Occupational Therapy

BSc (Hons)

2023/24 Full-time Undergraduate course


Bachelor of Science with Honours


Faculty of Life and Health Sciences


School of Health Sciences


Magee campus

UCAS code:

The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20

Start date:

September 2023

With this degree you could become:

  • NHS
  • Private and Voluntary sector
  • Band 5 Occupational Therapist


Become an occupational therapist. Learn how you can help people of all ages and ability do the everyday things they want and need to do.


A fulfilling course, BSc (Hons) occupational therapy produces passionate occupational therapists of the future.

This course is about learning how to help people of all ages and ability to do the everyday things they want and need to do. You will explore how to use activity and occupation as a treatment, how to find solutions for people who encounter physical, mental or environmental barriers.

This World Federation of Occupational Therapists approved course allows you to take your degree from Ulster University anywhere in the world.

Practicing your new skills in a range of clinical placements across the NI Health and Social Care Trusts will allow you broaden your experience and get you practice ready.

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About this course


This course prepares and develops students to become occupational therapists who are competent to work within therapeutic teams both in hospitals and in the community. They will work with client groups from the new-born to the elderly. Applicants should have a high level of personal integrity and initiative, tact and sound judgement, organisational ability, and a genuine interest in people.

Students who successfully complete the programme will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health Care Professions Council and full membership of the British Association of Occupational Therapists.

The course is also recognised by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists and employment opportunities exist in many parts of the world.

As occupational therapy students, student membership of The College of Occupational Therapists is recommended. This is a smallannual fee and it is the responsibility of each student to pay this fee.


Three years full-timeincluding placement blocks. Campus attendance is Typically 18-20 timetabled hours per week between 09.15 am and 5.15 pm Monday – Friday including lectures, seminars and practical workshops.

Placement blocks range from 4-8 weeks across the three year programme, with full time attendance.

Start dates

  • September 2023

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

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 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:

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 near the start date and may be subject to 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 of attendance will often 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 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 Masters 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 via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . 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 four learning outcomes, and no more than two 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 Masters 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 Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Academic profile

There are three awards for final year students on the day of graduation. The Sue Gardiner Rosebowl is voted for by final year students and is for the student who contributed most to keeping the class connected across the three years of the course. The Winnie Dunn Research Cup is awarded to the student who gained the highest marks across two research based modules – involving research techniques. The Anne Stewart Placement prize is for the student with the highest average placement mark across all three years.

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 (20%) or Lecturers (55%).

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) by Advanced HE - 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 2021-2022.

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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

Foundations for Occupational Therapy Practice

Year: 1

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

Year: 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

Year: 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

Year: 1

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

Year: 1

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

Year: 1

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

Year: 1

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.

Year two

Professional Practice Placement 2

Year: 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

Year: 2

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

Year: 2

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

Year: 2

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

Year: 2

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

Year: 2

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.

Year three

Professional Practice Placement 3

Year: 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.

Research Project

Year: 3

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

Year: 3

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

Year: 3

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

Year: 3

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

Year: 3

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.

Standard 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.

A level

Grades BBB.

Applied General Qualifications

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2012 Suite) (in a relevant BTEC)

Award profile of DDD


RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2016 Suite) (in a relevant BTEC)

Award profile of 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:

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2012 Suite)

Award profile of DD plusALevel Grade B

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2016 Suite)

Award profile of DMplusA Level Grade B

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Introductory Diploma (2012 Suite)

Award profile of DplusA Level Grades BB

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Certificate (2016 Suite)

Award profile of DplusA Level Grades BB

For further information on the entry requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in Contact details.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Grades H3,H3,H3,H3,H3. Plus English Language and Mathematics grade H6 at Higher level or grade O4at Ordinary level.

Irish Leaving Certificate UCAS Equivalency

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access profile profile pass with an overall markof 65%, including 65% in each level 3 module.NICATS maths (25 credits) 1 & 2 or GCSE grade C maths.


For full-time study, you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass at Grade C/4 or above in English Language, additionally GCSE maths Grade C/4.

Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.

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.

Careers & opportunities

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • NHS
  • Private and Voluntary sector
  • Band 5 Occupational Therapist

Career options

There are opportunities for occupational therapists to work in hospitals. However, with the movement towards community care, many more will work with patients in their own homes, rehabilitation centres, day hospitals and schools. Private practice is also seen as a developing area.

The majority of occupational therapy graduates gain employment in the NHS. However, sometherapists aretransferring theirvaluable skillsbeyond the tradtionalroutes and are choosing to work in non-traditional organisations, charities or equipment manufacturers and suppliers. Others go further afield and obtain employment in New Zealand, Australia, Asia and Canada.

There is astrongresearchprogramme in the School of Health Sciences andthere are opportunities for graduate occupational therapists to undertake higherdegrees by research.There aresome opportunities for graduates togo directly to PhD study after their undergraduate degree.

Professional recognition

Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT)

Accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) for the purpose of ensuring graduates are fit for the profession.

Health and Care Professions Council, the (HCPC)

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.


Start dates

  • September 2023

Fees and funding

2023/24 Fees

Fees for entry in 2023/24 have not yet been set. See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2022/23 entry.

Additional mandatory costs

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.


Admissions contact:

Karen McCarroll

T: +44 (0)28 9536 5734

E: kl.mccarroll@ulster.ac.uk

Course Director:

Dr Lucia Ramsey

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6611

E: l.ramsey@ulster.ac.uk

International Admissions Office

T: +44 (0)28 7012 3333

E: internationaladmissions@ulster.ac.uk

For more information visit


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"The Occupational Therapy course was much more than just completing a degree. I gained practical experience in a wide variety of placement settings, continuously learnt new things and broadened my horizons. I also made new friends and became part of a wider OT community and gained a career that I can be proud of." BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy Graduate, Ulster University.

"My experience of studying occupational therapy at Ulster University was rewarding, challenging and exciting! Practice placements were organised on our behalf and provided us with valuable clinical experience, to equip us for future practice. I thoroughly enjoyed learning alongside my class peer's, the support and encouragement that I received throughout my academic journey helped me to excel both personally and professionally. I highly recommend studying occupational therapy at Ulster University if you have a desire to care for and empower people, and want a rewarding university experience that enables you to challenge yourself". BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy Graduate, Ulster University.

"The course provided me with great practical learning which could be applied on placements and these placements were excellent and provided so much learning. The lecturers/staff were so supportive and I have made lifelong friends." BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy Graduate, Ulster University.