Occupational Therapy, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English (book IELTS)
University rank #801 (WUR) ,
Occupational therapists enable people to take part in meaningful activities by helping them to overcome barriers that prevent them from reaching their potential.


Why choose this course?

Studying a Masters in Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) at Derby is the next step to a career that transforms people’s lives.

  • Study a course accredited by the College of Occupational Therapists and approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists
  • Study a course approved by the Health and Care Professions Council, meaning you'll be able to apply for registration to practice as an Occupational Therapist as soon as you graduate
  • Develop as a reflective practitioner and advance your skills in enquiry and research
  • Engage with experienced staff who are passionate about what they teach
  • Enhance your skills go on three practice placements where you can put theory into practice.

A meaningful career

If a career in occupational therapy interests you and you have an undergraduate degree, this course could be for you.

Occupational Therapists improve health & well-being through participation in occupation. On this course, you will explore ways to enrich the occupational lives of individuals and communities, by enabling people to overcome environmental and personal barriers that prevent them from reaching their potential. We'll help you develop a deep and critical understanding of the profession.

Professionally accredited course

This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council, so you will be eligible to apply for registration to practice as an Occupational Therapist when you graduate. It is also accredited nationally and internationally through the College of Occupational Therapists and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

During this course you will develop a deep and critical understanding of the profession, by focusing on:

  • What occupation may mean for individuals and communities
  • How people's occupations are developed and affected throughout their life
  • How occupation is influenced by and informs health and well-being
  • How occupation may be used therapeutically.

Theory and practice

You’ll develop and demonstrate your pre-registration competences through both the practical and theoretical elements of this course. You’ll put the theory into practice in our great teaching facilities, such as our replica hospital ward and simulated living environments. Practicing your skills in these environments will develop your confidence to go on placement. You’ll go on three placements, which could be in the NHS, social services or private and voluntary sector health and social care environments, that will give you experience of a diverse range of areas in occupational therapy to ensure you’re ready for your new career.

The programme is delivered by a dedicated and skilled teaching team, who are registered Occupational Therapists. Other professionals, as well as service users and clinicians input into the course too, so that you can benefit from their experience.

Leadership and lifelong learning

Throughout the course you’ll develop skills in leadership and lifelong learning, supported by a deep theoretical knowledge. This will help you to make dynamic contributions to occupational therapy.

Careers and employability

On successful completion, you’ll be well placed within the employment market as a self-directed, reflective, proactive and initiative driven practitioner, capable of influencing the development of others and the profession.

When you’ve completed this fast-paced two-year professional masters course, you’ll be able to apply for exciting and diverse career opportunities within occupational therapy in this country or abroad.

You could work with people of all ages facing different challenges in a wide range of settings such as:

  • Health services
  • Social services
  • Education
  • Care homes
  • Prison services
  • Charity sector
  • Legal services
  • Social enterprises
  • Schools and community
  • Independent practice.

MSc Pre-registration Occupational Therapy graduate, Claire Mangan, is on secondment at Nottingham University Hospital working on a pilot project to improve dementia care through music in an acute setting.

Programme Structure

You’ll study a range of modules in stage 1, where you explore the underpinning sciences and philosophies, and theories of occupational therapy, and apply these to real life situations. Practice Placement is a core element of this stage, and there will be strong opportunities for you to integrate theory and practice. You’ll have opportunities to learn alongside pre-registration MSc students from other disciplines, as well as other inter-professional students.

In stage 2 you will undergo two further Practice Placements, and will have opportunities to explore contemporary OT practice in more detail. We expect to be able to give you the choice whether or not to complete an independent study, in order to achieve an MSc at the end of your programme. If you choose not to complete this module, you will work towards a PG Diploma instead.

How you'll learn

You’ll learn in various ways including workshops, practical sessions, discussions, debates, peer teaching and experiential learning. Many of the modules use e-learning technology to support learning such as the use of discussion forums, wikis, blogs, classroom conferencing facilities as well as a range of teaching and learning resources which are available electronically.

How you're assessed

Assessment is through a range of methods that are closely linked to the skills you’ll need for your future career and learning. These include written assignments, reports, oral presentations, independent study, practice placement, literature reviews and personal reflections.

Work placements

There are three periods of practice placement, where you’ll work full time in practice for a set number of weeks. Working in three separate areas of practice will ensure you have the optimum range of skills for becoming a qualified practitioner.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

Academic Requirements

Our entry requirements are currently under review, but are likely to be an honors degree at 2.1 or above

As well as the academic entry requirements we require:

  • A range of skills and experience that demonstrates commitment, enthusiasm and suitability to become an Occupational Therapist
  • Where possible you should be familiar with / have observed at least two areas of occupational therapy practice in a mental health, physical or community setting. You should also demonstrate what you have learnt from this
  • You'll need to be fluent in English and for overseas students the IELTS at level 7 or equivalent is also required
  • A minimum of one satisfactory reference from a previous employer, education establishment or person of standing that should demonstrate ability to manage the academic demands of the programme, as well as personal suitability

Tuition Fee

Our fees are still to be confirmed for 2017 entry.


StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.