BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

Living, not existing – that’s a primary objective for the profession. This means that as an occupational therapist, you will give practical support to empower people, facilitate their health and well-being and help them overcome barriers to do the things that really matter to them. This course is your first step towards a rewarding health care career with excellent employment prospects.

This very popular course will give you the expertise, people skills and conceptual understanding that you’ll need to work as an occupational therapist. It has an outstanding reputation with employers, and offers a blended approach to study, linking traditional learning methods with enquiry-based learning. You’ll benefit from placements in each year and have the opportunity to undertake a placement abroad.

Why QMU?

  • Our graduates are recognised by employers as being independent learners who can solve problems creatively.

  • You’ll be taught by highly experienced lecturers who are well-respected in their fields. They engage in innovative research, contribute to knowledge development and translation and have strong personal links with practice settings.

  • We have small class sizes so our staff will really get to know you. We genuinely care about your journey and will recognise your strengths and where you most need support.


About the course

On this course you will learn how to work with individuals, groups and communities to foster their participation in occupations that promote their health, wellbeing and social involvement.

You will learn a wide range of transferable personal and professional skills, from understanding why and how people engage in occupation and what might disrupt patterns of occupation, to critically engaging with knowledge and evidence that informs the profession. You will also develop an appreciation for how individuals’ lives can be shaped by society including environments, culture or history, and how these factors can impact on health. You will learn through a variety of approaches including interactive lectures, workshops, group work, and self-directed learning. Practical placements are a key element of the course, giving you the opportunity to put what you are learning into practice and to work with a wide range of individuals and groups of people in diverse settings. Over four years you will complete 28 weeks and 1,000 hours of practice-based education.

Year One will give you an introduction to occupation and occupational therapy. You will study a range of foundation modules which will prepare you for placement and set you up for your success in the programme. In Year Two you will focus on how to assess, plan and evaluate interventions and work with other team members. During Year Three you will be critically evaluating ideas and exploring the social construction of knowledge and practice. In Year Four, you will focus on translating knowledge into practice in changing contexts through partnership building and project development with community services.

Interprofessional education (IPE) is an integral part of all of our undergraduate healthcare courses, including this one, to help produce graduates who are confident in their own professional identity but with additional skills which will allow them to work as effective team members.


This is a four-year, full-time honours degree. You will complete a range of modules each year, as outlined, and a final project in Year Four. 

Teaching, learning and assessment

You will be taught in lectures, seminars, practical workshops and small groups. Outside these timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning through independent study – both directed and self-directed.

For assessment, we focus less on written examinations and more on essays, reports, presentations, oral examinations, skills assessments and creative assessments as ways of allowing you time and space to represent your knowledge. 

>>Click for more information on 'Learning, Teaching and Assessment'


Year One modules

  • Becoming a Professional
  • Humans as Occupational Beings
  • Finding and Consuming Knowledge
  • Service Learning
  • Practice Education
  • Interprofessional Education 1

Year Two modules

  • Assessment and Analysis
  • Intervention
  • Practice Education
  • Interprofessional Education 2

Year Three modules

  • Evaluation
  • Critical Considerations
  • Reconstructing Occupation and Occupational Therapy
  • Service Learning
  • Practice Education
  • Interprofessional Education 3

Year Four modules

  • Knowledge Translation into Practice: Transformation Through Occupation
  • Professional Autonomy
  • Practice Education
  • Interprofessional Education 4

The modules listed here are correct at time of print (Feb 2018) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2019. Please check the website for any updates.



Placements are vital in helping you integrate theoretical knowledge with everyday person-centred situations. You’ll work with individuals, groups and communities in a variety of settings (e.g. NHS, local authority, third sector, private sector) across Scotland. You will complete 6-week placements in Years One and Two and 8-week placements in Years Three and Four. Placements are organised by the Professional Practice Tutor.


Exchange opportunities*

In Years Three or Four, you have the opportunity (subject to availability) to undertake practice-based learning at an overseas university with which we have partnership agreements. For more information, see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/international-students/exchanges-and-study-abroad/

*subject to availability


Your degree will open doors to a rewarding and stimulating career in NHS Trusts, local authority social care departments, voluntary organisations, private practice or industry. Your work as an occupational therapist may not necessarily be in a medical setting, hospital or clinic. Many of our graduates pursue the exciting variety of work opportunities in the community, which include working with the voluntary sector and in primary care. The course will enable you to work as part of a team with other health and social care professionals. Should you wish to pursue a more academic career path there are opportunities to study at master’s and PhD level at QMU.


Entry requirements

Scottish Higher: BBBC

A Level: BCC

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H3 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 28 points

International: IELTS score of 6.0 with 6.0 in both the reading and writing elements and no element below 5.5. Upon graduation and to be eligible for HCPC registration, an IELTS score of 7.0 with no element below 6.5 is required.

Required subjects: English is preferred, or a discursive subject such as History or Sociology at Higher, A Level or equivalent. Eng and Maths at S/Int2/N5/GCSE

Mature/Access: Related Access course or HNC may be considered for Year One. See related Access courses.

We welcome applications from mature students with other relevant qualifications and experience.

Direct Entry:

Year Two – HNC Occupational Therapy Support with B in the graded unit, plus successful fieldwork placement, when places available. Other relevant qualifications may be considered for entry to Year One.

Other requirements: A satisfactory criminal records check is also required. You will be required to attend an interview as part of the application screening process.

Associate student places


Professional registration/ accreditation

This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). Graduates are eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC. Registration is approved by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT).


Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

Our course is small by design, allowing you to get to know your peers and our staff, and build positive academic and professional relationships. For more information, please see ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’.

Awarding body

QMU. For more information, please see ‘External Review’ section on the ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’ page.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2019/20 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Teaching staff may be subject to change.

 Special Information for EU Applicants The Scottish Government has confirmed that undergraduate EU students enrolling in the 2019/20 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland for the duration of their course. Those assessed as eligible will remain so for the duration of their course. You must apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for funding. For guidance on eligibility and funding please visit the SAAS website


Course Overview

4 years
Start Date
September 2019
On campus
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Subject Area
Fees & Funding

Related Professional Bodies

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A Student Story - more at foot of page

- BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy "I was set on studying at QMU a while before I was old enough to go, but it was important for me that my parents would be happy leaving me here if I was accepted on to the course. There are two aspects of the open day that still stand out to me, including the modern, en-suite student rooms in the halls of residence. The second was a comment made by a lecturer about the occupational therapy course – “don’t study at QMU if you want to be able to sit at the back of lectures and not be noticed”. My course was made up of about 40 people, so you really could not go unnoticed in classes." Ready my story...