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Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) MSc

Course code


Start date


Placement available

Mode of study

2 years full-time



International £21,470

UK £9,250

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Occupational Therapy at Brunel is one of the largest, longest established and most highly regarded programmes in the world. In fact, we're the original ‘London School of Occupational Therapy’ which was founded in 1934. So if you’re positive, a motivator, good at coming up with solutions to problems and looking for a career that’s rewarding and really makes a difference to people’s lives then this could be the course for you.

The Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) MSc provides a master’s level route for you to become an occupational therapist. The course integrates theory with practice. Our Mary Seacole Building is purpose-built for occupational therapy and physiotherapy. The rooms reflect the type of clinical environment that you will work in as an occupational therapist. You’ll learn your practical skills here so that you’ll be confident and experienced in time for your first placement.

Our lecturers are still active in their field and have close links with colleagues in the NHS, social service and voluntary organisations around London. This means that you’ll have the opportunity to do your 1,000 hours of practice placement at a variety of settings including some of the top hospitals in the world such as the National Hospital for Neurology at Queens Square and Imperial Hospital. 

The NHS Values are shaped by 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.

Financial Support

Studying at University can be financially challenging so here at Brunel, we want to draw your attention to the UK Government support scheme – NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF) aimed to reduce this cost burden.

This scheme is aimed primarily at British Nationals and British residents. There are some eligibility criteria to be met but basically UK students are eligible for a non-means tested grant of £5,000 for each academic year of study. More info can be found here.

This grant does not need to be paid back. Neither are you committed to working in the NHS on graduating and registering.

Please note that the application process and awarding of this grant is totally independent of the University. We are unable to advise or intervene on your behalf.

Further information including a short video can be found here.

It’s likely that all students going on clinical placements will incur some travel expenses in excess of their normal travel to and from the University. Very occasionally students may have a travel journey in excess of 2 hours each way to and from placement in which case they would be eligible to stay local to their placement during the working week which would naturally incur extra expenditure for accommodation too.

So, it’s great that UK students are eligible for reimbursement of excess travel or accommodation costs incurred due to undertaking practical training on a clinical placement. This money does not need to be paid back. Further information can be found here.

In addition to the basic Training Grant - UK students who have parental responsibility for a child may be eligible for an additional grant of £2000 for each academic year. This grant does not need to be paid back. Further information can be found here.

UK students may apply for an additional exceptional support grant of up to £3000 for each academic year. This grant does not need to be paid back. Further information can be found here.

To register for an NHS Training Grant you will need to set up a Learning Support Fund Account – which takes around 5 minutes. Click here to start the process.

And remember too that you can still apply for a re-payable student loan in addition to the NHS Training Grant.

The programme is accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT), the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the US Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)*. It is recognised by the World Federation of Occupational Therapy.

Dean’s International Scholarship: This course is eligible for a £2,000 fee waiver, per academic year, subject to availability. This Scholarship is for full-time international students only. Find out more.

We're proud that across a 3-year period (2019 - 2021), an average of 96% of our students (183/190) who started our Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) MSc have graduated:

  • 2019: 57/60 (95%)
  • 2020: 68/68 (100%)
  • 2021: 58/62 (93%)

When you graduate from this programme you’ll be eligible to:

  • Apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • Sit for the US national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT**)
  • Apply for membership of the British Association of Occupational Therapists/Royal College of Occupational Therapists

*This occupational therapy masters programme was accredited by ACOTE in 2018. ACOTE Address: 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. Telephone Number: (301) 652-6611.

** The results for the programme graduates who undertake the NBCOT certification examination by state (Middlesex) and program (OT Masters-Level Programmes) are available here. Please note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Examination or attain HCPC registration or state licensure.

HCPC - Resized H95px Web 2019ACOTE - Resized H95px Web 2019RCOT logo H95px 2022

You can explore our campus and facilities for yourself by taking our virtual tour.

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Course content

You’ll benefit from the extensive area of expertise at Brunel. In the first year of study, you’ll undertake components from some of the current BSc course and from courses across the areas of physiotherapy, social work and community health and nursing studies. Where learning is shared with the undergraduates, the content has been integrated into master’s level modules and is assessed at master’s level.

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 Royal College of Occupational Therapists, the curriculum particularly placement modules, extend beyond traditional term boundaries, for example over the summer periods.

You’ll develop, explore and critique the core concepts and skills of the profession. Your first year will involve a balanced mix of study and two practice placements, allowing you to develop your theoretical knowledge and then to use this in the workplace environment. You'll learn how to apply research to a clinical situation.

In year two you’ll perform critical analysis and evaluate theoretical concepts. There will be two practice placements, one at the beginning of the year and one at the end. In addition, you’ll study one optional module that will enable you to learn a specialist area in greater depth.

This course can be studied 2 years full-time, starting in September.

Year 1

Year 2

This course has a placement option. Find out more about work placements available.

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

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Careers and your future

After successfully completing the course you are eligible to apply for registration with the UK Health and Care Professions Council in order to practise as an occupational therapist. You’ll be able to work in areas such as physical rehabilitation, mental health settings, with children in schools or clinics and with people with learning disabilities, based at a hospital or as part of a community reablement team. As well as opportunities to work in the health and social care sector there’s also demand for occupational therapists in the voluntary sector, private practice, schools and industry.

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UK entry requirements

Academic and Work Experience Requirements

At the time of application, you must have either completed or be predicted a UK first or 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent internationally recognised qualification, (any subject) 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. In addition, you should have relevant work experience at the time you apply across one year or more. This could be gained through employment, work shadowing or voluntary work. Relevant work experience should be gained in health or social care, rehabilitation, teaching, teaching assistant, working with people with disabilities or at risk populations, and should give you a good understanding of the work of an occupational therapist.

Applicants with a 2:2 Honours degree in a subject relevant to occupational therapy (for example Biology, Psychology, Human Sciences and Sociology) will also be considered. However, in addition, you should have 5 years relevant work experience. This should be gained through working in a health or social care setting relevant to occupational therapy.

Those who have already completed a degree in Occupational Therapy overseas but wish to do this also in the UK, must first apply for accreditation with the Health Care and Professionals Council (HCPC) to practice as an Occupational Therapist in the UK before making an application for this course. If your application is denied we would encourage you to submit an application for this programme attaching evidence of your unsuccessful HCPC application. We will then refer your application to the tutor for consideration. If your application for accreditation is successful, unfortunately we will not be able to consider your application as we’re not able to accept qualified Occupational Therapists onto the course. If you are able to obtain HCPC registration for the UK but would like to apply to study an MSc post registration at Brunel, we would like to hear from you. Please see: If you would like to study a PhD at Brunel please see:*

Sometimes graduates may have relevant academic or work experience that duplicates some of the learning requirements of the programme, and use this experience for the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning / Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning scheme. As this programme is subject to accreditation by the USA regulatory body ACOTE, this programme will not accept applications for Recognition of Prior Learning / Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning. This also means this programme will not accept mid-way transfers from another health-related or professional programmes.

Personal statement

Candidates must submit a personal statement that address each of these 3 questions. Each response to the questions should be up to, and no more than 300 words in total. Please submit all 3 statements on one word document and use the questions as subheadings in your statement.

  1. What is your understanding of the uniqueness of occupational therapy? i.e How is it different to other health care professions.
  2. Why do you want to enter the occupational therapy profession?
  3. At Brunel University London we value social justice, which is about fair access to opportunities, resources, privileges, and wealth. We recognise that as therapists, students, co-workers, and community members, we all have a responsibility to stand against social injustice. What is your understanding of social justice and how can you stand against social injustices as an occupational therapist?

Selection Days

Applicants will be invited to attend an Interview. Interviews for entry in September 2023 will be held online.

The deadline to apply for this programme is the 30th June 2023. Applications received after this date may not be considered.

Applicants can apply for the next entry point only. If you receive an offer and would like to defer your offer to the following entry point to the one you have applied for, you should put your request in writing to the Admission Office. They will then liaise with the Admissions Tutors for the course and let you know the outcome. You should have a strong reason for wanting to defer and we regret that we are not able to guarantee that we can accommodate this request.

Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) requirements

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 (previously known as a CRB check). The application currently costs £46.17 for applicants in the UK and £57.17 for anyone outside of the UK, but this is subject to change. For the most up to date information please visit the Home office website.

A satisfactory health declaration is required.


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EU and International entry requirements

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 7 (min 6.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 64 (59 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 68% (63% in all areas)
  • TOEFL: 98 (min 23 in all areas) 

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason. We offer our own BrunELT English test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options through our Brunel Language Centre.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants. This information is for guidance only and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Entry requirements are subject to review, and may change.

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Fees and funding

2023/24 entry


£21,470 full-time


£9,250 full-time

More information on any additional course-related costs.

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

Fees for EU applicants – For entry in 2023/24 academic year, eligible EU applicants will have the same tuition fees as UK students to continue our support during this transition period. These fees will be applied for the duration of the course.  

See our fees and funding page for full details of postgraduate scholarships available to Brunel applicants.

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Teaching and Learning

How the course will be delivered

Required equipment

How you'll learn on your course

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Assessment and feedback

The University term structure allows the student to have assessments spread across the academic year to assist learning.

In order to promote independent learning, a variety of authentic assessment methods are used reflecting the skills and demands needed to be a qualified occupational therapist such as writing professional reports and reflections, presentations, academic posters, practical skills assessments, placement reports and a research disseration. 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 you’ll be provided with the assessment schedule, including assessment and feedback dates. This will be provided verbally and in the programme handbook.

Read our guide on how to avoid plagiarism in your assessments at Brunel.