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MSc - Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration)

Enhance the lives and wellbeing of people facing physical, mental, or social challenges. Use your existing scientific knowledge to maximise people's ability to move and function in a work environment.

This RCOT and HCPC accredited course is designed to equip you with all the academic know-how and valuable hands-on skills you will need to become a qualified occupational therapist and make a difference in the lives of others.

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Accredited by:

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists & approved by the Health and Care Professions Council

Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) cover image

Course Overview

Building on your existing academic skills, you will learn profession-specific practice which meets the needs of your future employers. This will be achieved through academic learning, hands-on learning and a range of clinical practice. This includes working in a variety of settings with children and adults with physical, social or mental health issues. You'll complete over 1000 hours of clinical practice placements, taking advantage of our exceptional partner links.

Our professionally-experienced tutors provide you with theoretical backing and hands-on opportunities in our varied facilities. You'll utilise our simulation labs, home space, creative spaces and more to develop your skills before going on placement. Whilst learning, you will be able to work with other Institute of Health students, as you would in a professional role.

On this course you will...

  • Work in learning teams with your peers, developing teamwork and networking skills. You will have the opportunity to collaborate and engage with clinicians and service users whilst linking in with other disciplines.
  • Experience a variety of OT placement experiences in a range of settings including the NHS and social care environments, exploring community engagement, group work and role emerging placements alongside qualified occupational therapists.
  • Develop analytical and research skills to support your practice as an evidence-based Occupational Therapist.
  • Become part of an active and vibrant community of allied health students within our Institute of Health. We get to know you personally and our staff and students have great relationships, allowing you to feel fully supported as you study.
  • Gain a qualification that you can take all over the world to work as you will be eligible to register with the world federation of occupational therapists.
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Course Structure

What you will learn

The programme will equip you with all the skills you need to practice whether you choose to work in the NHS or the independent sector. This programme is based on the understanding that people are occupational beings who need to engage in a balanced range of personally meaningful occupations to sustain health and wellbeing.

You will respond to current local, national and global needs and priorities relevant to individuals and populations. For example, you will explore lifestyle factors affecting health and wellbeing and the necessity for health promoting strategies to support positive change both nationally and internationally.

By the end of the programme, you will not only be able to practice safely and effectively but will be able to offer creative solutions to complex issues in practice through engaging with current evidence and reflecting on your practice placement experience. A key element in our programme design has been to create an effective, dynamic learning environment in which you are an active participant in directing your learning and developing your emerging professional identity.

The programme runs for almost two calendar years and offers an integrated timetable with periods of academic work interspersed with practice placements. In addition to the Occupational Therapy-specific modules, you will consider the social and political drivers influencing healthcare. An annual student research conference gives you an opportunity to hear and interact with your peers and also to present your own dissertation research.

Year one

The first year of the programme is designed to give you the key and core skills you need for supported practice. There is an expectation that you will have an existing level of knowledge and understanding of human anatomy and physiology or psychology from your first degree or occupation.

  • Applied Occupational Therapy
    The aim of this module is to integrate theoretical knowledge of life science and human occupation into practice contexts of Occupational Therapy. The focus will be on applying the Occupational Therapy process to deliver best practice.
  • Fundamentals of Occupation and Occupational Therapy
    The aim of this module is for you to develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of the philosophy underpinning Occupational Therapy and the relationship between occupation, health and wellbeing.
  • Occupational Science, Health and Wellbeing
    The aim of this module is to develop your awareness of the transformational potential of occupation. You will develop knowledge of the science of occupation and explore its relevance to understanding humans as occupational beings from national and global perspectives.
  • Project Design
    The aim of this module is to give you an advanced understanding of project design and selected research methods. You will have the opportunity to design and justify a small-scale study, which can contribute to the profession’s evidence base.
  • Occupational Therapy in Practice 1
    The aim of this module is to prepare you for practice and to introduce you to Occupational Therapy within an applied setting. The emphasis is on developing clinical reasoning, activity/occupational analysis and applying practical skills within the context of practice, under supervision.
  • Occupational Therapy in Practice 2
    The aim of this module is to continue to develop your knowledge and understanding of occupational performance and to integrate this into practice contexts. The emphasis is on quality and evidence based practice. This practice placement consolidates your learning from all previous modules.
Year two
  • The Contemporary Occupational Therapist
    To develop knowledge and skills to promote sustainability of the OT profession and to respond to cultural, societal and global changes which influence health and wellbeing. The focus of this module will be to encourage you to apply and demonstrate contemporary and professional skills.
  • Occupational Design
    The aim of this module is for you to work in small groups to design, implement and evaluate an Occupational Therapy intervention. This intervention will recognise and include, where appropriate local, national and global needs and priorities.
  • Independent Exploration of Practice
    This aim of this module is to enable you to identify an area of study that permits the development of individual knowledge related to Occupational Therapy and/or occupational science that facilitates personal and professional learning.
  • Researcher Development
    The aim of this module is to enable you to develop a critical awareness of research design through conducting a research project in a topic relevant to your professional practice and evidence your research skill development.
  • Occupational Therapy in Practice 3
    The aim of this module is to consolidate and further develop your Occupational Therapy practice skills. Emphasis will be placed on the development of occupation based interventions using best practice, clinical reasoning and reflection.
  • Occupational Therapy in Practice 4
    The aim of this practice placement is to facilitate your transition from student to therapist and for you to demonstrate your ability to practice at the level of a newly qualified Occupational Therapist.

Attend an Open Day at Cumbria

An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

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