Students fitting a plaster cast on a patient


Occupational Therapy

Please note the tariff points stated for this course are indicative. The tariff points for 2018 will be published by August 2017.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Allied Health Professions
Three years
Programme leader:
Elaine Hall
Key fact:
The practical focus of the course, our links with employers and the experience offered by our academic team mean that a high percentage of students are in work or further study six months after graduating.

Page last updated 9 August 2017


Why study BSc(Hons) Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapists recognise that being able to perform every day activities is crucial to health and wellbeing. Accident, physical and mental illness, disability and ageing can turn these activities into challenges that reduce independence and undermine people's sense of identity. Working in many different roles and settings, occupational therapists use activity therapeutically with people of all ages and backgrounds, supporting them to enhance their participation in valued activities and, in turn, their independence and sense of wellbeing. The course will equip you with the contemporary knowledge and skills to work alongside service users, carers and other professionals, delivering safe, effective and ethical care.

Why study our course?

BSc(Hons) Occupational Therapy is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and, as a graduate, you will be eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC, a prerequisite to practice. The course is underpinned by Occupational Science and has a logical structure, from theory and sciences through to the elements of effective occupational therapy practice. With access to on-site facilities, you will also develop strong interpersonal skills, integrating high quality practice-based experience with the teaching of a dynamic and supportive team, who have a wealth of experience to share.

Real-world experience

The course has a strong practice focus, incorporating evidence-based learning with practical sessions in our Occupational Therapy Resource Centre. You will spend 1000 hours undertaking practice placements within South West health and social care organisations. In the classroom setting, you will engage with service users and carers. There are also opportunities for volunteering in other countries.

Where it can take you

Occupational therapists are in demand across the UK in a wide range of areas in the community, within hospitals for the NHS, in the diverse opportunities in the third sector, and in research.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



Occupational Therapists practice as members of interprofessional teams. This is reflected in the opportunities for interprofessional education offered in several modules of the course.

Year one

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Occupation, Health and Wellbeing
  • Human Performance for Occupation
  • Foundations for Occupational Therapy
  • Professional Practice 1.

Year two

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • The Purpose, Scope and Context of Interprofesional Collaboration (IPA)
  • Occupational Therapy and Physical Challenges
  • Occupational Therapy and Psychosocial Challenges
  • Skills and Evidence for Practice
  • Complex Occupational .Needs
  • Professional Practice 2

Final year

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Promoting Occupation
  • Evidence and Research in Occupational Therapy
  • Professional Reasoning in Practice.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The course includes theoretical study and practice experience. Each level of the course comprises both theory and practice modules.

The course aims to produce competent therapists who will be able to demonstrate learning in the following areas:


  • Theoretical basis of occupational therapy
  • Health/illness paradigm and its impact on occupation and the quality of life
  • Impact on occupation of biological, psychological, social, cultural, developmental, economic and environmental influences
  • Occupational therapy process
  • Various roles of the occupational therapist
  • Principles of scientific enquiry and research process
  • Principles of policy development and delivery of services in health and social care


  • Competence in occupational assessment and intervention
  • Clinical reasoning and reflection on practice
  • Information management skills
  • Critical appraisal skills
  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Self-directed and self-appraisal skills

Professional Behaviours

  • Respect for the rights and autonomy of every human being
  • Respect for professional code of ethics
  • Work to the Health Professions Council's Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics
  • Trustworthiness, empathy and integrity
  • Commitment to excellence in practice
  • Respect for, and collaboration with, other health and social care professionals
  • A commitment to the advancement of the profession


Modules are assessed through a wide range of methods, including written assignments, professional practice placement assessment and oral and poster presentations.

For more details, see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). As a graduate, you will be eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC.


With around 1000 hours of practice placements, you will spend a third of the course applying your knowledge and building professional skills in the real-world. We have excellent links with NHS Trusts and health and social care employers throughout the South West to provide a broad range of practice experiences and put you in a strong position for future employment. Your Practice Educator, a qualified therapist, will assess and offer feedback on your progress during your placement in terms of how you interact with service users, their families, carers and other healthcare professionals, as well as how you engage your occupational therapy skills.

Study facilities

Teaching and learning facilities at UWE Bristol are outstanding. Our Occupational Therapy Resource Centre includes facilities designed to simulate different living environments where you can develop hands-on skills and build a practical understanding of how occupational therapy works. In addition, our inter-professional skills simulation suite provides excellent opportunities for the demonstration and practice of professional competencies. The Glenside campus library is acknowledged as one of the best healthcare libraries in the country, enabling you to support your studies with a huge selection of books, journals, audio-visual materials and specialist health and social care software packages.

International opportunities

Our links with Croatia and Nepal provide exiting possible opportunities for voluntary work during the summer breaks.

Going further

Our new student-initiated Occupational Therapy Society, supported by the Student Union, arranges interesting events and activities from guest speakers discussing topical issues, along with visits to exhibitions such as NAIDEX


Careers / Further study

Careers/Further Study

Occupational therapists are in demand across the UK and graduates enter careers in a variety of roles in the NHS, and health and social care organisations in the private and third sectors. A high percentage of our students are in employment or further study six months after graduating. Occupational therapists work in various community and hospital settings, including GP practices, nursing homes, schools, prisons, community centres and occupational health departments of companies. Some graduates choose to take research-based roles or work in education, while others continue their studies with post-graduate courses. 

Award-winning careers service

Our award-winning careers service will help you develop your employment potential through career coaching and a vacancy service for internships, along with placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity, plus support for entrepreneurial activity and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Be inspired

Read about a day in the life of an Occupational Therapist.

Read Andrew's experience of studying Occupational Therapy at UWE Bristol.


Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year450
OH/Medical assessment - ONLY charged for missed appointments.30

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those you could reasonably expect to incur during your studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

If you are a UK student you may be entitled to living cost support.

For more details please see our guidance on NHS funding for UK students or our guidance on NHS funding for EU students.

We have a limited number of places available for international students. Entry is via the UWE Bristol International College.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 136
  • GCSE: For all applicants, a minimum of five subjects at grade C or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, to include English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • English Language Requirement:

    If your first language is not English, you must have a minimum IELTS score of 7 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in any section, (or equivalent). Full details of this language test can be obtained from the British Council. Please note the University's published list of alternative English Language qualifications does not apply to this course.

  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels or equivalent.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 30 level 3 credits at merit.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

We have a limited number of places available for international students. Entry is via the UWE Bristol International College.

We require evidence of recent assessed academic study within the last three years.

You should have some experience (paid or voluntary) from a health and social care setting.

If you do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements but have significant life and/or work experience, you will be considered on an individual basis. However, you still need to meet the GCSE English and Maths requirements, and should have evidence of recent study in a science/health related subject area recognised as equivalent academic level by the University.

If you don't meet the entry requirements of this course, you may be eligible for the Health Professions Foundation Year which can qualify you for the full degree.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

Recruitment for this course is informed by Health Education England's Values Based Recruitment Framework. The purpose of this framework is to ensure that we recruit students whose individual values and behaviours align with the values of the NHS Constitution.

Additional Selection Criteria

As well as meeting the academic entry requirements, you should meet the following selection criteria:

Health assessment/declaration/vaccinations. You must be in good health and up-to-date with your routine immunisations e.g. tetanus, diphtheria, polio and MMR. If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a questionnaire and must be prepared to undergo a medical examination. You will also be required to confirm your status in respect of a number of infectious diseases and immunisations (tuberculosis, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, varicella, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV antibodies) and be prepared to have all required vaccinations. If your vaccinations are not up-to-date this will affect your ability to continue on your course. If you have any concerns with regards to vaccinations please raise this at the point of application.

Disclosure of Criminal Background. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not apply and all convictions, including those which are spent, must be disclosed. This is in accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. If you are offered a place, you must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and will be required to complete a Disclosure Application Form. All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary.

Selection Event. If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to interview.

Completing the Application Form. We will be looking for applicants committed to a career in Occupational Therapy. You should clearly demonstrate your commitment to the course in the 'personal statement' section of the application form, by saying why you want to study Occupation Therapy and stating any relevant work experience gained to date.

UWE Bristol's International College
If you are an international student and do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course, you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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