Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) MSc

Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) MSc

School of Sport and Health Sciences


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400
Email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Two years

  • Level:

    Postgraduate, Pre-registration

  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

Please note: this course is now closed to new applications for September 2020 entry

Successful completion of this course will ensure you are eligible to apply for initial registration as an Occupational Therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and for full membership of the British Association of Occupational Therapists and World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

You will complete modules on campus and practice placements. You will be taught in a small group in our purpose built rehabilitation and assessment facilities, which includes an occupational therapy skills areas, simulated home environments and movement analysis laboratory. There is particular emphasis on ‘real life’ assessments that reflect the ways in which you will learn and practice during the course and will make you ready for the complexity of contemporary occupational therapy practice. We have excellent links with Occupational Therapists working within the NHS, Social Care and private practices across the North West. There are also links with charitable organisations and international institutions and hospitals, providing excellent opportunities for our students to gain experience of the breadth of contemporary practice.

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Entry Requirements

Equal Consideration Deadline is 15th January 2020. This is our equal consideration deadline, which means any application that is submitted before this deadline will be considered for September 2020 any applications submitted after this date are not guaranteed to be considered for 2020 start.

Application to the programme will be via a completed application form (including personal statement) and two supporting references. In the personal statement, applicants should demonstrate:

  1. How they meet the academic entry requirements (listed below)
  2. A knowledge of occupational therapy  and a motivation to join the occupational therapy profession

Where applicants have relevant experience, they should include a description of this and how this experience will support their goal of becoming an occupational therapist.

Successful candidates will be selected and invited to undertake a values based recruitment event.

If there is capacity on the course after the June selection process, late applications will be considered.

Normal Entry Requirements

  • A Bachelor degree (Lower second class or above)
  • Certificated evidence of completion of general education of 10 years, ideally with GCSE Maths and English Language (Grade C/Grade 4 or above)
  • For applicants where English is not their first language, we will accept an IELTS examination score of at least 7.0 with no element below 6.5

Non-standard applicants will be considered on individual merit.

International qualifications

We may accept qualification gained in other countries. Enquires of eligibility, including certified translations in to English of qualifications, can be sent to iadmissions@uclan.ac.uk

Candidates offered a place will also be required to demonstrate the following prior to entry:

  • Satisfactory values-based interview
  • Satisfactory enhanced DBS disclosure
  • Satisfactory occupational health clearance

Further details of the interview process will be provided to applicants who have successfully met the entry requirements. Applicants will be guided through the DBS and occupational health screening process. The cost of these services are included with the course fees.

Programme at a Glance

Over the first year the initial the emphasis is on foundation science knowledge and considering occupational therapy theory and practice skills. There is a focus on understanding and managing occupational therapy practice, designing effective and client-centred interventions and on becoming a safe and competent occupational therapist.


Year 1 Modules


  • Occupational Performance and the Life Sciences,
  • Theory and Practice in Occupational Therapy (1) (includes a 6 week practice placement)
  • Occupational Barriers to Health and Wellbeing
  • Theory and Practice in Occupational Therapy (2) (includes a 6 week practice placement)

Year 2 Modules


  • Leadership and Entrepreneurship in Occupational Therapy (includes an 8 week practice placement)
  • Evaluation in Practice (includes a 10 week practice placement)


In the second year you will build on knowledge and skills developed in year 1 applying it to contemporary service delivery, exploring entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and leadership skills. You will also have the opportunity to complete an extended piece of project work, further developing skills for research and service improvement.

Further Information

Course Highlights

  • Teaching takes place in our purpose-built facilities, which include an Occupational Therapy Skills Facility, multidisciplinary therapy clinic and movement analysis laboratory.
  • Members of the course team are actively involved with the professional body (RCOT) in a number of capacities, including membership of committees relating to education, and steering groups for profession related research projects.
  • We have well established links with occupational therapists working within the NHS, social services, third sector and private providers across the North West, as well as charitable organisations and international institutions and hospitals, providing excellent opportunities for you to gain experience of the breadth of contemporary occupational therapy practice.
  • We have a particular emphasis on ‘real-life’ assessments that reflect the ways in which students will learn and practice during the course. Methods include practical assessments, presentations, assignments and practice-based assessment. There is a strong commitment to providing timely and constructive feedback for all assessments.
  • Throughout the course you will meet a range of service users and carers within the academic curriculum as well as you practice placements.


The programme is comprised of six modules four delivered in the first year and two in year two. You will develop your knowledge, skills and capabilities through small-group learning, through a case-based and client-centred approach. You will develop your learning via realistic cases, so that you can see the contemporary practice relevance of the content. The face-to-face time will be used in an active and interactive way, and we expect you to engage in tutor- and self-directed learning.

Students will have opportunity to test their knowledge and skill development through a range of assessment tasks, including practice based learning assessment, written assignments, presentations, practical skills assessments, occupational analysis, project work, OSCE and examinations.

In addition to these summative assessment tasks (which students must pass in order to pass each module), we offer formative assessment opportunities which include online learning tasks, peer assessment of written work, class presentations, academic advisor support for the core practice skills portfolio, and regular debrief sessions of practice placement experience. These opportunities are central to your learning, as you will receive feedback that is relevant both to your development and to the summative assessment tasks in the module.

All the core members of the teaching team are HCPC registered Occupational Therapists and members of the RCOT. The team has wide and diverse experience, including current practice, research informed teaching, and research. We have staff who are specialists in a range of Occupational Therapy practice and research areas, who are able to bring this expertise and experience to life for students in the teaching sessions.

Inter-professional working is an integral part of Occupational Therapy practice. During this course and in your professional career, you will be working alongside other healthcare related professionals such as Doctors, Nurses, Physiotherapists, Psychologists and Social Workers to deliver effective and patient-centred care. Whilst you are at University, you will have timetabled sessions where you will work in partnership with several professions. You will learn about the crossover in care amongst disciplines, as well as distinct differences and boundaries between the professions. Learning about, with and from students in other disciplines will help prepare you for real-world practice settings. During your time on placement, you will work with a variety of professionals and will be a part of the wider multi-disciplinary team. This will further develop your skills in communication and collaborative working to provide optimal care and improve health and social care outcomes.


During the programme you will undertake 4 placement blocks in a range of contemporary settings which are arranged throughout the programme. You will experience real-life occupational therapy practice from the first semester of the course. You will be supported by your Practice Placement Educator and be also visited by your UCLan Placement Tutor. This means that you will have opportunity to learn in the practice environment whilst also being supported by academic staff in the university. You will ned to successfully complete minimum 1,000 hours of assessed placement practice. The final placement block can be a 10-week full time elective placement, where you have the opportunity to negotiate your own placement setting which could be an international placement.

Graduate careers

We have excellent employability rates for students graduating from our Health and social Care Professional programmes.  Through consultation with our clinical stakeholders we know that there is a demand for occupational therapists in the North West, and especially with Master-level qualifications.

Progression Routes

Within the School we have opportunities to study at level 8 within the School via a Profession Doctorate or PhD

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).

All offers made for this programme are subject to a satisfactory values-based interview. Further details of the interview process will be provided to applicants who have successfully met the entry requirements.


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

Email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £10,500 per year (UK/EU)

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

DBS Checks

This course will involve you working with vulnerable groups of individuals, including children. In order to ensure that the University offers places on their programmes to suitable candidates you will all be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB). We will be able to guide you through this process once you have been offered a conditional place of study at the University of Central Lancashire.

It is important to note that should your Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prove to be unsatisfactory for the purpose of the course you have applied to, your offer of a place for that course may be withdrawn. If you have already enrolled on a course and your DBS check subsequently discloses a criminal conviction, you may be required to withdraw from the course even if you have already started. If you are aware that your DBS check will disclose a previous conviction, please contact the course leader for advice as not all convictions may preclude you from continuing with the course.

Industry Links

The Faculty of Health and Wellbeing is one of the largest providers of health and Social care education in the North West region and as a result we have developed close links with practice partners in the North-West, in both NHS and non-NHS settings. We organise annual recruitment events where employers from the public (NHS and Social Care Providers) and private spheres attend and network with students.

We have excellent employment rates for graduates of professional registered programmes across the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing.

Professional Accreditation

The course is approved with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT).


RCOT Accreditation logo