Occupational Therapy - BSc (Hons)

2024/25 Full-time Undergraduate course


Bachelor of Science with Honours


Faculty of Life and Health Sciences


School of Health Sciences


Derry~Londonderry campus

UCAS code:

The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20

Start date:

September 2024

Students from England, Scotland, Wales or EU (except the Republic of Ireland)

Unfortunately, Ulster University is not in a position to accept applications from students from England, Scotland, Wales or EU (except the Republic of Ireland) for this course due to regulations issued by the Department of Health Northern Ireland.

Further information on Department of Health funded courses

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.

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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 small annual fee and it is the responsibility of each student to pay this fee.


Three years full-time including 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 2024

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.

Attendance and Independent Study

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 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, 20, or 40 credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate courses 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. Teaching and learning activities will be in-person and/or online depending on the nature of the course. 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

    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 assessments. This feedback may be issued individually and/or issued to the group and you will be encouraged to act on this feedback for your own development.

    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, the assessment timetable and the assessment brief. 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. The module pass mark for undergraduate courses is 40%. The module pass mark for postgraduate courses is 50%.

  • 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 Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

    Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

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 - 60% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (19%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (22%) 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 and learning support staff (85%) are recognised as fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advance 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 from the academic year 2022-2023.


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 Study and Practice

Year: 1

This level four module introduces the core principles, theories and skills that underpin occupational therapy practice and the acquisition of study skills required to encourage achievement and success during study and practice. The module facilitates the development of a strong foundational understanding of the profession of occupational therapy.

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.

Children, Young People and Families.

Year: 1

This module develops the students understanding of child development and the occupations of children, young people and families through an enquiry based learning approach. The module supports the student to identify appropriate interventions for this client group enabling them to reach their full potential.

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 Therapy with Adults: 1

Year: 1

This module provides a foundation to the practical skills and underpinning knowledge necessary to implement appropriate individualised Occupational Therapy interventions with adults whose occupational performance has been affected by a physical and/or mental health condition.

Practice Skills and Practice Based Learning

Year: 1

This module integrates practical skills taught in the classroom with practice-based learning. Students will develop skills which enable them to select and clinically reason the provision of assistive technologies and/or adaptive techniques used by occupational therapists to promote and maximise participation in activities of daily living. Emphasis on the development of effective communication skills is also a key component of this module.

Students will complete 150 hours of practice-based learning within an occupational therapy service.

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

Practice-based Learning 2

Year: 2

This module involves the students engaging in nine weeks of practice-based learning under the direction of a practice educator within one of a variety of 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 Therapy with Adults: 2

Year: 2

This module prepares Occupational Therapy students to develop their knowledge, understanding and practical skills of Occupational Therapy interventions used with individuals with physical and mental health conditions which affect their occupational performance.

Occupational Well-being and Therapeutic Group Work

Year: 2

This module prepares students to work holistically and collaboratively with diverse groups considering social detriments to health. It will develop knowledge of physical, psychological, social, and cultural factors when designing, and delivering therapeutic group work. The module will develop skills competency, understanding of the therapeutic relationship, group work practice skills and therapeutic techniques used by occupational therapists to promote occupational performance, occupational wholeness and social inclusion.

Health Science Research

Year: 2

This module will develop students' research knowledge and skills. They will become more
proficient at finding and appraising relevant research in their discipline, they will also
understand the impact and relevance of research, determining if/how it might influence
clinical practice. This module will prepare students for the year three module (OTH501).

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

This module facilitates the practical application of research skills developed in the earlier
years of the academic programme. It will prepare students to contribute meaningfully to
evidence-based healthcare practices and to conduct research that informs and advances
the field. Lectures provide the theoretical knowledge and guidance required to undertake the
research task. Seminars and workshops will provide specific support for students' practical
skills, relevant to their research project topic, method of scientific enquiry, and study design.

Practice Based Learning in Role-Emerging Settings

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.

Practice-based Learning 4

Year: 3

This module involves the student engaging in ten weeks of practice-based learning under the direction of a practice educator within a specific speciality area from a wide range of practice settings. The student is actively involved in delivering an occupational therapy service in preparation for their graduation into a Band 5 occupational therapy post.

Personal and Professional Development

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, personally and professionally into the workplace.

Vocational rehabilitation in Occupational Therapy

Year: 3

This module will prepare the students to work as a newly qualified occupational therapist with the knowledge and understanding of the key issues pertaining to vocational rehabilitation. They will be equipt with the skills to assess, treat and signpost a person in need of Vocational Rehabilitation services.

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

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma

Award profile of DDM

We will also accept smaller BTEC/OCR qualifications (ie Diploma or Extended Certificate/Introductory Diploma/Subsidiary Diploma) in combination with A Levels or other acceptable level 3 qualifications.

To find out if the qualification you are applying with is a qualification we accept for entry, please check our Qualification Checker –


We will also continue to accept QCF versions of these qualifications although grades asked for may differ. Check what grades you will be asked for by comparing the requirements above with the information under QCF in the Applied General and Tech Level Qualifications section of our Entry Requirements - https://www.ulster.ac.uk/study/entrance-requirements/undergraduate-entry-requirements

Irish Leaving Certificate

Grades H3,H3,H3,H3,H3. Plus English Language and Mathematics grade H6 at Higher Level or grade O4 at Ordinary Level.

Irish Leaving Certificate UCAS Equivalency

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall profile of 65% (120 credit Access course) (NI Access course), including 65% in each level 3 module. To include a 20 credit level 2 Mathematics module, passed at 40% or successful completion of NICATS Mathematics as part of the pre-2021 Access Diploma.

Overall profile of 24 credits at distinction and 21 credits at merits in graded units (60 credit Access course) (GB Access course) in a relevant subject. Plus GCSE Mathematics and English Language grade C.


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, plus GCSE Mathematics 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 7.0 with no band score less than 6.5. 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.

Additional Entry Requirements

As part of the selection method applicants will be required to undertake a successful video interview. Interviews will occur after the 31 January 2024 deadline.

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 the University’s Occupational Health Department 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 provided prior to enrolment.

Acceptable alternative qualifications include:

Pass HND with overall Merit to include 60 distinctions in level 5 credits/units.

Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 90 distinctions in level 4/5 credits/units.

Pass in Foundation Degree with an overall mark of 55% in level 5 modules. Applicants will be considered for year one entry only.

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the University (provided subject requirements as noted above are met).

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, some therapists are transferring their valuable skills beyond the traditional routes 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 a strong research programme in the School of Health Sciences and there are opportunities for graduate occupational therapists to undertake higher degrees by research.There are some opportunities for graduates togo directly to PhD study after their undergraduate degree.

Professional recognition

Health and Care Professions Council (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.

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.


Start dates

  • September 2024

Fees and funding

Funding is available for this course - find out more

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.


We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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.