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About the course
As occupational therapists and as educators we value human occupation, believing that an individual’s occupational performance is integral to health and quality of life. Viewing people as individuals, within their own environment and context, is central to our occupational therapy philosophy.
A client-centred approach facilitates the practical application of this philosophy and recognises the importance of the therapist to enable optimum occupational performance.
On this BSc programme you will learn the core skills and knowledge of occupational therapy, integrated with inter-professional issues and research. Periods of academic study on campus are interspersed with practice placements. You are also encouraged to examine the evidence base of occupational therapy, concluding in the presentation of a research proposal.
If you are considering studying Occupational Therapy at Brunel University London then you are committed to working jointly with the NHS to demonstrate the values and beliefs of the constitution.
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.
As is standard the NHS funded places are subject to contract and are yet to be confirmed at this stage in the academic year.
See Frequently Asked Questions, which include application information.
The programme aims to prepare you to become a competent occupational therapist equipped for lifelong, safe and effective practice in a variety of health and social care settings. We provide a high quality educational programme, which ensures that you are properly qualified, prepared and safe to practise.
Occupational therapy students typically choose this career for the following reasons:
- variety of work
- the challenge
- personal and one-to-one contact
- client/patient appreciation
- its holistic approach
- the desire to help disabled people
- to work in health settings
- job availability
- the chance to be creative.
The course integrates theory with practice. Periods of campus-based study will prepare you for practice placements, and then information and experience gained on placements provides much of the case study material used in University study. There is also a mix of individual and group work.
Occupation – introduces students to concepts including: occupation, occupational therapy and occupational science; productivity, self-care and leisure; theories and models that inform occupational therapy; planning effective intervention; and managing the occupational therapy process to address clients’ occupational performance needs. This theme includes learning about informing sciences such as human biology (anatomy and physiology) and psychology, which informs us how illness or chronic disease can affect a person’s ability to carry out daily activities.
Enquiry – teaches skills including: methods of obtaining evidence and assessing its value; understanding the research process and the ability to gather data; critically evaluating professional evidence and applying it; producing research proposals; and evaluating the impact of service provision.
Professional Performance – helps students to achieve goals including: understanding and using a range of occupational therapy procedures; learning professional language and terminology; demonstrating clinical reasoning; demonstrating client-centred practice; identifying change events and understanding their impact on practice; and justifying interventions from a theoretical, evidence and resource base.
The programme enables you to develop your practical and theoretical skills in tandem, including the theory and practice of self-care and independent living techniques. Practical skills are taught in the state-of-the-art Keep Living Suite, students learn about the use of special equipment, eg wheelchairs, hoists and walking aids and about designing adaptations to living environments. You will also study the principles and management of therapeutic activity groups, and will receive interviewing and communication skills training. You will develop skills in creative vocational and recreational activities and consider their use in treatment.
- Knowledge and Skills for Occupational Therapy
- Human Sciences
- Core Professional Skills 1
- Preparation for Level 2 Studies
- Professional Development
- Practice Placement 1
- Core Professional Skills 2
- Theory of Occupation
- Occupations for Health and Wellbeing
- Evidence-Based Occupational Therapy
- Practice Placement 2
- Practice Placement 3
- Core Professional Skills 3
- Occupational Therapy Provision and Service Development
- Research Methods
- Research in Occupational Therapy
- Professional Practice
- Practice Placement 4
Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
Brunel occupational therapy graduates continue to find employment both as occupational therapists or in other posts within the care sector. In many areas of health and social care provision, roles are diversifying from traditional hospital-based employment as a Band 5 occupational therapists to community-based Re-ablement teams. A BSc Occupational Therapy degree enables graduates to work in many areas: physical rehabilitation, mental health settings, with children in schools or in clinics and with people with learning disabilities, to name a few.
There are several aspects of the undergraduate programme which directly benefit the student’s employability as a graduate occupational therapist. A final year module “Professional Practice” examines the history and context of the graduate’s potential employers, such as the National Health Service, local authorities and other areas of service provision. Topics such as continuing professional development, preparing for interviews and developing a personal statement are addressed in this module. Throughout the course a strong emphasis is placed on development of professional competence and professional identity.
Post qualification, the normal route for employment as an occupational therapist is registration with the UK Health Professions Council which licences all paramedical and professional jobs allied to health. Many graduate occupational therapists begin their career with a Preceptorship, which provides mentoring for the first months of new graduate’s life as a professional.
95% of our Occupational Therapy graduates are in a professional/ managerial job six months after finishing the course.*
Occupational therapy has developed rapidly over the past decade and there are opportunities to work in the health and social care sector with people of all ages and all types of disability. More recently, the profession has seen rapid development in the voluntary sector, private practice, schools, prisons and industry.
Future developments are likely to be in vocational rehabilitation, medico-legal practice, forensic mental health, and health promotion.
*Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) 2014/15
The practice placement training on the Brunel occupational therapy degree programme provides professional experience in locations where occupational therapists work. Students experience 28 weeks of practice placement experience which in addition to their university studies, prepares them for a career as a therapist. A recent graduate has this to say about the value of practice placements:
"The balance of placements with more formal learning means that you develop steadily throughout the course and have the opportunity to apply different areas of knowledge into practice. Placements have been a real learning curve for me, and although they can be quite physically and emotionally draining, they’ve opened up my eyes to areas of practice that I hadn’t expected to enjoy. I’ve had mix of NHS and non-clinical settings, which has really helped to prepare me for entering practice at a time in which occupational therapy is spreading into other areas." Samia Ezzamel, 2012 graduate.
Immunisation requirements for the course
Please be aware that the University does not pay for any of the vaccinations or blood tests required to undertake this course, this is the responsibility of each applicant. The University does not offer a service to provide these and therefore we recommend you go to your GP or local travel clinic and start as early as possible. Until the University has evidence that you have these immunisations we will not be able to allow you to enter the clinical environment on practice placement so it is vital that you meet these requirements, ideally before you commence study. You must obtain immunisation against the following and further information can be found on the NHS website.
Please be aware that as occupational therapy students you will be working in hospitals and therefore in contact with patients who have infections so these immunisations are required for students as outlined in the Green Book by the Department of Health.
- Hepatitis B x 3 vaccinations over a 6 month period and a blood test is then taken 6-8 weeks after the third dose, to check that the vaccinations have worked. Please note that the Hep B vaccination programme from the initial first vaccination to blood test upon completion, takes 8 months.
- Also required is Polio & Tetanusè Rubella, Measles or MMR x 2 è BCG è Varicella Zoster, and evidence of chicken pox or vaccination x 2, or blood test to confirm immunity.
- Blood tests are required for Hepatitis B and also for Measles, Rubella and Chicken Pox if there is no evidence in the students medical records. Immunisations are compulsory and are required for clinical placements.
|HEPATITIS B (3 DOSES)
||This can take up to 8 months to complete
|HEPATITIS B BLOOD TEST
||Required at the end of the immunisation period to confirm immunity
||Available from NHS for no charge - must be effective for a minimum of 3 years otherwise a booster will be required
||This test is required before receiving the BCG if there is no evidence of immunity
||Immunisation for Tuberculosis
|MMR (2 DOSES)
||Available from NHS for no charge - must be effective for a minimum of 3 years otherwise a booster will be required. Must have received 2 doses
|CHICKEN POX (2 DOSES)
||Varicella Zoster. Must have received 2 doses
||Can be taken to confirm presence of antibodies for Measles/Chicken Pox instead of having vaccinations
|Total average cost
||This is the average however the cost from a travel clinic can normally range between £350 - £700.
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
Entry Criteria 2017/18
- GCE A-level BBB, including Grade B in Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Health and Social Care or Sociology (General Studies not accepted).
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in Health and Social Care, or Applied Science (Medical Science).
- BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a related subject, with an A-level at grade B in Biology, Human Biology, Psychology, Health and Social Care or Sociology.
- BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject, with A-level grades BB including Biology, Human Biology, Psychology, Health and Social Care or Sociology
- International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points including 5 in Higher Level Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Health and Social Care or Sociology.
- Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 45 credits at level 3 with Merits in all units.
5 GCSEs to include Maths at Grade C and English Language at Grade C are also required.
All shortlisted applicants will be interviewed.
Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.
A satisfactory health declaration and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, previously known as a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check, will be required (see below).
Mature students A high percentage of our intake are mature students, and these applicants are considered on individual merit, relevant work experience and evidence of recent academic achievement. Grade C GCSEs in both English and Maths is required.
Please note: This course may involve regular access to children and/or vulnerable adults, also known as regulated activity. Where this is the case, students are required to complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application. The application currently costs £51.86, but this is subject to change. For the most up to date information please visit the Home office website.
The University will send you more information as part of your admissions process. For further guidance please Contact Admissions.
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. Find out more information about English course and test options.
Teaching and Assessment
The programme’s teaching, learning and assessment encourage reflection, self-reliance and deep learning, preparing students for the challenges of employment within a changing health and social care system.
Staff use examples from their research and scholarship to illustrate the academic aspects of the programme.
Campus contact hours
In the first year there are more teaching sessions than in later years, and they may be timetabled throughout the week from Monday to Friday. There may be variation in the days and times that you attend, subject to lecture and seminar room allocation. In the second and third year you will have more self-directed study and may not need to be on campus as much
Practice placement hours are full-time from Monday to Friday (a normal working week).
How will I be taught?
We use a variety of teaching approaches in order to complement and support independent learning. These include lectures, problem focused seminars, tutorials, discussion groups, laboratory work, experimental work, practical work with theoretical presentations, case studies, workshops, peer teaching/learning, IT, and experiential learning.
Problem-focused seminars – Small groups of students meet with a tutor to discuss case studies. An atmosphere of discussion and debate is stimulated. As you progress the seminars are designed to be increasingly student-led.
Practical work – In addition to practice placements you will carry out campus-based practical work, exploring new and established techniques. Group demonstrations and teaching of techniques are followed through with supervised practice and immediate feedback. Students will be encouraged to assess, monitor and support each other’s practical skills as they develop.
Group work – Learning in groups in real-life situations provides the opportunity for students to learn through experience. Learning is facilitated by the lecturers, but as you progress, much of the group experience becomes self-directed.
Lectures – These provide cornerstones for further exploration and enquiry in practical work, seminars, group work and practice placements.
Private study – It is an expectation of the course teaching team that students will enhance their formal teaching with independent study.
Tutorials – On entry, students will be assigned to the guidance of a personal tutor, where advice and support may be gained on a range of academic and non-academic matters.
As you progress through your Degree studies, your performance in all modules will be assessed. A variety of assessment tools are used, reflecting the variation in subject studies. These include written examinations, essays and reports together with practical presentations. You will be assessed on each practice placement and must pass these in order to graduate.
Assessments during Level 2 and Level 3 studies will determine the classification of degree that you will be awarded.
As in all universities, Brunel assessments are subject to review by external examiners to ensure that common standards are maintained across all degrees.
- Our course is ranked 1st in London for Occupational Therapy (National Student Survey 2016) and 5th in the UK overall ( The Guardian University Guide 2018)
- Students enjoy first-rate facilities in the purpose built, multi-million pound Health Studies Centre.
- The Division of Occupational Therapy has many international links and staff from other countries often lecture on the programme. There are possibilities for some student to undertake part of their studies overseas.
- Students benefit from close links with colleagues in the NHS, social service and voluntary organisations around London, through research and practice placements.
- We have a well established reputation for providing high-quality education to healthcare professionals.
- We have an impressive record of research, innovation and publication. Lecturers’ leading-edge findings feed into our courses to ensure content is up-to-date and original. For more information about research in the College of Health and Life Sciences, click here.
The programme is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council and accredited by the College of Occupational Therapists. Graduates are eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and for a license to practise. You may also apply for membership of the British Association/College of Occupational Therapists.
Facts and Figures
Health and Life Sciences at Brunel
Health and social care has become one of the most hotly discussed and debated issues of our time and is a subject that can be studied from a biological, psychological, sociological, philosophical, political, environmental or cultural perspective. It affects us individually and through our families, communities and society as a whole.
Health and social care issues have always attracted legal and ethical debates ranging from questions about the beginning and end of life to the difficulties of managing professional health staff. These issues have become more complex as consumers of care services become more demanding and more knowledgeable of their rights.
The courses offered at Brunel aim to meet the needs of a wide range of professions as well as individuals who want to explore and think critically about current health and social care issues as a whole.
We have a long history of providing courses for health and social care professionals. Most of our courses are supported by various consortia of health trusts or social work agencies.
We aim to combine a thorough professional education with academic excellence and have a substantial record of research, innovation and publication which is reflected in the quality and relevance of our teaching, and in our excellent Quality Audit Agency Review of 22 points out of 24.