The BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy degree prepares you to work as a registered occupational therapist in the UK and overseas. Occupational Therapy is a health and social care profession that enhances the physical and mental health and wellbeing of individuals to enable them to achieve their full potential. Occupational therapists work with people of all ages to help them to overcome the challenges of everyday life resulting from illness, trauma and aging.
We are one of the longest established Occupational therapy Schools in Britain and offer a wide range of exciting local, national and international practical placement opportunities.
This course equips you with the knowledge and skills that you will require for professional practice through combining the study of occupational and human sciences with hands-on learning in a practical setting. You will have an opportunity to engage in professional practice within a variety of health and social care settings across public, private, voluntary and independent sectors. The range of placements in traditional and non-traditional settings enables you to develop and advance your skills in assessment and intervention with clients. You will be encouraged to consider the evidence base for current practice throughout the course.
Starting university is a big step and we want you to have everything you need from day one. That’s why if you choose to study this course full-time at Northampton from September 2018, you will be provided with your own brand new Hewlett Packard laptop* to keep at no additional cost. For more information on this and many other benefits you can enjoy, please visit our benefits webpages.
*Terms and conditions apply. Please see the benefits webpages for more information.
- College of Occupational Therapists
- World Federation of Occupational Therapists
- Health and Care Professions Council
Values Based Recruitment
Values Based Recruitment is an approach which attracts and selects students, trainees or employees on the basis that their individual values and behaviours align with the values of the NHS Constitution.
The purpose of Values Based Recruitment is to ensure that the future and current NHS workforce is selected against the values of the NHS Constitution, so that we recruit people with the right skills and values to support effective team working in delivering excellent patient care.
Our Faculty of Health and Society supports the values stated in the NHS Constitution and these values are utilised in our recruitment and selection processes. Please visit the Health Education England website for more details.
What do our students say?
Lauren Deeming – Occupational Therapy Student
“The University of Northampton was recommended to me by several Occupational Therapists. When coming to the open day that confirmed it to me, the talks about the course engaged me. The campus was nice and small compared to others viewed, the cohort size appealed due to the smaller size. It allows for a more personable rapport within lectures. Lecturing staff are approachable and fair, they are supportive and really want you to succeed and it really does show. For me this has been instrumental to me completing my studies.”
Waterside is our purpose-built campus, designed to provide you with the learning experience and opportunities you expect from a modern university.
We know our staff and students want the very best, and that’s what Waterside will provide. It is the embodiment of our mission to transform lives and inspire change.
We’ve designed Waterside to put you first – it is flexible to the changing needs of our students but also makes the most of our fantastic staff. A University that teaches in a way that mirrors the skills you will need when you graduate, a place that provides everything you will need to live and learn, and that will provide a home-from-home as you enjoy one of the best and most fulfilling experiences of your life.
Our new campus opens its doors in September 2018 and while Waterside will be home to most of our teaching, we’ll also be making use of the excellent facilities around the town. We’ll also be retaining some facilities at our current campuses (Park and Avenue) on a temporary basis for the initial period. These will mostly be used to offer off-campus accommodation options to make sure we have a great range of rooms to suit everyone.More about our campuses »
At Stage one, you will focus on developing the knowledge and skills underpinning occupational therapy practice. You will study the anatomy, physiology, psychology, sociology and occupational theories that help you to understand people as occupational beings. Alongside this, you will develop essential skills to support academic and practice learning which will be applied in a six week practice placement. Practical sessions include exploring problem-solving theories, building therapeutic relationships, working in groups, moving and handling and the assessment and use of equipment.
At Stage two your learning will focus on how you might engage individuals in a range of occupations that are meaningful to them. Included in this year is nine weeks of practice placement which will provide opportunities to develop your in clinical reasoning skills, identifying appropriate assessments and interventions for clients. You will extend your skills in occupational analysis, adapting to the environment, communication and the therapeutic use of yourself and groups. You will develop new skills in splinting and explore the use of volunteering as a meaningful occupation. During this stage you will have the opportunity to take part in a short student exchange programme. You will develop skills in understanding and using research to inform practice that will lead to a research proposal for your Independent Study project in Stage three.
In Stage three you will make more choices about what you study to enable you to develop the knowledge and skill set you want to achieve your aspirations as an emerging occupational therapist. You will take the research proposal from Stage 2 and develop it into an Independent Study project, supported by workshops and individual supervision from a dedicated tutor. In other modules you will develop specialist skills and explore how you might enhance the engagement in occupation by a community through health or well-being. The impact of policy and legislation within practice is also explored and evaluated at this stage. As you prepare for employment, you have a 12 week placement in which you will be given the opportunity to demonstrate your skills, understanding and theoretical knowledge of occupational therapy.
Changemaker skills are embedded throughout the programme and within assessments.
Professional Practice Placements
The World Federation of Occupational Therapists stipulate that occupational therapy students need to complete 1,000 hours of assessed practice. You will complete one placement for each year of your course that will meet this requirement.
Placements are available in a variety of settings and we work closely with the students to provide a range of practice opportunities. Overseas placements opportunities are available for second and third year students and funding is available through the Erasmus Scheme for placements within the EU.
Studying the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy offer you many opportunities including:
- The OT Student Conference: We hold an annual student conference to celebrate the excellent work carried out by students throughout the year. You are invited to present your work within the conference as well as network with practitioners and fellow students across all awards (BSc, MSc and PhD).
- Short Overseas Exchange: during Stage two you will have the option to take part in a student exchange programme where you can spend one week studying on the Occupational Therapy programme at a university in Finland. This is an excellent cultural professional exchange experience. Please note that you will have to pay for flights and accommodation.
- Volunteering: is encouraged throughout the course and is timetabled within the Stage 2 Professional Skills for Practice module. You can access volunteering opportunities through our Changemaker Hub and also through staff led volunteering projects.
- Leicester University Medical School (LUMS): As part of the Functional Human Sciences module, you will have the option of attending the Dissection Room at Leicester University Medical School to consolidate your learning in human anatomy and physiology. The session is taught and facilitated by occupational therapy staff, who are able to correlate human anatomy with function. This provides you with a unique experience that is not available on all occupational therapy programmes.
- Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability (VdT MoCA) MOOC: You will learn about this unique model of OT practice within the programme, but there is an additional opportunity to extend your knowledge and skill by taking the VdT MoCA Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) which is run by the university in conjunction with the Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.
- You are encouraged to participate in extracurricular during your studies such as Naidex; an annual equipment exhibition or the many activities/courses on campus such as a British Sign Language course or social entrepreneurship activities. You will be invited to take part in Heath Roadshows to promote the profession and the university, Open days and Discovery Days to contribute to the recruitment and joining of successive student cohorts.
What do our students say?
Ceri Golding – Occupational Therapy student
I never really knew what I wanted to do for a career until, when I was 35, I had started to apply for a technical instructor job in the occupational therapy department of a local hospital. I didn’t have the required experience, so never finished the application, but it did get me thinking. I realised that occupational therapy was the perfect career for me, so I looked in to what I needed to do to get there.
As I had been out of education for a long time, and didn’t have the relevant qualifications, I needed to do an Access to Higher Education Diploma to get entry. I applied and was successful in getting a place on the Access to Health Professions course. Studying that course certainly helped with getting back into the culture of studying and essay writing – I feel university would have been a bit of a shock without it.
Now I’m at the University of Northampton, I absolutely love my course, I’ve made some great friends, and know I’ve made the right choice.
Course modules (17/18)
Functional Human Sciences (40 Credits)
- Module code: OTH1124
- Core module Y
Understanding Occupational Beings (20 Credits)
- Module code: OTH1123
- Core module Y
Foundations of Professional Practice (40 Credits)
- Module code: OTH1111P
- Core module Y
Personal and Professional Skills (20 Credits)
- Module code: OTH1110
- Core module Y
Research Methods (20 Credits)
- Module code: OTH2110
- Core module Y
Occupational Engagement (40 Credits)
- Module code: OTH2108
- Core module Y
Professional Skills for Practice (20 Credits)
- Module code: OTH2109
- Core module Y
Development of Professional Practice (40 Credits)
- Module code: OTH2111P
- Core module Y
Independent Study (40 Credits)
- Module code: OTH4105
- Core module Y
Enhancing Occupational Therapy in Communities (20 Credits)
- Module code: OTH3115
- Core module Y
Occupational Therapy Specialist Skills (20 Credits)
- Module code: OTH3109
- Core module Y
Consolidation of Professional Practice (40 Credits)
- Module code: OTH3110P
- Core module Y
Module information is quoted for 17/18 entry. Please note that modules run subject to student numbers and staff availability, any changes will be communicated to applicants accordingly.
Methods of Learning
The course incorporates a range of learning and teaching methods to engage you in active learning. This includes technology enhanced learning through online workbooks, activities and interactive discussions: classroom based learning through seminars, skills workshops, tutorials and practice–based learning. You will be a collaborator in learning with your tutors, peers and practice educators.
The BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy programme is delivered in two formats:
- Full-time route
- Full-time Extended route
We are currently exploring future apprenticeship options. All of our graduates gain an academic degree which will then allow you to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to obtain a licence to practice and become a member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.
You will be taught by qualified Occupational Therapists who also have additional teaching qualifications, Masters or PhD qualifications. Our teaching staff have a variety of clinical backgrounds and expertise from mental health, physical areas, paediatrics and learning disabilities.
Typical Teaching Hours:
- full-time course: approximately 20 hours of direct contact plus 15 dedicated study hours per week across standard university terms
- full-time extended course: approximately 14 hours of direct contact plus additional study hours per week, extended over 45 weeks of the year
A diverse range of assessments are included in the course to ensure academic and professional competence and to prepare you for the role of an Occupational Therapist. This includes written assignments, multiple choice question tests, poster presentations, group work, reflective essays, case studies and practice portfolios. You may work together in groups for some assignments. Support is provided by tutors for all module assignments in the form of assessment tutorials and marking criteria.
Facilities and Special Features
- one of the longest established Occupational Therapy Schools in Britain
- a range of exciting local, national and international professional placement opportunities
- modern purpose built facilities including a daily living suite.
Occupational Therapists work in diverse areas of practice. Opportunities are available in the UK and abroad with a wide range of career options; the National Health Service, Social Services, private practice, special education, the prison service and in the voluntary sector.
The course is structured to provide you with support, the final year of the course is designed to enable you to prepare for applying for your first job within the field of Occupational Therapy.
If you are a qualified occupational therapist and are looking to return to practice you will find information about financial, clinical and academic support available to return to practice by visiting the Health Education England website. There is bespoke return to practice support at the university of Northampton, please contact Deborah Hewson.
How to apply
For application information please see our how to apply page.
Please contact Deborah Hewson for further information.
You will need to have five GCSEs including Maths and English at Grade C/4 or above and one of the following qualifications (or equivalents):
- Three A Levels at BBC or above (in subjects other than General Studies)
- BTEC: 18 units; graded DDM in a health or science related subject
- Access: Level 3 – 15 credits at distinction and 30 at merit
- Open University minimum 60 credits.
Please note that NVQs at any level are not accepted.
We will also consider other recognised professional courses that are not listed above, please contact our Admissions Team to discuss this on an individual basis. Each application is considered on its own merit so if you are unsure if you have the skills, knowledge, or qualifications to apply, please contact us. You will need to provide evidence of successful recent study at degree entry level.
If your first language is not English you will need to provide evidence of IELTS level 7 in with all components scoring a minimum of 6.5 or qualifications that demonstrate an equivalent level of English language. You will need to have a clear understanding of the work of occupational therapists and will need to complete a visit to an occupational therapy department prior to starting the course.
For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.
All offers of a place on the course are subject to a successful Occupational Health Screening and a Satisfactory Extended Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) report.
Fees and funding
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 18/19 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
|Full Time Extended:||£9,250|
We have a range of scholarships available to provide you with financial support throughout your studies.
For placements, students may incur additional accommodation and travel costs.
You will be provided with a uniform (two tops and one pair of trousers). Additional uniform items can be purchased at cost.
We have a wide range of books and journals accessible in our library, either in hardback or e-books or via our electronic databases.
You will participate in some activities where a small cost may be incurred such as craft, art, cooking material to a maximum of £25 a year.
You are also required to complete a recognised (level two) food hygiene course, further details about this course will be provided when you start the course. You will be able to complete this course online at an approximate cost of £20.
Full-time international tuition fees
For information on our international tuition fees, please see our Tuition fees for international students page.
How to apply as an international student
For information on how to apply to study with us, please see our How to apply page.
Scholarships available to international students
For information on the scholarships available to you as an international student, please see our International scholarships page.
Every year we welcome a number of International students onto our course. Our international students come from all over the World – including China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Africa, India, Poland, Greece and the Middle East. The University of Northampton has a long track record of supporting International students, including those who wish to study Occupational Therapy.
We work closely with the International team and additional support is available throughout your studies.
We also welcome applications from students in Canada who have successfully completed Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant qualifications from the following colleges:
- Vancouver Community College
- Capilano University
- Sault College
- Humber College
- Medicine Hat College
- Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) Polytechnic
- Mohawk College
- La Cite Collegiale
- Alonquin College
These applicants, having successfully completed their course, are able to articulate onto the second year of our BSc Hons Occupational Therapy degree and therefore complete the degree in two years. There is also the option to complete a one year MSc Advanced Professional Practice (Occupational Therapy).
To find out more about this opportunity, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Coming to the UK is a chance of a lifetime. Not only do I have the opportunity to live in a different country and gain international experience, I also bring with me a different culture and way of life thus contributing to the multi cultural environment at the University of Northampton.”
Julia, Canadian Level 5 Occupational Therapy Student