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This is an innovative course and the first of its kind in the UK. You learn about occupational therapy while on placement in the workplace, supported by one or two days a week of academic learning delivered at Sheffield Hallam University.

Please note this course is taught over 90 weeks. You will have 7 weeks holiday a year: one week at Easter, four weeks in August and two weeks at Christmas.

Successfully completing this course makes you eligible to apply for registration with the UK Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Registering with the HCPC enables you to work as an occupational therapist anywhere in the UK.

You learn from a highly respected team who will lead your learning in the core theories and principles of occupational therapy.

You take four periods of practice in health and social care settings and study nine academic modules. Modules you study include

  • introduction to professional practice
  • foundations for occupation based practice
  • leadership and management in occupational therapy
  • occupational therapy project (practice-based research dissertation)

Your academic modules guide you in developing relevant knowledge and theory that underpins occupational therapy practice, and are assessed through coursework. Throughout the taught modules we use your placement experiences in group discussions to relate theory to practice and enhance critical thinking skills.

You also spend a significant amount of your time in practice-based learning. In the first year, after a six week full-time induction period, you are placed in two different occupational therapy practice placements, each for 13 weeks from February to May and from September to November. You are on placement in these services from Monday to Wednesday, attend the university on Thursdays and normally have some personal study time on Fridays. Your practice in the service is assessed to meet professional requirements.

In the second year, you are on placement part-time for 12 weeks from February to May in a service where they may be no direct occupational therapy involvement but where there is potential for occupational therapy. This may be in the voluntary, independent or private sector. Again your academic study features alongside your practice-based learning.

Following submission of your practice-based dissertation, you complete your course with a ten-week full-time placement.

Professional recognition

This course is accredited by the British Association of Occupational Therapists and College of Occupational Therapists.

Graduates can apply for registration with the UK Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in order to practise as an occupational therapist.

You can also apply to become full members of the British Association of Occupational Therapists and College of Occupational Therapists.

Course structure

The masters award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.

Core modules

  • Introduction to professional practice (15 credits)
  • Foundations for occupation based practice (15 credits)
  • Research for occupational therapy practice (15 credits)
  • Assessing occupational performance (15 credits)
  • Enabling occupational performance (15 credits)


We assess your practice learning to meet professional requirements and your academic modules through coursework. There are no formal examinations.


You can apply for registration with the UK Health and Care Professions Council and find careers as an occupational therapist in many sectors.

Visit the Occupational Therapy (pre-registration) MSc page on the Sheffield Hallam University website for more details!




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