Course details

Study options

Part-time: 2 to 6 years

Course level




Start dates

September, 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. This means you will 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, 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.

Occupational therapy student examines patient
Occupational therapy students smile during class
Multi-Faith Centre, Kedleston Road

Postgraduate Open Event

Join us at an upcoming Postgraduate Open Event, where you will get the opportunity to meet our expert academics and find out more about your course.

Book your Postgraduate Open EventBook your Postgraduate Open Event

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 Developing as an Evidence Based Practitioner (20 credits) module and choose two optional modules.

Developing as an Evidence Based Practitioner – 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: Developing as an Evidence Based Practitioner (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.

How you will learn

For each module you study you will be assessed by a written 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. 

At Masters stage you will submit a 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 (with at least 6.0 in each skill area).

Fees and funding

2023/24 Fees (August 2023 - July 2024)

  Full-time Part-time
UK N/A £1,045 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.

Award Credits
Postgraduate Certificate 60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma 120 Credits
MSc 180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full 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 fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.

Additional costs and optional extras

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Find out about funding your studiesFind out about funding your studies

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

Find out about the Alumni discountFind out about the Alumni discount

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarships

We have a range of scholarships and discounts available to international students which can be used together to offer a reduction in your tuition fees.

Find out more about scholarships for international studentsFind out more about scholarships for international students

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

UK students

This programme is for qualified occupational therapists - if you aren’t already qualified, please see our MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration).

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University
International students

Applications for September 2023 are now open. Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for a postgraduate degree

Additional information

This programme is for qualified occupational therapists - if you aren’t already qualified, please see our MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration).

English language entry requirements must be achieved and evidenced as part of an application and before an interview can be offered for this programme.


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 provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

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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