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.


All modules are delivered fully online although OTH817 and OTH820 both have classroom-based options that include a five-day course at various venues throughout the UK (normally Birmingham). The last three compulsory modules included in the PGDip and MSc, OTH812, OTH814 and PTH830 have no required attendance at the university campus.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply


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

Year one

Sensory Integration I: Foundations and Neuroscience

Year: 1

Recent advances in neuroscience support the application of the theory of Sensory Integration (SI) as a treatment approach. It will be centred around the perspectives of people who live with sensory integration difficulties. It will 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

Year: 1

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.

Year two

Research Project Preparation

Year: 2

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

Year: 2

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. They will use this understanding of clinical research methods to 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 4: Advanced Practice

Year: 2

This module will take clinicians forward from the interpretive skills they acquired in earlier modules, to enable clinicians to interact with advanced applied neuroscience, confidently disseminate and share their assessment and research findings with a wider audience, and be an agent of change understanding service-level system change methods.

Year three

Research Project

Year: 3

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).

Entry conditions

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.

In this section

Entry Requirements

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 competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent) and for non-native English speakers Academic IELTS 7.0 with no band score less than 6.5.

Ulster University 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 the submission of the online test and the essay.

Summative assessment is provided through an online assessment, case presentations, case studies, case scenarios, a research proposal, a project report and, finally, a research report.

Exemptions and transferability

Applicants 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

Career options

On successful completion of the sensory Integration module, you will be able to practice as an Advanced Practitioner of Sensory Integration as recognised by the Sensory Integration Network (UK and Ireland).

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.


How 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.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

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 Neurosciencecosts £1175 for the classroom-based course and £899 for the online course.

Sensory Integration 2: Clinical Reasoning in Sensory Integration - Assessmentcosts £899.

Sensory Integration 3: From Assessment to Interventioncosts £899.

Sensory Integration 4: Advanced Treatment costs £2450 for the classroom-based course and £899 for the online course.


Contact Details

Dr Greg Kelly
Course Director

T: +44 (0)28 90366365
E: gp.kelly@ulster.ac.uk
W: www.ulster.ac.uk/staff/gp.kelly.html

SI Network (UK & Ireland) Ltd

T: +44 (0)118 324 1588
E: support@sensoryintegration.org.uk
W: www.sensoryintegration.org.uk

For more information visit

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School of Health Sciences


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.