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
    • SOHP401 Preparation for Practice

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

    • OCT403 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.

    • OCT404 Occupational Studies: Humans as Occupational Beings Through Community Engagement

      This module will examine occupational science perspectives of humans as occupational beings across the life span. The dynamic relationship between engagement in occupation, health and well-being for individuals, groups and communities will be explored. Reflection on personal experience of volunteering will provide a focus for study.

    • OCT405 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.

    • OCT401 Occupational Studies: Biological and Psychosocial Foundations for Occupation

      A knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of the human body, from both a biological and psychosocial perspective. are important foundations for understanding occupation and application to occupational therapy practice. This module is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of human anatomy, physiology, psychology and sociology.

    • OCT402 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.

  • 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
    • OCT522 Occupational Studies: Adults: Interruptions and Transitions

      Students will apply the core skills of occupational therapy and occupational science to adulthood working with individuals, groups or communities. Assessing and applying appropriate skills and practice tools to sustain occupational engagement. Students will critically evaluate transitions and interruptions and their impact on performance of the central occupations relevant to this stage of the lifespan.

    • OCT523 Occupational Studies: The Older Person, Interruptions and Transitions

      Students will apply the core skills of occupational therapy and occupational science to older adulthood working with individuals, groups or communities. Assessing and applying appropriate skills and practice tools to sustain occupational engagement. Students will critically evaluate transitions and interruptions and their impact on performance of the central occupations relevant to this stage of the lifespan.

    • SOHP501 Project Studies

      This module 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. Meets all or part of HPC Standards of Proficiency: 2b.1, 3a.

    • OCT525 Occupational Studies: Exploration into Practice

      This module provides the opportunity to select and explore a particular area of occupational therapy practice of the students¿ choice. Enabling an examination in greater depth than elsewhere in the curriculum. Specific areas chosen will reflect current trends and developments in practice for occupational therapists as well as established practice specialisms, across a broad range of settings.

    • OCT521 Occupational Studies: The Young Person; Interruptions and Transitions

      Students will apply the core skills of occupational therapy and occupational science to children and adolescents working with individuals, groups or communities. Assessing and applying appropriate skills and practice tools to sustain occupational engagement. Students will critically evaluate transitions and interruptions and their impact on performance of the central occupations relevant to this stage of the lifespan.

    • OCT524 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.

  • 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
    • OCT604 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.

    • OCT601 Occupational Studies: The Innovative Practitioner

      This module provides students with the opportunity to critically explore the concept of innovation, change management, clinical leadership, entrepreneurism and intrapreneurship and their links with practice development.

    • OCT603 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.

    • SOHP602 Inter-professional Working in Health and Social Care

      Students will explore, in depth, areas of inter-professional working to include quality enhancement of service provision and the patient experience.

    • SOHP601 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.

    • OCT602 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.

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

UCAS tariff


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.


A levels
AAB @ A level to preferably include a grade B at biology, science or social science, e.g. psychology or sociology.

30 points overall to include 6 Higher Levels subjects.(biology/human biology, psychology or sociology). English accepted within:
If Advanced Level = 4+ (A1) or 5 (A2/B)
If Standard Level = 5+ (A1) or 6 (A2/B)
If overseas and not studying English within IB – MUST have IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all elements.

Pass a named Access to HE Diploma (e.g. science, health, nursing, and combined science) with at least 45 credits at level 3, 30 at distinction level including 15 L3 credits biology, science or social science, psychology. A further 15 credits at L3 must be at merit level. Will need GCSE English and mathematics at grade C/4 if not already held.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDD must contain science, health or social science. BTECs will not be accepted unless offered in conjunction with an A level of B or above.

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

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

Equivalent qualifications may be considered. Alternatively if you have any questions or concerns about meeting the entry requirements listed above we would encourage you to contact the Admissions Team on 01752 585858 or email, where a member of the team can offer you further advice.

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 6.5 in each element (if you need to improve your English language to get onto a degree course 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. Applicants must also submit a strong personal statement in order to be considered further.
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


Home International
£9,250 £12,250
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

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

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.

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

Susan Ritchie – graduate profile

Since graduating in 2016, Susan Ritchie has gone on to work as a Rotational Occupational Therapist at Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Find out more about Susan

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


*The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE) are made available to prospective students and their advisors through the Unistats website.