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The University of Southampton
Health SciencesPostgraduate study

MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) (2 years)

The MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration) is a full-time two-year programme (45-46 weeks per calendar year).  Embedded are clinical placements of 1000 hours (minimum) resulting in a total of 91 weeks of study over two calendar years. Ensuring your knowledge is at the forefront of current practice and research, you will benefit from our bespoke teaching facilities and high calibre researchers, clinicians and educationalists.

You will have the opportunity to learn alongside other health care professionals and develop a high level of critical thinking from academic staff, both inside and outside of the occupational therapy profession.

Our accelerated programme is accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and World Federation of Occupational Therapists giving you a competitive advantage at home and abroad. You will be able to make significant positive changes to the lives of others.

This course will give you the knowledge and skills to treat people with psychological, physical or social disabilities. You’ll learn how to work effectively with patients, their families and carers, as well as with other healthcare professionals.

You’ll develop a strong professional identity as an occupational therapist and gain a clear understanding of how the role contributes to multi-disciplinary teams.

Occupational therapy combines a range of areas including human anatomy and physiology, psychology, sociology, pathology, learning disabilities and mental health. You’ll explore the impact of health conditions and life events on people’s sense of self, relationships and occupations.

The course uses creative, experiential and reflective learning approaches supported by practice placements. Learning is reinforced by internationally recognised researchers into occupational therapy.

Our purpose-built facilities include a multisensory environment, a biomechanics laboratory and an adapted flat. You’ll complete 1,000 hours on placements in the community, social care and hospitals.

When you graduate you’ll be eligible to register as an occupational therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

This course is accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

This programme builds on your existing learning from a previous suitable undergraduate degree. The programme will utilise your existing research skills to develop advanced critical and analytical competence so that you consistently apply current research to practice.

The teaching will be delivered in part with the BSc cohort and also with Master’s level students on other healthcare programmes. To facilitate your advanced knowledge, understanding and specific occupational therapy clinical skills there will be independent plenaries for your learning group. There will also be opportunities to learn with and from other healthcare professionals on clinical placement so that you develop competence in inter-professional practice.

To Apply

To apply for the MSc Occupational Therapy programme please complete an online application form.

You will also need to complete the 'Additional Questions' document available from the "Useful Downloads" section at the bottom of this page.

Further information and guidance regarding your application can be found in the "Additional Questions" document. It is highly recommended that you read this document in full before beginning your application.

Applications are deemed fully complete only when they include all of the following:

1) Completed application form – you will be assessed on your entire educational profile, so a complete application includes details of all previous qualifications (to be recorded in the "Other Relevant Qualifications" section).
2)Two references (please see 'Additional Questions' for further information).
3)Completed 'Additional Questions'.
4)Your degree certificate (if you have already completed your degree) and transcripts (from all years studied).

For enquiries please email or call 023 8059 7778


  • Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
  • Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT).
  • World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT).

Programme Structure

The MSc Occupational Therapy programme requires commitment and energy. It has a wide variety of core practice and research modules; all of which must be completed successfully in order to pass. It incorporates 1000 hours of practice placement in accordance with RCOT and HCPC requirements and prepares you to work within a broad and diverse range of health and social care contexts. Only placements successfully completed at a pass grade count towards the hours logged.

Key Facts

  • Strong international connections offering global international classroom opportunities.
  • Diverse opportunities to engage in non-traditional settings for both placement and academic modules.
  • Access to expert clinicians, educators and researchers offering support to develop and deliver your chosen research area.
  • Unique opportunities to participate in self-funded extra-curricular, occupational therapy specific training alongside local clinicians.

Useful Downloads

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

Intake: 15 maximum (starting Jan 2021)

The University's Admissions Policy applies equally to all programmes of study. The following are the typical entry criteria to be used for selecting candidates for admission. The University's approved equivalencies for the requirements listed below will also be acceptable.

The University will at all times seek to operate admissions regulations that are fair and are in accordance with the law of the United Kingdom, and the University's Charter, Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations.

This includes specific compliance with legislation relating to discrimination (e.g. Equality Act 2010) and the University's Equal Opportunities Policy Statement.  This includes a commitment that the University will:

  • actively assist groups that experience disadvantage in education and employment to benefit from belonging to the University

actively seek to widen participation to enable students that do not traditionally participate in Higher Education to do so

ensure that admission procedures select students fairly and appropriately according to their academic ability and that the procedure is monitored and regularly reviewed

You will be required to undertake a health screening process and may need to update your immunisation status as well as undertaking and completing mandatory and statutory training before undertaking clinical placements.

You will be subject to a check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (previously the Criminal Records Bureau) and any police cautions, civil or criminal convictions will be revealed. You must disclose any police record and discuss it, in confidence, with the Programme Lead. Having a record will not necessarily prohibit an applicant from entering this physiotherapy masters.

All places are conditional on satisfactory academic achievement, health and criminal record checks.

Entry Requirements

Bachelor's degree - Relevant 2:1 Honours degree, which includes research training component and was awarded within the last 5 years. Examples of relevant degrees are Human Biology, Psychology, Sociology, Public Health. If you do not have a science background but can demonstrate personal and professional Health and Social Care experience transferable to occupational therapy, we would encourage you to make further enquiries.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

The minimum pass mark for all modules is 50% (or Pass where the assessment is on a Pass/Fail basis). Re-sit for any failed assessments will be scheduled at the first available assessment opportunity. RCOT requires that only one retrieval attempt can be allowed for practice placement modules. If a student fails placement because of professional unsuitability, they have no right of retrieval. The full time route is normally completed in 2 years and the maximum duration of the study must not exceed the length of the accredited programme plus 2 years (4 years in total).

Please note that no exit award, other than the professional qualifying award, will confer eligibility to apply for HCPC registration. Occupational Therapy is a title protected by statute (Health Professions Order, 2001) and so it cannot appear in any exit, posthumous or aegrotat award.

Year 1

Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

Year 2

Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

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 some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. 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

Throughout the programme you will benefit from case-based learning, simulated practice, lectures and seminars.

Assessments will take the form of written exams, practical exams and oral presentations.

Your clinical skills will also be assessed in practical and clinical situations throughout the programme

Study locations

University of Southampton

Highfield Campus

Based on the University's main Highfield campus, the School is situate...Find out more

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