Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2022/23)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2022/23)

UCAS points

112-120 (September 2023 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.

  • 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.

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.

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 98% of our graduates are employed or in further study within six months of completing 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. She is the admissions lead for the pre-registration 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

    2023 entry

    These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2023 entry.

    RequirementWhat we're looking for
    UCAS points112-120
    A LevelBBB-BBC
    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:

    • Have a range of skills and experience that demonstrates commitment, enthusiasm and suitability to become an Occupational Therapist
    • Be familiar with at least two areas of occupational therapy. This can be through reading, internet based research, personal experience, work experience or shadowing experience with an Occupational Therapist

    If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you may be considered for the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy with Foundation Year.

    To 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

    Covid-19 vaccination requirements

    The University does not require students to be vaccinated as part of their programme. However, some placement providers may request the University to confirm vaccination status prior to students being allocated to them on placement modules. In this instance, we may need to ask students about their vaccination status.

    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

    • Interview: Yes
    • 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
    • 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
    • Prior to undertaking Practice-based learning we will ensure you have completed an immunisation programme

    Fees and funding

    2022/23 Fees (August 2022 - July 2023)


    £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.

    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. This is provided through the NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF) and is not managed by the University. Please check with the LSF for residency requirements and eligibility criteria.

    If you're eligible, you can get:

    • A training grant of £5,000 per academic year
    • Parental support of £2,000 if you have at least one dependent child under 15 years or under 17 years if registered with special educational needs 
    • Money back for excess travel and temporary accommodation costs while you're on your placement
    • £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 £9,488 per year to support your studies, giving you access to over £17,000 per year of funding. Training grant payments will be paid in three instalments over the academic year. This is to provide you with a consistent flow of funding throughout the academic year as far as possible.

    All NHS LSF applications must be submitted within six months of the start of the academic year and you will need confirmation of your Student Finance in order to complete your application. You need to set up an NHS Learning Support Fund online account to apply.

    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

    Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University
    International students

    On-campus courses starting in September 2022 and January 2023 are now closed to new applications from international students due to unprecedented demand. Applications for September 2023 will open in October. If you have any questions, please email

    Apply through UCASApply 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:

    • Acute medical care
    • Paediatrics
    • 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:

    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.

    Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.

    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
    • Uniforms 
    • 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. £30
    • Materials required for student facilitated group activities, approx. £15
    • Text books to supplement anything available through the library - various prices depending on content approx £80
    • 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
    • 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.

    Minimum numbers

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

    Discover Uni

    Other courses you might like