Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Occupational Therapy

School of Health and Society




Three year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

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 programme is proudly accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. 

Extended learning pathway available

Starting from September 2025, you'll have the option to study on our traditional pathway or our new extended learning route. The extended learning route is designed to offer you flexibility in your studies, accommodating work or other commitments.

It enables you to participate in the course across three semesters of the academic year to fulfil the modules and engage in practice education, typically requiring a commitment of 22.5 hours per week for learning, along with additional full-time practice education placements. 

Find out more about the extended route option on the extended learning route course page

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 the way in which 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, knowledgeable, goal-directed, and strategic.
  • Be taught by Occupational Therapists with a range of clinical backgrounds, actively involved with leading professional bodies, who are research-active and hold Advance HE accreditation.
  • 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 can 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. This allows you to apply knowledge and skills to authentic situations.
  • Be eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council upon successful completion of your programme.

options available


students accepted

Course accreditations

The Health and Care Professions Council
The Royal College of Occupational Therapists
World Federation of Occupational Therapists logo

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 to practice.

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 the potential of occupational therapy. Develop professional values, and 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. 

The BSc programme outcomes will enable you to: 

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


The modules have been influenced by Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles to reflect our understanding that our student population is diverse and therefore our teaching and learning methods, resources and structure of materials need to represent this. The aim of a UDL curriculum is to produce learners who are purposeful and motivated, resourceful and knowledgeable, goal-directed and strategic. The aim of UDL is to provide opportunities for learning that are genuinely open to all learners, which means you will learn via a variety of different methods, including lectures, seminars, simulation, practical classes, workshops, independent study and external visits. 

Modules also use simulation as an integral part of learning. It takes a variety of forms, such as using specific equipment in the on-site skills suites, online resources and using detailed case studies. Simulation aims to enable students to apply knowledge and skills to authentic situations, and to develop their reasoning. 

First year (Level 4)

What is Occupational Therapy?

This module will provide you with an introduction to occupational therapy. You will learn about the unique philosophy and history of the profession as well as what occupational therapists do and where they work. You will begin to engage with key concepts in occupational therapy practice, including the occupational therapy process and the relationship between the person, environment, and occupation.   

What is 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 learn about 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. 

Professional Development 1

This is a practical skills-based module that includes all your mandatory training for level 4 and maximises the opportunities offered by simulation. It will help you to get to know your Academic Tutor, develop your study skills. You will learn about professional ethics and standards based on HCPC and RCOT frameworks, and what is expected of you as a student occupational therapist so that you can recognise professional and unprofessional behaviour in practice. This will involve identifying and managing any personal risk factors and learning how to Speak Up for the benefit of the safety of others. 

Occupational Therapy in Practice 1 

In this module you will apply the occupational therapy process to real-world scenarios, utilising the best available evidence to inform your decision-making. Using simulation and case studies, 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. Using an occupation-focused model and a range of approaches, you will apply each stage of the occupational therapy process and identify appropriate sources of evidence to inform professional reasoning. 

Occupational Therapy in Practice 2

This module will develop your knowledge and understanding of an occupation-focused model and approaches to improving the occupational performance of a diverse range of people while specifically considering professional communication. 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. 

Professional Development 2 (Includes PPA)

In this module you will improve your academic writing and presenting and begin to prepare for level 5 by introducing the concept of critical thinking. This module also encourages you to look inwards, and to reflect more on your personal development as well as your professional development. You will learn about the significance of managing your own health and wellbeing and will have the opportunity to explore strategies for coping with challenging situations. This module also includes, and prepares you for, your first practice placement, PPA. 

Second year (Level 5)

Professional Development 3 (Includes PPB)

This module builds on the foundational knowledge gained in your first year. It revolves around a six-week placement (PPB) that plays a crucial role in enhancing your continuing professional development. In this module, you will engage in mandatory training, digital skills training, receive academic tutoring, participate in collaborative group work, and explore intra-curricular opportunities, all with a clear focus: developing your identity as a skilled and effective occupational therapist. A highlight of this module is its emphasis on nurturing your personal wellbeing and refining your learning strategies. You will be encouraged to prioritise self-care, emotional resilience, and mental health, while also refining your study habits and learning approaches to optimise your educational experience. 

Evidencing Occupational Therapy in Context 

This module works alongside Occupational Therapy in Context 1 and, drawing on the simulation examples and topics covered in that module. You will consider the evidence base for occupational therapy. You will apply a process for evidence-based practice, learn how to formulate pertinent questions for evidence-based practice, search for, identify, and critically appraise appropriate literature to inform practice. This module builds upon the foundational skills learned in Occupational Therapy in Practice 1, enabling you to critique research evidence. 

Occupational Therapy in Context 1

This module builds upon the content covered in the first year of the programme. It provides you with the opportunity to explore concepts of occupational identity, and how access to meaningful occupation influences the health and wellbeing of people, their families, friends, and local communities.  Through simulation, you will “meet” groupings of people from a local community who will be experiencing a range of health and other challenges. Using an occupation-focused model and approaches to improving occupational performance and engagement, you will explore how to work effectively as an occupational therapist with them. 

Occupational Therapy in Context 2

This module will help you understand occupational therapy in different parts of the world. You will learn about how theories and evidence are applied to an occupational therapy context, with a focus on occupational justice. You will also examine concepts like belonging, fairness, and justice, and think critically about these concepts. You will also study how political power, intersectional identities, and historical influences affect theories of occupation and occupational therapy practice. This learning will enable you to explore whether dominant societal forces may lead to unfair systems that affect people, what they do, and the places they live and thrive in. You will also consider an occupational therapy response to inequality. 

Promoting Occupational Wellbeing and Health 1

In this module you will explore a diverse range of occupation-focused strategies aimed at enabling people and communities to manage their health and wellbeing. You will consider the current evidence base for factors that affect health and wellbeing, including social determinants of health. You will apply your understanding of humans as occupational beings and draw upon valuable insights from occupational science, behaviour change, health promotion and public health literature. In addition, you will explore the concepts of occupational balance, repertoire, and patterning, allowing you to integrate different knowledge bases to provide actionable information for potential service users. This module will also enable you to use your creativity, digital skills and communication skills to form and communicate information and advice for specific populations or groups. 

Professional Development 4 (Includes PPC)

Throughout this skills-based module, which builds on Professional Development 3 you will again receive academic tutoring, participate in collaborative group work, and explore co-curricular opportunities. This module prepares you for increasing responsibility during practice placement education and future professional life. Drawing heavily on professional standards, it includes a 6-week placement (PPC). Alongside this, the module introduces you to evidence-based and theory-driven strategies for advanced communication and discussing communication challenges, such as Speaking Up, giving and receiving feedback, and promoting the occupational therapy profession. 

Final year (Level 6)

Promoting Occupational Wellbeing and Health 2 (Includes PPD)

This module prepares you to start your career as an occupational therapist by exploring post-graduation opportunities in practice, further study, and research.  The module offers opportunities to equip you with the knowledge and skills to make decisions about your career.  In this module you will enhance your professional profile, prepare for challenge, and change, and develop the skills necessary for effective personal and professional development by selecting optional elements that align with your personal career aspirations. 

Moving into Practice

This module focuses on 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 needs. The module includes practice 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. 

Shaping the Future

Shaping the Future is a project-focused module that will prepare you for shaping future practice within occupational therapy. In this module, you will have the opportunity to select an area of occupational therapy that aligns with your professional interests.

The module promotes the application of research and project design, data skills, critical thinking, ethics, creative problem solving and inclusivity, as you will be supported to create a proposal for a project that could have a unique and meaningful impact on the occupational therapy profession. Upon completion, you will be well prepared to address the diverse challenges inherent in an evolving occupational therapy landscape, enabling you to play a role in shaping the profession's future. 

The Autonomous Occupational Therapist (includes PPE)

This module integrates Practice Placement E, your final practice placement 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?


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.

Assessment methods include: 

  • Essays / reports – Written assignments enable you to demonstrate knowledge and written communication skills. Some written assignments mirror professional reports, others are more traditional essays that draw on case study information.   
  • 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 – You may have the opportunity to demonstrate your 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 programme to support you to develop your life-long learning habits as well as assessing the extent to which your development addresses professional and regulatory standards. Portfolios may include reflections and inclusion of evidence that skills have been acquired. 

Practice placement education is also an integral part of assessment. There are five placements in the BSc programme, offering over 1,000 hours of experience. All placements are assessed as pass/fail and must be passed for progression.  


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


All staff who teach on this course have worked clinically as occupational therapists in a wide variety of settings, including internationally. There is an active research ethos across the department which informs the practice of occupational therapy in the clinical setting. 

The School of Health and Society

The School of Health and Society is a forward-thinking, dynamic school with a commitment to lifelong learning and real-world impact.

Our courses are informed by the latest research and we work closely with organisations from both the public and private sector to ensure our teaching is at the forefront of practice.

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 successful completion of your 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 

A taste of what you could become

Occupational therapist

Private practitioner

Disability service worker



And more...

Career Links


An integral part of your learning will be provided by a series of five 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 graduate of the occupational therapy programme, you will be eligible to apply for further study that aligns with your career interests. There are a range of courses to explore depending on what your goals and aspirations are. 

A range of master's and PhD level studies can be found here


What You Need To Know


In your personal statement you will need to demonstrate:

  • 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 NHS constitution. 
  • 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. 


If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 7 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 the Pre-Sessional English course, or the International Foundation Year to gain entry onto this degree.


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.

All students will need occupational health clearance and DBS clearance in order to continue with the programme.


Applicants will be put forward for interview if they meet the criteria in the applicant profile.

The interviews will focus on the applicants understanding of occupational therapy and an understanding of the impact of illness and disability upon occupational performance. An applicant will be expected to demonstrate good communication skills and show an ability to reflect on their experiences of engaging with others. The interview will last for 30 minutes approximately.


We strongly advise any students who may need additional support with their learning to get in touch with our admissions team as soon as possible.


Standard entry requirements

UCAS Tariff points

120 UCAS Tariff points (points must be awarded in the same sitting).

A level

120 UCAS Tariff points (ABC/BBB) from a minimum of three A-Levels.


Five GCSEs at Grade 4/C or above (or equivalent) including English and Maths. Equivalents accepted. You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below. 

BTEC National Diploma


T level

Distinction (Merit Considered).

International Baccalaureate

Equivalent to 120 UCAS Tariff points.

Scottish Highers

120 UCAS Tariff points.

Irish Leaving Certificate

120 UCAS points required, points from H1-H3 grades (A/B grades in the old system) considered only. H4 grade (C grade in the old system) and below will not contribute towards tariff requirement. Must include English, Mathematics and a Science at Higher H6 grade or above (D3 grade in the old system) or Ordinary O4 grade or above (C2 grade in the old system). At least one science subject, preferably biology/human biology, at grade H3 (or B3 in the old system) is required. Applicants without biology/human biology but with other science subjects (physics, chemistry, psychology, Sociology, Health & Social Care) will be considered.

International Baccalaureate

Equivalent to 120 UCAS Tariff points.

Access to HE

A minimum of 120 UCAS points to include specific subjects access to health, or health science or allied health

International Students

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements. If you do not meet the entry requirements, you could take the International Foundation Year to gain entry onto this degree.

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have the traditional entry requirements may be able to apply through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme. Support in preparing for the written assessment is available from the University. 

If you would like to discuss this further with a member of the occupational therapy admissions team, please contact SHS-OTAdmissions@salford.ac.uk.

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 £18,300.00per year

Additional costs

For more information about uniforms, DBS, Occupational Health clearance, and immunisations, visit our page Information for Students page. 

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. 


If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship. For more information go to International Scholarships

Apply now

All Set? Let's Apply?

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

By email: enquiries@salford.ac.uk
By phone: +44 (0)161 295 4545

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID B920

Institution S03