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Occupational Therapy PhD

MPhil option available This course has an MPhil option

Overview

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. Recently the UK Government made available the Doctoral Student Loans of up to £25,000 for UK and EU students and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.)

About the course

Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline. A PhD involves demonstrating through original research or other advanced scholarship the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge at the forefront of an academic discipline or professional practice, the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the general of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline. Both full-time (3 years) and part-time (6 years) study routes are available.

MPhil degree option

An MPhil involves the exploration of a research topic and is typically studied over a shorter period of 1 year for a full-time student and 2 years for a part-time student. MPhil students are required to demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights informed by the forefront of their discipline, field of study or professional practice.

Research profile

There are a range of research specialisms in the Division of Occupational Therapy which can be seen in the areas we particularly welcome proposals on and supervisors’ areas of expertise. We are interested in projects which expand the evidence base for occupational therapy in physical and mental health and wellbeing, across the lifespan, promoting clinical and cost effectiveness.

Applicants are welcome to contact us about their own specialist topics and projects.  However we particularly welcome proposals on:

  • Brain and behaviour – neuroplasticity of disability and impact of interventions to enhance occupational performance
  • Participation - understanding motivation and engagement
  • Psychosocial impact of childhood onset neurodisability
  • Evidence based intervention approaches with children and young people with disabilities and their families
  • Evidence-based intervention  for UL rehabilitation after stroke
  • Assessing the ability to self-manage after stroke
  • Exploring the experience of stroke survivors and co-designing service user-led interventions
  • Mental health recovery and lived experience
  • Educational diversity and cultural discourse
  • Occupational narratives in relation to role and identity
  • Emotional Labour, Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Resilience
  • Emotions within Therapeutic Relationship

Update of research projects in the department

  • Writing in the digital age – an investigation of the impact of typing versus handwriting on writing performance in adolescents with handwriting difficulties
  • Developing a goal-oriented assessment and outcome measure for children’s wheelchair basketball
  • Transcranial direct current simulation to improve motor function in children with cerebral palsy: A pilot study
  • Motivation for Rehabilitation – Proof of concept evaluation of virtual reality innovations for therapy for young people with brain injury
  • Participation and well-being for children and young people with unilateral motor impairments: The Explorers’ Project.

Find out more

Enquiries

Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)


Course content

Research degrees evolve in different ways according to discipline. Find out about what progress might look like at each stage of study here: Research degree progress structure

Employability

Careers and your future

Paid work available to research students

Undertaking teaching and learning support duties represents an important professional and career development opportunity for postgraduate research students. Brunel offers two levels of paid work available to Postgraduate Research students. The first level post is as a Demonstrator and the second level post is as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA). Teaching and learning support duties will vary between Departments and research students should not rely on such opportunities being available. Find out more here

Following completion students may follow several career paths:

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy Research
  • Research on Work and Employment
  • Professional Education and Training of Occupational Therapists
  • Interprofessional Education and Training
  • Health and Social Care
  • Community nursing
  • Academic

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 2019/20

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree. All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study. The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis.

Research statement

As part of our application process for entry on our research degree (MPhil and PhD) programmes, we ask you to provide a 500-1,000 word research statement, excluding any references/bibliography you may include, setting out your research motivation, ideas and aspirations. Learn how to prepare a research statement here.  

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)

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

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.

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 at the Brunel Language Centre.

Teaching and learning

Supervisors with insight
Our supervisors create knowledge and advance understanding, and equip research students with the confidence to apply what they have learnt for the benefit of society. Browse all potential supervisor profiles further here.

Information about supervisor areas of expertise:

  • Intervention design for motor learning and motor control in childhood neurodisability
  • Integrating the arts in healthcare and rehabilitation
  • Participation
  • Handwriting
  • Stroke and Neurorehabilitation
  • Upper limb rehabilitation
  • Service evaluation
  • Systematic review
  • Emotional Labour, Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Resilience
  • Emotions within Therapeutic Relationship

Each student will be allocated a supervisory team consisting of the principal supervisor, second supervisor and a Research Development Advisor. The supervisory team will set teaching and learning targets and advise the student how to achieve them. The progress of each student will be assessed by the supervisory team at regular meetings and by a formal Progress Review Panel at 9 months for full-time students (18 months for part-time students) and then annually. All academic supervisors receive university supported training in the supervision of PhD students.

Find out more about working with the Supervisory Team here.

 

Special features

A training programme will be provided by the College to assist students with achieving targets.  The programme will include the underpinning principles such as philosophy of science, research integrity, ethics and specialist methodology.  Sessions in core, specialist and advanced research methods will prepare students for an independent research career.  The College research methods programme includes sessions from specialists with research expertise in qualitative, quantitative, reflexive, practitioner and insider research, and is aligned with the ESRC research methods expectations. Students will also enrol in the Graduate School Researcher Development Programme that ensures all students are equipped with generic research skills including presentational skills and impact activities.

Facts and figures

Brunel University London REF2014 Submission:

Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care

Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The results of the REF2014 have been made public in December 2014, replacing the previous REF conducted in 2008.  The next REF will be undertaken in 2020.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 - A Guide for PhD Students

Study environment for research students
Find out more: Study environment for research students

Fees and funding

Fees for 2019/20 entry

 

Home/EU students:

International students:

Fees (per year):

Full-time

Part-time

Full-time 

Part-time (for students not requiring Tier 4 visa)

2019/20

£4,327

£2,163

£18,720

£9,360

2020/21 

£4,407

£2,203

£19,280

£9,640

Research projects undertaken within the Department of Life Sciences in the areas of Biosciences; Environmental Sciences; Psychology and Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences may require an annual bench fee. Research projects undertaken within the Department of Clinical Sciences in the areas of Physiotherapy; Occupational Therapy; Health Sciences and Social Work may also require an annual bench fee. The amount is variable dependent on the requirements of the project and will be discussed and agreed between the applicant and the supervisor at interview stage. This amount will be additional to tuition fees and will be stated in the offer letter from Admissions

 

Research funding

We offer a range of PhD studentships, partial scholarships, and academic prizes, to help with your research fees.  Explore external funding, particularly the Research Councils, as well as other support.

Some courses incur additional course related costs. You can also check our on-campus accommodation costs for more information on living expenses.

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