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Research project: Widening participation in occupational therapy education - Dormant - Dormant

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Exploring the educational experiences of occupational therapy students with non-traditional academic backgrounds who enter higher education under the auspices of widening participation.

The single-case study methodological approach was informed by documentary analysis and two empirical studies: (a) a quantitative progression routes study which examines patterns of student progression and achievement in relation to their entry qualifications and (b) a longitudinal qualitative study exploring the educational experiences of OT students with non-traditional academic backgrounds as they made their way through a full-time undergraduate programme within one of the UK’s pre-1992 research intensive universities.

Occupational therapy pre-registration education stands at the intersection of the fields of health and social care and higher education. UK Government agendas in both fields have seen an increase in the number of students entering with non-traditional academic backgrounds, a group noted to experience particular challenges in negotiating the transition to, and persisting and succeeding within, higher education. My research primarily focuses on a longitudinal case study that utilises a Bourdieuian framework to explore the educational experiences of a group of OT students with non-traditional academic backgrounds as they made their way through their undergraduate programme. Supplementary and contextual data is provided by a quantitative progression routes study which considers the entry qualifications, progression and exit awards of four cohorts of OT students from a full range of educational backgrounds.

Project team

Research Supervisors: Jo Watson, Alan Borthwick, Professor Melanie Nind,  Debra Humphris

Associated research themes

Widening Participation
Social Inclusion
Student Experience

Related research groups

Health Work and Systems

Key Publication

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