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Course content

About the course

Occupational Therapy (OT) at Brunel is one of the largest, longest established, and most highly regarded programmes in the world. In fact, we are the original ‘London School of Occupational Therapy.’

The MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) provides a Master's level route for graduates to become competent occupational therapists equipped for life-long, safe and effective practice within the global marketplace. This course is for those who are not already qualified as occupational therapists. It is a professional full-time programme, which will prepare you to become a competent occupational therapist in a variety of health and social care settings. It also allows students to be eligible to apply for:

Registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
Membership of the British Association of Occupational Therapists/College of Occupational Therapists.

In December 2016 our programme was granted “Preaccreditation Status” by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), which confirms that Brunel has successfully completed steps one and two in the three-step accreditation process – see more at AOTA OT Master's-Level Programs - Developing and visit our Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) information page.

The programme will now proceed with step three – the on-site evaluation, scheduled for April 2017, followed by an accreditation decision by mid-2017.

Aims

This programme differs from other Master's programmes in that it is a professional programme at postgraduate level and is full-time. It is not for those who are already qualified occupational therapists. Nevertheless, this course aims to prepare you to become a competent occupational therapist equipped for lifelong, safe and effective practice in a variety of health and social care settings. We provide a high quality educational programme, which ensures that you are properly qualified, prepared and safe to practise.

Occupational therapy students typically choose this career for the following reasons:

variety of work
the challenge
personal and one-to-one contact
client/patient appreciation
its holistic approach
the desire to help disabled people
to work in health settings
job availability
the chance to be creative.

If you are considering studying Occupational Therapy at Brunel University London then you are committed to working jointly with the NHS to demonstrate the values and beliefs of the NHS Constitution.

NHS values
Patients, public and staff have helped develop this expression of values that inspire passion in the NHS and that should underpin everything it does. Individual organisations will develop and build upon these values, tailoring them to their local needs. The NHS values provide common ground for co-operation to achieve shared aspirations, at all levels of the NHS.

Course Content

Programme Structure

The MSc (pre-registration or pre-reg) occupational therapy programme benefits from being integrated with other programmes within the College of Health and Life Sciences. In their first year of study, MSc (pre-registration) occupational therapy students undertake components from a number of the current BSc modules/study blocks, as well as shared teaching with post-graduate students from the divisions of occupational therapy, physiotherapy, social work and community health and nursing studies. In their second year of study, students share modules with other post-graduate students within the division of occupational therapy. Where learning is shared with the undergraduates, the content has been integrated into master's level modules and is assessed at master's level.

The programme comprises two years full time study. Taught modules are within a three-term structure. To provide a balance between academic and practice placements and still meet the minimum of 1,000 hours of practice placements required by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists and the College of Occupational Therapists, three of the practice placement modules extend beyond the term boundaries over the summer.

Academic modules are based at Brunel University in Uxbridge and practice placement modules are provided in a range of health and social care setting and increasingly in voluntary and private organisations including non-traditional settings.

Year One: The Skilled Practitioner – the How, What and Why of Occupational Therapy
Year 1 of the programme introduces students to the "how, what and why" of occupational therapy and aims to give them the opportunity to develop, explore and critique the core occupational concepts and skills of the profession in depth. The arrangement of study blocks and the two practice placement modules (that occur prior to the commencement of academic study in year 2), allow for a reciprocal exchange of academic knowledge and professional skills that develop the student’s understanding and knowledge of the profession further. Applying and evaluating research in practice is essential for occupational therapists, who are required to adopt evidence-based practice. Therefore the students are made aware from the onset of the programme of how research impacts on practice through clinical reasoning and decision-making skills gained in study blocks and also an inter-professional module HH5609: Approaches to Research.

Year Two: Mastery of Occupational Therapy – Advancing Practice
Year 2 of the programme aims to provide students with a more advanced exploration of the occupational therapy profession. Students acquire mastery in critical knowledge and evaluation of key issues on professional practice as well as critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation of theoretical concepts central to occupational therapy. In addition, students study one optional module that enables an in-depth consideration of a specialist area of current practice. Students’ research skills are further enhanced in the second year and culminate in the students producing a research thesis, in the form of a detailed research dissertation. There are two practice placements in Year 2, one at the beginning of the year and one at the end.

Core Modules

Year 1

Introduction to Occupational Therapy Theory and Philosophy
Informing Sciences
Knowledge and Skills for Occupational Therapy 1
The Process of Occupational Therapy Practice
Preparing for the Work Place 1
Occupational Therapy Practice in Context
Knowledge and Skills for Occupational Therapy 2
Lifestyle Redesign Through Occupation
Preparation for Dissertation

Year 2

Preparing for the Work Place 2
Strategies and Visions for Professional Development
People and Communities
The Art and Science of Occupational Therapy

Optional Modules

Occupational Therapy for Children, Young People and their Families
Occupational Therapy in Mental Health
Occupational Therapy in Neurorehabilitation
Occupational Therapy for Active Ageing

Immunisation requirements for the course

Please be aware that the University does not pay for any of the vaccinations or blood tests required to undertake this course, this is the responsibility of each applicant. The University does not offer a service to provide these and therefore we recommend you go to your GP or local travel clinic and start as early as possible. Until the University has evidence that you have these immunisations we will not be able to allow you to enter the clinical environment on practice placement so it is vital that you meet these requirements, ideally before you commence study. You must obtain immunisation against the following and further information can be found on the NHS website.

Please be aware that as occupational therapy students you will be working in hospitals and therefore in contact with patients who have infections so these immunisations are required for students as outlined in the Green Book by the Department of Health.

Hepatitis B x 3 vaccinations over a 6 month period and a blood test is then taken 6-8 weeks after the third dose, to check that the vaccinations have worked. Please note that the Hep B vaccination programme from the initial first vaccination to blood test upon completion, takes 8 months.
Also required is Polio & Tetanusè Rubella, Measles or MMR x 2 è BCG è Varicella Zoster, and evidence of chicken pox or vaccination x 2, or blood test to confirm immunity.
Blood tests are required for Hepatitis B and also for Measles, Rubella and Chicken Pox if there is no evidence in the students medical records. Immunisations are compulsory and are required for clinical placements.

Teaching

The programme reflects educational developments and encourages reflection, self-reliance and deep learning in the programme - to prepare students for the challenges of employment within a changing health and social care system.

Teaching, learning and assessment are designed to ensure that successful students are able to:

Seek out, appraise critically and use appropriate sources of knowledge and expertise within their academic and practice-related studies.
Utilise intellectual, subject-specific and key transferable skills.
Reflect on their experiences and learn from these.

Students’ learning is also supported by web based resources on Blackboard Learn with all modules having lecture and tutorial material posted on this site. Other features of Blackboard Learn are also utilised, such as on-line tests, virtual blackboards, discussion groups and podcasts.

The teaching and learning approaches are founded on the belief that occupational therapy should be grounded in evidence. This is achieved through the integration of academic and practice education which encourages evidence-based activity.

Programme, study and module block descriptors delineate learning outcomes to ensure clarity and promote the active preparation of students. Placements require students to reflect on their personal strengths and weaknesses and set objectives for their learning.
Completion of student evaluation forms requires students to appraise their own learning experiences.

All study and module blocks are core to the curriculum apart from one optional module in the second year, which must be chosen from four options. All modules are compulsory. This policy was adopted to ensure the programme meets with the professional requirements of the Health and Care Professions Council and the College of Occupational Therapists.

Assessment

The assessment procedures within the programme reflect the learning outcomes of each study and module block. Assessments are carried out in assessment blocks. The University term structure allows the student to have assessments spread across the academic year to assist learning.

In order to promote independent learning, a variety of assessment modes are used such as case studies, essays, practical assessments, placement reports, presentations, written examinations, literature reviews and a research dissertation. These assessments are designed to not only reflect master’s level academic requirements, but also professional skills in preparation for practice.

At the beginning of each year the student is provided with the assessment schedule, including assessment and feedback dates. Each assessment is explained clearly to students, both verbally and in the programme handbook, giving notification of assignment block requirements early in the commencement of the relevant study or module blocks. This information is also provided via Blackboard Learn (BBL). Preparation for assessment blocks is co-ordinated by the relevant year leader and undertaken through identified sessions within study blocks.

Special Features

You will complete an integrated research dissertation as part of the Master’s.

You will have the opportunity to work and learn with international students.

You will have the opportunity to learn in a wide range of practice areas.

The programme is accredited by the College of Occupational Therapists (COT) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). It is recognised by the World Federation of Occupational Therapy.

Visit the Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) - MSc page on the Brunel University London website for more details!

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