A career in occupational therapy offers variety, purpose and immense job satisfaction. Successful completion of this degree ensures you are eligible to apply to the HCPC to join a rewarding profession where you can help people facing physical and mental challenges to overcome barriers to their independence.
- Boost your professional credibility on a course accredited by the Royal 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: 96.55% of our graduates are employed in graduate-level jobs 6 months after completing this course
Already hold a degree and looking to qualify as an occupational therapist? Join our MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) and you could register to practise in two years.
In the 2020 National Student Survey (NSS), 95% of students were satisfied with the overall quality of the course. The NSS is managed by the Office for Students and gathers opinions of current students on the course
Occupational Therapy - your questions answered!
In the below video, Senior Lecturer, Dr Joan Howarth, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Occupational Therapy at the University of Derby. You can also watch exclusive subject content by signing up to Derby on Demand.
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 to study here.
With outstanding subject knowledge and a wealth of industry experience, our lecturers including Karen Newberry provide you with the opportunity to fulfil your potential:
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.
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 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.
For the first year of study, the programme covers the cost of student membership to the Royal College of Occupational Therapists. Membership includes access to online learning and events, professional journals, career advice and up to date professional resources.
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, for a set number of weeks during each year of study.
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 organise 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 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.
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. Your learning will integrate theory and practice, including developing practical skills essential for your practice based learning modules and future career. You may be in a large group for learning activities such as lectures, but will work in smaller groups for activities such as workshops and practical sessions.
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. You also will receive feedback on one assessment in time for you to learn and develop from this to input into your next assessment.
If you have additional needs, support is available within the university.
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 carer's will also come into the University to share their insights with you.
Personal academic tutoring
Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.
Find out more about personal academic tutoring
September 2021 typical entry requirements
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE||At least five GCSEs (or equivalent) including Maths and English at grade 4/C or above|
|IELTS||6.5 (with at least 6.0 in each skills area)|
|Interview / Audition||Yes - see interview details|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DDM
- Pass Access to HE Diploma - 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
An Occupational Health Assessment and Clearance by the University is required for this course. We will contact you with information on how to complete this when required
Ideally, you need to be familiar with more than one area in which occupational therapists may work. This could be through personal or shadowing experience but also from reading or research.
An Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service certificate cleared by the University is required for this course. We will contact you with information on how to complete this once you have applied. More information.
These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2022 entry.
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|GCSE||At least five GCSEs (or equivalent) including Maths and English at grade 4/C or above|
|Access to HE||Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6|
Additional entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS: 6.5 (with at least 6.0 in each skills area)
2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)
£9,250 per year
£14,045 per year
Funding for Nursing and Allied Health courses
By studying on this programme, you are eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250. The loan will support your studies and enable you to start a rewarding career in healthcare.
From September 2020 all new and continuing nursing and allied health students on pre-registration courses will also receive a grant of at least £5,000 per year that is not means-tested and will not have to be repaid.
An additional payment of up to £3,000 per academic year will be available to eligible students. Eligibility will include the following:
- £1,000 towards childcare costs
- £1,000 if studying in a region that is struggling to recruit
- £1,000 if studying a shortage specialism
Among others, the shortage specialisms have been confirmed to include:
- Mental health nursing
- Learning disability nursing
- Diagnostic radiography
In addition to this non-repayable grant, you are also able to access a maintenance loan of up to £9,203 per year to support your studies, giving you access to over £17,000 per year of funding.
Read the full press release on the Government website
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
Additional costs and optional extras
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, as long as you meet the HCPC’s requirements.
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:
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
† Additional information about your studies
Five years (minimum number of applicants required for part-time course to run)
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
- Name badges and ID holders
- DBS Check
- Health screening and vaccinations
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- For eligible students, costs associated with practice placement may be reimbursed through the NHS learning support fund. Costs related to placement include accommodation, travel, car parking
- Suitable footwear for skills sessions and placements approx. £40
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Local travel in order to access community facilities approx. £10
- Materials required for student facilitated group activities, approx. £10
- Text books to supplement anything available through the library various prices depending on content
- Printing costs of course materials if hard copy is desired approx. 5p per sheet
- Student BAOT membership approx. £5 per month
- Professional HCPC membership required to practice. More details can be found www.hcpc-uk.org
- RCOT - membership optional but strongly advised
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.
Please note that this course is subject to minimum numbers in order to run.