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MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration)

Gain the skills and knowledge required to apply for registration as an occupational therapist anywhere in the UK. Suitable for home and international students, this innovative course features an integrated placement so that you learn both in the practice setting and at university.

Course length 24 Months
Location Collegiate Campus

Course description

This is an innovative course and the first of its kind in the UK. You learn about occupational therapy while on placement in the workplace, supported by one or two days a week of academic learning delivered at Sheffield Hallam University.

Successfully completing this course makes you eligible to apply for registration with the UK Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Registering with the HCPC enables you to work as an occupational therapist anywhere in the UK.

You learn from a highly respected team who will lead your learning in the core theories and principles of occupational therapy.

You take four periods of practice in occupational therapy health and social care settings and study nine academic modules. Modules you study include
• introduction to professional practice
• foundations for occupation based practice
• leadership and management in occupational therapy
• occupational therapy project (practice-based research dissertation)

Your academic modules guide you in developing relevant knowledge and theory that underpins occupational therapy practice, and are assessed through coursework. Throughout the taught modules we use your placement experiences in group discussions to relate theory to practice and enhance critical thinking skills.

You also spend a significant amount of your time in practice-based learning. In the first year, after a six week full-time induction period, you are placed in two different occupational therapy practice placements, each for 13 weeks from February to May and from September to November. You are on placement in these services from Monday to Wednesday, attend the university on Thursdays and normally have some personal study time on Fridays. Your practice in the service is assessed to meet professional requirements.

In the second year, you are on placement part-time for 12 weeks from February to May in a service where they may be no direct occupational therapy involvement but where there is potential for occupational therapy. This may be in the voluntary, independent or private sector. Again your academic study features alongside your practice-based learning. The remainder of the academic year is spent in full-time study and research and you usually attend university for one or two days a week.

Finally you complete a ten-week full-time placement in the early part of your third year as you finish the course.

The course team are aware of the commitment that international students make to enable them to study away from their home country and the course is designed to allow sufficient time to have a break to travel.

Care experience

Before you apply for health courses, we require you to have gained some practical experience relating to your subject area. Download our applicant experience guidelines for information about the kinds of experience we expect you to have and the best places to gain it. Evidence of the experience gained, understanding of the profession and a genuine, reasoned commitment to studying a professional course must be explicit in your personal statement to be selected for interview.

Professional recognition

This course is accredited by the British Association of Occupational Therapists and College of Occupational Therapists.

Graduates can apply for registration with the UK Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in order to practise as an occupational therapist.

You can also apply to become full members of the British Association of Occupational Therapists and College of Occupational Therapists.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

This course is subject to approval

You must normally have and include evidence of in your application

• a GCSE pass at grade C or above in English and mathematics or equivalent*

• some experience of research or knowledge of research methods

• previous experience in a managerial, supervisory or leadership capacity or be able to demonstrate comparable personal qualities

Plus at least one of the following

• an honours degree with a 2:1 or above in a related subject for example psychology, sociology, biology, health sciences and humanities

• a professional qualification at degree level such as teaching, nursing, social work or an allied health profession

You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more

*GCSE maths and English equivalent

• equivalency test from www.equivalencytesting.co.uk

You must demonstrate an understanding of occupational therapy, have good communication skills, leadership qualities and an interest in working with people regardless of age, ethnicity or disability. Skills in using technology are also important.

You must include two references normally one academic and one from another source which is not family.

If you have a health or social care professional qualification at diploma level we expect you to demonstrate recent continuing professional development, and provide some evidence of academic activity to show your ability to work at masters level. You may need to submit a short essay so that we can assess academic potential.

International and European Union entry qualifications

If you are an international or EU student, please visit our international qualifications web page to see the country specific academic qualifications we accept.


If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills, or a recognised equivalent. If your level of English language is currently below IELTS 7.0 we recommend you consider an appropriate Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve the required level of English. Please note that the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) require IELTS 7.0 with no element below 6.5 for registration.

Applications for January 2018 will close on 29 April 2017.

The selection event

If you are shortlisted, we will invite you to a selection event, and you should bring a passport or photo driving license with you. You can bring other forms of photo ID for the selection event, but if you do, you will still need to present valid identity documents required by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) at your pre-course day.

You will be notified within a month of the closing date if you have been offered an interview. The interviews are scheduled to take place on 5 June 2017, 8 June 2017, 12 June 2017 and 26 June 2017.

View our selection event guidance to ensure you understand the selection process.

Course enrolment – professional requirements

Before enrolling, you must fully declare during the admissions process any

• unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings. For further information on convictions that must be declared see the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) website.

• disciplinary proceedings during paid or voluntary employment or educational establishments

• involvement with safeguarding proceedings, social services or related organisations

You also need to complete

• a DBS Enhanced Disclosure, and provide us with a copy of your DBS Enhanced Disclosure Certificate if requested. Enrolment also depends on the DBS check being deemed suitable for professional training.

• occupational health screening to determine your suitability to undertake the course and an approved programme of immunisation, as recommended by the Department of Health. Health screening and immunisation are provided by the University.

• a pre-course day

If you fail to comply with any of these requirements your offer could be withdrawn.

If your personal circumstances change in relation to any of the professional requirements – from when you apply to the end of your course – you must tell the Professional Issues Team immediately by calling 0114 2255637.

Disability support

If you are a disabled person or have a long term health condition, you are advised to read the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) booklet: A disabled persons guide to becoming a health professional.

We strongly recommend that you tell us about any long term health conditions, learning difficulty or disability you may have. This is so we can assess whether we can deliver the course in such a way that you can meet the HCPC standards of proficiency and take part without disadvantage both in University and on placement. You can contact our disability co-ordinator for allied health professions on 0114 225 2588 or you can contact our university disabled student support team on 0114 225 3964 (voice and Minicom) to discuss any queries you may have.

The Disability Disclosure booklet also provides information for students on health and social care courses and will help you understand the importance of disclosing your disability at the earliest possible stage. This is so you can be assessed for the support you may require to succeed on the course.

Open day

As this profession can involve strenuous physical, psychological and emotionally taxing work, we recommend that you come along to a University open day to learn more about the general expectations of the course.

International and European entry qualifications

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

Course structure

Full-time for 24 months
Starts January

Typical modules may include

Course structure

The masters award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.

Core modules

Introduction to professional practice (15 credits)
This module is taught alongside social work students. You develop and evaluate your knowledge and skills in reflective practice, anti-oppressive practice, communication and team working, in order to be able to work effectively with practitioners in other health and social care settings and in inter-professional contexts.

Foundations for occupation based practice (15 credits)
You explore the history, philosophical base, values concepts and processes of occupational therapy practice. You examine and review commonly used professional models, therapies and frameworks related to occupational therapy. These are discussed in relation to the practice setting in which you are on placement.

Research for occupational therapy practice (15 credits)
You explore and develop your knowledge of the different research paradigms and methods. You look at the ethical issue associated with different methodologies and critique the role of service users in research design and implementation.

Assessing occupational performance (15 credits)
You develop your ability to use assessment strategies and methods to determine people's occupational needs, wishes and performance. You look at a variety of practice situations and the assessment requirements of different services. You learn how to work in a client centered way and to take account of people's disability, prognosis and personal situation.

Enabling occupational performance (15 credits)
You study the factors that can influence an individual's health and wellbeing and how this impacts on their ability to carry out the activities and occupations that give their life meaning. You learn from the biological, psychological and social sciences and explore how environment and attitude can affect an individual's ability to carry out everyday occupations. You consider how health promotion approaches can be incorporated into occupational therapy practice.

Assessment We assess your practice learning to meet professional requirements and your academic modules through coursework. There are no formal examinations.


You can apply for registration with the UK Health and Care Professions Council and find careers as an occupational therapist in many sectors.


Home / EU student

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

2017/18 academic year

Please visit our health and social care funding pages for more information.

International student

2016/17 academic year

Typically £16,800 a year (including placement fee).

Your clinical placements may not be in Sheffield, so you may need to pay for separate accommodation while on placement.

2017/18 academic year

Typically £17,250 a year (including placement fee).
Your clinical placements may not be in Sheffield, so you may need to pay for separate accommodation whilst on placement..

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

Complete the application form available at www.shu.ac.uk/study/form

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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