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.

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.


Ranked fifth in the UK

Our MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) course is ranked fifth out of all Occupational Therapy courses in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2021.

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. 

    Core modules
    • 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.

    • OCTP403 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.

    • OCTP717 Occupational Studies Core Skills 1: Foundations for Occupational Therapy Practice

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

    • OCTP718 Occupational Studies Core Skills 2: Applying Theory for Occupational Therapy Practice

      Building on knowledge of occupational performance and analysis, and foundational sciences, this module explores application of occupational therapy tools for practice, including digital literacy. Students will demonstrate critical understanding of the causes and impact of occupational challenges. Students will learn how to promote continued engagement in occupation that contributes to health and wellbeing.

    • SOHP701 Preparation for Practice

      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.

    Optional 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.

    • ADV703Z 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.

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 2020 2021
Home/EU £11,450 To be confirmed
International £14,800 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) N/A To be confirmed
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. For more information about fees and funding please visit

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

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.

With placements being an integral part of the programme you will have plenty of opportunity to build on your skills and professional confidence in a variety of settings. We will be on hand to support and guide you throughout your placement learning. 

Occupational therapy careers

On graduation, you will have the opportunity to work in a wide range of settings including hospitals, social care, schools and voluntary agencies, and there are also options to specialise in areas such as mental health, neurology, paediatrics, learning disabilities, vocational rehabilitation or research.

Once qualified, you will be eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and be a vital contributor to the work of health and social care teams, promoting health and well-being through occupation.

Skills you can develop during this programme include:

  • the use of occupation as a therapeutic intervention
  • health promotion with individuals and communities
  • clinical reasoning
  • critical appraisal of research
  • multi-agency working
  • evaluation using assessments and outcome measures.

Professional accreditation

On successful completion of the course, you are eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Your qualification will be recognised by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, meaning you may be eligible to apply to work overseas.

Professional practice

It is preferred that you become a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists and College of Occupational Therapists before you enrol on this programme.

Relevant work experience

Placements are an integral part of the programme so there will be plenty of opportunity for you to build on your skills and professional confidence in a variety of settings.

<p>Occupational Therapy</p>
Occupational Therapy research
<p>Occupational therapist works with an elderly woman.<br></p>

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

A £1500 fee waiver will be awarded to international applicants to MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) 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.