This is the first, and only, course of its kind in the world.
This course aims to provide occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists with a career pathway to certification as an Advanced Practitioner of Sensory Integration, equivalent to or greater than the criteria adopted by the University of Southern California and Western Psychological Services in the delivery of their Sensory Integration training pathway, at a postgraduate, post-registration academic level. This is awarded by our partners, Sensory Integration Network.
It aims to provide practitioners with the opportunity to gain further enhanced knowledge and expertise required to apply current theories of sensory integration (SI) to everyday practice.
It aims to provide practitioners with an advanced theoretical basis for the management of people with SI problems and will enable them to further enhance their skills in reviewing evidence to inform practice.
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About this course
In this section
Recent advances in neuroscience support the application of the theory of Sensory Integration (SI) as a treatment approach with children, adolescents, adults and with older adults. Sensory Integration was developed by Dr A Jean Ayres, an Occupational Therapist in the US, in the late 1960s and has now spread world-wide as a treatment for many aspects of sensory and motor functioning.
Sensory Integration and related sensory integration based approaches allow therapists to use their understanding of mind, body, brain to facilitate opportunities for clients to actively engage in enhanced opportunities to take in, process and respond to sensory experiences in order to promote both short and long term neurological changes necessary to enhance and promote function..
This course provides a unique opportunity for the practitioner to achieve high quality qualifications integrally linked into current and emerging models of care and also scientific and technological advances. National and internationally recognised experts in their fields ensure that state of the science knowledge is informing tomorrow’s practitioners. The course is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills required to apply current theories of SI to your everyday practice. It will provide you with an advanced theoretical basis for the management of people with SI dysfunction and will enable you to further enhance your skills in reviewing evidence to inform practice. It aims to develop your skills in evaluation and administration, scoring and interpretation of standardised assessments.
Membership of the Sensory Integration Network is given to all students who register on the modules, to ensure access to the community of practitioners.
The first three modules, OTH817, OTH818 and OTH820, are undertaken on a part-time basis using a blended approach in a short course format (i.e. block attendance on consecutive days as opposed to weekly throughout the semester). OTH817 and OTH818 are full online and OTH820 takes place at various venues throughout the UK. The last three compulsory modules included in the MSc, OTH812, OTH814 and PTH830 have no required attendance at university so the student can choose to take the majority of the second year of the programme and the Project module fully online.
- September 2018
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
Sensory Integration I: Foundations and Neuroscience
Recent advances in neuroscience support the application of the theory of Sensory Integration (SI) as a treatment approach with children, adolescents, adults and with older adults. This module is designed to equip students with the knowledge required to apply current theories to their everyday practice. It will provide therapists with a theoretical basis for the management of people with sensory processing disorders and will enable therapists to further enhance their skills in reviewing evidence to inform practice.
Sensory Integration 2: Clinical Reasoning in Sensory Integration: Assessment
Students will learn to synthesise, analyse and interpret assessment data and articulate clear reasoning related to their hypothesis of the sensory integration difficulty. They will learn key concepts of ASI, exploring the patterns of SI dysfunction, models of SI, principles and practice of assessment, clinical reasoning, synthesising the assessment data and the process of interpretation of assessment, drawing on a range of assessment tools.
Research Project Preparation
The aim of the module is to develop research design skills to enable students to produce a working research proposal for the Masters project.
Research Evidence in Health Science
This 15 credit point, online module runs twice per academic year and offers health professionals an opportunity to develop their understanding of a range of research methodologies commonly used within healthcare. With this knowledge of methods of enquiry used to answer clinical questions, they will develop skills in critically appraising and synthesising literature in order to inform and advance the quality of care and service delivery. For those students proceeding to the Masters award, the module will complement the 'Preparation for Project' module and provide a foundation for the Masters project.
Sensory Integration IV: From Planning to Treatment
Recent advances in neuroscience support the application of the theory of Sensory Integration (SI) as a treatment approach with children, adolescents, adults and with older adults. This module aims to develop the student's knowledge to an advanced level and experience of SI theory and practice in order to support critical analysis and evidence of interventions. The use of reflection will be critically explored to enhance application of theory to practice.
The aim of this project module is to engage the student in an independent piece of research activity under the guidance of a supervisor from the School of Health Sciences. It is expected that this research will add to the student's knowledge and perhaps inform future teaching, clinical practice or further research. The research activity will be allied to that carried out in the Centre for Health and Rehabilitation Technologies (CHaRT) within the Institute for Nursing and Health Research (INHR).
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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Applicants must have gained an Honours or non-Honours degree from a University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from a recognised awarding body or from an institution of another country which is recognised by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, the World Confederation of Physical Therapists, or other international organisations as being of an equivalent standard; or an equivalent standard in a Postgraduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate or an approved alternative qualification; and where applicable be eligible for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and normally, currently in relevant employment or have access to the appropriate patient/client group, as approved by the course committee.
In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes) and is registered with the requisite Education, Social Work or Psychology regulator may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.
Studies pursued and examinations passed in respect of other qualifications awarded by the University or by another university or other educational institution, or evidence from the accreditation of prior experiential learning, may be accepted as exempting candidates from part of the programme provided that they shall register as students of the University.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Teaching and learning assessment
Theoretical material is introduced through online and face-to-face lectures, and developed and reinforced through directed reading and online workshops.
Lectures provide an overview of the main topic areas, develop the student’s understanding of the key issues, guide the students on how to find out more about the subject and the reading they need to undertake. Workshops and tutorials involve students in online group discussions. Where required, tutorials will also involve one-to-one online mentoring between tutors and students.
Students are expected to undertake self-study.
Practical exercises give the opportunity for students to work within small groups to consolidate the knowledge learnt within the lectures.
Students are encouraged to use online communication tools such as the discussion board to generate a sense of community, provide mutual support and to seek advice on specific issues from the lecturers.
Formative assessment is provided through the submission of practice online assessments and essay plans. Feedback is provided prior to submission of the online test and the essay.
Summative assessment is provided through online assessment, case presentations, case studies, case scenarios, a research proposal, a project report and, finally, a research report.
Exemptions and transferability
Students may be eligible for exemption of modules/credit points within the Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and Masters.
Previous experiential learning taken outside this structure (within or beyond the University) may be considered for accreditation of prior learning through the University system, this allows the student in some cases to bring in professional courses/experiential learning that have level 7 learning and assessment and meets the learning outcomes of the course.
Please seek advice from the Course Director.
Careers & opportunities
In this section
On successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate, you will be able to practise as a Practitioner of Sensory Integration and you will be eligible for progress to PGDip/MSc in Sensory Integration or Advancing Practice. On successful completion of Sensory Integration IV: From Planning to Therapy, you will be able to practice as an Advanced Practitioner of Sensory Integration.
Participation may enhance your options within the health service and beyond and will provide the development opportunities for you to progress to doctoral level activity.
ApplyHow to apply Request a prospectus
Initial application is through Sensory Integration Network for the first three modules:
For the last three modules, apply online, at http://ulster.ac.uk, click on Apply and then on How to Apply.
Contact the Course Director for further information.
- September 2018
Fees and funding
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Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
To find out more about fees related to this course please visit
Where the postgraduate course selected offers multiple awards (e.g. PG Cert, PG Dip, Master’s), please note that the price displayed is for the complete master’s programme. Postgraduate certificates and diplomas are charged at a pro-rata basis. Find out more
Scholarships, awards and prizes
There are two awards:
1. Sensory Integration Network Award for Outstanding Student on PGCert in Sensory Integration
2. Sensory Integration Network Award for Outstanding Student on PGDip in Sensory Integration
Additional mandatory costs
Fees for the modules run in partnership with Sensory Integration Network differ from the University fees:
Sensory Integration 1: Foundations and Neuroscience costs £849.
Sensory Integration 2/3: From Assessment to Interpretation costs £1698.
Sensory Integration 4: Advanced Treatment costs £2200.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
Cathy Maguire, Advanced SI Practitioner, Clinical Lead Physiotherapist at the Redway School
“It changed the way I work and gave me the tools to become a much more reflective and effective SI practitioner. It encouraged me to take my knowledge and understanding of SI theory and practice to a whole new level and perhaps most importantly of all really link it into my everyday work.”
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole process and undertaking the modules has provided me with a much deeper understanding of SI theory and how it links to my own practice. I now have increased confidence to use SI effectively in my everyday work.
Simon Curtis, Advanced SI Practitioner, Occupational Therapist at Hannahs at Seale Hayne in Devon
“Taking the SI Modular Pathway has been fantastic for realising my own professional identity. I’ve learnt so much about the role that SI has to play in everyday life. It's had a huge impact on me, I've even used some of the learning to influence the yoga and pilates classes I teach."
Sarika Kaushik, Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner, Paediatric OT (AKA Fun Doctor and Play OT)
“Before completing the SI Modular Pathway, I didn’t realise quite how passionate I am about my job. The learning has completely changed the way I practice. The programme provides phenomenal training backed up with first class support, it really is life-changing.”
Tamsin Jones, Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner, Highly Specialised Occupational Therapist, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
“Taking the SI Modular Pathway has opened up new career opportunities for me. I have now gained the skills that I need to start working one day a week in a private practice and I am looking forward to expanding my client group knowledge base, to really understand human development.