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Advanced Occupational Therapy


School - School of Health and Society

Subject area - Radiography and Occupational Therapy

Start Date(s): September


MSc (three years part-time distance learning)
PgDip (two years part-time distance learning)
PgCert (one year part-time distance learning)

Selected stand-alone module (30 Master level credits)


Distance Learning - £2,280 (for year one)

In Brief:

  • Study entirely online using our Virtual Learning Environment
  • Apply the skills and theory you learn to your own work place
  • Gain a global perspective in the field of occupational therapy
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

You can study this highly regarded qualification online from anywhere in the world, which is ideal if you have a busy work schedule and home life.

The course is a flexible route by which to achieve expert status within your profession. Upon graduation, you'll have gained a global perspective on the field of occupational therapy.

Course Details

This course is delivered entirely online providing you with the opportunity to learn from, share and engage in critical debate with peers and colleagues all over the world.

We appreciate that undertaking a course entirely online may seem a daunting process and to help you meet this challenge we will provide you with tutorial and technical support. Our aim is to create an online community of like-minded individuals who support and encourage each other to make a difference in the world of occupational therapy.

Course Structure

The full course runs part-time over three years giving you the chance to exit with the following awards:

  • Postgraduate Certificate: two modules over one year
  • Postgraduate Diploma: four modules over two years
  • Master's: four modules plus a dissertation over three years
  • Selected stand-alone module (30 master's level credits)

Year 1    

This module examines the relationship between occupation, health and well being and how this translates into applied practice, including the ways in which theoretical relationships influence the development of models of practice and the impact of culture on the interpretation, and application of theories and models.      
This module enables you to critically examine current issues impacting on your practice and use this to develop your thinking about the context of occupational therapy globally. Recently current issues have included policy drivers, social inclusion and occupational justice, culture and its relationship to health and illness, and health promotion.      


You will critically evaluate the support provided and needed by those living with and beyond cancer. This will include the value of patient empowerment and choice in improving the individual’s experiences, recognition and management of support for people living with and beyond cancer.  This module also covers the effectiveness of a range of therapeutic interventions, in relation to optimal health and well-being.      

Year 2    

This module encourages you to consider new and emerging areas of practice by examining historical perspectives of the development of OT internationally and exploring how this has influenced developments and changes to practice. This will provide a rationale for further change with consideration of change management, marketing skills and leadership.      
This module allows you to critically evaluate a range of research techniques and prepares you for the dissertation module. It includes an overview of the research theories, guidance on critically reviewing research, developing a research proposal and the fundamentals of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis.      

Year 3    

This module gives you the opportunity to undertake an in-depth, evidence based exploration of a key area relevant to your own practice. This may be a literature review, a piece of research or a work based project.

Entry Requirements

All students wishing to enrol on the MSc must hold a relevant qualification in Occupational Therapy. This may be a Diploma or an undergraduate degree. UK students must be HPC Registered.

International students must have graduated from a World Federation of Occupational Therapy affiliated programme and must provide evidence of proficiency in English. IELTS 6.5 band score or above are proof of this.

Consideration is given to APL and students with previous relevant master's level study from a minimum of 30 credits up to 120 credits.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Suitable For

You'll be a qualified occupational therapist.

Applicant profile

You'll be a be qualified occupational therapist working in practice, management or education or intending to do so. We are looking for enthusiastic occupational therapists who are seeking to develop their critical thinking skills and are comfortable with studying in an online distance learning environment.

Fees 2018-19

Type of StudyFee
Distance Learning£2,280 (for year one)
International Distance Learning£2,280 (for year one)

Additional costs

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

Scholarships and Bursaries

For more information please see our funding section.


Each modules runs over a twelve week semester and there are two semesters per academic year.

Your study will take place online and you will not be required to attend the University at any point. However you will have full access to our online library resources and other student support service.

Your online learning will take place in our virtual learning environment, Blackboard. You'll attend online lectures in real-time and engage in tutor and peer-led work plus you'll have  access to wkis, blogs and discussion forums.

You'll also have the chance to take academic tutorials via email, telephone or skype and you will also be allocated a personal tutor for pastoral support.

The Occupational Therapy team at the University also work closely with the Institute for Dementia at their new Dementia Hub. The brand new Hub, opened in May 2017, features a dementia friendly garden, a visitors’ centre designed to look as much as possible like a home, and will be a base for the University’s dementia associates. The centre also contains a special kitchen built to demonstrate the latest dementia friendly designs, with a glass fronted fridge and cupboards as well as other design features such as colour cues to help people with dementia understand the environment.

People with dementia and their carers can visit the Hub to take part in activities such as gardening and dance and to get guidance from others who have experienced the condition, while researchers from across the University will also be able to work there. As a student you'll benefit from gaining insight into the research but also practically from the facilities and activities offered by the Hub.


This course offers a range of assessments with some flexibility of choice available as appropriate. Assessments will enable you to meet your learning needs, your current interests and the needs of your workplace as relevant.

Postgraduate Staff Profile

All tutors on the course are master's graduates, with many working towards PhD status.

In addition we have guest lecturers who include our two Honorary Professors:

Dr. Michael Iwama is known internationally for his critical work on culture and its implications for knowledge, theory and practice in Occupational Therapy. He is sole author of 'The Kawa Model; Culturally Relevant Occupational Therapy'. A leading theorist in the field of occupational therapy, he has delivered keynote and plenary addresses at conferences and symposia in North America, Europe, Australia, Asia, South America and Africa.

Frank Kronenberg is a director and co-founder of Shades of Black Works (SOBW), a Cape Town-South Africa based company with a triple social mission: strengthening places of origin, forging connections, and collective story making.

Frank is co-founder of the movement ‘Occupational Therapists without Borders’, which inspired a number of international ground-breaking publications which he co-edited and co-authored  including Occupational Therapies without Borders – Volume 2: Towards an Ecology of Occupation-Based Practices (2011).

All our staff are research active and provide research informed teaching. Find out more about our current research on our Centre for Health Sciences Research webpages.


Career Prospects

This course will develop your professional skill set and boost your confidence. You'll graduate with the ability to effectively articulate your views and contribute to the global development of the profession.

There is a strong international flavour to the course. During your time with us you'll have the chance to learn from, share and engage in critical debate and discussion with peers and colleagues from all over the world.

Further Study

As a qualified occupational therapist, the University is committed in 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.

“As a British Occupational Therapist (OT) working in New Zealand I wanted to do a Masters that not only helped my professional development but connected me with OT back in the UK and around the world. The fact that it was a distance learning course meant that I had the flexibility to do it anywhere in the world and the negotiated assessments meant that my assignments were completely tailored and relevant to my work setting at the time.”

Ros Barham, MSc Advanced Occupational Therapy, 2015

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