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The human body is amazing but when things go wrong, either mentally or physically, people often aren’t able to do activities that matter to them. What are the barriers to activity? Are there ways to overcome these barriers? These are the questions you’ll be finding the answers to as an Occupational Therapist.
At Brunel you’ll be integrating theory with practice. You’ll learn to examine the physical, psychological and contextual aspects of a patient. This can be from the acute stage through to the general rehabilitation in the community. You’re encouraged to be creative in your approach and to develop ways to solve their problems. For instance you could be helping someone who has had an amputation to use a wheelchair and identifying ways to have their kitchen adapted. On the course you’ll be encouraged to use your own skills and hobbies to aid rehabilitation. This can be anything from art or music to hair braiding.
You’ll learn to use research and literature and to look at evidence to help your understanding of a patient’s condition. Eventually you’ll learn the skills to create your own research.
Brunel is ranked first in London for Occupational Therapy in The Complete University Guide 2019. 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 is the course for you.
Got a question about this course? Check out our FAQ's page.
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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. Your course will follow four themes. These will form the basis of your learning throughout the three years. These themes are:
The word ‘occupation’ in occupational therapy refers to people’s everyday activities such as work, hobbies, looking after yourself etc. You’ll learn human biology (anatomy and physiology) and psychology, which will inform you how illness or chronic disease can affect a person’s ability to carry out these daily activities.
You’ll learn to read literature and research and evaluate evidence. You’ll be taught about the research process and how it applies in the context of being a health professional. You will become proficient users of existing research, be able to help your patients to understand what it means and eventually you’ll have the skillset to create your own research projects.
You’ll learn the professional language and terminology used in occupational therapy and be able to use clinical reasoning. You’ll understand and use a range of occupational therapy procedures. As an occupational therapist you’ll be dealing with vulnerable people in society so this theme also covers the importance of professional integrity and conduct.
You’ll learn how to assess patients, work out their difficulties and to resolve their problems. This can be helping people with dementia to maintain their quality of life, working with people with physical difficulties to help them with self-care and independent living techniques or working with mental health patients to redevelop either social or vocational skills. These are just a few examples. Our purpose-built Keep Living Suite and our specialist equipment will help you to learn about the type of equipment you will use when you’re working as an occupational therapist. You’ll learn to fit equipment such as commodes and bath seats, how to advise patients on sitting positions, desk or table configurations and the use of equipment in bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens. There are opportunities on campus and as part of your course to help with Brunel’s wheelchair basketball team, use sensory integration equipment and help with children who have developmental coordination disorder.
UK entry requirements
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- GCE A-level BBB, including a 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.
- BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in Health and Social Care or Applied Science, 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 Health and Social Care or Applied Science, with A-level grades BB, to include: 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.
Five GCSEs at grade C or grade 4 or above are also required, including English Language and Maths.
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 is required.
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 or grade 4 at GCSE 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.
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 6.5W, 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.
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.