School of Health Professions

BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy with Integrated Foundation Year

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. Our foundation course prepares you for the degree in BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy.


Students completing the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy with Integrated Foundation Year course will normally progress to year 1 of BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy. 

Careers with this subject

Occupational therapists work with people who are having difficulty in completing the everyday things that are important to them, which can vary. Their work is based on what their service users identify. They support individuals at home, in work and at leisure, by creating bespoke treatment programmes for people of all ages. Occupational therapists make a difference to people’s lives by enabling people to live with more confidence by promoting health and wellbeing.
Occupational therapists make a difference to people’s lives across a variety of settings. The type of illness or injury they work with varies, it is dependent upon the setting and whether the person is having difficulty doing the things that are important to them as a result of the illness or injury. 
  • Physical 
    Some of the conditions occupational therapists might see are service users who have experienced fractures or surgery, or may be suffering from long-term conditions such as fatigue or cancer.
  • Neurological 
    Comprising of the anatomy, functions and disorders of the nerves and nervous system. Some of these conditions include Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, Dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Learning disabilities 
    Occupational therapists work with a wide range of people with different types of disabilities. Some patient groups they might work with include people with dyslexia, autism, non-verbal disabilities or those with visual motor deficit.
  • Mental health conditions 
    They help people who are struggling with adverse life circumstances such as grief, stress, anxiety, depression, bipolar and many more.
  • Diverse patient groups 
    Occupational therapists work with people across the lifespan, from babies to older adults across a variety of settings.
Occupational therapy is a broad discipline. Some of the people you might work with include:
  • people living with cerebral palsy
  • refugees seeking asylum
  • people who are homeless
  • people who are in prison
  • children with developmental delays or physical and/or psychological needs that are impact their ability to thrive in childhood and meet milestones
  • older adults who need additional support to carry out day-to-day activities, OTs support their ability to remain an important part of their family and community
  • working within the LGTBQIA+ community
  • people with any physical and mental health needs that impact on their day-to-day life.
Within the occupational therapy profession there are a multitude of job opportunities. You could work in the NHS, within the public or private sector. For example:
  • Public Health in NHS hospitals
  • Community clinics
  • In people’s homes
  • At a school
  • Government agencies
  • GP surgeries
  • Nursing homes
  • Education and academia
  • Research
  • Leadership roles
  • Voluntary roles

Key features

  • A wide range of teaching and learning methods and assessments are used to suit all learning styles.
  • Experience problem-based learning designed to be practical and close to real-life issues faced by occupational therapists.
  • Interprofessional learning will prepare you for practice.
  • You will study a broad range of cutting edge theory and research from occupational science and occupational therapy.
  • Experience practice placements to develop a range of core skills required for professional practice.
  • Train and practice your professional healthcare skills in an inspiring purpose-built environment, InterCity Place.
  • Our programme is delivered by a team of well-published, internationally recognised, research-active occupational therapists.

Course details

  • Year 0

  • Our Integrated foundation course prepares you for the undergraduate degree in BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy. Taught by University lecturers on campus, you’ll be part of the University from day one. If your current qualifications don’t allow you direct entry to degree level, this course is for you. Students completing the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy with Integrated Foundation Year course will normally progress to year 1 of BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy.

    Core modules

    • Infection, Immunity and Therapeutics (BHCS001)

      This module will provide an introduction to microbiology and the human immune system. Students will learn the fundamental biology relating to bacteria, helminths, viruses and fungi. And also develop an understanding of how our immune system has evolved to combat infection. The module will also explore methods to control microbial contamination and therapeutic strategies to prevent disease.

    • Current Developments in Human Biology and Biomedical Sciences (BHCS002)

      This module examines the role of science in addressing key contemporary issues in Human Biology and Biomedical Sciences. The module aims to take an integrative approach, aiming to develop in students both a critical appreciation of the ways in which issues in Human Biology can be approached and resolved, and to develop an understanding of the skills and attributes needed for effective study of such issues at undergraduate level.

    • Molecules to Cells (FMD001)

      This module introduces key concepts involved in cell regulation including genetic inheritance, metabolism and protein expression. The important role of enzymes in the control of biochemical pathways will be introduced, as will an introduction to cell signalling. Cellular organisation within different tissues will also be outlined, enabling students to recognise links between structure and function. Students should develop sufficient theoretical and practical understanding to enable progression to relevant honours degree programmes.

    • Introduction to Human Physiology (FMD002)

      This module will provide a foundation of knowledge and understanding of human anatomy and physiology. Using example systems, it will emphasise relationships between structure and function and examine homeostatic regulation in these systems. Students should develop sufficient theoretical and practical understanding to enable progression to relevant honours degree programmes.

    • Interdisciplinary Learning and Team Based Learning (Enquiry learning) (FMD004)

      This module is designed to enable learners to develop key skills required for working in multidisciplinary teams. Students will be encouraged to work with their colleagues to manage tasks and tailor learning according to their own particular discipline

    • Learning Skills for Health and Social Care Professions (SOHP001)

      This module is designed to enable learners to adapt to the learning environment of higher education by developing an independent, reflective and managed approach to learning and professional development.

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 with Integrated Foundation Year Programme Specification 24 25 7769

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

32 - 48

Applicants need to achieve 5 GCSE passes (grade C/grade 4 or higher) which must include the following subjects:  
  • English (Consideration may be given to equivalent literacy qualifications)
  • Mathematics (Consideration may be given to Functional Skills Level 2 in Mathematics)  
  • Science 
Students not achieving mathematics GCSE at grade C/4 on application may be offered a free online mathematics support package and an examination equivalent to C grade GCSE to enable the achievement of appropriate entry requirements prior to commencing the programme. This examination is offered during the recruitment cycle to all eligible candidates. 
Plus suitable Level 3 qualifications or experience as outlined below: 
A level
Typical offer 32-48 points from a minimum of 2 A-levels including grade E in a Science subject. Excluding General Studies.
Applications from students with non-standard qualifications, including those without science qualifications at level 3, are welcomed and are assessed on an individual basis. This course is also suitable for those returning to study who can offer work or other related experience in place of formal qualifications and who have the equivalent of basic mathematical, English and science skills (i.e. the equivalent of a grade C/4 at GCSE level).
International Baccalaureate
24 overall to include 3 at Higher Level science subject. English and mathematics must be included.
PPP in a science related subject.
T level
Accepted, a minimum of a Pass (D or E in the Core) = 72 points – preference pathways would be Health or Science. Typical offer will be confirmed once an application is received.
Pass an Access to HE Diploma (e.g science/combined studies/natural sciences/nursing).
Other qualifications and professional experience may be considered. Interview may be required, please refer to institution for individual consideration.
English language
We are aware of the various education systems throughout the world and make offers based on equivalent qualifications to those listed in our entry requirements. You should be able to possess the ability to study in the English language and be familiar with this in a scientific context. To that end, we ask for a minimum IELTS score of at least 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each section. English language requirements. 
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary. 
Extended entry requirements
  • You must pass disclosure and barring service and occupational health checks satisfactorily in order to be able to start this 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.
  • Students must be 18 years old or over at the start date of this programme.

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home N/A £9,250
International N/A £18,100
Part time (Home) N/A £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 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.
NHS bursaries are available from stage 1 of BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, for more information please see the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy course page.

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

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.
The deadline for the receipt of international applications is 31 May 2024 for entry in September 2024. 
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 requires this additional information, which will demonstrate insight into your understanding of the importance of NHS values in your chosen professional discipline.

What's it like to study occupational therapy at Plymouth?

Watch our short video giving you an overview of what it's like to study occupational therapy at the University of Plymouth. Academic Lead for Occupational Therapy, Dr Alison Warren, talks you through the highlights of the course and our students describe some of the benefits they've gained.
“There are many opportunities for you on an individual level – to come and enjoy the environment – but you'll also be coming to join a very strong occupational therapy programme and will leave with a respected qualification.”
Occupational therapy session at Sharpham Trust forest


Practice placements will take place generally in the South West of England, and are spread over the duration of your studies. You will complete a minimum of 1000 placement hours in total in a variety of settings. We have placements in health and social care settings, both acute and community as well as a growing number of non-traditional and third sector settings such as homeless hostels, refugee services and care farms. 
While on placement you will work with a named educator and work alongside Occupational Therapists and other members of staff. Placements are assessed by achieving professional competencies while working in the practice setting and by oral presentations when you return to the University.
Professional accreditation
On successful completion of the course, you’ll be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.
Professional Practice
If you are enrolling on this course, we prefer you to be a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists and College of Occupational Therapists.
NHS Constitution
All our students are expected to adhere to the principles and values laid out in the NHS Constitution
Screening for health students
Additional checks are required for all health students. All offers are made subject to receipt of satisfactory screening in terms of your health, welfare and police checks. Read more about the required screening for health courses.
Please note: in order to successfully complete your course and be eligible to apply for a professional registration you must complete a specified number of practice placement hours along with your theoretical study. This is a requirement of the HCPC. You will only be able to take personal holidays during the specified leave periods for your course. This includes induction week where it is vital you attend ALL sessions. 
Additional costs 
  • If you are a bursary recipient you can apply for support with travel and accommodation costs associated with placements across Devon and Cornwall – however you should budget for some additional costs. Please note all additional costs must be met in the first instance by the student and reclaimed via the bursary unit after the placement.
  • Student access to free E-book provision is continually expanding and all core texts are available in the library however most students find it necessary to have their own copy of some core text books. This is likely to amount to a cost of approximately £130.
  • All lecture and workshop materials are supplied electronically – students will need to print out lecture notes and other materials as needed. 
  • Uniforms are provided to all students – but suitable footwear may need to be purchased if you do not already own suitable flat shoes.

What could you do next? Let our graduates inspire you

Rhianna Dobson-Love
"We went on placement in each year of study. This was great because it gave you a taste of what it’s really like to be working as an Occupational Therapist". Rhianna Dobson-Love
Ashley Tate
"Being able to help my patients reclaim their independence and get them back home really makes my job worthwhile." Ashley Tate
Susan Ritchie
"Be open-minded to where occupational therapy could take your career path ...who knows where you may end up working." Susan Ritchie

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