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  • Join a uniquely flexible learning experience that will accommodate a wide range of different learning styles
  • Become a well-rounded professional practitioner with the knowledge, skills and attributes to enable you to work with individuals of all ages who live with a physical, mental health and/or learning disability
  • Experience a wide range of practical areas and undertake relevant work-based placements
  • Benefit from an expert and approachable staff team with an emphasis on student wellbeing and support, underpinned by the values of the university
  • Manage your own research project
  • This programme is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT)

Our unique and flexible MSc in Occupational Therapy programme is about knowing, doing and becoming a registered Occupational Therapist. Combining virtual classroom learning alongside blocks of practical/seminar learning on campus, it provides a fast–track pathway through to employment via a two-year, full-time route as well as a more flexible part-time option taking three years.

The curriculum will encompass the key NHS and policy drivers and thoughts on present and future practice delivery. This will be drawn from consultation and collaboration with local Trusts and external stakeholders to anticipate the competencies and capabilities you require to prepare for the future and take on different roles.

The programme aligns with the local needs of a largely rural community by being underpinned by a community/primary care focus while fulfilling the Standards of Education and Training (SETs) and Standards of Proficiency (SOPs) required by the Health and Care Professions Council and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

The pillars of the programme are:

  • Behaviours, Knowledge and Skills: you will cover the biological, physical, psychological, behavioural, and sociological underpinnings of occupational science and personal skills for promoting effective working relationships with patients, carers, and colleagues, working in a changing healthcare environment and a more global healthcare context.
  • Occupational Therapy Specific Skills: growing skills and abilities in applying effective assessment and management of clients and developing your abilities to work within changing occupational therapy paradigms and expanding roles.
  • Occupational Therapy Values, Knowledge and Understanding: you will develop the personal,
    professional and employability skills and values for becoming an autonomous professional who is able to provide thoughtful and innovative solutions for managing client pathways and lead, manage and shape occupational therapy services.
  • Research, problem solving and decision-making: you will learn to engage with research and use sound
    reasoning, problem solving, and evidence informed practice in management planning.

The specific modules guide you through a sequence of learning that is systematic and gradually developed and are designed to help develop innovative, ‘can-do’ capabilities and flexibility.

The programme utilises a case-based learning and teaching approach which includes keynote lectures, small group work, practical sessions, project supervision, tutorials and seminars, clinical placements, and guided independent study. In addition there will be guest speakers, external visits and individual and group presentations.

The programme develops graduates who are adaptable, flexible and ‘tuned’ to the future. As such you are well positioned to find employment in healthcare (private and NHS), social care, charitable and voluntary organisations, local councils, research, disaster management, and education.


This programme is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT).


Graduates may be employed in the following sectors: Healthcare (private and NHS),Social care, Charitable and voluntary organisations, Local Councils, Research, Disaster management, Education


Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Work Placements

The Royal College of Occupational Therapy stipulates that at least 1000 hours of work-based placements are needed for the programme. Work based placements are mandatory.

Learning and teaching

Start date: September
Teaching takes place: through a combination of delivery modes, including distance learning and teaching on campus in Winchester. Please contact the Programme Leader for further information.

The programme utilises a case-based learning and teaching approach which adopts a variety of methods of delivery. These include keynote lectures, student, plenaries, small group work, practical sessions, project supervision, tutor-led tutorials and seminars, clinical placements, and guided independent study. Different resources will be used including library and web-based for directed reading research based learning, videos, and portfolios personal reviews and reflections to facilitate personal development.


Taught elements of the course take place on campus in Winchester.


Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.


Relevant first degree with an award a first or upper second-class Honours, normally awarded in the past six years and equivalent professional experience.

Relevant degrees may include: Human biology, Psychology, Sociology, Biology, Human Geography, Environmental science, Chemistry, Anthropology.

GCSE in Maths and English at grade 4 / C or above equivalent qualification.

If English is not your first language: IELTS 7.0 overall, including a minimum of 6.5 in each of the components.

Additional Entry Requirements

  • Evidence of experience of working with people (employed or voluntary- observation hours in health and social care sector)
  • Attendance at an interview
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance
  • Occupational Health clearance

Course enquiries and applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234

Send us a message

International students

International students seeking additional information about this programme can send an email to or calling +44 (0)1962 827023.

Please note that due to the structure of the course, we are unable to sponsor international students who require a Student Visa.

Applications need to be submitted before the 15 May 2023. Late applications can be accepted throughout the remainder of the application year, for more information see our How to Apply section. 

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Evenings.

Year 1: Level 7

Modules Credits

Integrated Human Sciences 20

This module will provide students with foundation knowledge underpinning occupational therapy practice and understanding of humans as occupational beings. It will include the study of human sciences to understand the impact of pathology on function. Students will also review the common management strategies including pharmacology used to manage pathology and trauma. Occupational Sciences will also be studied as a core subject underpinning occupational therapy. Knowledge and application of the sciences will facilitate critical understanding of the relationship between health, ill-health and occupation on individuals in their everyday lives.

Professional Practice 0

This module will provide students with the skills to explore ethical dimensions of care to instil respectful, reflective professional practice. Part of the module will cover statutory and mandatory training topics for all staff working in health and social care settings outlined by the UK Core Skills Training Framework (CSTF) to the nationally agreed learning outcomes and training delivery standards. This includes safe-guarding vulnerable people and practicing advocacy. Students will undertake practical experience to identify and demonstrate safe and effective moving and handling techniques, infection control, and basic life support. Students will practice monitoring vital signs to ensure those that students will work with are stable for intervention. These skills are particularly relevant to work in first contact or community situations. Students will also undertake half a day a week observation placement to develop observation and communication skills. This placement will be in an area of the students choosing relevant to occupational therapy practice.

Occupational Therapy Process and Practice 10

This module will explore the occupational therapy models and framework that underpin practice. Students will develop an understanding of the history and philosophical approach of occupational therapy with reference to its impact on individuals, populations and communities. From this framework students will further explore the role of activity and occupation as a vehicle for rehabilitation, empowerment and social engagement.

Personal and Professional Development 10

This module will enable the understanding adoption of ethical and professional reasoning congruent with the requirements of HCPC and RCOT in all practice settings. It will prepare students for the work place in relation to standards of report writing, communication with individuals both clients and members of the multi-disciplinary team, advocacy, and continued professional development. It will develop students understanding off their principal responsibilities for managing risk in relation to relevant legislation.

Assessing Occupational Performance 10

This module will prepare students to undertake assessment of their client using both standardised and non-standardised assessments. Students will have the opportunity to explore a number of assessment tools for use across the life span. Alongside this students will use generated data to analyse results and form hypotheses. Students will use this evidence to construct goals and be able to select and justify appropriate outcome tools to evaluate and adapt their interventions. Using evidence based information students will determine whether their interventions are effective and whether they are of economic benefit.

Practice Placement 1 0

During practice placement 1 students will experience occupational therapy practice in a traditional setting. Students will work with an experienced occupational therapy educator to implement simple assessment, intervention and evaluation procedures under supervision. Students will not be expected to carry their own caseload but will be required to organise their allocated workload. They will be visited or contacted by a member of academic staff from the University midway through your placement. Students will be super-numerary to the staff on the practice placement.

People and Society: Occupational Therapy in Context 10

This module will explore the socio-cultural and political drivers that affect occupational therapy provision. It will allow students to explore the facilitators and barriers for individuals, communities and populations to support health and well-being whilst also exploring the role of occupational therapy within public health provision. With these features in mind, the module will then further explore how leadership, management and entrepreneurship can facilitate contemporary practice in these areas allowing students to consider diverse professional futures in a range of situations.

Occupational Therapy Knowledge and Skills 20

This module will have a large practical element allowing students to identify and practice different occupational therapy interventions in relation to task and activity performance in physical and mental health. Students will utilise different approaches to direct interventions to accommodate individual’s goals and aspirations. They will construct and implement interventions for individuals across the life span, including families, carers, and friends. Students will also develop skills in therapeutic dialogue and therapeutic use of self to enhance the intervention. In addition, this module will develop students skills in critical appraisal to assess the evidence base supporting occupational therapy intervention and clinical reasoning where the evidence base is limited or lacking.

Critical Inquiry – Research Protocol 20

This module will build on research skills acquired during students Bachelors degree in order for them to be able to carry out a piece of empirical research at Masters level. The module will review literature searching and critical appraisal skills as well as a regular journal club to develop critical appraisal skills for practice. Students will analyse generated quantitative and qualitative data and develop their skills in protocol and journal writing. In order to prepare students for the Ethics Committee submission (where appropriate) and research study, they will also undertake research governance training.

Year 2: Level 7

Modules Credits

Occupational Therapy in Contemporary Practice 10

This module will provide students with the opportunity to explore contemporary practice in occupational therapy with a particular focus on community and primary care. They will be able to identify an area of their own interest within non-traditional and emerging areas of practice and explore it in depth. Students will identify the skills they currently have to work in this area and will construct a learning plan of additional skills that they believe will equip them to work in this area. This module will adopt an international focus enabling students to consider the transferable nature of practice across different countries, cultures, and communities. Students will have the opportunity to present their ideas to those currently working in the field.

Practice Placement 2 0

During practice placement 2 students will experience occupational therapy practice in a traditional setting and build on their experiences and learning from practice placement 1. They will work with an experienced occupational therapy educator to foster effective working relationships and modify your style of communication. Students will continue to develop their assessment skills working in partnership with clients and involving them in the analysis of the information. Students will select and justify appropriate interventions and modify them in response to evaluation. They will manage a small caseload, manage their time effectively and manage resources in relation to service constraints. They will be visited or contacted by a member of academic staff from the University midway through their placement. Students will be super-numerary to the staff on the practice placement.

Practice Placement 3 0

During practice placement 3 students will experience occupational therapy practice in a variety of settings including traditional, non-traditional and emerging settings, and build on their experiences and learning from practice placement 1 and 2. Students will work with an experienced occupational therapy educator to make an active contribution to assessment, intervention and evaluation for a caseload of clients. They will manage more complex cases under supervision of their practice placement educator as appropriate. They will be visited or contacted by a member of academic staff from the University midway through your placement. Students will be super-numerary to the staff on the practice placement.

Capstone 10

During this module students will work with a site mentor during practice placement 3 to identify a quality improvement plan centred around either clinical practice, leadership, education or research. They will operationalise their plan and evaluate its impact. Examples of project may include ‘Creating a practice guideline to address sexuality with individuals who have spinal cord injury’, ‘Create and implement a professional development plan for newly qualified occupational therapists’, ‘Develop and implement an online continuing education programme for occupational therapy staff returning to practice’.

Critical Inquiry – Research Study 60

During this module students will work with a research supervisor to undertake research activity based on their research protocol completed during the Critical Inquiry module.


Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Progression from one level of the programme to the next is subject to meeting the University’s academic regulations.


Full time:


UK / Channel Islands


Year 1



Year 2







Part time:


UK / Channel Islands


Year 1



Year 2



Year 3

£6,166  £10,333







As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:


You will need to provide yourself with a lab coat for use in the Centre for Learning Anatomical Sciences. These can be purchased from any source. Indicative cost is £15.

You will need to provide yourself with a fob watch for use on clinical placement. Indicative cost is £10-25.

Students will need to travel to placements/arrange accommodation. In some situations there may be costs incurred here for travel and accommodation.

Uniform for placement will be supplied; 2 tunics or polo shirts and 2 pairs of trousers. If students would like additional uniform this can be purchased at additional cost. Optional kit can be purchased from the University for practical sessions. Indicative cost is £20-£50 per item.

Royal College of Occupational Therapists student membership - Student membership is £5.00 per month. Students are advised to become members on entry onto the programme.

There are five visits to the Centre for Learning Anatomical Sciences that are part of the Anatomy, Physiology and Clinical Sciences module and students will need to cover the cost of travel to these. Other Occupational Therapy modules may include optional visits to specialist healthcare facilities, etc. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.

Core texts

Multiple copies of core text are held within the library and e-books are identified where possible, however due to the popularity of some books, there will not be enough availability for every student. It is advised that students look into purchasing second-hand copies. Indicative cost is £150.


Students may incur costs associated with placements, related to travel or accommodation. Students on this course may be eligible to claim travel and duel accommodation expenses through the NHS Learner Support Fund (NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF) | NHSBSA).


Printing and Binding

The University is pleased to offer our students a free printing allowance of £20 each academic year. This will print around 500 A4 mono pages. If students wish to print more, printer credit can be topped up by the student. The University and Student Union are champions of sustainability and we ask all our students to consider the environmental impact before printing. 


We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.

Key course details

Full-time: 2 year Part-time: 3 years
Typical offer
Normally a first or upper second-class Honours degree in a related subject
A combination of distance learning and teaching on campus in Winchester