School of Health Professions

BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

Do you want to help people to live the lives they want? This course will prepare you to help people deal with life challenges including ill-health, disability, and social problems. You’ll learn how everyday activities can be used and adapted creatively to promote health, wellbeing and a satisfying lifestyle, so that you graduate with the skills and knowledge needed to be an effective occupational therapist.

In the 2016 National Student Survey, 95 per cent of students agreed staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching; 84 per cent agreed that staff are good at explaining things; 89 per cent agreed staff made the subject interesting; 84 percent of students were satisfied overall and 100 per cent were in work/study six months after finishing.

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This programme is part of the largest range of healthcare study options in the South West.

Key features

  • Experience problem-based learning designed to be practical and close to real-life issues faced by occupational therapists.
  • Experience practice placements to develop a range of core skills required for professional practice.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • You’ll initially share teaching and learning with students from other health professions, allowing you to gain core generic knowledge and skills. We’ll introduce you to theoretical foundations and core skills, which will underpin practice. Gain practice skills through an eight-week supervised placement within a health, social or community setting in the South West. Develop problem-solving, reasoning skills and an embedded commitment to lifelong learning.
    Core modules
    • OCT115 Occupational Studies: Foundations for Occupational Therapy Practice 2

      Students will identify the intrinsic components of occupational engagement through exploring the range of components required to engage in occupational performance. Students will study the interaction between person, occupation and context to explore how occupational therapy theory and process promotes occupational engagement.

    • SOHP101 Preparation for Practice

      This inter-professional module will introduce you to professional practice and the inherent standards expected of you. The characteristics and identity of allied health professionals, as evidence based practitioners, will underpin learning ‘with’ and ‘from’ one another. Working together you will develop your understanding of professional standards for conduct and ethics, and knowledge of the key principles to support practice grounded in evidence. You will explore communication and interpersonal skills to support shared decision making, and learn the skills of reflective practice. As a student you will actively engage in debate, discussion, small group presentations, self- guided study and other group-led activities.

    • OCT114 Occupational Studies: Foundations for Occupational Therapy Practice 1

      This module introduces philosophical and theoretical foundations of occupational therapy, introducing the student to concepts of the person, environment, occupation and performance. Core skills underpinning the professional practice of occupational therapy will be introduced.

    • OCT117 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.

    • OCT113 Functional Anatomy and Physiology for Occupation

      A knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of the human body is an important foundation for Occupational Therapists. This module is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of human anatomy and physiology relevant to professional practice.

    • OCT116 Occupational Studies: Humans as Occupational Beings across the Life Span

      This module will examine occupational science and occupational therapy perspectives of occupation across the life span including transitions. The dynamic relationship between engagement in occupation, health and well-being for individuals, groups and communities will be explored.

    • OCT118 Psycho-social Concepts for Occupation

      This module addresses themes in health and social care from a psychosocial perspective relevant to occupational therapists and understanding occupation. Students are introduced to behavioural science issues including psychology and sociology to consider contexts influencing understanding of occupation.

  • Year 2
  • Profession-specific modules take a lifespan approach and are designed to provide an integrated core of essential knowledge and skills for Occupational Therapy (OT) practice. Modules on inter-professional working and research will help you become confident in your role as a developing OT. You'll also take part in the OT intervention process during your placement.
    Core modules
    • OCT212 Occupational Studies: Occupational Challenges Across the Life Cycle

      Using PBL, students will analyse the occupational challenges faced by individuals, groups and communities with multi-faceted complex needs across the life span. Students will critically evaluate interruption and its impact on occupational performance, identifying and recommending ways of sustaining engagement.

    • OCT214 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.

    • OCT213 Occupational Studies: Occupational Presence

      This module explores the engagement with and application of volunteering as an occupation linked to a relevant organisation or group. It leads to discussion of the meaning and purpose of volunteering and potential for this in understanding service provision, occupation and occupational science in an organisational or group setting.

    • OCT211 Occupational Studies: Occupational Therapy Toolbox

      Students will apply the core skills of occupational therapy and occupational science to individuals, groups and communities. Assessing and applying appropriate occupational therapy skills and practice tools including the therapeutic use of self to sustain occupational engagement.

    • SOHP201 Project Studies 1

      This module enables the student to develop a sound understanding of research terminology, methods, and principles. It develops knowledge and skills related to evidence-based practice and lifelong learning. The content is designed to enable the students to understand different research designs, to evaluate the research literature and to prepare them to undertake research at undergraduate level.

  • Final year
  • You’ll gain greater independence in your final placement and, with support, be able to demonstrate a range of core skills required for an entry level practitioner. Profession-specific modules prepare you for the responsibilities facing newly qualified graduates. Inter-professional modules help you develop and consolidate management and research skills, and lead you towards your imminent entry into the occupational therapy profession.
    Core modules
    • SOHP302 Preparation for Professional Practice

      This module provides students with the opportunity to apply management and leadership theory and underpinning principles of practice to identified areas of their chosen field which may benefit from quality enhancement.

    • OCT309 Occupational Studies: Exploration into Practice

      This module provides the opportunity to explore, select and evaluate a specialist area of occupational therapy to examine in greater depth than elsewhere in the curriculum. Specialist areas chosen will reflect current trends and developments in practice for occupational therapists across a broad range of settings.

    • OCT310 Occupational Studies: Occupation for Promoting Health and Wellness of Communities

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

    • OCT311 Occupational Studies: The Contemporary Practitioner

      This module provides students with the opportunity to critically explore current and emerging trends in practice. Enabling effective and confident transition to emerging areas of practice.

    • OCT312 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.

    • SOHP301 Project

      Students will undertake and complete a short piece of research developed from the level 5 protocol which involves the collection and interpretation of a small amount of data. Findings will be presented in the format of a professional journal article and conference style presentation

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

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

BSc Hons Occupational Therapy 3845

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

5 GCSE’s grade C or above to include Mathematics, English and Science. Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application.


UCAS tariff
320 points – 100 points must be in Biology, Science or Social Science.

27 points (with a minimum of 13 at Higher Level).

60 credits overall with 45 at level 3, of which 30 must be at distinction level, including 15 in a Science/s. A further 15 points must be at merit level. Must have GCSE grade C or above in English and Maths or be taking them. 

Diploma DDM – must be Health or Social Science profile. 

Extended Science: 65 per cent at first attempt. Must apply direct to Plymouth University by 15 January.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered, please contact

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.
  • 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 - Overall average score of at least 7.0, with a score of at least 7.0 in the listening and reading sections and at least 7.0 in the writing and speaking sections.
  • Meeting the academic minimum is the first stage of an application being considered. Applicants must also submit a strong personal statement in order to be considered further.
  • English language requirements

Further information

Deferred entry

Due to the professional nature of this course we are unable to accept applications for deferred entry.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

The Government has proposed that for students starting their studies in September 2017 onwards, maintenance and tuition loans will replace the current system of NHS bursary funding for health-related programmes of study.

Find out more information about these NHS funding changes.

For applicants who are not supported by the NHS tuition fee contribution the following fees will apply:

New students 2016-17

Full time Home/EU* International**   Islands***
Undergraduate (Classroom based) £9,000 £12,250 £9,000
Undergraduate (Laboratory based) £9,000 £12,500 £9,000
Science and Engineering - Year Zero £9,000 £12,500 £9,000
Management, Government and Law  - Year Zero £7,500 £10,300 £9,000
2 year fast-track (Business only) £9,000 £12,250 £9,000
Integrated Masters (Classroom based) £9,000 £12,250 £9,000
Integrated Masters (Laboratory based) £9,000 £12,500 £9,000
Master of Architecture (MArch) £9,000 £12,250 £9,000
PGCE £9,000 tbc £9,000
Management Practice (Online) (First year - part time) tbc £3,996 tbc

Part time (per 10 credits) Home/EU* International**   Islands***
Undergraduate (Classroom based) £750 £1,025 £750
Undergraduate (Laboratory based) £750 £1,045 £750
Science and Engineering - Year Zero £750 £1,045 £750
Management, Government and Law  - Year Zero £625 £860 £625
Integrated Masters (Classroom based) £750 £1,025 £750
Integrated Masters (Laboratory based) £750 £1,045 £750
PGCE £750 tbc £750

*The tuition fee for UK students transferring to Plymouth University from a partner institution is £9,000.
**Please refer to the policy for capping of international student tuition fees.

***‘Islands’ refers to fees for both the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Continuing students

Please note some fees for continuing students may differ slightly.

For a full listing please visit our fees for continuing students 2016-17 page.

Further information

Download our fees brochure

Read our Student Fee Policy for the Ordinary Degree route

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

Apply for this course on the UCAS website.

For more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

As from 2014-15 academic year, all NHS funded professional courses are required to select and interview their applicants using a ‘values based’ approach. As part of this process, your UCAS personal statement will now also require this additional information, which will demonstrate insight into your understanding of the importance of NHS values in your chosen professional discipline.

Interested in occupational Therapy? Watch our short film to get a feel for studying with Plymouth University

You can learn in the lecture but actually being able to communicate and assess when with a client is vital - put everything you've learned into practice on your placement year.

Course Leader Marnie Smith introduces Occupational Therapy at Plymouth

Student Insight - Alison Emony

Occupational Therapy appealed to me because it has such a positive and practical approach to enabling people to make the most of their lives.

Alison explains more

Sarah Reynolds – graduate profile

Sarah Reynolds talks to us about the benefits of completing postgraduate study and the rewards of working as an occupational therapist.

Find out more about Sarah's experience