Occupational Therapy (Post-Registration) MSc
Postgraduate Loans: From 1 August 2016, students who live in England will be able to apply for a Postgraduate Loan in academic year 2016/17 of up to £10,000. Find out more
Recent webinars: Access our recent webinar- including two online presentations followed by a question and answer session.
About the course
We are very fortunate to be able to provide this high quality programme as Brunel University London has one of the largest and most highly qualified occupational therapy staff groups in the world; the expertise is there to teach and supervise at Master’s and Doctoral levels.
Every module assignment can be focused on a topic you or your manager wants to investigate. The assignments are practically useful – write an evidence-based protocol or care pathway for your clients, plan how to improve the effectiveness of your service, evaluate and debate research in order to decide if the evidence is worth incorporating into practice, reflect on how central occupational engagement is for enhancing the health of your clients, or take a topic of interest to you.
The course does not further clinical skills, nor does it lead to registration from the UK professional governing bodies, but rather focuses on developing the occupational therapist’s ability to evaluate and enhance professional practice. Up to 60 credits of academic taught module exemptions can be offered for students holding a postgraduate certificate in Occupational Therapy, relevant postgraduate modules from other universities, or substantial relevant post professional periods of study – for example, AMPS or Sensory Integration.
The Department of Clinical Sciences also offers standalone modules in Occupational Therapy to develop and extend your skills.
Frequently asked questions
Master's level study is essential if you want to gain the skills to evaluate your interventions, build professional confidence and seek out and develop existing theories, which inform your practice.
This course is aimed at occupational therapists wanting to continue their professional development and develop evidence-based practice – and will broaden and deepen your knowledge and understanding of the value of occupational therapy in today's changing world.
Each module’s content is embedded in practice and overall the programme aims to develop your skills in analysing evidence, implementing and evaluating occupational therapy research.
- Encourages a theoretical underpinning of occupation, occupational therapy and research.
- Nationally recognised for excellence in teaching and research.
- Meets the needs of occupational therapists who wish to enhance their current practice in their workplace.
- Provides academic learning experiences in a supportive environment.
- A modular programme that can be studied full-time, part-time or as an associate student. (Associate enrolment: studying a one off-module – this is very appropriate for continuing professional development.)
- Facilitates reflective practice.
- Develops research competencies for using and developing evidence-based practice.
This course will broaden and deepen your knowledge and understanding of the value of occupational therapy in today's changing world. Each module’s content is embedded in practice and overall the programme aims to develop your skills in analysing evidence, implementing and evaluating occupational therapy research.
Main topics include: occupation defined and classified: theoretical perspectives; occupation as means of promoting and sustaining health and well being; occupational risk factors as barriers to occupational justice; historical perspectives on occupation; the theory base for occupational science: paradigms, frames of reference and models of occupation; occupational science in context.
Evidence-Based Occupational Therapy
Main topics include: conducting literature searches; examining the structure of research papers; comparing results and interpreting outcome measures; understanding the purpose and process of meta analyse; examining published outcomes measures
The Art of Professional Practice*
Main topics include: key models of reflection; modes of clinical reasoning in occupational therapy; judgement, decision making and expertise development; the work of key occupational theorists; historical foundations of occupational therapy.
You will work within a current research activity in an area relevant to your preferred field of interest in each MSc programme area. By means of the construction of a research proposal, you will explore the options of the research process by considering the possibility of:
- quantitative projects focusing on the measurement and analysis of data relevant to a question from within the discipline of their major
- a qualitative project focusing on an inductive approach relevant to the discipline of their major, or
- a systematic review of the evidence relevant to a question from within the discipline of their major.
This latter approach may itself be either qualitative or quantitative. Refinement of the identified topic will be done by way of a literature search. Topics of study might include: search tools, the parameters of a research literature, research questions, and the ethics of research, timelines and the planning of research, costing research, and the research proposal.
Approaches to Research
Main topics include: philosophical underpinnings of research methodology; proposal design; searching and reviewing the literature; ethical issues in research and research governance; surveys and longitudinal studies; questionnaire design; experimental and quasi-experimental designs; n of 1 studies; statistical analysis and using spss; depth interviews; focus groups; observation; use of documentary sources; qualitative analysis.
Recent examples of dissertations by students taking this course include:
- Parent-child play interactions; perceptions and experiences of children with autism.
- Therapists’ perceptions of the use of outcome measures in stroke rehabilitation.
Optional Modules (choose two)
Occupational Therapy for Children, Young People and 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 of the clinical reasoning process in paediatric occupational therapy practice; examination of 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 for 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.
Functional Neuroscience for Rehabilitation
Main topics include: nervous system development and plasticity; synaptic physiology – chemical transmitters; modifiable synapses: from development, to learning and recovery of function; autonomic nervous system and hypothalamic function; functional neuroanatomy – from pathways to neurological lesions and deficits; cellular mechanisms of neural injury and repair in stroke, injury and brain trauma; genetics of neurodegenerative disorders; brain chemistry, emotions and behaviour; pain and chronic pain management; cortical functioning in sensation and perception; vision and control of gaze; hearing and speech; brain imaging; consciousness: EEG, coma, sleep and epilepsy and cognition; modern neuroscientific tools for the exploration of brain function.
Occupational Therapy for Active Ageing
Main topics include: occupations, occupational deprivation and occupational justice for older people; current older persons’ health policy and legislation relating 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.
Specialist Practice in Occupational Therapy
This will primarily be related to the topic chosen by you and your subject advisor. Learning contracts: needs analysis, goal setting, strategies and resources for learning, reflective practice; delineation between networking activities and research activities.
Cognitive and Behavioural Issues in Neurorehabilitation
This module explores psychological processes underpinning perception, attention, memory, and motor planning. The module also investigates how these processes may be disrupted by a variety of neurological conditions. Subjective and behavioural aspects of neurological dysfunction are also discussed, with implications for rehabilitation.
*These modules are also available as CPPD (Continuing Personal and Professional Development) courses. To find out more information and to apply, please click here.
Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
This Brunel Master's is one of the few in the UK specialising in occupational therapy, and it has been especially designed to meet your needs as a practising therapist, helping you to gain greater mastery in your chosen area of occupational therapy.
The programme has been praised by the University validating committees as a model Master's degree for professional practitioners, for it brings theory to the workplace.
Based on a sound approach to adult education, the course invites students to bring issues from practice to analyse in class.
The programme was rated top out of all postgraduate programmes at Brunel University with regard to its capacity to promote personal development.
Teaching and Assessment
A variety of assessments allow students to become proficient in evaluating and questioning their chosen area of practice. Active and adult learning principles are used throughout the course.
This programme is only for those already qualified as occupational therapists.
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 2016/7 entry
£7,300 full-time; £3,650 part-time
£17,200 full-time; £8,600 part-time
Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students
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 Criteria 2016/7
A UK first or second class Honours degree (2.1) or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in Occupational Therapy (WFOT approved). Five months or more relevant clinical experience is desirable.
Applicants who hold an Occupational Therapy Diploma with a GPA 3.0/4 (or above) from Nanyang Polytechnic and have 1 year's full-time post qualification relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis.
Other Occupational Therapy qualifications with relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis and applicants will be required to attend an interview.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
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 University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have 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 number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.