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The University of Southampton

PSIO6033 Practice Placement 1 Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy

Module Overview

This module provides an opportunity to experience current practice in occupational therapy and physiotherapy. It will take place in a variety of locations across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Principle providers of placement will be in health or social care settings (with some additional placements in schools, prisons, private and voluntary organisations for OT’s). You will be attached to an experienced therapist who will act as placement educator for the entire period of study. You and the placement educator will be allocated a Locality Contact (a member of the academic staff in the Faculty’s OT team) who will provide a link to the academic programme and will visit you at least once during the placement. You are supernumerary to the staff on the unit in which you are placed. This particular module of study has a focus on observing professional practice and undertaking simple assessment, treatment and information gathering activity. You may take part in intervention activity under close supervision but will not be expected to carry your own case load. Note to PT students: Having carried out an observation placement of 1 week in Quad 2, this will act as part preparation for placement 1 which is for 6 weeks. Note for OT students: If you are an Occupational Therapy student you will successfully complete placement 1 over a period of 4 weeks; prior to this you will undertake a number of half day sessions of guided independent study during quad 3. You will develop a portfolio of work relevant to the placement in preparation for the placement including information on relevant conditions and activity analysis. It is recognised that occasionally placements have to be changed at short notice; where this happens the material produced will be sufficiently relevant to be transferable to the new setting. Integration of Service Users (SU) The experience of working closely with SU of all ages, cultural backgrounds and across clinical specialities is an essential ingredient to the learning and assessment of competency in HCP programmes. This placement links to work carried out in other level 4 modules where specific service user groups needs and/or treatment is investigated at a basic foundation level. You need to be aware of SU lived experiences derived from narratives, research and evaluation of practice. This will improve your knowledge base and also underpin any self-development activities linked to practice placement. This combination of theoretical evidence and practice-based work will ensure that the profile and needs of SU are handled in a proactive and positive manner in all your scholarly and practical activities. Multi-Professional Learning The partnership between the academic and practice arena is an essential ingredient in the development, delivery and evaluation of HCP programmes. During other level 4 modules you will have opportunities to work alongside and learn together in mixed groups of HCP students and this will be replicated in all practice placement experiences where different professions frequently work together within clinical teams. It is envisaged that these experiences will have impact on how, and what you explore and in particular may be a feature of aspects of your personal and professional development activities.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to current professional practice in occupational therapy/physiotherapy. It seeks to expose you to the professions culture, vision, ethos and methods.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Recognise and adhere to the principles of safe treatment and practice utilising appropriate risk assessment procedures where necessary
  • Reflect on how a practical skill has been developed in practice.
  • Apply appropriate communication styles when working as a therapist, an educator and a professional
  • Examine and assess patients/clients and plan treatment programmes with regard to individual patient/client need with guidance from clinical educators
  • Choose and apply appropriate interventions with consideration for individual patient/client needs, privacy and confidentiality
  • Identify the effects of intervention and using feedback from patients/therapists to discuss possible modifications to treatment/management
  • Maintain accurate records appropriate to the needs of the patient and the team
  • Show organisational skills with regard to personal workload and patient/client need
  • Produce a case study from practice that uses theoretical and practical skills learnt throughout the academic year.
  • Develop personal learning outcomes for practice placement.


Practice placement in health and/or social settings includes the study of: • People and their narratives/experiences • Occupations and activities important in maintaining health and well-being • Informing sciences that impact on service user’s lives including bio-psycho-social and patho-physiological sciences The integration of knowledge, skills and attitudes specific to the specialty area of the placement and reflecting the five sections of practice: safe/professional conduct, professionalism, interpersonal, therapeutic and management skills as defined in the pre-set practice placement assessment criteria. Introduction to the Continuous Professional Development process: including developing learning outcomes/objectives, reflecting on a learning experience and producing a practice case study/piece of work.

Special Features

You will receive guided work based practice from a placement educator and take an active role in, and where appropriate, responsibility for a caseload under their supervision. The opportunity to work with other health professional learners on a specific project: learning about their disciplines and communicating with them while developing own professional identity. Opportunity to work with and learn from other health professionals and appropriate staff within the placement setting as well as the named placement educator to facilitate understanding of the multidisciplinary nature of health and social care provision. Some practice placements are located in buildings which may be inaccessible to students with restricted mobility, for example, in old hospital buildings. Additionally some practice placements may require students to visit people in their domestic settings with a variety of accessibility issues. However, alternative placements will be made available so that you have an equivalent experience and can meet the required learning outcomes. Grading of Placements It is planned that the assessment of clinical placements (for both Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy) will move from a paper-based format to an electronic format (electronic Assessment of Professional Practice’ - eAoPP) in 2016. The format for both professions will be the same but there will be a slight variation in the terminology used. The eAoPP is currently under construction and is expected to be operational for these professions in 2016. Please find detailed below an overview, in hard copy, of what will be included. There are 5 specific domains of assessment each with their own subsection criteria: Section One – Safety Section Two – Professionalism Section 3 – Interpersonal Skills/Communication Section 4 – Therapeutic/Clinical Skills Section 5 – Management/leadership Skills Sections 1 & 2 have 3 response items namely unsatisfactory, needs improvement or satisfactory. Sections 3 – 5 have 5 response items graded A – E, where E is a fail. The importance of safety and professionalism is emphasised by sections 1 & 2 being assessed in the same manner on each placement. To represent the students’ increasing proficiency and level of achievement the criteria for sections 3 – 5 differ and are further developed for each level as they progress from Placement 1 – Placement 4/5.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Your learning will be facilitated by a placement educator(s) who will use a variety of learning and facilitation methods, including: • demonstration by a recognised placement educator in the placement facility • supervised service user contact using mentorship • staff and learner led presentations • case study/presentations • ward rounds/case conferences • attendance at clinics and opportunities to observe specialist treatments such as surgical interventions • departmental in-service programmes • peer support in the university and practice-based setting • support from placement educators and visiting academics (locality contacts) • eLearning resources: blackboard site • learning resources in practice area • practice Placement handbook

Placement Hours240
Total study time240

Resources & Reading list

Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics.

Due to the variety of possible specialist practice settings learners take advice regarding set texts from their placement educator. Learners utilise their placement handbooks and module resources to prepare and support their practice based learning. A recommended list of books and texts will be provided on the Blackboard site.. 

Health Professions Council.

College of Occupational Therapists (2010). Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Occupational Therapists. 

Guidance on Conduct and Ethics for students.

Charter Society of Physiotherapy (2009). Code of Professional Conduct. 

Higgs J & Jones M (2008). Clinical Reasoning in the Health professions. 



Formative evaluation


MethodPercentage contribution
Summative evaluation 100%


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

There are costs associated with being on placement. These include the cost of travelling to and from the placement (once at the beginning and again at the end OR daily), the cost of accommodation whilst on placement and the costs of travelling around in the community during the placement. You may, if using you own car, have to carry extra insurance for work purposes and to carry patients as passengers. These costs are borne entirely by you unless you receive a DoH Bursary (which is subject to means testing). If you receive a bursary, these expenses can be claimed back from the Students’ Grants Unit, DoH.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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