Postgraduate Course

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 2 years

UK fee

9,250 per year (2024/25)

International fee

14,900 per year (2024/25)

Course level




Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

A career in occupational therapy offers variety, purpose and immense job satisfaction. This Masters level qualification qualifies you for a rewarding profession where you can help people facing physical and mental challenges to overcome barriers to their independence. 

100%of students agreed that staff were good at explaining thingsPostgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2023
100%of students agreed that staff were enthusiastic about what they teachPostgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2023
100%of students agreed that the course is intellectually stimulatingPostgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2023

Study Occupational Therapy at Derby. Our outstanding heritage, accessible and supportive lecturers and professional networks which help you find your dream job are just some of the reasons our students voted us one of the top courses in the UK in the National Student Survey.

With outstanding subject knowledge and a wealth of industry experience, our lecturers, including Karen Newberry, provide you with the opportunity to fulfil your potential:

Why you should study Occupational Therapy at the University of Derby

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Join the thousands who have benefited from Derby’s high-quality, distinctive and innovative Occupational Therapy 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 older adults 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. 

A course with professional credibility

Our degree is designed to meet rigorous professional standards. It is accredited by the Royal 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 able to apply to the HCPC for registration to practice, as long as you meet the HCPC’s requirements.

We have exceptionally strong links with employers which open doors for you.

Hone your skills through practice-based learning

There are three periods of practice-based learning, which you usually undertake full time to enhance your skills in real-world settings. These are normally for ten weeks in the summer term of the first year and autumn term of the second year, with a twelve-week placement at the end of the second year. 

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.

We find all three placements for you so we can ensure you’ll be supported by qualified occupational therapists who are trained to assess and develop your practical skills.

Placement hours are subject to change.

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 the 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 the 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 the 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.


 *MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) contains various elements of the BSc Occupational Therapy course. So we recommend for you to get the most out of your experience with us that you book onto an undergraduate Open Day.*

Student helps wrap hand of patient in occupational therapy lesson
Students concentrate in occupational therapy class
Students help patient in their home on a bed
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

On the MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration) you will cover core modules such as:

You will explore the underpinning sciences, philosophies and theories of Occupational Therapy, and apply these to real life situations:

  • Placement 1
  • Placement 2
  • Evidence Based Practice, Research and Quality
  • Foundations for Professional Practice
  • Occupational Beings and Occupational Performance
  • Mandatory Training and Practical Skills for Practice
  • Assessments and Interventions

Practice-based learning is a core element of this stage, and there will be opportunities for you to integrate theory and practice. And you’ll have opportunities to learn alongside students from other disciplines.

  • Placement 3
  • Public, Global and Community Health
  • Professional Reasoning and Professional Identity
  • Independent Scholarship

In stage two, you will have opportunities to explore contemporary OT practice in more detail. The Independent Scholarship is an excellent opportunity to focus on area of practice in which you have specific interest.

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

We use a variety of teaching and assessment methods.

For teaching this will include a blended approach of live sessions with tutors either in the classroom or online as well as tutor directed study in preparation for taught sessions and you will be expected to undertake your own self-directed study, as well as practical sessions and practice based learning modules.

Assessment is through a range of methods that are closely linked to the skills you’ll need for your future career and learning. This includes assessments such as written assignments, reports, oral presentations, practice based learning, and personal reflections.

We support you to prepare for these assessments in various ways including assignment tutorials and internet-based resources.

If you have additional needs, support is available centrally within the university on our student support page. 

You will receive feedback on your work within three working weeks so that you can be learning and developing form the feedback before submitting your next assessment.

Timetables: Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week and up to 9pm in an evening.

Work placements

There are three periods of practice based learning, where you’ll work full time in practice for a set number of weeks. Working in three separate areas of practice will ensure you have the optimum range of skills for becoming a qualified practitioner.

Our staff

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.

Who will teach you

Helen Brown
Programme leader

As a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy, Helen teaches across both pre-registration BSc and MSc Occupational Therapy programmes.  Helen is MSc in Occupational Therapy Programme Lead.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

You will need a 2:1 Honours degree qualification or above (in a subject other than a pre-registration Occupational Therapy qualification).

Experience and references

English language requirements

For information on pre-sessional English Language support please visit Derby English Language Centre.

Recognised Prior Learning

The University of Derby does offer the opportunity for Recognition of Prior Learning. Please contact us for further details.

Additional entry requirements

As a University we have a strong equality and diversity ethos and therefore seek to admit a diverse student body locally, nationally, and internationally in terms of gender, ethnicity, age, social background, sexuality, learning differences, and disabilities.


You will be invited to a selection day which includes an interview.

Interview information

Additional online interview information

Fees and funding

2024/25 (August 2024 - July 2025)


9,250 per year



14,900 per year


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.

* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable

Additional fee information

Please note at postgraduate level, you'll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.

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

Further details on available funding is yet to be confirmed for the academic year of 2024-25. Please check back at a later date for more information. 

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

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

Additional information

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


When you graduate, you’ll be eligible to apply for registration as an occupational therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council, as long as you meet the HCPC’s requirements. You’ll then be able to apply for exciting and diverse career opportunities within occupational therapy.

You will be well placed within the employment market as a self-directed, reflective, proactive and initiative driven practitioner, capable of influencing the development of others and the profession. As this course is approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, you’ll also be eligible to apply for registration to work overseas.

You could work with people of all ages facing different challenges in a wide range of settings such as:

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

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

Minimum numbers

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

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