Postgraduate Taught

MSc Advancing Practice in Occupational Therapy (Post-Registration)

Are you a qualified occupational therapist looking to develop your knowledge and evolve or change your career direction? This highly respected course offers an excellent opportunity to help you fulfil your career goals and you can study full-time or part-time to fit in with your current commitments.

The MSc Advancing Practice in Occupational Therapy (Post-Registration) builds on the success of the former post-registration master’s in Occupational Therapy. It is a programme designed to support practitioners to develop and advance their practice across a variety of contexts. The programme highlights the transformational role of education that will equip occupational therapists to develop and promote sustainable and progressive practice.

Why QMU?

  • Take control of your learning by choosing your own topic for most of the modules on the course.
  • You can structure the delivery and duration of this highly flexible course around your own study and work goals.
  • You can select specific modules for your continuing professional development studies.

Course overview

As a student on this programme you will develop your knowledge of the evidence-base for/of practice and deepen your critical thinking, professional reasoning and research skills. We have designed it to suit occupational therapists from a wide range of settings and to give you the support you need to redefine your career as an advanced practitioner in education, research, leadership, policy or practice.

The MSc Advancing Practice in Occupational Therapy is embedded as an integrated pathway on our Person-Centred Practice Framework, which affords equal attention to both the philosophy of occupation and of person-centredness. This framework offers a student-centred approach to education, fostered through three approaches to learning: experiential and collaborative learning, critical discourse and evidence-based teaching.

Specifically, the MSc programme aims to ensure the centrality of occupation as part of therapists’ postgraduate education and, in so doing, responds to the strategic drivers for change towards advanced and person-centred practice in global health and social care. Educationally, it will address philosophical concepts from occupational science and person-centred practice that will be blended throughout the programme to facilitate learning at master’s level.

Exit awards

MSc (180 credits)/ PgDip (120 credits)/ PgCert (60 credits)


You can opt to study for the MSc, a PgDip, a PgCert, or register as an associate student to undertake one or two modules as part of continuing professional development. On completion of a single module, you may wish to complete further modules and progress your studies to a named award.

Teaching, learning and assessment

The learning experience promotes independent, student-led study, classroom based and distance learning. This encourages students to use library, web and other resources to seek out information. Assessment on this course will be carried out through a variety of strategies, drawing on your own practice experiences. It can include case-based work, presentations, essays, systematic and literature reviews, a research proposal outline and development of a learning contract.

Teaching hours and attendance

Each module that you study on campus will require you to attend classes and carry out independent work. Your attendance requirements at QMU will depend on the module you are studying and whether you are studying full-time or part-time. Some modules are also available by distance learning.

Class sizes

Normally, there are around 15-20 students undertaking the course each year.


  • Theory & Practice of Person-Centred Health & Wellbeing (20 credits)
  • Leading Person-Centred Practice for Health & Wellbeing (20 credits)
  • Research Methods (20 credits)
  • Critically Engaging with Occupation 1 (20 credits)
  • Critically Engaging with Occupation 2 (20 credits)
  • Optional module choice (20 credits)

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2021) but are subject to change. In the event that modules change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

Single modules for CPD

Available. Register as an associate student to study single modules in areas of interest. Contact Dr Sara Kantartzis for more information.


This course will enable occupational therapists to develop or change career direction to advanced practitioner, education, research or management. The programme does not lead to registration with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Industry links

There are opportunities to apply your own learning to practice. We also work in partnership with a range of third sector organisations, for example Alzheimer Scotland, with whom we deliver a module connected to allied health professional’s practice that considers a rights-based approach.

Entry requirements

Normally, an honours degree or equivalent in occupational therapy and HCPC registration or equivalent.

International: You will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 with no individual component score less than 6.0.

International students registering for the named award will normally have gained their professional qualification from a school recognised by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

Application deadline

For International applicants only:  Applications submitted after the 31st July 2022 will automatically be considered for the next available intake.

Applications are still open to Home (UK and Republic of Ireland) applicants after this date.

Professional registration

N/A. You will already be a registered with the HCPC or equvalent.

More information and contacts

Fees and transitionary scholarships for postgraduate EU students in 21/22 and 22/23

As part of our management of the Brexit transition, for many of our courses, including this one, we have introduced an EU transitional scholarship for EU full-time postgraduate students commencing their studies on campus in academic years 2021/22 and 2022/23. This provides a 40% discount on international tuition fees. The scholarship is available to EU students for whom the international fee rate applies and covers the courses marked with a # in the Postgraduate Fees – Full-Time Study section of our Fees page. This transitional scholarship is not applicable to students from the Republic of Ireland, who will continue to be eligible for the home fee rate.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2022/23 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Teaching staff is subject to change.

Course Overview

At QMU with additional online learning
1 year full-time OR 3-7 years part-time.
Start Date
September 2022
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Fees & Funding

A student story (see bottom of page for more)

Graham Samson - MSc Occupational Therapy (Post-Reg) “I feel as though my critical thinking skills developed early in the course, and in particular, I noticed that I began to develop my ‘own voice’. For example, I feel more able to produce my own thoughts on contested issues, and to justify my particular stance. That’s quite an empowering development, not only for clinical reasoning, but on a personal and social level." Read my story

Student Stories and Staff