BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy


Work towards a rewarding career in occupational therapy and make a positive impact on the quality of life for individuals, communities, and populations.

As an occupational therapist you will enable individuals, communities, and populations to live their best lives at home, at work and everywhere else, helping other to overcome daily challenges, whether learning at school, going to work, playing sport or simply doing the dishes. “Everything is focused on increasing independence and wellbeing.” (RCOT 2022)

Occupational Therapy is a long-established profession, based on the centrality and power of occupation to transform people’s lives. Practised across a diverse range of health and social care settings, occupational therapists work to understand people’s environment (both context and culture) their occupations (things they want, need, and are expected to do) and the support needed to enable them to perform those occupations and be well in life. This part-time Occupational Therapy course is designed to enable you to develop the skills, knowledge and experience required to practice as an occupational therapist across a diverse range of practice environments. By integrating academic study and professional practice experience the course aims to develop professionals who are creative, critical thinkers able to solve problems in complex situations with a strong, evidence-base, and compassionate approach to practice. Leadership skills and an understanding of multi-professional working will be key learning objectives of the course.

Entry to the course is dependent on a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and Occupational Health clearance. Applicants are required to sign a declaration of Fitness to Practice at Interview.

BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

Typical A-Level Offer
BBB to exclude General Studies

Typical Welsh BACC Offer
Grade B and BB at A Level to exclude General Studies

Typical BTEC Offer
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Merit

Typical Access to HE Offer
Science/Mathematics/Health Care/Nursing Diploma. Must complete 60 credits overall with at least 45 at level 3 and 15 at Level 2. Of the 45 credits at level 3, you will need a minimum of 24 Distinctions, 18 Merits and 3 passes.

Additional Requirements
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.

Equivalent qualifications considered are Essential Skills Level Two in Communication and Application of Number, or Functional Skills Level Two in English and Maths. (Must be achieved within the last 3 years).

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Entry Requirements

The entry criteria below reflect our standard entry requirements for the course. However, all applications received by the University are reviewed holistically and individually.

Contextual offers

We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on its student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy.

Other qualifications and experience

We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible.

To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.

If you need more help or information or would like to speak to our friendly admissions team, please contact us here

We do not accept deferred applications.

Additional requirements include:

Two satisfactory references (one to be added to your application, and a second written reference to be printed out and brought to the interview).

A satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service* (DBS) check on the Child & Adult Workforce and Child and Adult Barring Lists and subscription to the DBS Update Service and an Occupational Health clearance. All applicants are required to sign a declaration of Fitness to Practise at Interview and encourage students to have a flu vaccination.

*Please note any disclosed police record will be assessed in line with the USW Fitness to Practise process and the requirements of HCPC, to check the potential of successful professional registration with the Regulator upon graduation from the course.

Unfortunately as this course is funded by the NHS and students have to have placements in the local NHS Health Board we are unable to accept applications from international/EU students.

If your first language is not English, you’ll need to have achieved IELTS as stipulated by the HCPC. We require 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each band. If you do not meet this criteria then we offer English Language programmes that you may be considered for, please also see our Refugee Sanctuary Scheme for further information.


Applicants are required to attend an interview. You will be required to demonstrate a real insight to, and enthusiasm for, the discipline. You should learn as much as you can about the profession, including where practitioners practice, and their role in modern healthcare. You must also demonstrate insight to your organisational skills and ability to effectively manage your studies. You will be required to demonstrate values in accordance with the HCPC (2016) Standards of conduct, performance and ethics.


Subject To HCPC Approval and Validation
The BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy course is a 4-year part-time degree course, delivered over four years. Each academic level will be delivered over a 16-month period.

Note: this is more condensed than the 24-month normal study duration for part-time.

Year 1

Number of credits assessed on: 100 credits

Practice Based Placements: One 3 week part-time (18.75 hrs.)

Year 2

Number of credits assessed on: 80 credits

Practice Based Placements: One 10 week part-time (18.75 hrs.)

Year 3

Number of credits assessed on: 100 credits

Practice Based Placements: One 10 week full-time (37.5 hrs.)

Year 4

Number of credits assessed on: 80 credits

Practice Based Placements: One twelve week full-time (37.5 hrs.)

Each timetabled week (with the exception of two practice placements in the final two years) will have 18.5 hours of learning. The course takes a blended learning approach with both on-line and face-to-face learning.

All modules on this course are core, this means that every module must be taken and passed in order to be awarded the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy. No other modules can be used to compensate or replace the modules on this course. 

  • Each academic level (extending over 16 months) will have a module where elements of the content are shared across other health related disciplines. This provides an opportunity for you as occupational therapy students to explore shared knowledge, values and understanding, which will inform both profession specific and practice-based learning modules. 
  • Each academic level will also have an inter-professional learning/education (IPE) module that will provide opportunities for you to learning with, from and about other professionals and the need to work collaboratively. 
  • Each academic year will have a practice-based learning placement within it. In the first two years the practice-based element of the course will follow a part-time pattern, similar to that of the course. In the final two years the placements will be full-time and require students to manage their time and responsibilities around this. Students will undertake a range of placements in public, independent, private and third sector settings which cover both urban and rural settings within the South-East Wales region.

Outline of Modules over the four years of study

Year 1 Modules

  • Promoting Health and Wellbeing through Occupational Therapy: individuals, communities, and populations.
  • Foundations of Contemporary Occupational Therapy Practice.
  • Bio-psycho-social Foundations for Occupational Participation.
  • Assessment and Planning to Promote Occupational Engagement and Participation: individuals, communities, and populations.
  • Developing Confidence in Occupational Therapy Practice

There will be a 3-week part-time placement – Experiential Placement

Year 2 Modules

  • Developing Confidence in Occupational Therapy Practice
  • Disruptors and Enhancers to Occupational Engagement and Participation in the Younger Person
  • Disruptors and Enhancers to Occupational Engagement and Participation in Adults
  • Professional, Legal and Ethical Issues in Occupational Therapy
  • Informed Decision Making in Practice

There will be a 10-week part-time placement – Assessment and Planning 

Year 3 Modules

  • Informed Decision Making in Practice
  • Disruptors and Enhancers to Occupational Engagement and Participation in Older Adults
  • Evidence and Research Based Practice 1: delivering safe and effective services
  • Addressing the Complexities of Occupational Therapy Practice.
  • Becoming an Autonomous Occupational Therapist

There will be a 10-week fulltime placement – Intervention 

Year 4 Modules

  • Becoming an Autonomous Occupational Therapist
  • Emerging Occupational Therapy Practice
  • Enhancing Employability as an Occupational Therapist
  • Evidence and Research Based Practice 2: initiating and managing evidence-based change and compassionate leadership on occupational therapy practice

There will be a 12-week fulltime placement – Critical Evaluation.


The course is designed using a blended approach to enable learning to be as flexible as possible whilst maintaining a sense of belonging within the cohort population. The delivery schedule will be designed to bring students face-to-face for workshops, seminars and some group and tutorial study, however where possible, students will be facilitated to adopt flexible approaches to time place and mode of study, utilising technologies to enable remote learning and in turn build the students’ digital fluency.

The course adopts an enquiry-based approach to study with students taking an active role in co-creating their learning through scenarios and challenge-based study. This will require you as learners to develop early skills as a researcher to explore the evidence based for your practice.

External partners and practice-based experts will be embedded into the life of the course, to ensure real-world health and social care challenges are providing the learning opportunities.

Service users will be integral to the delivery of the course through bringing their expert knowledge through guest lectures, inputting into workshops, informing scenario development, and contributing to assessment.

Interprofessional learning, with students from other disciplines, will be a key element of your learning as you develop your own professional identity and understand the role of others within the wider multi-professional/agency team.

Practical sessions will take place in our simulation and practical teaching areas, which are extensively equipped to replicate the facilities and situations encountered in a range of real-world practice locations.

Practice-based Learning

There are four professional practice placements integrated throughout the course providing 1,069 hours of scheduled practice-based learning. In the first two years these will be part-time (18.75hrs), whilst in year three and four they will be full-time (37.5hrs).  These provide opportunities for you to develop professional competence and a professional identity in a range of health and social care settings.

Most placements will be local, within a thirty-mile radius of the University. Where placements are over 30 miles from the University, temporary accommodation will be offered. Every effort will be made to source Welsh speaking placements for students who request a bilingual learning opportunity.

The University has a dedicated practice-based placements team, to support and arrange your placements.


USW helps every kind of student excel by creating a social and supportive environment for studying and living. There is close support from the academics and practitioners you meet on campus and on placement. On entering the course you will be given a Personal Tutor who will work with you throughout your studies, to develop your academic and professional skills.

What kind of student does this course suit?

Occupational Therapy is a science-based, applied health discipline that supports the participation of people from all backgrounds and abilities in the occupations that help define them and their quality of life.

Practically oriented students who are compassionate, understanding, and curious about using a variety of approaches to help improve quality of life, are ideally suited to this course that will lead to a rewarding career.


The assessment schedule has been designed to build your skills across a range of academic, practical, and digital capabilities. All assessments have been designed to replicate the real-world (practice and research) The design of assessments and transparency of transferable skills to the workplace, are designed to motivate you and develop partnership working with our practice partners.

Assessments include essays, reports, presentations, digital posters, case studies and care plans, and practical assessments of clinical skills (known as OSCE). You will also have the opportunity to work on a research-based project to improve or enhance an aspect of service delivery. The assessments are designed to develop reflective practice and professional skills for transition into the workplace or if you choose to follow a research pathway. Assessments resources created by you will be shared with the wider community and practice partners.



The course benefits from extensive clinical simulation facilities and a community flat simulation area in which a range of practical skills are taught, practised and examined. The University has an extensive range of partner organisations, including and extending beyond health and social care partners, to deliver a high-quality placement programme. For some elements of your course, you will be taught interprofessionally alongside Physiotherapists, Nurses, Midwives, Operating Department Practitioners and will benefit from the holistic understanding this brings.

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.


Occupational Therapists are found whereever people are found facing challenges to their ability to function and do the things that they need to do, and to enjoy. This includes the NHS, social care and education settings, and new roles are continually emerging.

There are many career opportunities associated with the various sectors in which Occupational Therapists are found. In the NHS this involves opportunities to develop as an advanced practitioner delivering specialists services, with similar opportunities available in other settings.

How does the course prepare me for employment?

This course prepares graduates to work as an Occupational Therapist in a range of healthcare settings within the NHS, in private healthcare, and in private practice. Graduates will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and membership of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists. 

Graduates will possess a range of transferable skills that will range from the ability to communicate via various means with patients and colleagues, an understanding of health promotion, quality improvement, team working, interprofessional and multi-disciplinary practice and ethics, which are all eminently transferable.


Full time

Complete your degree in the shortest possible time and study flexibly – when and where suits you!


You’ll study 9 modules in total (approx. 37 hrs/week).

Part time option one

Study for a degree whilst fitting it around your work, care and other life commitments.


You’ll study 6 modules per year (approx. 25 hrs/week).

Part time option two

Take time to study and spread the tuition fees over a longer period – at no extra cost.


You’ll study 4–5 modules per year (approx. 19 hrs/week).

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