BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

Work towards a rewarding career in occupational therapy and make a positive impact on the quality of life for individuals, communities, and populations.

As an occupational therapist you will enable individuals, communities, and populations to live their best lives at home, at work and everywhere else, helping other to overcome daily challenges, whether learning at school, going to work, playing sport or simply doing the dishes. “Everything is focused on increasing independence and wellbeing.” (RCOT 2022)

Occupational Therapy is a long-established profession, based on the centrality and power of occupation to transform people’s lives. Practised across a diverse range of health and social care settings, occupational therapists work to understand people’s environment (both context and culture) their occupations (things they want, need, and are expected to do) and the support needed to enable them to perform those occupations and be well in life. This part-time Occupational Therapy course is designed to enable you to develop the skills, knowledge and experience required to practice as an occupational therapist across a diverse range of practice environments. By integrating academic study and professional practice experience the course aims to develop professionals who are creative, critical thinkers able to solve problems in complex situations with a strong, evidence-base, and compassionate approach to practice. Leadership skills and an understanding of multi-professional working will be key learning objectives of the course.

Entry to the course is dependent on a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and Occupational Health clearance. Applicants are required to sign a declaration of Fitness to Practice at Interview.

Whilst on the course, to meet professional body requirements you will undertake a minimum of 1,000 hours of assessed practice–based learning across a diverse range of health and social care settings and explore new opportunities for emerging practise areas. Upon successful completion of the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy you will have an academic qualification and  will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as an Occupational Therapist and to apply for membership of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, providing you with the badge of excellence within the profession.

Professional Conduct

Occupational therapy students are governed by the RCOT (2021) Professional standards for occupational therapy, practice, conduct and ethics, and the HCPC Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics.

Please look at the RCOT and HCPC websites to familiarise yourself with expectations.

This course is recognised by Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT)

The video below, from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, provides insight into occupational therapy and the UK's Professional Body. When enrolled on the course, you are eligible to become a student member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (subject to application and additional costs may apply).

UCAS Code Study Mode
2023
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
N/A Part-time 4 Years September Glyntaff A

Subject To HCPC Approval and Validation
 
The BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy course is a 4-year part-time degree course, delivered over four years. Each academic level will be delivered over a 16-month period.

Note: this is more condensed than the 24-month normal study duration for part-time.

Year 1

Number of credits assessed on: 100 credits

Practice Based Placements: One 3 week part-time (18.75 hrs.)

Year 2

Number of credits assessed on: 80 credits

Practice Based Placements: One 10 week part-time (18.75 hrs.)

Year 3

Number of credits assessed on: 100 credits

Practice Based Placements: One 10 week full-time (37.5 hrs.)

Year 4

Number of credits assessed on: 80 credits

Practice Based Placements: One twelve week full-time (37.5 hrs.)

Each timetabled week (with the exception of two practice placements in the final two years) will have 18.5 hours of learning. The course takes a blended learning approach with both on-line and face-to-face learning.

All modules on this course are core, this means that every module must be taken and passed in order to be awarded the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy. No other modules can be used to compensate or replace the modules on this course. 

  • Each academic level (extending over 16 months) will have a module where elements of the content are shared across other health related disciplines. This provides an opportunity for you as occupational therapy students to explore shared knowledge, values and understanding, which will inform both profession specific and practice-based learning modules. 
  • Each academic level will also have an inter-professional learning/education (IPE) module that will provide opportunities for you to learning with, from and about other professionals and the need to work collaboratively. 
  • Each academic year will have a practice-based learning placement within it. In the first two years the practice-based element of the course will follow a part-time pattern, similar to that of the course. In the final two years the placements will be full-time and require students to manage their time and responsibilities around this. Students will undertake a range of placements in public, independent, private and third sector settings which cover both urban and rural settings within the South-East Wales region.

Outline of Modules over the four years of study

Year 1 Modules

  • Promoting Health and Wellbeing through Occupational Therapy: individuals, communities, and populations.
  • Foundations of Contemporary Occupational Therapy Practice.
  • Bio-psycho-social Foundations for Occupational Participation.
  • Assessment and Planning to Promote Occupational Engagement and Participation: individuals, communities, and populations.
  • Developing Confidence in Occupational Therapy Practice

There will be a 3-week part-time placement – Experiential Placement

Year 2 Modules

  • Developing Confidence in Occupational Therapy Practice
  • Disruptors and Enhancers to Occupational Engagement and Participation in the Younger Person
  • Disruptors and Enhancers to Occupational Engagement and Participation in Adults
  • Professional, Legal and Ethical Issues in Occupational Therapy
  • Informed Decision Making in Practice

There will be a 10-week part-time placement – Assessment and Planning 

Year 3 Modules

  • Informed Decision Making in Practice
  • Disruptors and Enhancers to Occupational Engagement and Participation in Older Adults
  • Evidence and Research Based Practice 1: delivering safe and effective services
  • Addressing the Complexities of Occupational Therapy Practice.
  • Becoming an Autonomous Occupational Therapist

There will be a 10-week fulltime placement – Intervention 

Year 4 Modules

  • Becoming an Autonomous Occupational Therapist
  • Emerging Occupational Therapy Practice
  • Enhancing Employability as an Occupational Therapist
  • Evidence and Research Based Practice 2: initiating and managing evidence-based change and compassionate leadership on occupational therapy practice

There will be a 12-week fulltime placement – Critical Evaluation.

Teaching

The course is designed using a blended approach to enable learning to be as flexible as possible whilst maintaining a sense of belonging within the cohort population. The delivery schedule will be designed to bring students face-to-face for workshops, seminars and some group and tutorial study, however where possible, students will be facilitated to adopt flexible approaches to time place and mode of study, utilising technologies to enable remote learning and in turn build the students’ digital fluency.

The course adopts an enquiry-based approach to study with students taking an active role in co-creating their learning through scenarios and challenge-based study. This will require you as learners to develop early skills as a researcher to explore the evidence based for your practice.

External partners and practice-based experts will be embedded into the life of the course, to ensure real-world health and social care challenges are providing the learning opportunities.

Service users will be integral to the delivery of the course through bringing their expert knowledge through guest lectures, inputting into workshops, informing scenario development, and contributing to assessment.

Interprofessional learning, with students from other disciplines, will be a key element of your learning as you develop your own professional identity and understand the role of others within the wider multi-professional/agency team.

Practical sessions will take place in our simulation and practical teaching areas, which are extensively equipped to replicate the facilities and situations encountered in a range of real-world practice locations.

Practice-based Learning

There are four professional practice placements integrated throughout the course providing 1,069 hours of scheduled practice-based learning. In the first two years these will be part-time (18.75hrs), whilst in year three and four they will be full-time (37.5hrs).  These provide opportunities for you to develop professional competence and a professional identity in a range of health and social care settings.

Most placements will be local, within a thirty-mile radius of the University. Where placements are over 30 miles from the University, temporary accommodation will be offered. Every effort will be made to source Welsh speaking placements for students who request a bilingual learning opportunity.

The University has a dedicated practice-based placements team, to support and arrange your placements.

Support

USW helps every kind of student excel by creating a social and supportive environment for studying and living. There is close support from the academics and practitioners you meet on campus and on placement. On entering the course you will be given a Personal Tutor who will work with you throughout your studies, to develop your academic and professional skills.

What kind of student does this course suit?

Occupational Therapy is a science-based, applied health discipline that supports the participation of people from all backgrounds and abilities in the occupations that help define them and their quality of life.

Practically oriented students who are compassionate, understanding, and curious about using a variety of approaches to help improve quality of life, are ideally suited to this course that will lead to a rewarding career.

Assessment

The assessment schedule has been designed to build your skills across a range of academic, practical, and digital capabilities. All assessments have been designed to replicate the real-world (practice and research) The design of assessments and transparency of transferable skills to the workplace, are designed to motivate you and develop partnership working with our practice partners.

Assessments include essays, reports, presentations, digital posters, case studies and care plans, and practical assessments of clinical skills (known as OSCE). You will also have the opportunity to work on a research-based project to improve or enhance an aspect of service delivery. The assessments are designed to develop reflective practice and professional skills for transition into the workplace or if you choose to follow a research pathway. Assessments resources created by you will be shared with the wider community and practice partners.

Accreditations

Facilities

The course benefits from extensive clinical simulation facilities and a community flat simulation area in which a range of practical skills are taught, practised and examined. The University has an extensive range of partner organisations, including and extending beyond health and social care partners, to deliver a high-quality placement programme. For some elements of your course, you will be taught interprofessionally alongside Physiotherapists, Nurses, Midwives, Operating Department Practitioners and will benefit from the holistic understanding this brings.

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

This entry criteria details typical offers, however, USW has a Contextual Admissions Policy and considers eligible applicants on an individual basis.  Under the Policy we could make a personalised offer based on aspects of the UCAS application or have results considered individually when you receive them.  Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy Statement. 

Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable. 

We do not accept deferred applications.


Additional requirements include:

Two satisfactory references (one to be added to your application, and a second written reference to be printed out and brought to the interview).

A satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service* (DBS) check on the Child & Adult Workforce and Child and Adult Barring Lists and subscription to the DBS Update Service and an Occupational Health clearance. All applicants are required to sign a declaration of Fitness to Practise at Interview and encourage students to have a flu vaccination.

*Please note any disclosed police record will be assessed in line with the USW Fitness to Practise process and the requirements of HCPC, to check the potential of successful professional registration with the Regulator upon graduation from the course.

Unfortunately as this course is funded by the NHS and students have to have placements in the local NHS Health Board we are unable to accept applications from overseas (Non EU) students.

If your first language is not English, you'll need to have achieved IELTS as stipulated by the HCPC. We require 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each band. If you do not meet this criteria then we offer English Language programmes that you may be considered for, please also see our Refugee Sanctuary Scheme for further information.

 

Interview

Applicants are required to attend an interview. You will be required to demonstrate a real insight to, and enthusiasm for, the discipline. You should learn as much as you can about the profession, including where practitioners practice, and their role in modern healthcare. You must also demonstrate insight to your organisational skills and ability to effectively manage your studies. You will be required to demonstrate values in accordance with the HCPC (2016) Standards of conduct, performance and ethics.

Interview Dates for September 2023 entry:

  • Wednesday 19 April 2023
  • Thursday 20 April 2023
  • Friday 21 April 2023 
  • Wednesday 26 April 2023
  • Thursday 27 April 2023
  • Friday 28 April 2023

 

Application Deadline

Complete applications need to be submitted by the 1st March 2023 to be considered for September 2023 entry.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) will be considered in accordance with USW Regulations for Recognition for Prior Experiential Learning and Recognition for Prior Certified Learning. Any RPL must meet the learning outcomes of the module (s) / course and the requirements within the HCPC (2017) Standards for Education and Training and HCPC (2013) Standards of Proficiency for Occupational Therapists.

In addition, in accordance with the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (2019) Learning and Development Standards for pre-registration education, the maximum amount of the pre-registration programme that may be considered through recognition of prior learning is less than or equal to one third of the total pre-registration programme and may include practice-based learning. The hours of practice-based learning that may be considered for recognition of prior learning, must not exceed the hours of practice-based learning scheduled for the first year of the programme and must have been assessed as being successfully completed. Learning outcomes for practice-based learning will be mapped and assessed against the requirements of the Practice Assessment Document for the appropriate stage of entry to the course.

If a student has commenced a pre-registration programme with another education provider and wishes to transfer, more than one third of the programme may be considered for RPL. This would be subject to USW RPL regulations and processes and due confirmation form the other education provider regarding the student's professional conduct and fitness to practice whilst undertaking their students at that institution. Students will sign a declaration of fitness to practise through selection processes.

Transferring students must meet the USW admissions requirements, demonstrate that the teaching, learning, and assessment strategy is commensurate with the stage of the course at the point of transfer and will be subject to USW selection processes. Further details of RPL can be found in the Regulations for Taught Courses.

All RPL considerations will be overseen by the occupational therapy Admissions Tutor, and dealt with on an individual basis, in consultation with Academic Registry and will follow the University of South Wales five stage process (https://academicregistry.southwales.ac.uk/qae/).

Support for applicants seeking RPL will be provided by the occupational therapy Admissions Tutor in collaboration with Academic Registry.

 

Typical A-Level Offer

BBB to exclude General Studies

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Grade B and BB at A Level to exclude General Studies

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Merit

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 32 include 17 at Higher Level to include 5 or above in Maths and English at standard level.

Typical Access to HE Offer

Science/Mathematics/Health Care/Nursing Diploma. Must complete 60 credits overall with at least 45 at level 3 and 15 at Level 2. Of the 45 credits at level 3, you will need a minimum of 24 Distinctions, 18 Merits and 3 passes.

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.

Equivalent qualifications considered are Essential Skills Level Two in Communication and Application of Number, or Functional Skills Level Two in English and Maths. (Must be achieved within the last 3 years).

 

 

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

The places on this course are currently funded by the NHS Wales Bursary Scheme which provides access to a tuition fee bursary and support grant, as well as placement expenses.

To receive NHS funding, students will have to commit to working in Wales for two years after completing their degree. Any applicant wishing to self-fund should refer to the fees outlined below. We recommend you read the bursary information on the NHS website and our own NHS Fees and Funding FAQs before applying.

Applicants are welcome to self-fund and should refer to the fees outlined above and may be eligible for Student Finance Wales funding

August 2023 - July 2024 Fees


  • Part-time UK: TBC

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS * £53.20
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service * £13
Subscription required for each year of the course for a yearly fee of £13. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.

Funding

Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

Computers to Support Study

Students from the most deprived areas of Wales (bottom 20%) as ranked within the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) will be provided with £200 to purchase a computer to support their studies whilst on the course.

You can view your home address WIMD ranking at dataunitwales.gov.uk.

Securing a place on the Occupational Therapy course will require you to demonstrate real insight into, and enthusiasm for, the discipline. You should learn as much as you can about the profession, including where Occupational Therapists practice, and their developing role in modern healthcare. Try to convey an understanding of the philosophical basis of Occupational Therapy practice. You must also demonstrate insight into your organisational skills and ability to manage part-time study.

Selection

All selection procedures will be overseen by the occupational therapy Admissions Tutor and USW admissions team who will have undertaken mandatory Equality & Diversity training to ensure all applications are dealt with fairly and will undertake a briefing to all involved in the selection process.

Selection occurs through a review of the applicant’s application and confirmation by the admissions team, that the applicant meets USW and HCPC requirements for admission to the course.

Personal statements are graded against 5 key areas.

  • Understanding of the profession
  • Motivation to study the course
  • Identification of caring and compassion
  • Evidence of personal development (formal or informal)
  • Written communication

If these criteria are met the student will be contacted by the admissions team and offered an interview.

Interview

A task, comprising of multi-mini stations, designed in collaboration with service users, will be used to assess applicants. The themes of the multi-mini stations will be:

  • Dignity and privacy
  • Finding out about you
  • Facing Challenges
  • Innovation and Creativity
  • Decision Making
  • Introducing yourself and gaining information from others
  • Team working

This will be followed by a short interview. Service users and practitioners will be involved where availability allows.

The interview uses a standardised proforma that ensures applicants have fully considered the demands of the course and their chosen profession and sign to say that this is the case.

Interview questions are categorised under:

  • Communication skills
  • Motivation towards a career in occupational therapy
  • Understanding compassionate, person-centred occupational therapy practice
  • Awareness of the demands of the course
  • Awareness of professional responsibilities

Applicants are expected to be fully cognisant of the demands of occupational therapy practice and have the character and good standing required to uphold the values of HCPC (2016) Standards of conduct, performance, and ethics.

Applicants who have previously been enrolled on an occupational therapy pre-registration programme or any other health professional education programme must submit a declaration confirming no previous fitness to practice concerns. This declaration is included on the Interview form declaration section and will be signed at interview.

Applicants will be notified within 20 working days of the interview outcome; it is normally much quicker than this.

Complaints 

If you feel you have been unfairly discriminated against, please get in touch using the University complaints procedure, your complaint will be acknowledged within 5 working days. 

Complaints Procedure | University of South Wales

Occupational Therapists are found whereever people are found facing challenges to their ability to function and do the things that they need to do, and to enjoy. This includes the NHS, social care and education settings, and new roles are continually emerging.

There are many career opportunities associated with the various sectors in which Occupational Therapists are found. In the NHS this involves opportunities to develop as an advanced practitioner delivering specialists services, with similar opportunities available in other settings.

How does the course prepare me for employment?

This course prepares graduates to work as an Occupational Therapist in a range of healthcare settings within the NHS, in private healthcare, and in private practice. Graduates will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and membership of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists. 

Graduates will possess a range of transferable skills that will range from the ability to communicate via various means with patients and colleagues, an understanding of health promotion, quality improvement, team working, interprofessional and multi-disciplinary practice and ethics, which are all eminently transferable.