BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy
Why choose this course?
A career in occupational therapy offers variety, purpose and immense job satisfaction. This degree qualifies you for a rewarding profession where you can help people facing physical and mental challenges to overcome barriers to their independence.
- Choose a degree rated fourth in England for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey (2016)
- Accelerate your career plans: because this degree is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council, you can apply to register to practise as soon as you graduate
- Boost your professional credibility on a course accredited by the College of Occupational Therapists and approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists
- Gain invaluable experience through practice-based learning which makes up almost half of the course
- Learn from a dedicated and skilled team who have worked in a broad spectrum of occupational therapy roles
- Improve your practical skills in our superb facilities ranging from a rehabilitation kitchen to an immersive simulation suite
- Enjoy excellent prospects: 98% of our graduates are employed or in further study within six months of completing this course.
Already hold a degree and looking to qualify as an occupational therapist? Join our MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) and you can register to practise in two years.
Catherine Bolton, talks about her highlights of the course so far:Show All
UCAS code: B920
Start date: September
Course length: Full-time: three years
Campus: Kedleston Road and Britannia Mill, Derby Campus
College: College of Health and Social Care
This course is available to international students
About this course
Join the thousands of occupational therapists who have benefited from Derby’s high-quality, distinctive and innovative courses. Ours was the first Occupational Therapy School set up under the auspices of the NHS back in 1948 so we have a strong heritage and reputation in this important field.
A worthwhile and rewarding career
As an occupational therapist, you’ll support people who have a range of difficulties to perform the everyday activities which are key to their health and wellbeing – from work, sport and leisure to aspects of self-care.
This is a profession with a huge reach. It could mean adapting elderly people’s living environments so they can stay in their own homes, devising strategies to assist people with dementia, helping patients adjust to life after a stroke or surgery, or ensuring children with disabilities can take a full part in school life or at play.
Our course equips you for the challenge. You’ll gain the practical, theoretical and interpersonal skills to help people with disabilities, illnesses and long-term conditions to overcome the obstacles that prevent them from reaching their full potential.
A career in occupational therapy delivers huge satisfaction – and that starts with your degree. The 2016 National Student Survey ranked us fourth in the country for overall student satisfaction, with a 98% score.
A course with professional credibility
Our degree is designed to meet rigorous professional standards. It 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). When you graduate, you’ll be eligible to apply to the HCPC for registration to practise.
We have exceptionally strong links with employers which open doors for you. Latest statistics show that 98% of our graduates are employed or in further study within six months of completing the course.
Hone your skills through practice-based learning
Almost half of the course is taken up with exciting opportunities to enhance your skills in real-world settings. There are three periods of practice-based learning, which you usually undertake full time.
Primarily in the East Midlands, the settings for practice-based learning range from the NHS and social services to the private and voluntary sectors. You’ll experience how occupational therapists work with people in different age groups and with different physical and mental health concerns. This builds the optimum range of skills for becoming a qualified practitioner and helps you make more informed decisions about your future career direction.
During your practice-based learning, you’ll be supported by qualified occupational therapists who are trained to assess and develop your practical skills.
An inspiring learning environment
We offer superb training facilities for practical sessions in realistic settings. They include an NHS standard six-bed hospital ward and a rehabilitation kitchen.
We have also invested in latest technology so that you can benefit from a variety of virtual and immersive environments which will enrich your learning experience.
Expertise, commitment and enthusiasm
You’ll be inspired by a dedicated and highly skilled teaching team. They are all registered and experienced occupational therapists who can give you insights into the many different aspects of the profession. Throughout your studies you’ll benefit from the support of a personal tutor too.
Our team is also research active so will keep you informed about latest thinking and trends. We are involved in national special interest groups and have expertise in areas such as posture management, hand therapy, mental health recovery and working with patients who have dementia. You could even conduct noteworthy research yourself: some students have work featured in OT News and other leading publications.
In tune with new developments
This course is closely mapped against the needs of employers to ensure your learning is meaningful and relevant. In delivering the programme, we respond to national changes such as latest government policies. As a result, some of the information about the course may change.
As health care is increasingly delivered by multi professional teams, we offer inter-professional learning opportunities at each stage of the course so that you learn with, and from, students from other disciplines. This is really important in helping you understand how occupational therapists work in partnership with other professionals in different settings. By learning to work together, you can help achieve the best outcomes for patients and clients.
Financial support to help you succeed
Don’t let financial concerns get in the way of your ambitions. As an applicant for this course, you will be able to access a package of tuition fee loans and support for your living costs.
You won’t have to pay any money upfront: tuition and living cost loans work just like a tax on your earnings rather than a commercial or payday loan. You will only start paying back the loans when you are earning above £21,000 per year and will pay 9% of any income above £21,000. As an example, if you started on the current NHS Band 5* salary, you would repay £6.81 a month.
You can also secure grants – which do not have to be repaid – to cover childcare and the costs of travelling to your placement.
For an independent view on student finance see Martin Lewis’ Money Saving website.
*Band 5 salary at August 2016
What you will cover
You'll study modules such as:
- Introduction to Occupational Therapy
- People as Occupational Beings
- Developing as a Practitioner
- Enabling Occupational Performance
- Occupational Dysfunction
- Interpersonal and Communication Skills
- Practice Based Learning 1
You'll study modules such as:
- Assessments and Interventions
- Group Work Skills
- Practice Based Learning 2
- Influences on Practice
- Evidence Based Practice
You'll study modules such as:
- Practice Based Learning 3
- Professional Identity
- Occupation for Public Health
- Specialist Skills
- Future Directions of Occupational Therapy
- Researching Practice
Within the third stage, you’ll be given an opportunity to focus on areas of specific professional interest.
*Please note that all modules are subject to change.
The way UCAS Tariffs are calculated is changing in 2017. The entry requirement below reflects this change. Read more about these changes.
September 2017 typical entry requirements UCAS points 112 (up to 16 from AS-levels) Specific requirements at A-level N/A Specific requirements at GCSE Five GCSEs at Grade C or above, including Maths and English Interview / Audition
Yes - please see below
- Students with life and work experience will need evidence of academic achievement at level 3 or above, preferably within the last five 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. 24 credits at merit for Access courses are required
- We accept general Access as well as health-related Access qualifications.
Experience and references
- You'll need to be familiar with at least two areas of occupational therapy. Shadowing experience with an Occupational Therapist is desirable, ideally in more than one setting. You should also demonstrate what you have learnt from this
- You will need to provide a satisfactory reference from an education establishment, a previous employer or person of standing that should demonstrate ability to manage the academic demands of the programme, as well as personal suitability.
English language requirements
- You’ll need to be fluent in English. For overseas students the IELTS at Level 7 or equivalent is also required.
Screening, DBS and criminal convictions
- If you are considered for 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 automatically, debar you from being offered a place on the Occupational Therapy programme. All cases will be examined on an individual basis.
You will be invited to an interview as part of the application process.
Use our UniPoints app as a guide to calculate your UCAS Tariff points, search for courses and check entry requirements for 2017 and beyond.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
- How to apply
Fees and finance
Changes to funding for degrees starting on or after September 2017
From 2017/18, new students on Nursing and Allied Health Profession (AHP) courses will take out maintenance and tuition loans like other students rather than receiving an NHS grant. Find out more
For an independent view on student finance see Martin Lewis' Money Saving website.
Fees for 2018/19 entry are still being decided, so please check back later in the year for more information.
How you will learn
The course entails a mixture of theory and practical elements to give you an excellent preparation for starting work when you graduate.
You will be taught through experiential learning, group activities, lectures, online learning, seminars, tutorials and workshops. There is the opportunity to develop a range of practical abilities through skills-based sessions, which will equip you not only for your practice-based learning experiences but also for your future career.
The course includes three periods of practice-based learning where you will work full time in practice for a set number of weeks. You will work in three separate areas of practice to ensure you build the optimum range of skills for becoming a qualified practitioner.
How you’re assessed
You’ll be assessed through a range of methods including assignments, case study work, written and practical exams, practice-based learning assessments, and presentations. We support you to prepare for these assessments in various ways including assignment tutorials and Internet-based resources.
Who you'll meet
Our teaching team is made up of registered occupational therapists who have worked in a variety of settings. Practitioners from specialist areas in occupational therapy, ‘experts by experience’, patients and carers will also come into the University to share their insights with you.
Find out more about the Occupational Therapy team.
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will be communicated after enrolment on your course.
Careers and employability
Occupational therapy is an exciting and fulfilling career choice. As part of this course, we offer alumni talks and guidance in areas such as interview techniques to help you secure your ideal job.
When you graduate, you’ll be eligible to apply for registration as an occupational therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council.
You could progress to important roles in many areas of the NHS, such as:
- Acute medical care
- Mental health and secure environments
Your role could centre on hospitals, clinics and GP practices or it could entail visiting patients at home or work.
You could also consider working in social services, charities and voluntary organisations, schools, prisons, companies and businesses, or in private practice.
As this course is approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, you’ll also be eligible to apply for registration to work overseas.
Take your studies to the next level
As a qualified occupational therapist, you will have excellent foundations for your career but you will undoubtedly want to build on your knowledge and strengthen your prospects as your progress in your role.
We offer a full range of professional development options to help you gain more advanced and specialist skills – from part-time stand-alone CPD modules which can be incorporated into your workplace practice through to postgraduate study up to doctoral level.
Flexibility is a hallmark of our approach: studying a stand-alone module enables you to focus on an area which particularly interests you without having to commit to a full postgraduate degree. However, if you then decide to move onto a full postgraduate course, we will support you.
Find out more about our:
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 - 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 - 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
"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
Key Information Sets