Undergraduate Course

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2024/25)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2024/25)

UCAS points

112-128 (September 2024 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

‌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.

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.

Top 5for student satisfaction for Occupational Therapy**The Complete University Guide 2024
91%of students said they were overall satisfied with the teaching on this course**National Student Survey 2023
Top15for academic support and teaching quality for Occupational Therapy**National Student Survey 2023

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. 

Senior Lecturer, Dr Joan Howarth, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Occupational Therapy at the University of Derby.

View Occupational Therapy - your questions answered! video transcript

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:

Why you should study Occupational Therapy at the University of Derby

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 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 eligible to apply to the HCPC for registration to practise, as long as you meet the HCPC's requirements

We have exceptionally strong links with employers which open doors for you. Latest statistics show that 100% of graduates go on to work and / or study within 15 months after the course.

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.

What you will study

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.

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

Undergraduate Open Days

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

How you will learn

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.

Practice-based learning

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

Who will teach you

Angela Payne

Angela Payne
Programme leader

Angela Payne is a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy teaching on both undergraduate and postgraduate Occupational Therapy programmes. Angela has practice experience in several areas of Occupational Therapy including neurology and Accident and Emergency and an MSc in Occupational Science.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

2024 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2024 entry. Contextual offers may apply to students who meet certain criteria.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112-128
T LevelMerit
GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification
Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15, Merit: 24, Pass: 6

If you have previously studied any Health Professional Education Programme you will need to complete a self declaration that there were no previous concerns regarding fitness to practice.

You will need to provide a satisfactory reference from an education establishment, a previous employer or person of standing that should demonstrate personal suitability for the profession.

You should also:

If you are predicted to meet the entry requirements for this course but do not achieve your predicted grades, you may be considered for the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy with Foundation Year.

Students should apply for this course and our admissions team will get in touch with you after the interview stage.

Learn more about courses with Foundation Years

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.

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.5 (with at least 6.0 in each skills area) or equivalent.

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

Recognised Prior Learning

Have you already studied at another institution, completed a training course, or does your work experience appear equivalent to one or more modules on the course? If so, you may be eligible for module exemptions through Recognition of Prior Leaning (RPL). Please contact us for further details.

Additional entry requirements

Fees and funding



£9,250 per year



£14,045 per year


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. 

Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

UK students

If you are in Year 13 and applying for a full-time undergraduate course (including our joint honours courses), we recommend that you apply through UCAS.

Apply through UCAS

If you are applying to study part-time, or already have your qualifications, or wish to join at Year 2 or 3, you should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University


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:

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:

Occupational therapy student adjusting a wheelchair using a tape measure

Charlotte secures her first graduate role

Charlotte Budd decided to change direction after a 30-year career and retrain as an occupational therapist. As she approaches the end of her course, she has already secured her first graduate role and is taking her first steps into her new career.

Read Charlotte's storyRead Charlotte's story

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

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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