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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Occupational Therapy Placements

What areas of practice will be included in my practice-based learning?

You will complete your practice-based learning via placements in a range of clinical settings which can include, but will not be limited to, physical and mental health in a range of care contexts, including community and inpatient settings. Placements are provided by the NHS, local authorities and the private sector, among others, including charities and the third sector. We will endeavour to source placements which will provide you with a range of experiences and therefore placements are different each time. There may be an opportunity for you to undertake a placement in a newer or evolving area of practice in the final year.

How am I supervised?

Placements use several different models of supervision and all are aimed at best supporting student development in that area of practice. In all cases you will be assigned at least one practice educator from the area in which you are placed. Your assigned educator will be an HCPC registered occupational therapist. Students undertaking diverse placements may be supervised by a professional other than an occupational therapist and in these cases additional support is provided by the University. 

How will I be assessed?

You must successfully complete a minimum of 1000 hours of assessed practice-based learning throughout the course of your pre-registration programme. You will be assessed against a range of competencies spanning a range of areas. These are all matched according to your academic level of study. Your practice educator will officially 'sign off' and grade each competency on a form at both the halfway and full time points of placement. A pdf version of the completed and signed assessment form must be uploaded to the assessment portal within a specified time.

How will my placements be allocated?

Your placements are pre-planned by us according, primarily to your learning needs. We will try, where possible to take into account where you live, whether you have children under 12 years old or dependent relatives, and whether you have access to a car. You'll be given an opportunity to disclose all the relevant factors. However, placement type and location cannot be guaranteed. 

Can I change a placement?

Yes, you can. However, you will need to formally request any change. Whether or not you will be allowed to change your placement will be decided by us. Please be aware that changes to placements are not always possible as there are only a certain number available. 

What hours will I work?

You will be expected to work the normal shift pattern of the organisation to which you are sent. This could include weekends, evenings and shifts. You will work a total of 40 hours per week which will include protected study time. 

How will I get to my placements?

It is your responsibility to get to and from your placements. Having a car is a benefit, especially for community placements. In cases where you use your car during placement, you will need suitable business insurance cover. If your placement is on the Isle of Wight you will have to cross the Solent by sea from one of Hampshire's ferry ports. In some cases, it may be advisable to consider booking secondary accommodation where the commute exceeds what you feel is a reasonable time.

What if I am ill or have an emergency?

If you cannot get to your placement on any given day, you must contact as soon as possible your placement provider and email your academic tutor and locality visitor to inform them of  your absence. 

How do I make up the hours if I am absent?

This depends on the number of hours you have missed. It may be possible to make up the hours by simply working a bit longer in the remainder of your placement. If this is not possible then you must notify specified staff and work with them to find an appropriate way to make up the time lost. 

Photo of Kellie Tedjo
In my first year, I was attached to an acquired brain injury (ABI) unit. My supervisor and OT team made sure that I was given every opportunity to learn how OT impacts recovery and community rehabilitation.
Kellie TedjoBSc Occupational Therapy, 2018

Hours in practice


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