School of Health Professions

PgCert First Contact Practitioner in Primary Care (Occupational Therapy)

This programme prepares occupational therapists, who have already gained clinical experience in practice, to work in the challenging and developing area of general practice. Specifically, this is designed for the first contact practitioner (FCP) role, as set out by the Health Education England (HEE) roadmap; occupational therapists working in this role will be expected to a assess and manage the undifferentiated, undiagnosed patient within the speciality of general practice.

Medical students using the Anatomage table clinical

Key features

  • Delivery aligned to the Health Education England (HEE) Roadmap to Practice for First Contact Practitioners (FCP).
  • Programme designed and delivered by clinicians with experience working within primary care.
  • Practice placement module enabling demonstration of key competencies.
  • Inter-professional approach to delivery, reflecting the FCP role.
  • Distance led delivery, providing a flexible learning experience.
  • Successful completion of the programme leads to recognition as an FCP – Occupational Therapist by HEE.

Course details

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:

PgCert First Contact Practitioner in Primary Care (Occupational Therapy) programme specification_7524

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

Applicants will normally have a first degree, BSc (Hons) at 2:2 or above in a related subject, HCPC registration as an Occupational Therapist and minimum of three years post registration practice.
Applicants whose first language is not English must also provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English in accordance with the University’s Admissions Code of Practice i.e. IELTS average of 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each category.
In addition to the entry requirements above, there are a number of specific admission criteria for this programme that will ensure applicants access this programme at the right time within their professional practice. These align with national frameworks and will be clearly outlined to the student.

Specific admissions criteria are:
  • Applicants are able to evidence that they have the relevant Occupational Therapy experience, normally this is a minimum of 3 years post registration experience.
  • Applicants are able to provide evidence of HCPC registration.
  • Applicants must have support of workplace to enrol on the PgCert First Contact Practitioner in Primary Care (Occupational Therapy).
The final module, ADV777 First Contact Practitioner in Primary Care Practice placement module maps to stage 2 of the HEE verification process for First Contact Practitioner (Occupational Therapy). The placement module involves a number of hours of clinical practice and support of a clinical mentor. The First Contact Practitioners (Occupational Therapy) HEE Roadmap requires students to be employed in a First Contact Practitioner (Occupational Therapy) Primary Care setting in order to commence Stage 2, this is to ensure they are able to demonstrate their capability in practice. Workplace support and identification of a suitable clinical mentor will be part of the admissions criteria for enrolment on the First Contact practitioner in Primary Care (Occupational Therapy) PgCert (as outlined above).

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-24 2024-25
Part time (Home and International) £1,100 per 20 credits £1,220 per 20 credits
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. More information about fees and funding.
In addition to self-funded routes this course has successfully tendered to Higher Education England and can offer a limited number of funded places.

Additional costs

All students within the School of Health Professions will spend time in placements away from university. The South West is a largely rural region, which often requires students to travel longer and further distances than may be expected when universities are in largely urban areas. In many cases, students will stay away from home for the duration of that placement. Some students on these courses are eligible for reimbursement of additional travel and accommodation costs over normal daily travel costs. This support is part of the Learning Support Fund administered through the NHS Business Services Authority. However, this should be investigated by the student to make sure this applies to their chosen course of study.
It is difficult to give a precise estimate of placement costs for each individual programme, due to the geographical spread of placements, and duration. However it is recommended you attend an Open Day to find out more about what placement costs can be anticipated or discuss placement with a member of our admissions teams.
Despite these costs, placements offer an excellent opportunity to learn from experienced practitioners and are recognised as an essential part of students' development towards becoming a registered practitioner.
Further information
More details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are included in Faculty of Health additional costs

How to apply

Applying for this programme
Applicants need to complete a postgraduate application form. You will also need to complete a Referee form. These forms will need to be completed in full and returned to
Any questions please contact: 
Professional Development Unit
4th floor, Rolle Building
University of Plymouth
Drake Circus
Plymouth, PL4 8AA
What happens after I apply?
After your application is received, it will be processed and sent to the Programme Lead for a decision to be made on your suitability to study. You may be asked to provide additional information or to take part in an interview (for overseas students this may be by telephone or video conference). Once this decision has been made, you will be sent an email either confirming your place on the programme, or rejecting your application and giving the reasons for this decision (you may request further feedback in order to improve your chances of selection at a later date).
Please note that you will be enrolled on the full MSc programme. You may choose to exit with the qualification of PgCert upon completion of an appropriate 60 credits, or a PgDip upon completion of an appropriate 120 credits. More information is contained within the programme specification.
For applicants with disabilities
If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by the University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services webpage.

Programme staff