Taught course

Occupational Therapy (Pre Registration)

Northumbria University · Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

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Entry requirements

First degree with honours in a subject relevant to occupational therapy, normally at a minimum classification of 2:1 (or equivalent), and normally completed with the last five years. Applicants are also required to hold GCSE (or equivalent) English Language, Maths and Science at GCSE grade C or above. APL/AP(E)L/ AWBL may be appropriate and will be assessed against University criteria in the Lifelong Learning Accreditation Framework. Accreditation of prior learning is encouraged, although there is no accreditation of practice, as the 1,000 hours of successful practice placement must be accomplished during the degree, in order to gain eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council. Non-standard entry will be assessed on an individual basis

Months of entry


Course content

Occupational Therapists are skilled professionals who work in a range of health and social care settings to assist people to carry out activities that they want or need to do, but are prevented from doing, by circumstances such as ill-health, disability or ageing. This two-year, full time programme is designed to develop the knowledge, skills and professional behaviours required to be a safe and effective Occupational Therapist in a range of contemporary health and social care settings.

The pre-registration Masters degree has been designed to meet the needs of graduates with a first degree in a subject related to the discipline of Occupational Therapy (for example Psychology, Health Studies or similar). Using principles of enquiry based learning, the programme is structured to encourage students to build on existing knowledge which will help to understand human function and dysfunction, to develop a range of practical and decision-making skills in relation to assessing need and delivering interventions for a range of individuals, and to understand contemporary influences affecting health and social care services. In addition, a research strand is delivered across both years of the programme which assists to consolidate knowledge and skills in relation to the consumption of research, and builds towards the completion of an independent research project. The programme also demonstrates a commitment to inter-professional working and provides a range of opportunities to learn with and from students enrolled on other professional programmes.

Practice placements are included in both years of the programme and provide opportunities to develop knowledge and skills in a range of practice settings. There are four periods of practice placement, ranging from four weeks to nine weeks. All are organised for students through the University Placements Office, apart from one elective placement, where students have a choice regarding the location and speciality, with opportunities for overseas placements.

The programme utilises principles of enquiry based learning, in which students are signposted to areas of enquiry relevant to the level of learning and work in both groups and individually, to identify deficits in knowledge and the ways in which their learning can be facilitated. University sessions are used to introduce concepts, consolidate knowledge and to facilitate student learning in relation to the application of theoretical knowledge to occupational therapy practice.

Successful completion of the programme will enable graduates to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council, in order to gain state registration to practice as an Occupational Therapist. Employment prospects are good with opportunities in traditional areas of practice such as acute hospitals, community health services, and social care, alongside emerging opportunities in non-traditional areas such as schools, employment services, and the voluntary sector. The skills acquired on the programme will equip students to work in a number of diverse practice areas and could also lead to careers in research, education or case management. Students may also choose to continue their studies and the University offers a number of other postgraduate and post-qualifying courses and other continuing education opportunities.

Information for international students

Students whose first language is not English must have an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum score in each component of 5.5. Pearson Academic score of 62 (or above) with a minimum score in each component of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking of 51

Fees and funding

UK applicants are eligible for funding from the National Health Service.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Admissions Office
0191 243 7900