Important notice – campus change This course will be based at the Coleraine campus from September 2018 onwards.
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.
The University regularly ‘refreshes’ courses to make sure they are as up-to-date as possible. The University calls this process 'academic revalidation’. This course will be ‘refreshed’ during the 2017/18 academic year, with changes put in place for students entering in September 2018. For the most up-to-date course/ module information, please contact the Course Director, Dr May Stinson, email address firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don't meet our entry requirements for this course you may want to consider our International Foundation Programme (IFP)
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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 recognized 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.
Three years full-time study, including practice placement blocks.
From 2018 this course will be based at the Coleraine campus.
- September 2018
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
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: The Early Years
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: Adult Years & Later Life 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
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.
Body Structures for Occupational Functioning 2
This module develops an understanding of how the nervous, cardiovascular and respiratory systems support human movement and occupation. It underpins subsequent modules in occupational therapy, particularly those of occupational performance.
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.
Knowledge and Skills for Personal & Professional Development 2
This inter-professional module introduces students to the key concepts in health communication and health psychology that are necessary for effective practice as a health professional. The module is delivered primarily through online activities which students complete independently and using group work.
The module provides a foundation of knowledge and skills for using research 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 workshops provide theoretical knowledge and practical experience of research activities including data analysis.
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.
Professional Practice Placement 3 -creating new module with diff level
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.
Occupational Engagement 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.
Environmental Contexts of Occupational Therapy
This module focuses upon the practice of occupational therapy within person-centred service delivery to enhance individual occupational performance within a variety of environmental contexts. It appraises the strategic directives underpinning service delivery considering clients with physical disability.
Entrepreneurship in Occupational Therapy Practice
This module will familiarise students with the constituents of the entrepreneurial process and the dynamic relationships that exist between them. They will gain insight into the central role of the entrepreneurial individual in: resolving practical problems; in identifying an opportunity to enhance the potential of people within a community of practice; and in translating available resources into a successful undertaking or enterprise.
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.
Innovations and Diversity in Occupational Therapy Practice
Service development and innovative practice considers the dynamic nature of service provision at an operational level in response to global, national and regional strategic policies and directives. The contemporary role and contribution of the occupational therapist is explored within diverse environmental contexts supporting occupational engagement, beyond traditional boundaries and clients.
Standardised Assessment in 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 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.
Overall BTEC award profile DDM (to include a unit grade profile of 9 distinctions) in a relevant BTEC.
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 70%, including 70% 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.edu.au. 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
Applicants may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of the different qualifications to the same standard as defined by UCAS (provided subject requirements as noted above are met). Examples of acceptable combinations include:
2 A Levels and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/BTEC National Extended Certificate
OCR National Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/BTEC National Extended Certificate
2 A Levels and Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma
A Level and BTEC National Diploma
For further information regarding combination offer requirements, please contact Faculty Office staff on:
T: +44 (0)28 9036 6098
Careers & opportunities
In this section
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.
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 College of Occupational Therapists (COT) 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 2018
Fees and funding
In this section
Fees (per year)
Important notice - fees information
Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages to find out more
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. 2015/16 costs were approx. £100.
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.