- National Health Service
- Private and Voluntary sector
- Band 5 Occupational therapist
Important notice – campus change Students will complete the next two years on the Jordanstown campus (academic year 2019/20 and 2020/21). Thereafter, from 2021, they may transition campuses. Precise timings will be communicated as we progress through the final stages of the build of the enhanced Belfast campus. Find out more
Occupational therapy: helping people live their lives to the full.
Occupational therapists work with people of all ages to help them carry out activities that they want to or need to do so that they can lead fulfilling lives (COT 2015). This BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy course is a three-year full-time programme, involving a combination of academic and professional practice placement modules. Graduates are eligible to apply for membership of the British Association of Occupational Therapists and to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). They are qualified to work across a wide range of settings including the traditional settings of hospitals, day care, community practice and schools, and in non-traditional settings such as charitable organisations.
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About this course
In this section
This course prepares students to become occupational therapists who are competent to work within multidisciplinary teams in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, schools and community practice, as well as in non-traditional settings such as charitable organisations. They work with people of all ages, helping them to carry out activities that they need to or want to do, but are prevented from doing due to disability, physical or mental illness or the effects of ageing (COT 2015). Applicants should have a high level of personal integrity and initiative, good communication skills and organisational ability, be practical and good at solving problems, and have a genuine interest in people.
Students who successfully complete the course will be eligible for membership of the British Association of Occupational Therapists and for application to register with the Health and Care Professions Council. The latter is essential for employment within the National Health Service.
The course is also recognised by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists and employment opportunities exist in many parts of the world.
Occupational therapy students are expected to become student members of the British Association of Occupational Therapists. This involves a small annual fee payable by the student.
Academic staff come from a range of practice backgrounds which support the range of professional teaching on the course.
Three years full-time study, including practice placement blocks.
This course will move campus from September 2019 onwards.
- September 2020
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.
Attendance and Independent Study
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
A variety of teaching, learning and assessment methods are used throughout the course. Teaching and learning methods include, lectures, seminars, workshops and practical classes and are delivered both online and face to face. Students are assessed by a variety of written, presentation and practical assessments.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020
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
Foundations for Occupational Therapy Practice
This level four module introduces students to the philosophy and history of the practice of occupational therapy and provides a theoretical and practical foundation for the variety of contexts in which occupational therapy interventions and evaluations occur. It focuses on the therapeutic use of meaningful occupation as a way of enhancing occupational performance.
Professional Practice Placement 1
This module involves the students in four weeks of professional practice placement experience in one of a wide variety of practice settings. The focus is upon students' participation in the delivery of an occupational therapy service under supervision of an experienced practitioner. Practice based learning complements, supports and informs the academic discipline of occupational therapy and is essential for the education of a competent practitioner.
Occupational Performance through the Lifespan 1
This module develops an understanding of child development, play and the occupations of children and young people in the areas of self-care, school work, domestic chores, leisure and social activities. It uses an enquiry based learning approach to help students identify suitable interventions for children and young people.
Anatomy and Physiology for Occupational Function
This module develops an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the limbs and trunk and their function in movement, and of the support provided by the nervous, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. It underpins subsequent modules in occupational therapy, particularly those of occupational performance.
Occupational Performance through the Lifespan 2
This person-centred module prepares occupational therapy students to become reflective therapists. It focuses on bio-psychosocial and occupational function, models of practice.
Occupational Performance: Enabling Participation
The module provides students with practical experience in the skills, adaptive techniques and equipment commonly used to enable independence for people with disabilities. Students will develop an understanding of the range of occupations in which individuals engage and the role of the occupational therapist role in promoting independence within these occupations.
Knowledge and Skills for Personal & Professional Development
This module provides opportunities to learn in an interprofessional context. Students will acquire skills for both academic and practice based learning. It will provide them with an opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills on issues relating to professional practice and personal development within a supportive environment.
Professional Practice Placement 2
This module involves the students in six weeks of professional practice placement experience within one of a variety of placement settings where they are actively involved in delivering an occupational therapy service. Practice based learning complements, supports and informs the academic discipline of occupational therapy and is essential for the education of a competent practitioner.
Occupational Performance through the Lifespan 3
This module prepares occupational therapy students to become client centred therapists. It equips the students with the skills to assess and treat individuals with complex bio-psychosocial problems.
Occupational Well-being in Communities and Society
This module prepares students to work collaboratively and effectively with service users, considering physical, psychological, social and cultural factors at play when devising, negotiating and delivering services. Participants in the module develop competenace developing and achieving outcomes through the therapeutic relationship, as well as specific practice skills and techniques used occupational therapists.
Health Science Research
The module develops research knowledge and skills for using published evidence to inform practice and for designing and conducting research and clinical audit post-registration. The focus is on research design and qualitative and quantitative methods appropriate for healthcare research. A series of lectures and seminars will develop research knowledge and its application in using and producing research evidence. Workshops will provide practical experience of research activities including data analysis. In addition, course specific seminars will provide guidance on the development of a research idea and presentation of an outline research proposal.
Environmental Contexts Enabling Participation
The module develops knowledge and skill on the impact of the physical and socio-cultural environment on occupational engagement and participation.
Standardised Assessment for Occupational Therapy
This module draws on the professional practice experience of students, both individually and as part of a group, to critically appraise standardised assessments to establish their reliability, validity and pragmatic utility using the best available evidence from systematic research.
Professional Practice Placement 3
This module involves the students in seven weeks of professional practice placement experience within one of a variety of placement settings where they are actively involved in delivering an occupational therapy service. Practice based learning complements, supports and informs the academic discipline of occupational therapy and is essential for the education of a competent practitioner.
In this module students will develop research skills by undertaking a research study on a topic related to practice. Each student, with support, will have an opportunity to undertake one of the following types of research project: (i) a systematic critical review to inform practice;(ii) a research protocol involving the design of a research study or health promotion activity or (iii) a research report involving the collection and/or analysis of data to produce evidence to inform practice. Lectures and clinics, supplemented by online material, will provide the theoretical knowledge and guidance required to undertake the research task. Workshops will provide support for practical skills such as systematic searching for literature, using critical appraisal tools and data management and analysis.
Professional Practice Placement 4: Role Emerging Placement
This module involves the students in five weeks of role emerging placement experience within an organisation or service where no occupational therapist is employed. Students are involved in identifying a potential emerging area of occupational therapy practice within this context.
Professional Practice Placement 5
This module involves the students in eight weeks of professional practice placement experience within a specific speciality area from a wide range of practice settings. Students are actively involved in delivering an occupational therapy service.
Professional Development and Employability:OT
This module explores the health and social care policies relevant to the delivery and organisation of occupational therapy and other services. The emphasis is on equipping the student with the knowledge and skills to make a successful transition into the workplace.
Vocational rehabilitation in Occupational Therapy
This module will equip the students with the knowledge and tools to contribute to the work aspirations of individuals of all ages with a wide range of occupational problems resulting from physical, mental, social or developmental difficulties.
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
The A Level requirement for this course is BBB.
Applied General Qualifications
Overall BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma with profile DDD (to include a unit grade profile of 9 distinctions) in a relevant BTEC.
BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma with profile DDM.
You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard (provided subject requirements are met). Examples of combinations include:
A levels with BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma or BTEC RQF National Extended Certificate
A level with BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma.
For further information on the entry requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in Contact details.
Irish Leaving Certificate
Irish Leaving Certificate profile of Higher grades H3,H3,H3,H3,H3. Plus English and Mathematics grade H6 at Higher level or grade O4 at Ordinary level.
Access to Higher Education (HE)
Overall Access profile pass with an overall mark of 65%, including 65% in each level 3 module. NICATS maths (25 credits) 1 & 2 or GCSE grade C Maths.
GCSE Profile to include English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4.
Essential/Key Skills in Application of Number is not regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Mathematics.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 7.0 with no band score less than 6.5.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Additional Entry Requirements
Satisfactory performance in the HPAT-Ulster selection test is also required. More information on the Health Professions Admissions Test (HPAT-Ulster) can be found at www.hpat-ulster.acer.org. Please note there is a cost to undertake the test.
Applicants should note that, as they will be engaged in 'regulated activity' involving children or vulnerable adults as part of their course, there is a compulsory, legal requirement to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure from AccessNI. The cost for this is payable by the applicant and is currently £33. More information on Enhanced Disclosures may be accessed by http://www.accessni.gov.uk.
You will also be required to demonstrate good health prior to commencing the course. You will therefore complete a health declaration form which will be screened by Occupational Health who will confirm your medical fitness to undertake the course. Following the screening, you may be required to undertake a vaccination programme. You will be liable for the cost of both the health screening and vaccinations. Costs will be confirmed.
HND entry requirement:
Pass HND with overall Merit to include 60 distinctions in level 5 credits/units.
HNC entry requirement:
Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 90 distinctions in level 4/5 credits/units.
OCR National Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/BTEC National Extended Certificate
Ulster Foundation Degree
Pass in Foundation Degree in an appropriate subject with an overall mark of 55% in level 5 modules. Applicants will be considered for year one entry only.
Careers & opportunities
In this section
Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:
- National Health Service
- Private and Voluntary sector
Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:
- Band 5 Occupational therapist
There are opportunities for occupational therapists to work in a variety of settings including hospitals, patients’ own homes, rehabilitation centres, schools, charities and commercial organisations. Private practice is a developing area.
Most occupational therapy graduates gain employment in the local NHS. However, some therapists are transferring their valuable skills beyond the NHS and choose to work in non-traditional organisations, charities or equipment manufacturers and suppliers. Others go further afield and obtain employment, for example, in New Zealand, Australia, Asia and Canada.
There is a strong research programme within the School of Health Sciences, with opportunities for occupational therapy graduates to undertake higher degrees. There are some opportunities for graduates to go directly to PhD study after their undergraduate degree.
Work placement / study abroad
Students complete five Professional Practice Placement modules across their three years of study.
Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for the purpose of providing eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as an occupational therapist.
Accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) for the purpose of ensuring graduates are fit for the profession.
ApplyHow to apply Request a prospectus
Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.
Unfortunately, Ulster University is not it in a position to accept applications from students from England, Scotland or Wales due to regulations issued by the Department of Health Northern Ireland. For more info click here.
- September 2020
Fees and funding
In this section
Fees (per year)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 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
Additional mandatory costs
Additional costs include - AccessNI Check, Health Screening, Membership of British Association of Occupational Therapists, Placement Expenses, Uniforms.
Membership of British Association of Occupational Therapists – You will be required to join the British Association of Occupational Therapists. The cost of student membership will be approximately £5 per month for the three years of the course.
Placement Expenses – students may incur expenses during periods of placement. Some placements may be outside Northern Ireland and will incur additional costs.
Uniforms – as part of your course, you will be required to purchase a uniform during the first week of the semester. 2018/19costs were approx. £90.
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.
Admissions contact regarding application process:
Mrs Karen McCarroll
Course Director for advice regarding course content:
Dr Lucia Ramsey
For more information visit
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