BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy (pre-registration)

Accredited by the College of Occupational Therapy (COT) and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). 92% overall course satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS)*.

Course details

UCAS Course code B920

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Interested in becoming an occupational therapist? If so, our highly reputable course offers everything you need to get started. We are fully accredited by the College of Occupational Therapists, and our courses lead to eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council. You'll learn to critically analyse, evaluate and apply theoretical concepts to occupational therapy and the wider health and social care agenda. You can study full time at either the Carlisle or Lancaster campus and we offer our MSc accelerated route for graduates. Our course at Fusehill Street, Carlisle has also achieved a 92% overall satifaction rate in the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS).

Our course will give you plenty of opportunity for hands-on learning with placements principally in the North West of England (but also further afield), working with qualified professionals to gain essential experience that will set you apart from the crowd in interviews. Placement specialities include children, people with physical or mental health problems, the elderly and people with learning disabilities, as well as palliative care and forensic work. You can choose where you undertake your final placement, either in this country or abroad. Enjoy a fulfilling career by gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to become a top level occupational therapist.

2017 Entry

From 2017 the government will cease to provide bursaries for undergraduate NHS courses. Students will have access to the standard student support package of tuition fee loans and support for living costs, rather than getting an NHS grant. This information is based on the understanding provided by The Council of Deans for Health and may be subject to change as further details are released by the government.

How we can support you

If you enrol onto an undergraduate NHS programme in 2017, we’ll cover the costs of your:

  • Uniform
  • DBS check**
  • Occupational Health check
  • Travel costs for placements of up to £300 each year

This is in addition to any government support agreed.

**Paid on successful enrolment onto course

The course covers all aspects of Occupational Therapy, including over 1000 hours of work placement. You achieve an academic award and are eligible to apply for registration as an Occupational Therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council.

A wide variety of teaching and assessment methods are used. You learn in large and small groups, through formal teaching, group work, individual study, problem-based learning, practicals, research and work placement. You work with radiography, nursing, physiotherapy and other healthcare students as part of inter-professional learning. Subjects include—Human Biology, Healthcare, Psychosocial Theories of Human Life, Professional Practice, Therapeutic Media, OT in Mental Health, Neurology and Oncology, Physical Health and Trauma, Community Practice and Collaborative Care. You also have the opportunity to work in clinics run within the department.


Year one

  • Fundamentals of Professional Practice
  • Foundations In Occupational Therapy
  • Developing Professional Practice Skills for Health and Social Care
  • Understanding Occupation
  • Applying Models and Therapeutic Media in Practice
  • Practice Placement 1
  • Practice Placement (Observation)

Students exiting at this point with 120 credits at Level 4 would receive a Certificate Allied Health Studies

Year two

  • OT in Practice 1: Childhood Through to young Adulthood
  • Contemporary Issues in OT (1) Proposal
  • Using Evidence to Support Practice
  • OT in Practice 2: Middle to Older Adulthood
  • Practice Placement 2
  • Working with Others

Students exiting at this point with 120 credits at Level 4 and 120 at Level 5 would receive a Diploma Allied Health Studies

Year three

  • Using Evidence to Evaluate Practice
  • Practice Placement 3
  • Contemporary Issues in OT (2)in Application
  • Exploring Applied Occupational Therapy Practice
  • Professional Practice in Context
  • Practice Placement 4

Programme specification

For detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)”

2017 entry

You can find out more about the tariff and qualification options from the UCAS tariff table

112-120 tariff points from a maximum of 3 A Levels. Also to include GCSE English Language grade C or above.  Potential to succeed can be measured in a number of ways including academic qualifications and skills obtained outside academic study such as work experience.  We have a points range so we can take into account all of the information on your application form and adjust the offer from the evidence provided.

Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements.

Selection criteria

We strongly recommend you visit an Occupational Therapist prior to interview as you will be asked about your understanding of their role at interview.

Ideally recent successful study at level 3 within the last 3 years.

Alternate qualifications accepted for entry include:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma in Health& Social Care DMM - DDM
  • BTEC Diploma in Health & Social Care D*D*
  • Other BTEC subjects are accepted.
  • Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits overall, to include 45 graded credits at L3; 24 at distinction and 21 at merit.
  • 2014 onwards: Access to HE Diploma - 60 credits overall. Minimum 45 Level 3 graded credits, 24 at distinction and 21 merit.
  • 112-120 tariff points from a maximum of 4 Scottish Highers.
  • 112-120 tariff points from a maximum of 4 Irish Leaving Certificate Highers.

Some work experience or shadowing prior to interview is required.

All places are offered subject to successful interview, as well as Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (DBS formerly CRB), medical fitness to practise and proof of qualifications.

Fitness to practise and health requirements

All offers of a place are subject to satisfactory health screening. Further information will be provided following the offer of a place.

Please note that Professional Bodies such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) have certain requirements regarding health and character status of applicants and their ability to meet the required core professional competencies and to practise safely without direct supervision. Please read the NMC and HCPC information to find out more. Please ask us for advice and/or support as early as possible in the application process if you have any questions about this requirement.

For more information about core competencies and medical fitness to train please click here. There are fitness standards provided here for most programmes of study: health professions, social work and teaching.

In some instances, an applicant may be invited to attend a professional practice panel to discuss any recommended reasonable adjustments, and whether or not core professional competencies are achievable.

In order to be admitted and continue on the course, students must be deemed as medically fit for both practice and theory by the Occupational Health Department. If you have any concerns about a health condition/issue and its impact on your ability to undertake the course please contact the Occupational Health Department as early as possible in the application process.

Disclosure and Barring Service check
If you are offered a place we require you to comply with an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) background clearance check.  Details on the policy can be found here.

Interview Process

Students who are selected for interview attend an information session and campus tour, followed by a group assessment and individual interview. The selection is based on the academic profile, personal statement, and reference, as well as demonstrating a good understanding of Occupational Therapy. This understanding would be greatly enhanced, either by taking part in work experience or visiting at least two work-places. Interests and experience are also considered, but, above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential.

Provision for students with disabilities

There are robust procedures in place for ensuring availability of reasonable adjustments to promote positive access and participation for disabled students in line with the Special Needs and Disability Act (2001), as well as the Health Professions Council Guidelines.

Values Based Recruitment

Since 1 April 2015, all Higher Education Institutions delivering NHS training programmes are required to assess students for their values using the core requirements set out in the Values Based Recruitment (VBR) framework. This assessment will take place as part of our recruitment process.

Full-time courses

Apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), between September and January; they will send your application on to us. Applications submitted after this date will be considered late and the course you have applied for might be full by this time; however, we will consider you for alternative suitable courses.

Their website provides all the information you need about universities, courses, locations, entry requirements and financial support. You are allowed to select up to five course choices. You need to use the correct UCAS campus and course codes as not all courses are offered at every campus. You will be asked for the following information when you apply online:

Institution code name: UoC

Institution code: C99

Campus location:

  • A Ambleside
  • B Brampton Road, Carlisle
  • E University of Cumbria at Energus, Workington
  • F Fusehill Street, Carlisle
  • L Lancaster
  • T University of Cumbria in London
  • Y University of Cumbria at Furness College, Barrow-in-Furness

Part-time courses

Applications should be made online directly to the university; visit our website or contact for details and guidance. There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential-evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.
  • Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Applications for full-time undergraduate study are made through UCAS. Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa. UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details:

You can use the skills acquired on this course in a wide range of posts, from hospitals and private practices to legal and community work, both in the UK and overseas. You'll be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council, enabling you to work in the NHS and with social services.