Two occupational therapy students smiling


Occupational Therapy

Please note there are no vacancies on this course for September 2019

About this course

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

Page last updated 14 August 2019


Why study occupational therapy?

Occupational therapists recognise that being able to perform meaningful, everyday activities is crucial to people's health and wellbeing. 

Physical and mental illness, impairment and ageing can turn these occupations into challenges that reduce independence and undermine people's identity.

Working in different roles and settings, occupational therapists use activity therapeutically, supporting clients to recover valued occupations and, in turn, regain their independence and health. 

Why UWE Bristol?

BSc(Hons) Occupational Therapy is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) so you'll be eligible to apply for registration with them when you graduate, something you must do to practise in this field.

Focus on the relationship between occupation and health and wellbeing and gain the contemporary, evidence-based knowledge and skills you need to establish yourself as an occupational therapist.

Learn to work with clients, carers and other professionals to deliver safe, effective and ethical interventions supporting people to be independent in their occupations, and enjoy better health and wellbeing.

With a strong focus on employability, you'll become confident in applying your skills and knowledge to different settings and working with service users.

Get ready for practice in our specialist simulation facilities, dedicated skills suite and occupational therapy resource centre. Spend at least 1,000 hours on practice placements with regional health and social care providers.

As well as volunteering locally as part of Widening Occupation Weeks (WOW), you may have the opportunity to volunteer abroad or take part in an Erasmus international placement in your final year.

Work with a supportive and accessible academic team who are research active and have a wealth of clinical experience to share.

Where can it take me?

Occupational therapists are in demand across the UK.

Graduates usually work in primary and secondary healthcare, in the NHS, local authority social services and housing departments, independent and third sector organisations, education or research.

BSc(Hons) Occupational Therapy is also recognised as an entry qualification in many other countries (although some may have extra professional registration criteria).

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



Year one

You will study:

  • Elements of Human Performance: Part One
  • Elements of Human Performance: Part Two
  • Exploring Occupation, Health and Well-being: Part One
  • Exploring Occupation, Health and Well-being: Part Two
  • Foundations for Practice
  • Occupational Therapy Practice 1.

Year two

You will study:

  • Psychosocial Challenges and Occupation
  • Physical Challenges and Occupation
  • Occupational Therapy Practice 2
  • Complex Needs and Occupation
  • Skills and Strategies for Occupation Therapy
  • Service Improvement A Collaborative Approach.

Year three

You will study:

  • Occupational Therapy Practice 3
  • Research and Evidence in Occupational Therapy
  • Promoting Occupation and Leadership
  • Leadership in Context
  • Becoming an Inquirer.

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

You'll learn through a mix of campus-based learning, including lectures, workshops, case scenarios and practicals, and occupational therapy placements.

Find out more about your placement.

Explore the link between occupation and health and wellbeing, and understand the challenges people face, such as disease, ill health, impairment and barriers to participation.

Gain a strong theoretical grounding in occupational science, anatomy, physiology and psychology and learn about occupational therapy approaches and roles.

Develop practical skills in occupational therapy, such as assessment and intervention, clinical reasoning and reflection, information management, and oral and written communication.

Study issues relating to professional behaviour, such as the Health Professions Council's Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists' Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

Carry out your own research and learn how to apply evidence to support and change practice, while learning to collaborate with other health and social care professionals.

Consolidate and deepen your professional skills on placements, linking the theory to practice in a diverse range of settings.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Percentage of time spend in different learning activities, per year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check

Get involved

Join our award winning, student-run Occupational Therapy Society, supported by The Student's Union at UWE. Go on external trips, attend film shows and hear from guest speakers discussing topical issues.


You'll be assessed through a mixture of written assignments, professional practice placement assessment, and oral and poster presentations. There will be an online exam and a Structured Oral and Practical Examination (SOPE) too.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time spend in different assessment methods, per year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check


Professional accreditation

BSc(Hons) Occupational Therapy at UWE Bristol is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), so you are eligible to apply for registration with them when you graduate.

It's also accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT).


With around 1,000 hours of practice placements, you'll spend a third of the course applying your knowledge and building professional skills in the workplace.

We have excellent links with NHS trusts and health and social care employers throughout the South West. You'll get a broad range of practice experiences and be in a strong position for future employment.

Your practice educator, a qualified therapist, will assess and give you feedback during your placement, looking at how you interact with clients, families, carers and other healthcare professionals, and how you use your occupational therapy skills.

International opportunities

Get involved in volunteering opportunities both in the UK and abroad.

You can also apply for the opportunity to do your placement overseas through the Erasmus exchange programme.

Study facilities

Benefit from specialist facilities at UWE Bristol, including our occupational therapy resource centre, with simulated living environments where you'll develop hands-on skills and see first hand how occupational therapy works.

Take the opportunity to hone your professional skills in our inter-professional skills simulation suite.

The Glenside campus library is one of the best healthcare libraries in the country, offering a huge range of books, journals, audio-visual materials and specialist health and social care software packages.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.


Careers / Further study

Occupational therapists are in demand across the UK.

Choose from a variety of careers in the NHS, or health and social care organisations in the private and third sectors.

Work in the community or a hospital, in a GP practice, nursing home, school, prison, community centre or the occupational health department of a company.

Some graduates take research-based roles or work in education, and others continue studying on postgraduate courses. 

Most students are in work or further study six months after graduating.

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Read about a day in the life of an occupational therapist.

Read Andrew's experience of studying occupational therapy at UWE Bristol.

Find out more about occupational therapy careers on the Royal College of Occupational Therapists' website.


Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee13000
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1625

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year473
OH/Medical assessment - ONLY charged for missed appointments.30

Supplementary fee information

Additional costs are for items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Learn more about costs


We are pleased to confirm that our New students webpages are now available for students starting this course in September 2019. Here you can find links to useful information about registering, course start dates, arriving on campus what to expect before and when you arrive.

We automatically send a message via your Welcome website plus an email to notify you once your Preparing to Study information is available. It is important that you regularly check your Welcome website for new messages.

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 136
  • GCSE: For all applicants, a minimum of five subjects at grade C/4 or above 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. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma, to include 15 level 3 credits at distinction and an additional 15 credits at merit.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from international students

Please note we do not accept deferred entry applications for this course.

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.

We recognise the individual nature of each application and our typical offer should be viewed as a guide. UWE Bristol welcomes interest from applicants who may not have the standard entry requirements. We will consider evidence of your relevant personal, professional or educational experience where it demonstrates an ability and potential to succeed on the course. Please include details of any relevant experience in your application. 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.

Offer Types

If you have not received your exam results, your offer from UWE Bristol will be conditional and will be subject to you achieving the tariff points/grades required for your course.

If you have already satisfied the academic entry requirements of your chosen course, you are likely to be made an unconditional offer. Please note that UWE Bristol will only make unconditional offers if you have already achieved your qualifications.

To make sure our applicants are academically prepared for when they start their studies at UWE Bristol, we do not make unconditional offers to those that are still studying their Level 3 qualifications (such as A levels, BTEC, Access or equivalent). We hope that this will encourage our applicants to value their academic achievements as much as we do.

How to apply

Watch our video for top tips on writing a healthcare personal statement and download our health and social care personal statement guide.

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information


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