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Course details

Study options

Part-time: 2 to 6 years

Course level




Start dates

January, See below


Distance learning

Course description

Designed for qualified occupational therapists to support continuous professional development and to facilitate advancing practice, this programme offers a choice of occupational therapy and interprofessional modules to enable your post registration learning and development needs to be met. You will develop the skills and knowledge required to approach your practice innovatively, become a critical thinker, and apply research and evidence and to shape current and future practice. 

Modules can be studied as one off CPD opportunities or you can work towards a PG Certificate, Diploma or MSc in Advanced Occupational Therapy. The programme is appropriate to a range of practice areas and career routes however, if you work in a community setting you may wish to work towards our MSc Advanced Occupational Therapy (Community) by incorporating our two specialist community modules into your studies.

Part time study and the distance learning nature of most modules offer the flexibility needed for busy professionals. Opportunities are also available to select campus based modules and to come into the university for optional study days to share ideas with fellow post registration students from across a number of health and social care professions and to develop essential study skills to support your learning further.

Module learning and the assessment strategies used will enable you to apply your knowledge in your workplace to develop personally and professionally whilst contributing to the service in which you work. You will receive support from our experienced occupational therapy tutors to facilitate your learning during each module and to guide your development and learning choices as you work through your programme of study.

We’re proud to say that our courses are closely mapped against the health and social care sector. This ensures that our curriculum is up-to-date, providing you with the assurance that your learning is current and relevant. This does mean that we do have to respond to national changes such as government policy. As a result, some of the information about our courses may change. Please check the website for the latest information.

What you will study

This course is made up of three stages; Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, and MSc. Individual modules can also be studied to support your CPD.

Postgraduate Certificate in Occupational Therapy

You’ll study the Introduction to Masters Level Study (20 credits) module and choose two optional modules.

Introduction to Masters Level Study – You’ll develop the skills required to study at masters level, including critical appraisal, so that you can read, understand and critically consider the content of journal articles.

Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Therapy

You’ll study the Research Methods (20 credits) module and choose two more optional modules.

Research Methods - During this module, you’ll develop the skills that you’ll need to design, plan, conduct, analyse and report on research relevant to your particular discipline.

MSc Advanced Occupational Therapy

You’ll study the Independent Scholarship (60 credits) module.

Postgraduate Certificate in Occupational Therapy (Community)

You’ll study these modules: Introduction to Masters Level Study (20 credits) and Community Focused Occupational Therapy (20 credits). Plus you’ll choose one optional module.

Community Focused Occupational Therapy - This module will enable you to develop critical, informed knowledge of the philosophy of integrating participation and inclusion in community living.

Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Therapy (Community)

You’ll study these modules: Research Methods (20 credits) and Community Development Through Occupation-based Practice (20 credits). Plus you’ll choose one more optional module.

Research Methods - During this module, you’ll develop the skills that you’ll need to design, plan, conduct, analyse and report on research relevant to your particular discipline.

Community Development Through Occupation-based Practice - You’ll critically explore the influence of communities on individuals and their roles, health, occupational opportunities and restrictions.

MSc Advanced Occupational Therapy (Community)

You’ll study the Independent Scholarship (60 credits) module.

 Optional modules:

  • Community Focused Occupational Therapy
  • Evaluating Practice Outcomes
  • Management of Change
  • Negotiated Module
  • Professional and Informed Reasoning

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

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Postgraduate Live Online Events

While we’re not able to welcome you in person to our campuses at the moment, we’re not going to let that stop us showing you all the great things about studying at Derby.

We’re currently planning our autumn Open Events to bring you the best possible online and on-campus experience.

Book your Live Online EventBook your Live Online Event

How you will learn

For each 20 credit module you study you will be assessed by a piece of work equivalent to a 4,000 word assignment. The style of assessment will differ for each module and will enable you to develop a range of skills in communicating your knowledge, learning and development. The 40 credit modules are assessed via the equivalent to an 8,000 word assignment.

At Masters stage you will submit a 15,000 - 20,000 word dissertation based on a topic of your choice which is studied through a systematic review of the literature or piece of research.

Who will teach you

Alison Kerr

Alison Kerr
Programme leader

As an Occupational Therapist and programme leader for the post registration MSc Advanced Occupational Therapy, Alison's interests lie in promoting career development opportunities for Occupational Therapists.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

Other health care professionals can study individual modules.

If English is not your first language, you will need to hold IELTS 6.5.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees (August 2020 - July 2021)

UK/EU N/A £700 per 20 credits**
International N/A Please contact us for fee information*

*Please note that international students can study this course via distance learning only.

**Please note that at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

Postgraduate Certificate 60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma 120 Credits
MA or MSc 180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you’re studying full-time you will normally complete 180 credits over one year. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Further financial support is available to support Occupational Therapy professionals from some charitable organisations. Please visit the Elizabeth Casson TrustNational Institute for Health Research and Royal College of Occupational Therapists for more information.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Additional costs and optional extras

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International student scholarship

We're offering a £2,000 scholarship for all eligible international students studying a full-time postgraduate taught programme (PGT). Terms and conditions apply.

Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship

How to apply


Occupational therapists who have previously studied CPD modules or completed a stage of study have found this learning very beneficial in developing their role due to the strong grounding of the modules in their workplace setting. Studying at this level will enable you to demonstrate continued professional development essential to retain registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and facilitate development of the skills, knowledge and behaviours necessary for career advancement in a range of practice areas.

On successful completion of either the PG Diploma level or the MSc in Advanced Occupational Therapy you can go on to study our Doctorate in Health and Social Care Practice (Occupational Therapy) to help you to become a clinical and professional leader in your profession.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

† Additional information about your studies

Please contact the programme team to enquire regarding intake dates

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

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 usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

Included in your fees


Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

Minimum numbers

Please note that this course is subject to minimum numbers in order to run.

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