MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration)

Applications for this course for January 2020 are now closed. Applications for January 2021 will open in early 2020.

The Course

MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration) is a science-based programme that is designed to prepare graduates to work in a variety of settings including health organisations, social care services, housing, education, voluntary organisations or as independent practitioners.

The purpose of Occupational Therapy is to enable people to fulfil, or to work towards fulfilling their potential as occupational beings. Occupational therapists promote function, quality of life and the realisation of potential in people who are experiencing occupational deprivation, imbalance or alienation. They believe that activity can be an effective medium for remediating dysfunction, facilitating adaptation and recreating identity.

Occupational therapists can work with adults and children of all ages with a wide range of conditions; most commonly those who have difficulties due to a mental health illness, physical or learning disabilities.

The MSc in Occupational Therapy has been designed to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to work in range of complex and dynamic health and social care environments with people across the age range.

Students on this course are encouraged to appreciate and understand current occupational therapy practice while being critical in their approach to developing new, innovative and evidence-based interventions. There are interprofessional components of the course which are designed to develop practitioners who are professional, compassionate, safe, reflective and autonomous. Working with peers from other professions including physiotherapy, nursing, midwifery and social workers will promote team work, collaboration, and an application of research skills in the transformation of health and social care services.

Successful completion of this programme will provide graduates with the eligibility to apply to the HCPC Register as an occupational therapist and membership of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.
The foundation of this course is the interprofessional learning approach to developing and promoting a culture of wellness in health and social care. Students on this pre-registration MSc Occupational Therapy course can experience collaborative approaches to learning and teaching that will challenge traditional perceptions of healthcare provision.

A variety of learning and teaching strategies will be used to cater for the individual needs of students on the programme. These strategies may include lectures, seminars, workshops, small group activity, self-assessment, case studies, library based resources, clinical skills sessions, virtual learning, simulation and practice-based learning.

In addition to academic based learning in a modern university setting you will have the opportunity to experience over 1000 hours of practice-based learning in a variety of clinical settings.

In the second year, students have the opportunity to develop a role emerging placement to explore an area where occupational therapists haven’t traditionally worked before, subject to achieving the minimum requirements for supported practice learning.

Varied practice placements will further develop students' awareness of the scope of occupational therapy and will promote their career aspirations within the NHS, social care, private and third sectors, and beyond in an ever changing healthcare workforce.

The practice-based learning placements are planned to last between four and seven weeks in duration, with two four week blocks and a seven week block in Year 1, and a six week and a seven week block in Year 2.

There will be an option to apply for a role emerging placement in the second year exploring an area of practice that may not have traditionally had an occupational therapy presence. This is designed to ensure that students are given an adequate opportunity to achieve the minimum 1000 hours that would be required for registration with the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council. Students will not be required to attend University during the clinical placement blocks.

To find out more about Occupational Therapy, please visit the Royal College of Occupational Therapy website - and

Contact Hours and Independent Study

Contact hours may vary for each year of your course. You will be engaging in a two-year full-time course and so, at the very least, you should expect to undertake a minimum of 37 hours of study each week during term time and you may undertake assignments outside of term time. The composition and delivery for the course varies for each module. Each year of the course runs from January to December.

Master's level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures, seminars and practice-based learning. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend two to three hours in independent study.

Advancing Occupational Therapy Practice (Core)
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Advancing Occupational Therapy Practice (Core)

This module aims to build on the learners’ core knowledge and skills in occupational therapy and prepare the learner for the daily challenges encountered by a qualified occupational therapist. Learners will be applying previous knowledge and skills to the assessment and interventions with service users who have more complex needs and multi morbidities, within increasingly complex and dynamic health and social care environments. The teaching for this module will include practical workshops where learners will work on simulated and real life case scenarios to consolidate the philosophical and theoretical concepts that underpin occupational therapy in order to develop their professional identity, promote occupational engagement and be able to justify their practice. This will include consideration of the individual’s s’ unique personal circumstances and the needs of care givers and others in the context of their social situation. Learners will be applying previous knowledge and skills in evidence based practice, assessment and clinical reasoning to demonstrate the links between the theory of occupational therapy and real life practice including exploration of complex legal and ethical considerations in the practice of occupational therapy. Critical reflection and evaluation of the outcomes of interventions will be emphasised and form the basis of ongoing decision making. At the end of this module, learners should be prepared with the knowledge and skills to be an autonomous practitioner and practice within their professional code of conduct.
This module must be commenced prior to undertaking Practice Placement 5 which must be completed in order to achieve Learning Outcome 6 of this module.

Applied Health Improvement (Core)
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Applied Health Improvement (Core)

Health improvement is a term used to describe the work done with individuals and communities to enable and encourage healthy lifestyle choices to be made regardless of health and social circumstances. It is one of the three key domains of public health practice.

This module has been designed to extend students’ knowledge of public health policy and practice and provide the opportunity to explore how psychological, social, behavioural and environmental factors influence health, illness and healthcare and how these shape the advice given to patients to improve their own health and the health of others around them. Students will be encouraged to question the ethical basis of and effectiveness of health improvement practice in the current health and social care context from global, national and local perspectives.

Applied Sciences in Occupational Therapy (Core)
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Applied Sciences in Occupational Therapy (Core)

The Applied Sciences module develops and applies the biological, physical, psychological, and sociological sciences in the occupational therapy context of health and social care. Learning through a series of core lectures, learners will then use seminar-based enquiry-based learning (EBL) activities to align the sciences with occupational therapy specific practice.
The module will promote the development of a knowledge base of core health and social science clinically relevant to the breadth of occupational therapy practice. The acquisition of knowledge will be challenged through critical analysis and contextual application to develop a firm foundation for the practice of evidence-based occupational therapy in promoting wellness and addressing illness.

Assessment and Clinical Reasoning in Occupational Therapy (Core)
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Assessment and Clinical Reasoning in Occupational Therapy (Core)

This module will explore a range of health conditions and their impact on occupational performance. It will build on the learners theoretical knowledge of occupational therapy, introduce different methods of assessment and explore the interpersonal skills required to build meaningful relationships in order to deliver collaborative and person centred care in the context of the individual’s life. The learner will explore how to interpret information gathered from a variety of sources, how it contributes to the formulation of diagnosis within the Multi-Disciplinary Team and subsequently to a treatment plan, taking into account the personal preferences, personal and social circumstances of the individual. . Learners will explore this in the context of people at various stages of their lifespan, with a variety of needs and a range of different environmental settings. This module will focus on a range of holistic person centred approaches to assessment which will develop the learner’s skills in clinical reasoning and case formulation that will be applied in practice. Learners will consider their assessment strategies within the boundaries of their professional code of conduct.
This module must be commenced prior to undertaking Practice Placement 3 which must be completed to meet Learning Outcome 4 of this module.

Essential Interprofessional Practice (Core)
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Essential Interprofessional Practice (Core)

Healthcare professionals share key skills and characteristics around the legal, ethical and values base of professional practice. This first year inter-professional module has been designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop essential knowledge and understanding about the structure and function of health and social care in the UK; the role of different professional groups and how they can work together to maximise the care experience for service users and their families and the legal, ethical and professional body frameworks that govern practice. The module will also support students in making the transition to Masters level study and assist them in the development of key skills such as critical evaluation, reflection and using evidence to underpin practice.

Essential Occupational Therapy Practice (Core)
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Essential Occupational Therapy Practice (Core)

This module will explore the history of occupation in relation to the fundamental concepts of occupational science and occupational therapy, and the dynamic relationship between engagement in occupation, health and well-being. Learners will be introduced to the theoretical knowledge and skills that underpin occupational therapy practice and links will be made between the impact of occupation, the person and their life context on occupational engagement. Core skills for the professional practice that promotes occupational engagement over the lifespan will be analysed and will form the foundation for the development and application of occupational therapy practice. Learners will develop their critical evaluation skills by exploring the evidence underpinning specific occupational therapy interventions, whilst starting to develop clinical reasoning and decision-making skills in the selection of therapeutic techniques. Interventions to promote wellness, lifestyle change and self-management will be embedded in this module. Learners will consider their role as an Occupational Therapist within the requirements of their professional code of conduct. During this module learners will commence a CPD portfolio which they will use to connect their module learning and placement experiences and reflections. This will be used throughout the programme and will prepare learners with the necessary skills to demonstrate their ongoing professional development as a graduate OT.
This module must be commenced prior to undertaking Practice Placements 1 and 2 which must be completed to achieve learning outcomes 5 and 6 of this module.

Service Evaluation for Clinical Practice (Core)
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Service Evaluation for Clinical Practice (Core)

This module provides students with the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills required to systematically evaluate an area of service delivery within their field of professional practice. The module will support students to critically examine current research and audit practices in order to conduct a literature review to find alternative ways of working to improve patient outcomes. Students are then expected to prepare a business case proposal for change within their professional area.

Service Transformation (Core)
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Service Transformation (Core)

This module provides the students with the chance to develop the knowledge and skills required to systematically propose a service transformation project in order to improve service delivery and patient safety within their area of professional practice.

This module aims to enhance the students’ underpinning knowledge, project management, leadership, and problem solving skills in order to undertake a process of service improvement within the delivery of health and social care. The main focus of the taught content is to ensure that care standards, quality assurance mechanisms, improvement methodologies, process and strategies are fully considered and incorporated into the project.

† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Students will be assessed both formally and informally throughout the course to develop their learning and autonomy. The assessments will take place both within the University and practice placement environments. Practice-based learning will be pass/fail, while the level 7 academic work will contribute towards your final grade.

Some of the assessment will be led by your tutors but you may also be encouraged to engage in peer and self-assessment to help you develop the skills of reflection and evaluation which are essential for lifelong learning and your continued professional development following registration as an Occupational Therapist.

Some of the assessments will focus on theoretical knowledge and application of theory and others on the practical performance of technical skills and patient management. Detailed guidance of what is expected, and the assessment criteria will be provided for each module.

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to you promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date (unless stated differently above).

Methods of Assessment

The way you will be assessed on this course will vary for each module. It could include coursework, such as a service transformation project, written and practical exams and demonstrations, group work or presentations, to name some examples.

To apply for this programme, please submit your application via the University of Lincoln’s postgraduate online application form.

Please ensure that you include a personal statement with your application. As a guide, this should be around 47 lines (or 4,000 characters) and it should evidence details below.

This course is for graduates of relevant degrees who aspire to qualify for eligibility to apply to the HCPC Register as an occupational therapist. Practice-based learning will take place in and around Lincolnshire and surrounding areas.

We will be looking for applicants with a good knowledge of, and a commitment to, undertaking Occupational therapy as a profession. This must be clearly demonstrated through experience of health and social care, and knowledge of the profession in your application and at interview.

All relevant work experience that you have undertaken to date should be included and, most importantly, how this work experience influenced your decision to pursue a career in Occupational therapy.

You must be able to evidence a good understanding of the breadth of care delivered by occupational therapists, ideally through interactive or observational work experience. You must also demonstrate an understanding of the autonomous role of occupational therapists in assessing, managing and referring patients as well as the importance of and engagement with essential professional values and behaviours that bring about high quality, compassionate care.

In addition, you should be able to articulate realistic expectations of the programme and the demands of practice-based learning placements.

For information on how to become an occupational therapist and tips on making your application, please visit

The University of Lincoln is home to The Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU), which is the research centre for the School of Health and Social Care. CaHRU conducts world-leading interdisciplinary research with service users, health service professionals and organisations to increase health and well-being across the health, social and third sector care services.

CaHRU is allied with the Lincoln Institute for Health. The Lincoln Institute for Health (LIH) is a university-wide multidisciplinary research collaboration that conducts internationally excellent and world-leading studies from ‘cell-to-community’.

From 1st August 2018 the MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration) programme will be eligible for further financial support in terms of student loan.

Students may also be able to access Student Finance England’s Travel Grant for reimbursement of eligible practice placement expenses.

For the latest information please see Student Finance England’s website: or email with specific queries.

 2019/20 Entry*
Home/EU Course Fee £7,161 per year
Placement Fee** £1,500 per year
Total tuition fee each year £8,661 per year


Fees (including Reductions)***

 2019/20 Entry*

Home/EU Course Fee 

(including Alumni Scholarship reduction)***

£5,729 per year
Placement Fee** £1,500 per year

Total tuition fee each year

(including Alumni Scholarship Course Fee reduction)***

£7,229 per year


*Academic year September- July

** The total tuition fees for the programme incorporate the £1500 annual placement tariff

*** Subject to eligibility, students eligible for the Alumni Scholarship will have the 20% reduction applied to the Course Fee element only.

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

Other Costs

For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on your course.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.

MSc Occupational Therapy additional costs:

  • Applicants should hold an honours degree in a relevant discipline at 2.2 classification or above. If you are unsure whether your first degree is relevant we welcome you to send us your degree transcript so that our Admissions Tutor can advise you further.
  • Normally 3 GCSEs at grade A*-C, including English Language, Maths and Science, or equivalent qualifications. These GCSEs must be obtained prior to submitting an application. Applicants who completed an Access to HE in Health and Social Care will be required to provide evidence of undertaking science units at level 3.
  • Entry on to the course is subject to meeting the requirements of a profession specific occupational health screening.
    Certificates and degree transcripts of all previous qualifications will need to be provided before any offers are confirmed.

Other requirements include:

  • IELTS 7.0 with no element below 6.5.
  • Evidence of recent academic learning
  • Successful performance at an interview.
  • Knowledge of contemporary health and social care issues, and the role of the occupational therapist in providing health and social care interventions.
  • Understanding of written material and can communicate clearly and accurately in written and spoken English.
  • “Settled residential status” in the United Kingdom in line with the requirements of the 1977 Immigration Act.
  • Resident in the United Kingdom for at least three years.
  • All students will be required to sign the subject-specific Fitness to Practise Code of Conduct on entry, details of which will be forwarded with an offer letter.
  • Satisfactory completion of an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

Applicants with disabilities

We take seriously our obligation to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that all students with disabilities can successfully complete their studies. All applicants will be assessed on the basis of the criteria outlined here regardless of any disability. If you declare a disability we will invite you to work with us to explore how best we can support your studies.

Other information:

You must declare all spent and unspent criminal convictions including (but not limited to) cautions, reprimands, final warnings, bind over orders or similar and details of any minor offences, fixed penalty notices, penalty notices for disorder, ASBO’s or VOO’s.

Further information can be found at
If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the admissions team on 01522 886097, or email

Learn from Experts

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may be supported in their learning by other students.

Carol Duff

Programme Leader


Your Future Career

Career and Personal Development

Many registered Occupational Therapists work within the NHS or in social care settings and are recruited and employed by individual organisations. This programme is forward-looking and realises that many occupational therapists and new graduates may also work in non-traditional OT roles or for private and third sector organisations.

New, varied and innovative job opportunities are increasingly available to qualified Occupational Therapists, and this programme aims to prepare its graduates accordingly. Non-clinical careers also exist in teaching, research, management and administration, health and safety, and training and development. The experienced teaching team will help you explore and develop your individual career aspirations.

Careers Service

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with you to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during your time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing your course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual and website resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise your future opportunities. The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages here


At Lincoln, we constantly invest in our campus as we aim to provide the best learning environment for our students. Whatever the area of study, the University strives to ensure students have access to specialist equipment and resources, to develop the skills, which they may need in their future career.

An exciting new development for the School, the Sarah Swift Building, is a £19m investment into a dedicated facility for the Schools of Health and Social Care and Psychology. The building houses high-quality teaching, research, social and learning spaces for both Schools. The building will also include advanced clinical simulation facilities for the School’s nursing courses.

Students can study and research in the University's Great Central Warehouse Library, which provides more than 250,000 printed books and approximately 400,000 electronic books and journals, as well as databases and specialist collections. The Library has a range of different spaces for shared and individual learning.

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.