provide that certain ‘spent’ convictions and cautions are ‘protected’ and are not subject to disclosure and cannot be taken into account. Guidance and criteria on the filtering of these cautions and convictions can be found on the Disclosure and Barring Service website. Further information can also be found on the Nacro website.   

We welcome applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds and life experiences. Your criminal record will not, in itself, debar you from being offered a place on the Occupational Therapy programme. All cases will be examined on an individual basis.

How to apply

UK/EU students

  • Full time students should apply for this course through UCAS.

International students

Information for international applicants

Applying for an undergraduate degree

Fees and finance

UK/EU students

We have a significant number of places on our pre registration courses in Occupational Therapy which are NHS funded. This includes having tuition fees paid in full and a £1,000 grant each year. If you're offered and accept one of these NHS funded places, you'll also be eligible to apply for an additional means-tested bursary of up to £4,395 per year. Please visit NHS Student Bursaries for more information.

We also welcome enquiries from potential applicants who are interested in self funding a place on this course. Alternatively if your employer would be interested in supporting you financially rather than obtaining NHS funding please get in touch.

International students

The fee for 2015 entry is £11,725 per year.


How you will learn

How you'll learn

Our teaching team are registered occupational therapists who have worked in a variety of settings. They’ll teach you through a mixture of theory and practical elements to prepare you for starting work when you graduate. Practitioners from specialist areas in occupational therapy, service users, patients and carers will also come into the University to share their experiences with you. You’ll be taught through experiential learning, group activities, lectures, online learning, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You’ll have the opportunity to develop a range of practical skills through skills-based sessions. These will help to equip you for both practice placement experiences and your future career.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through your assignments, case study work, one written and one practical exam, practice placement assessments, presentations and promotional material. You will be supported to prepare for these assessments through a range of methods, such as assignment tutorials and internet based resources.

Work placements

There are three periods of practice placement, where you will work full time in practice for a set number of weeks. You'll work in three separate areas of practice ensuring you have the optimum range of skills for becoming a qualified practitioner.

Careers and employability

93% of students were in work or further study six months after finishing this course.

Occupational therapy is an exciting career choice. As a qualified occupational therapist you could work in many areas of the NHS, such as:

  • Acute medical care
  • Paediatrics
  • Mental health and secure environments.

You could also work in social services or the private or voluntary sector, charities, health centres and schools.

As this course is approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, you’ll also be eligible to apply for registration to work overseas.

What our students say

"The course constantly requires you to reflect upon your learning and really come to know your own strengths and weaknesses. The emphasis is upon developing yourself so that you can go forward and be the best practitioner possible to help other people and the placements are a brilliant opportunity to put this into practice."

Susan Metheringham, current student

Read Susan's full story here.

"The course provides a safe and nurturing environment with staff that are genuinely investing in your progress. Theoretical knowledge is complimented by group workshops and placements that will develop, challenge and enhance your capabilities." 

Thomas Hawksworth, current student

Read Thomas' full story here.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed the course; the tutors are incredibly supportive, as are the whole cohort. We all support each other and know we can contact each other if ever we feel a bit lost or need some motivation. I feel very proud and grateful to be an Occupational Therapy student at the University of Derby!"

Alex Kerry, current student

"I felt more than ready for placement which resulted in me being able to go into my setting with enthusiasm and confidence in my abilities. It was an amazing experience, I learnt an awful lot but all the time felt very much in my own skin, confirming that this was the right career path for me. A fantastic course! I will always be grateful for the opportunity."

Nikki O’Brien, current student

Key Information Sets

Full time

Course enquiries

Contact name: Heather Bullen
T: 01332 594028

Where will I study?

Kedleston Road site and Britannia Mill, Derby Campus