School of Health Professions

MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration)

Do you want to promote and restore people’s health and well-being? On this two year masters programme you'll learn how to enhance people’s occupational function in everyday life in order to meet their biological, psychological, social and spiritual needs through exploration and adaptation. You will become a highly skilled, reflective and confident occupational therapy practitioner, able to critically evaluate the importance of occupational engagement for every stage of an individual’s life.

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First choice for health

Delivered by professional experts, our programmes are tailored to you and your career. Together, we address today's most challenging healthcare issues, through research-informed teaching and active, real-world learning.


Key features

  • Study full time over two years and gain an MSc as your entry qualification to the profession.
  • Join an enthusiastic team of occupational therapists, undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students who are pushing forward the boundaries of knowledge on occupational therapy and occupational science.
  • Take the opportunity to study on the only programme of its kind in the South West.
  • Cover the required 90 weeks of pre-registration study in two years, instead of the usual three years, on the full-time accelerated programme, to qualify and gain employment quicker.
  • Develop your understanding of the philosophy of the profession and the relevant sciences that guide practice, as well as the creative reflexivity for effecting necessary change.
  • Benefit from the experience of being out on placement for 29 weeks – gain invaluable knowledge, skills and industry contacts which will help boost your future career prospects.
  • Looking for a change of career? Prepare yourself for a new future role. Your first degree does not have to be from a health profession background to study on this programme.
  • Successfully complete the programme and you’ll be eligible to apply for registration as an Occupational Therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council and to be a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists.
  • Your qualification will be recognised by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, meaning you may be eligible to apply to work overseas.

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • To successfully complete the programme and be eligible to apply for a professional registration as an occupational therapist you must complete a specified number of practice placement hours along with your theoretical study. This is a requirement of the Health and Care Professions Council. As such, you will only be able to take personal holidays during specified leave periods including induction week, where it is vital you attend all sessions. You will experience inter-professional learning and explore your role in preparation for placement or as a potential leader and manager in future practice. You will develop the core understanding of occupational theory, occupational science and skills, and understand and appraise evidence-based practice issues and the applicability of a wide range of research methods. Placement opportunities will enable you to develop professional practice skills in distinctive service settings under supervision.  Please note: the part-time pathway is no longer available in 2017.
    Core modules
    • ADV703 Occupation as the Focus of Contemporary Practice

      This module explores occupation in contemporary occupational therapy practice. This includes current and emerging theory and research on occupation, occupational performance and models of practice. The module develops students ability to reflect on, challenge and articulate application to practice.

    • ADV715 Project Design for Research

      You’ll explore methodology and methods relevant to the development of a research project and by the end of the module you’ll formulate a research proposal. You’ll learn how to define and refine a research question, select and appraise methodology, address ethical considerations, and select and appraise data collection and analysis techniques.

    • OCTP402 Practice Placement 1

      This module enables students to experience occupational therapy within wider contexts of inter-professional or multi-agency practice. Students will experience collaborative working with colleagues from other disciplines. Through supervised practice, students will develop basic skills underpinning occupational therapy, relating this to campus based study.

    • OCTP701 Preparation for Professional Practice M

      This inter-professional module will introduce students to professional practice and evaluation of the inherent standards expected of them. Critical analysis of the characteristics and identity of allied health professionals, as evidence based practitioners, will underpin learning.

    • OCTP704 Occupational Studies: Evaluating Occupation for Promoting Health and Wellness of Communities M

      This module evaluates the importance of applying health and wellness principles to contemporary occupational therapy practice. It analyses current and emerging theory and research on the impact of occupation to promote health and wellness of communities.

    • OCTP705 Occupational Studies: Evaluating Humans as Occupational Beings Through the Life Cycle M

      This module will explore the history of occupation in relation to the fundamental concepts of occupational science and occupational therapy, and the dynamic relationship between engagement in occupation, health and well-being

    • OCTP709 Occupational Studies: Foundations for Occupation and Well Being M

      This module aims to evaluate philosophical and theoretical foundations of occupational therapy. Links will be made between the impact of occupation, the person and context on occupational engagement. Core skills for professional practice that promotes occupational engagement over the lifespan will be analysed

    • OCTP711 Occupational Studies: Performance and Interruption M1

      Building on knowledge of occupations, occupational performance and analysis, this module analyses application of occupational therapy tools for practice. This is framed through exploration of common occupational interruptions across the lifespan and the foundation sciences that underpin these plus policy and legislation guiding practice.

  • Final year
  • Core modules
    • OCTP502 Practice Placement 2

      The module builds on occupational therapy knowledge, skills and experience gained. Students will actively participate in the occupational therapy intervention process, demonstrating increased autonomy whilst being supervised. Knowledge and skills underpinning inter professional working will be further developed.

    • OCTP602 Practice Placement 3

      This module will require the student to demonstrate a range of core skills that will be required of a competent entry level practitioner. The student will develop increasing autonomy, working at times independently demonstrating professional reasoning skills and decision making relevant to clients¿ needs and contexts of practice.

    • OCTP710 Occupational Studies: Research Dissertation M

      Over the course of this module students will complete their dissertation in an occupationally relevant topic as part of their Masters programme under supervision from the module team and a named dissertation supervisor.

    • OCTP712 Occupational Studies: Performance and Interruption M2

      This module will explore complex occupational challenges across the life span for individuals, groups and communities. Students will critically analyse the causes and impact of occupational deprivation and injustice on occupational performance, and how to sustain engagement in occupation that contributes to health and wellbeing.

    • OCTP713 Occupational Studies: Evaluating the Emergent Practitioner M

      This module provides students opportunities to critically explore the political and organisational culture of health and social care, emphasising current and emerging trends in practice. Transition to practice and the skills required will be examined both within statutory, emerging and independent settings.

    • OCTP714 Leading Professionals, Managing Aspirations for Self and Others

      This module will equip learners with the knowledge and skills needed to actively understand and inform personal development and leadership qualities. The module focus will use the professional arena to explore how engagement in leadership development can help self and others to reach their full potential, both individually and for organisational advancement.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Pg Dip Occupational Therapy Pre registration Programme Specification 4711

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements


2:1 honours degree or above from within the last five years.


Mathematics and English at grade C. Preference is given to you if you have obtained these grades on application.

Extended entry requirements

  • In addition to the above, evidence of academic study within the last five years is required.
  • Please note we do not accept Key Skills Level 2 in place of GCSE English or Mathematics.
  • You must pass disclosure and barring service and occupational health checks satisfactorily in order to be able to start this course. Find all of the important documentation you'll need when applying for this programme.
  • If English is not your first language and you do not have GCSE English grade C or above you will have to achieve an IELTS or equivalent qualification at the grades stated below. 
  • IELTS - 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all elements. If you need to improve your English language to get onto a degree programme at Plymouth University, you can book a pre-sessional academic English course.
  • Meeting the academic minimum is the first stage of an application being considered. You must also submit a strong personal statement in order to be considered further.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU £11,450 To be confirmed
International £14,400 £14,800
Part time (Home/EU) N/A N/A
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Additional costs

Please be aware that there may be additional costs to undertaking your studies relating to printing of course materials, parking charges if you are studying at PAHC, and requirement for an initial outlay for travel and accommodation in respect of practice placement. If you have any questions regarding these costs please contact

If you are studying on a programme where placements are integral to your study there are costs associated with travel and accommodation. Please speak with the programme admissions tutor to find out more.

Postgraduate Merit Scholarship for international students

Scholarship value: £2000 off your tuition fees in year one.
You may also receive:

  • 10% off the successive years tuition fee if an overall grade of 60% or above is maintained
To be eligible you must:

This scholarship will be offered automatically, providing you meet the eligibility criteria. A separate application will not be required.

Further information about Scholarships for international students

Additional information

This programme is self-funded.  You may be entitled to a student loan to cover the balance of your living costs.

Eligible full-time students starting postgraduate pre-registration courses in nursing, midwifery, and the allied health professions from 1 August 2018 onwards will qualify for the same fee loan and living costs support as undergraduate students starting full-time higher education courses in 2018/19.

If you wish to apply for funding through Student Finance please apply for an undergraduate tuition fee loan/maintenance loan, not a postgraduate loan.

How to apply

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full. 

Before you apply

Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.

Disability services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. 

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Submitting an application

Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.

If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

Occupational therapy practice placements

While on the programme you will complete the minimum requirement of one thousand hours of practice placement during three full-time placements of nine to ten weeks. Placements can be in statutory or voluntary sector settings across the South West region.

At least one placement will be in a physical health setting and one will be concerned with social issues, mental health, or learning disabilities.

We will support you throughout your placement learning. Find out what support will be available to you.

Career opportunities

You can choose to work in a wide range of settings including hospitals, social care, schools and voluntary agencies, and specialise in areas such as mental health, neurology, paediatrics, learning disabilities, vocational rehabilitation or research.

Once qualified, you’ll be eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council and be a vital contributor to health and social care teams

Find out more about your future career opportunities

Research in this area

Study a broad range of cutting-edge theory and research from occupational science and occupational therapy. You will learn how to search for, critique and apply research evidence to your practice and how to develop yourself and others.

You will learn about research and plan and carry out your own research project with the support of experienced occupational therapy tutors.

Find out about our diverse range of research groups


Scholarship for international applicants to MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration)

A £1500 fee waiver will be awarded to international applicants who exceed the entry requirements for this programme.

You need to have a first class BSc (Hons) degree (or equivalent) OR an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of at least 7.5 (6.5 minimum in each element).

English Language Centre

We offer a range of courses to help you develop your academic English language skills.

These include pre-sessional academic English courses for undergraduates, taught postgraduates and research students along with insessional language classes, tutorials and activities to support students who have English as a second language.

Find out how we can help you reach your potential.