Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) MSc

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

About the Course

The application deadline has closed for September 2015 entry

The MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) aims to provide a Master's level route for graduates to become competent occupational therapists eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council, for membership of the British Association of Occupational Therapists/College of Occupational Therapists and be equipped for lifelong, safe and effective practice within the global marketplace.

The Department of Clinical Sciences also offer stand-alone modules in Occupational Therapy to develop and extend your skills. Please find out more.

Frequently asked questions 

If you are considering studying Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) at Brunel University London then you are committed to working jointly with the NHS to demonstrate the values and beliefs of the constitution.

NHS values
Patients, public and staff have helped develop this expression of values that inspire passion in the NHS and that should underpin everything it does. Individual organisations will develop and build upon these values, tailoring them to their local needs. The NHS values provide common ground for co-operation to achieve shared aspirations, at all levels of the NHS.

Values and Contributions


It differs from other Masters programmes in that it is a professional programme at postgraduate level and is full-time. It is not for those who are already qualified occupational therapists.


The closing date for the MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) applications is 19 December 2014.

Dr. Elizabeth McKay
Admissions Tutor: Occupational Therapy
Department of Clinical Sciences 
College of Health & Life Sciences
Brunel University London
Mary Seacole Building
Kingston Lane
Uxbridge UB8 3PH
T +44 (0)1895 268754

Placement Practice Enquires:
Janet MacPhail
T +44 (0)1895 268799

Related Courses

Course Content

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE – New Course 2014-15

The MSc (pre-registration) Occupational Therapy programme benefits from integrated education with other programmes within the College of Health and Life Sciences. In their first year of study, the MSc (pre-registration) Occupational Therapy students undertake components from a number of the current BSc modules/study blocks, as well as shared teaching with post-graduate students from the Divisions of Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Social Work and Community Health and Nursing Studies. In their second year of study, students share modules with other post-graduate students within the Division of Occupational Therapy. Where learning is shared with the undergraduates, the content has been integrated into M level modules and is assessed at M level.

The mode of study comprises two years full time. The programme’s taught modules occur within Brunel University’s three-term structure. To provide a balance between academic and practice placements and still meet the minimum of 1,000 hours of practice placements required by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists and the College of Occupational Therapists, three of the practice placement modules extend beyond the term boundaries over the summer.

Academic modules are based at Brunel University and practice placement modules are provided in a range of health and social care setting and increasingly in voluntary and private organisations including non – traditional settings.


Year One: The Skilled Practitioner – the How, What and Why of Occupational Therapy

Year 1 of the programme introduces students to the “how, what and why” of occupational therapy and aims to give them the opportunity to develop, explore and critique the core occupational concepts and skills of the profession in depth. The arrangement of study blocks and the 3 practice placement modules (that occur prior to the commencement of academic study in year 2), allow for a reciprocal exchange of academic knowledge and professional skills that develop the student’s understanding and knowledge of the profession further. Applying and evaluating research in practice is essential for occupational therapists, who are required to adopt evidence-based practice. Therefore the students are made aware from the onset of the programme of how research impacts on practice through clinical reasoning and decision making skills gained in study blocks and also an inter-professional module HH5609: Approaches to Research.

Year 2: Mastery of Occupational Therapy – Advancing Practice

Year 2 of the programme aims to provide students with a more advanced exploration of the occupational therapy profession. Students acquire mastery in critical knowledge and evaluation of key issues on professional practice as well as critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation of theoretical concepts central to occupational therapy. In addition, students study one optional module that enables an in depth consideration of a specialist area of current practice. The students’ research skills are further enhanced in the second year and culminate in the students producing a research thesis, in the form of a detailed research dissertation.


Occupational Therapy for Children, Young People and their Families

Main topics include: analysis of aspects in child development and study of common problems and disorders in childhood; review of the research based current evidence on occupational therapy theory and practice for children and adolescents; review the clinical reasoning process in paediatric occupational therapy practice; examine a selection of experimental methods appropriate for assessing and evaluating clinical practice or service delivery in children’s health; exploration of effective ways of incorporating the family into their child’s assessment and treatment; exploration of relevant current children’s health policy and legislation.

Occupational Therapy in Mental Health

Main topics include: overview of occupational therapy in mental health; review of the research based literature on occupational therapy theory and practice in mental health; detailed exploration of current mental health policy and legislation in relation to occupational therapy practice; exploring contemporary issues; examining current evidence and research related to the contemporary mental health issues; exploring a detailed selection of quantitative and qualitative measures appropriate for assessing and evaluating clinical practice or service delivery in mental health.

Occupational Therapy in Neurorehabilitation

This module aims to enhance the students’ ability to reflect upon day-to-day occupational therapy practice when working with people with neurological disorders.  Students will be able to objectively rationalise and justify their choice of techniques and approaches, critically explore the role of occupational therapy in relation to the service user experience, the multidisciplinary team and the changing landscape of service provision for people with neurological disorders.

Occupational Therapy for Active Ageing

Main topics include: Occupations, occupational deprivation and occupational justice for older people; current older persons’ health policy and legislation pertaining to occupational therapy; review of the research based literature on occupational therapy theory and practice for older people; person centred care; quantitative and qualitative measures to assess clinical practice or service delivery for older people; Joint-working across Health and Social care and voluntary contexts; Risk assessment, social inclusion and health promotion.

Note: This course may involve regular access to children and/or vulnerable adults. Where this is the case, students will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, previously known as a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. The application will cost £51.86 (this amount is subject to change) and the University will send further instructions as part of the admissions process. For further guidance please email admissions@brunel.ac.uk

Special Features

Research within the College includes: 

  • Professional Practice (eg user involvement, occupational science, health promotion, falls prevention, discharge planning, acute care, cultural awareness)
  • Research in Rehabilitation
  • Ageing Studies.

Teaching and Learning

The Programme Team adopted the University’s strategy for teaching, learning and assessment and developed it to reflect educational developments and encourage reflection, self-reliance and deep learning in the programme thus preparing students for the challenges of employment within a changing health and social care system.

Teaching, learning and assessment are designed to ensure that successful students are able to:

  • Seek out, appraise critically and use appropriate sources of knowledge and expertise within their academic and practice-related studies.
  • Utilise intellectual, subject-specific and key transferable skills.
  • Reflect on their experiences and learn from these.

Students’ learning is also supported by web based resources on Blackboard Learn with all modules having lecture and tutorial material posted on this site. Other features of Blackboard Learn are also utilised, e.g.: on-line tests, virtual blackboards, discussion groups, podcasts etc.

The teaching and learning approaches are founded on the belief that occupational therapy should be grounded in evidence.  This is achieved through the integration of academic and practice education which encourages evidence based activity.

Programme, study and module block descriptors delineate learning outcomes to ensure clarity and promote the active preparation of students.  Placements require students to reflect on their personal strengths and weaknesses and set objectives for their learning. Completion of student evaluation forms requires students to appraise their own learning experiences.

All study and module blocks are core to the curriculum apart from one optional module in the second year, which must be chosen from four options. All modules are compulsory.  This policy was adopted to ensure the programme meets with the professional requirements of the Health and Care Professions Council and the College of Occupational Therapists.


The assessment procedures within the programme reflect the learning outcomes of each study and module block. Assessments are carried out in assessment blocks. The University term structure allows the student to have assessments spread across the academic year therefore facilitating learning.

In order to promote independent learning, a variety of assessment modes are employed, such as case studies, essays, practical assessments, placement reports, presentations, written examinations, literature reviews and a research dissertation. These assessments are designed to not only reflect master’s level academic requirements, but also professional skills in preparation for practice. At the beginning of each year the student is provided with the assessment schedule, including assessment and feedback dates. Each assessment is explained clearly to students, both verbally and in the programme handbook, giving notification of assignment block requirements early in the commencement of the relevant study or module blocks. This information is also provided via Blackboard Learn (BBL). Preparation for assessment blocks is co-ordinated by the relevant year leader and undertaken through identified sessions within study blocks.


Occupational Therapy as a career offers many opportunities to work in the health service, social services, education or the private and voluntary sector.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2015/16 entry

UK/EU: NHS fee full-time

NHS funding has been approved for a number of places and the funding comes with the offer of a place; there is no requirement to apply for this separately.

International students: £16,500 full-time

There will be a fee of £2,000 for self-funding students (home/EU and International) to cover placement costs, spread over the duration of the course.

UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.

Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements

At the time of application, you must have a completed a UK first or 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification (any discipline) with strong applicants demonstrating a science profile (health and social care experience relevant to OT) and evidence of informed insight into the profession of occupational therapy. 

Applicants with a 2:2 Honours degree in a subject relevant to Occupational Therapy (for example: biology, psychology, human sciences and sociology) and who have extensive experience of working in a health or social care setting relevant to OT will be considered and assessed on an individual basis. 

Evidence of academic achievement in the last five years will be required. 

The application closing date is 19th December 2014 and all applications who meet the initial criteria above will be considered after this date. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview in February and March.

Interview Dates (though these may be subject to change)

Thursday 26th February 2015

Tuesday 3rd March 2015

Thursday 26th March 2015

Entry criteria are subject to change.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 7 (min 6.5W, 6.5L, 6.5R, 6.5S) 
  • Pearson: 64 (58 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 70% (65% in all areas)

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a range of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

Page last updated: Thursday 26 March 2015