Course details

Study options

Part-time: 12 weeks

UK fee

£700 (2022/23)

Course level


Start dates

January, September, April


Distance learning

Course description

This module is designed in accordance with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) return to practice requirements, supporting you in applying for admission/readmission to the HCPC register upon successful completion, as long as you meet the HCPC’s requirements.

If you are an occupational therapist wishing to return to practice after a career break, you’ll need to make sure you’re competent to do so, and be able to meet the return to practice requirements of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

This course is designed to be studied alongside a placement, and provides a structured way to meet the requirements of the HCPC, which includes supervised practice and formal study.

Bespoke learning

This course will allow you to reflect on your current learning needs and enable you to design a bespoke learning contract which helps you prepare for current practice. With the support of your personal tutor you will study a wide range of topics so we can be sure you’re up to date with contemporary Occupational Therapy practice, confident with the current issues that apply to your area of practice, as well as developing your knowledge of wider health and social care policies.

Develop your skills

This level 6 course will facilitate critical thinking, improve your writing and address essential IT skills, which are all essential in the work place. It will also explore the theoretical underpinnings of the profession, models, approaches and core skills which will serve to enhance your confidence to articulate our unique contribution in the health and social care. Since reflective practice is an essential component of all practice, reflection will be a key focus allowing you to develop or refresh your skills in this area.

This course provides formal study, but requires you to organise your own placement in a setting where you will have the support of a qualified Occupational Therapist registered with the HCPC who agrees to be your clinical mentor. This can be either in a voluntary capacity or as a paid, unqualified member of staff and it can be in a setting where you have previously worked or are hoping to work.

This is a stimulating course, alongside your placement, will allow you to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to return to practice.

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

The course is designed to help you identify your unique learning needs, as everyone has different skills and levels of experience. It will help you reflect on your journey so far and help you identify what you will need to do in the future, to ensure you are able to provide high quality interventions and respond to current and emerging health and social care needs.

You will be allocated a personal tutor who will support you and guide your learning. The module will cover a range of topics including:

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

You’ll study this module using a range of activities to help identify both gaps in your knowledge and to provide links to specific information to support your return to practice. Although you’ll study through distance learning, you can access tutorial support by coming to the University. You can also access telephone tutorials or support via emails.

Essential reading is provided online through the University library resources and you'll have access to a wide range of reading materials online through e-books and e-journals. And there's always the opportunity to borrow books through the university library.

How you will be assessed

You'll be assessed by an assignment equivalent to 3,000 word essay reflecting on the placement and learning you will undertake.

Entry requirements

Covid-19 vaccination requirements 

Following government guidance surrounding Covid-19 vaccinations, all students will now need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 from 1 April 2022 in order to complete this programme. This will include all NHS organisations and regulated social care areas unless you are medically exempt. You can find out how to book your vaccination by reading the government guidance that is available.

If you are exempt for medical reasons the types of placement you are able to undertake may be limited. We will also need to see evidence that you are medically exempt and information on how this can be found on the government website.

Fees and funding

2022/23 Fees (August 2022 - July 2023)







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.

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

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply

UK students

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

*For more information on returning to practice please see the guidance provided by the NHS.


When you have completed this course, your academic study and work placement will match the requirements of the Health and Care Professions Council set out for the development of your continued professional development as an occupational therapist.

Contact us

Course: Sian Burgess (Programme leader)  +44 (0)1332 594098

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 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.