Postgraduate MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration)

School of Health and Society




Two year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

Home applicants: the closing date for applications to the 2024 entry for this programme is 31st May 2024. 

International applicants: please check the international intakes page for the latest information and application dates. 

Occupational therapy is a client-centred profession concerned with promoting health and wellbeing through occupation. This means occupational therapists support people to participate in what they want, need, and are expected to do, by modifying the occupation and/or the environment to maximise health and/or wellbeing. 

This course is designed to train you to meet the contemporary needs of diverse populations and will empower you to use the skills you develop in settings that align with your interests. 

This course is underpinned by four 'golden threads' to support contemporary practice. These are: 

Theory Driven: The modules you complete will be are informed by theories from both inside and outside the discipline of occupational therapy.

Evidence Based: This course uses various types of evidence from a range of sources, including (but not limited to) published peer-reviewed research, opinion from experts by experience, and real-world learning and professionally orientated social media. 

Occupation centred: Occupation is at the centre of our profession and is reflected in our content in recognising people as occupational beings.

Inclusive: We recognise the existence of systemic racism, ableism, inequality and privilege. Occupational Therapists work within complex systems and diverse populations. Inclusivity, allyship and equality are central to our courses, modules and how we work. 

You will:

  • Combine academic study with practice placements and develop a variety of professional and personal skills.
  • Be taught through Universal Design for Learning (UDL) which aims to produce learners who are purposeful, motivated, resourceful, and knowledgeable, goal directed and strategic.
  • Be taught by Occupational Therapists with a range of clinical backgrounds, involved with professional bodies, who are research active and hold accreditation with Advance HE.
  • Benefit from our strong links with service users, clinical experts, and industry partners, which means that we have an excellent reputation for training occupational therapists who are able to meet the demands of current practice.
  • Learn using simulation as an integral part of the course. This will take a variety of forms, including, using on site skill suites, online resources, and case studies.
  • Be eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council upon successful completion of your programme.

options available


students accepted

Course accreditations

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists
The Health and Care Professions Council

This is for you if...


You are passionate about promoting the health and wellbeing of others.


You have good interpersonal and communication skills.


You believe in inclusivity and want to be part of a diverse community.


You are passionate about using occupation to enable health and wellbeing.


You are determined to use a theoretical and evidence-based approach in your practice.


You are creative and flexible in your approach.

Course details

All about the course

Salford occupational therapy graduates:

  • Draw on theory and evidence to confidently articulate the occupational nature of human beings and apply this knowledge to influence the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities, and populations. 
  • Articulate the value of occupation and potential of occupational therapy. Develop professional values, demonstrate respect, kindness and compassion in their interaction with others. 
  • Professionally critique, challenge and disrupt the status quo, advocate for and influence change; leading the future of the profession and wider service provision.  Are reflective practitioners and life-long learners who engage in continuing development. 
  • Recognise the value of diversity and inclusion; their individuality and differences are celebrated, and they are skilled to work inclusively within a wide range of changing contexts. 

You will attend placements in the Greater Manchester area to develop a range of skills and gain experience across different practice settings, including contemporary practice. Please note you may be expected to travel up to 90 minutes from your term time address to attend placement. You will develop your professional reasoning, critical thinking and understanding of theoretical concepts, frameworks and evidence to enhance your core skills as an occupational therapist who is an expert in occupation, who promotes health and wellbeing for individuals, communities and wider contexts. 

The programme outcomes for the MSc will enable you to: 

  • be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council. 
  • be eligible to apply for professional membership of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists. 
  • be entitled, upon registration with HCPC, to use the protected title of ‘Occupational Therapist’.  


Year one

The Occupational Therapist

This module will provide you with an introduction to occupational therapy.  You will explore the unique philosophy and history of the profession and consider what occupational therapists do and where they work. You will examine key concepts in occupational therapy practice and will explore how an occupational therapy process and Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) professional standards and ethics inform the practice of occupational therapy. 

This module also introduces ways of learning and practising, including making the most of simulation and coaching, digital skills for learning, mandatory training for placement and use of a CPD portfolio. Alongside developing key master’s level skills of literature searching, and critical writing. 

Valuing Occupation

Using simulation, this module provides you with the opportunity to explore the concepts of occupation, activity, tasks and skills and their relevance to human occupation. 

You will explore the complex interplay between occupation, health, and wellbeing, as articulated in occupational science. You will also explore a range of applied sciences that will help you to understand people as occupational beings and analyse tasks, activities, and occupations. 

This module also develops your learning and study skills, including the use of literature to critically explore concepts. 

Putting Occupational Therapy into Practice A

In this module you will apply occupational therapy processes to real-world scenarios, using the best available evidence to inform decision making. To select and apply evidence you will be introduced to research paradigms and design. Using simulation, case studies and on practice placement you will have the opportunity to ‘meet’ a range of individuals who are experiencing occupational disruption or dysfunction due to ill health and/or disability. You will apply occupational therapy processes, an occupation-focused model, and a range of approaches to improving occupational performance, reviewing a range of evidence to inform professional reasoning. 

You will critically explore some of the social determinants of health in relation to occupational performance, you will also evaluate your own health and wellbeing and identify strategies for coping with challenging situations, in preparation for placement. This module also includes your first practice placement. 

Putting Occupational Therapy into Practice B

This module will focus on professional communication, occupation-focused models and a range of approaches, to further develop your knowledge and application of occupation-focused practice to improve the occupational performance of a diverse range of people. 

You will explore the value of creating collaborative therapeutic relationships, person-centred practice and effective communication when creating occupation-focused intervention plans. You will have the opportunity to put some of these skills into practice by working with experts by experience and with simulated case studies. 

The module will also build on your understanding of occupational identity and the social determinants of health, and will introduce the concept of occupational justice, alongside evaluating the impact of political power, intersectionality, and post-colonial influences on occupational theory and practice. By thoroughly exploring these topics, you will gain valuable insights to identify potential biases and limitations that might impact on occupational therapy practice. 

Integrating Theory, Evidence and Practice 1

This module will draw on your learning to date to enable you to appraise the application and/or apply an occupational therapy process, occupational-focused models, and a range of approaches, to support people with their occupational performance and engagement, within a specific practice setting. You will also be introduced to the concept of health promotion, considering its role in enhancing health and occupational wellbeing.

During the module you will have the opportunity to work with a range of stakeholders and to appraise the role of occupational therapy within the multi-disciplinary team or wider service provision. You will appraise your own practice, academic development and professional growth and will expand your literature searching and critical appraisal skills as part of your professional journey. 

The module includes your second practice placement. 

Year two

Integrating Theory, Evidence and Practice 2

This module critically explores the evidence base and theoretical influences on occupational therapy practice. 

It supports you in enhancing your research and reasoning skills, enabling you to develop a sound understanding of theory and evidence. Drawing on a range of knowledge, theory and evidence and a topic of your interest, you will be supported to develop an understanding of the secondary research process to develop a short critically appraised topic and develop a report on your findings. 

This module will provide you with the foundation skills to undertake a project, in the Advancing OT Practice module in trimester two. 

Promoting Occupational Therapy

The module includes a placement, in which you will have the opportunity to work in an emerging area of occupational therapy practice or undertake a project or leadership placement. 
The module explores leadership and professional sustainability, and you will use theory and evidence, including new occupation-focused models to learn how to advocate for people’s occupational aspirations and goals. 
The module also offers the opportunity to make decisions about your career through critical reflection on development, the enhancement of your professional profile, preparation for challenge, and change, and developing the skills necessary for effective personal and professional development. 

Advancing Occupational Therapy

This is a project-based module where you will choose an area of occupational therapy that interests and motivates you and propose change in this area.  

You will identify a need or gap and propose research, a quality improvement process or service implementation plan to address that need. You will use your understanding of research methods, methods of evaluation, critical thinking, ethics, and inclusivity to propose action for the future. 

Autonomous Practice

This module integrates your final practice placement opportunity with theory-based learning to culminate in your ability to practice occupational therapy autonomously. 

In this module you will embark on a journey of critical exploration, emphasising a theory-informed and evidence-based approach to tackling complex decision-making in practice. 

On placement, through co-creation, and in simulation you will hone your expertise in risk management, caseload management, professional reasoning, and advanced communication, all while maintaining a focus on adhering to the highest professional standards.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


The teaching and learning in the programme is guided by Universal Design for Learning Principles (UDL) so that you will learn in a variety of ways,  designed to give you the knowledge and skills required for contemporary practice. 

These methods may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Keynote lectures
  • Coaching
  • Simulation 
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Independent study
  • Practical and skills-based workshops 
  • Practice Placements 
  • Group work


You must pass all assessments on the programme as they are all mapped to the HCPC standards of proficiency to show you have met the standards to register and work as an occupational therapist. This also includes having completed 1000 hours of passed placement hours.  

Universal Design principles, which recognise diversity of experience, knowledge, interests, strengths and needs of learners, will guide the selection of assessment methods. You will therefore be assessed in a variety of ways; at times you will have choice about how you will be assessed, and the assessments are designed to be authentic and reflect the real world skills and knowledge required for practice.

Throughout the MSc programme are options in terms of the format of assessment, so that students can work to their strengths to demonstrate their learning against the intended learning outcomes. This is managed so that throughout the programme, all students will still be required to submit and will receive feedback on written work and on presentations.  

Assessment types include: 

Essays/reports – Written assignments enable students to demonstrate their knowledge and written communication skills. Some written assignments mirror professional reports, others are more traditional essays that draw on case study information.  

Critically Appraised Topics and research proposals/reports – These written pieces enable students to demonstrate their skill in finding, critically appraising, evaluating, and synthesising research, as well as applying research methodologies in different contexts. 

Presentations/vivas – Presentations take a variety of formats, such as pre-recorded presentations followed by questions, live presentations with questions, viva voce examinations, professional conversations and ‘pitches’ for ideas.  
Production of creative work – Students may have the opportunity to demonstrate their learning through production of creative work, such as video, audio, poster etc, supplemented with academic justification/referencing. 

Portfolio - Continuing professional development portfolios are used throughout the MSc programme to support students to develop their life-long learning habits as well as assessing the extent to which their development addresses professional and regulatory standards. Portfolios may include reflections and inclusion of evidence that skills have been acquired.  

Practical assessments – a practical demonstration of the skills and competencies specific to the subject area that has been learnt and developed within a module and are necessary for practice. This could be a clinical examination, including demonstrations of the ability to apply skills to practice-based scenarios. 

Practice placement education is also an integral part of assessment. There are four placements in the MSc programmes. All placements are assessed as pass/fail and must be passed for progression. 

The School of Health and Society

We are focused on enhancing the health and wellbeing of patients, service users and athletes and our commitment to public involvement help us retain our strong focus on real-world issues. 

Rehabilitation Flat and Simulation Space

The Rehabilitation Flat is a realistic environment used by students to simulate real-world situations. It replicates the scene of a community visit where occupational therapists work alongside service users to enable their engagement with daily occupations using adapted equipment, new techniques, energy-saving devices or other interventions. The bedroom and bathroom are fitted with ceiling track hoists to demonstrate safe transfers and give students valuable practice in a safe and supportive learning environment to observe and practice a range of assessments. The flat is furnished to mimic a small home environment, which can also support with risk assessment. The kitchen is used for group baking and kitchen assessment sessions and the bedroom has a high-seat chair, a raised bed and a commode to really immerse students in personal care in the bedroom. The flat has also been fitted with more advanced technology to enable streaming to classrooms. 

At Salford, we have access to simulation suites and software used to support learning experiences for our students. 

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Following successfully completeing the degree, you will be eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as an Occupational Therapist. As a practitioner, you will be qualified to work in a range of clinical environments, with scope for management, research, leadership and education. Occupational Therapists are employed in a range of settings. 

Here are some examples of where our graduates have been employed: 

  • Rotational posts in acute and community settings 
  • Schools 
  • Civil Service 
  • GP surgeries 
  • Charities and Third Sector Services 
  • Government bodies 
  • Research and Academia 
  • Private practice 

Career Links


An integral part of your learning will be provided by a series of four supervised placements amounting to over 1,000 hours in health and social care settings. These placements include hospital settings and community services. Most of our placements are currently within the Greater Manchester area.

In addition, all students have access to role-emerging, project-based, research or leadership practice experience in their third year of study, and this is supported through learning within a module to enable students to make the most of the experience. These placements involve students implementing service improvement in an organisation,  which promotes the student’s professional development and facilitates innovation. Examples of role emerging placement settings, include schools, charities, and private organisations.


As a qualified occupational therapist, the University is committed to supporting your continuing professional development and offers a range of short courses and study days throughout the year to keep you at the forefront of new developments within the profession. You may also wish to pursue further academic study through a research degree on completion of this course. 


What you need to know


We welcome applicants from a wide range of educational and experiential backgrounds as we believe that your experiences and skills inform your skills as an occupational therapist. 

Ideal candidates looking for entry into the course  are those who possess skills of or wish to develop into practitioners who are: 

  • Passionate about using occupation centrally in their practice. 
  • Enthusiastic about embedding theory, evidence and research into their practice. 
  • Committed to being inclusive and promoting an inclusive practice. 
  • Dedicated to working with people. 

The ideal candidate will have reflected on why they would like to pursue a career in occupational therapy, have spent time looking at different career prospects within occupational therapy and developed their understanding of the profession’s philosophy.


If you are an international student and not from a majority English-speaking country, you will need IELTS 7.0 with no element below 6.5. We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course


Applicants who have previously been enrolled in an occupational therapy pre-registration programme or any other health professional education programme must submit a self-declaration confirming no previous fitness to practice concerns if an offer is made for a place on the programme. 


For the majority of our courses, you’ll need to complete our online application form. If you have your supporting information ready, the form should take 20 minutes to complete. If you don’t have these documents to hand you can save your application and come back to it later. If you are an international student, you should also read how to apply from overseas. 

There is a range of advice provided online about applications for occupational therapy programmes across the country. You will find more information about this on the Royal College of Occupational Therapists website.
Your personal statement must convey the following:  

  • Your understanding of occupational therapy as a profession and the impact that illness and disability may have on a person's life. Therefore, you are strongly advised to visit at least two clinical occupational therapy departments as this will enable you to give examples of occupational therapists working in physical and mental health settings. 
  • Your personal attributes and communication skills that will enable you to be an occupational therapist.  
  • How your values align to the values of the profession.  
  • Your relevant experience of working with people. Volunteering or work-related roles in relevant health and social care areas would also give a stronger profile for applicants.  

Applicants who are successful at the application stage may be put forward for interview. The interview is face to face and is based around a range of simulation activities and a written reflection. This will be focused on your understanding of occupational therapy as a profession, your interpersonal skills and your ability to reflect. 

Online interviews will be facilitated for international students. If you are a home student who requires an online interview, please contact us on

If you require reasonable adjustments to support you to engage with our interview process- please contact us atleast a week before your interview date on

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

This course is suitable for people with a first degree in any subject looking for an accelerated course to prepare them to work as an occupational therapist. 

We require a 2:1 or above for entry into the programme from a previous first degree completed within 5 years of applying. 


GCSE Maths and English at Grade C/4 and above. Equivalents accepted. 

International Students

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

How much?


The NHS Learning Support Fund is available to students studying the following courses:

  • Diagnostic Radiography
  • Occupational Therapy (including pre-registration master's)
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry (including pre-registration master's)
  • Prosthetics and Orthotics
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing (adult, child, mental health, learning disability, joint nursing/social work; including pre-registration Master's)

Visit the NHSBSA website for further information. 

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,250.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £16,380.00per year

Additional costs

For more information about uniforms, DBS, Occupational Health clearance, and immunisations, visit our Information for Students page. You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. 

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Still have some questions? Register for one of our Open Days or contact us:

By email:
By phone: +44 (0)161 295 4545

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025