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Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) MSc

Course code


Start date


Placement available

Mode of study

2 years full-time



International £23,615

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. It will allow you to register with the HCPC in the UK following graduation.

It is one of the only programmes outside of the USA to be accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Accreditation Council for OT Education (ACOTE). This means that if you graduate from our MSc Occupational Therapy Programme you will be eligible to sit the National Board for the Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam in the United States of America.

Our Mary Seacole Building is purpose-built for occupational therapy and physiotherapy. It has excellent facilities for occupational therapy including a therapeutic kitchen, gymnasium, 6 bedded hospital ward, a simulation suite and a room for exploring assistive devices. 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 research and scholarship active. We are a team of educators from around the world and we have expertise in many areas of practice. We have close links with colleagues in the NHS, social services 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.

Our admissions and selection process embeds the NHS Values. These values are shaped by patients, the public and NHS staff who have helped develop the 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.

Our MSc Occupational Therapy Programme Specification

To download please click here

Our MSc Occupational Therapy Mission Statement:

To educate outstanding occupational therapists who are experts in occupation, person-centred, inclusive and evidence informed approaches with high standards of professionalism

Our MSc Occupational Therapy Programme Philosophy:

What we believe about occupation:

We believe that engagement in meaningful occupations is integral to health, well-being and quality of life across the lifespan. Participation in meaningful occupations is a key determinant of health for people, groups and populations. Each person’s occupational profile is unique and influenced by the dynamic interaction of performance patterns and skills, client factors and the context within which the occupation occurs.

What we believe about our students and how they learn:

Learners are considered partners within a democratic framework based on respect with an expectation that all engage and contribute. Student-centred learning is a foundation of the programme. This approach facilitates ownership of learning, making the process meaningful and thereby developing a commitment in each student to the educational process and to lifelong learning.

The value of the diversity and life experience that individuals, as adult learners, bring to the programme is recognized.  Student centred learning facilitates the development of confident client-centred practitioners who are able to respond to and create change within practice.

As reflective practice will be central to the curriculum, it is expected that learners will use their study skills (informed by previous academic experience), personal skills and personal maturity to support these learning objectives.

The occupational therapy student will use their learning experiences to develop competence in professional skills and mastery of theoretical knowledge and the broader professional practice of the discipline.

Learners will be expected to take opportunities to reflect on their own experience of occupation. They will also be required to consider the ways in which occupational functioning can be disrupted (physically, socially, psychologically and environmentally) for/in the people with whom they come into contact during the programme and in their later professional life.

Learners will be grounded in evidence-informed practice which is fundamental to ensure service users receive the most up to date and effective care and that professional advances are incorporated as they emerge.

Learners will approach development of their professional reasoning in a considered way that draws on critical thinking and an evaluative academic approach throughout to apply knowledge, skills, expertise whilst considering service users’ values and goals to deliver optimal intervention.

They will learn to be effective consumers of research and develop a critical understanding of the research process together with how evidence both guides and augments contemporary practice.

Learners will learn about promoting public health and preventing ill health by delivering occupational therapy to groups and communities as well as individuals to bring benefit to society. This can be achieved through a tiered approach to delivering interventions at universal, targeted and specialist levels.

As newly qualified occupational therapists they will be equipped with knowledge, skills and professional behaviours and dispositions required to work and develop as competent practitioners within the changing health and social care environment.

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 (2021 - 2023), an average of 94% of our students (174/186) who started our Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) MSc have graduated;

2021: 58/62 (93%)

2022: 56/60 (93%)

2023: 60/64 (94%)

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 re-accredited by ACOTE in April 2024 for a period of 10 years. 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 2019RCOT logo H95px 2022

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

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Course content

Our curriculum has four threads that are build around our core focus of person centered care. Our four threads include:

  1. Professionalism and the evaluative occupational therapist
  2. Enabling occupation and advancing practice
  3. Evidence based practice & research
  4. Practice Placement

In the first year of study you’ll undertake modules from each of our four threads. You will learn about enabling occupation in older adults, working aged adults, groups & communities and in children.

We take a life-stage approach to our content on enablement. You will learn about professionalism and our professional values and spend time in our communities volunteering and learning about the nature of occupation. You will learn about research methods and approaches in order to prepare you to produce a primary research project in your second year.

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 with two external practice placements. You will also complete an introductory placement module will include on campus simulation to prepare you for your first external placement. You will gain feedback on your professionalism and communication before you apply these vital skills to a clinical situation.

In year two you’ll learn about leadership and explore specialties for practice. You will also learn about career development and be supported with thinking about the next steps. You will complete a primary research study which will give you experience in leading a postgraduate research project. You will complete your final placement in year two.

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

The below modules were approved and accredited by the RCOT in March 2023. The programme will undergo ACOTE re-accreditation in ACOTE in March 2024.

All level M modules are ‘core’, they must be taken and marks contribute to the final level of award, all placement modules are ‘compulsory’ they must be taken but do not contribute to the final level of the award. All modules must be passed

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

Professional Registration

After successfully completing the course you are eligible to apply for registration with the UK Health and Care Professions Council in order to practice as an occupational therapist in the UK.

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 re-ablement 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.

You will also be eligible to sit the NBCOT exam in the USA via our ACOTE accreditation.

Successful completion of the programme may also provide eligibility to apply for professional registration with regulatory bodies in other countries, for example: Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and many others. For current information on the specific requirements and registration process for each country we recommend that you consult the webpages of the relevant regulatory body.

Rights to Work in the UK for International Students

International students graduating from this programme may be eligible to apply for a Health and Care Worker Visa that provides the right to work within the UK healthcare sector.

This visa also provides the right for dependants to come to the UK and exemptions from UK health insurance surcharges. Further information about the current benefits of the Health and Care Worker Visa and rules for applying can be found at the UKVI website.

Information on further visa options is available on our Post Study Work Options webpage.

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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 3 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?


Applicants will be invited to attend an online interview with an academic member of the OT team for September 2024 entry.

The deadline to apply for this programme is Friday 28th June 2024. 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

2024/25 entry


£23,615 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. 

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

Scholarships and bursaries

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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 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 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.