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PgDip/ MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration)

Course Description

This course will attract people holding an undergraduate honours degree who may want to change career to become an occupational therapist. It is an intensive course of study which will develop theoretical, analytical, practical and evaluative and reasoning skills.

Occupational therapists assess people’s disengagement from their occupations and provide ways for them to re-engage in their occupational roles or provide alternatives in order to improve their quality of life. Modules reflect the nature of occupational therapy, which is concerned with the relationship between people’s occupations and their health. The course prepares graduates to work in diverse practice contexts.

Teaching, learning and assessment

This course uses a wide range of learning and teaching methods, focusing on the person-centred nature of the work of an occupational therapist. Problem-based learning using case studies is a major feature with students working independently and collaboratively. Your performance will be assessed by a variety of methods including case studies, essays, projects and presentations. Practice education forms a core element of the course and your personal performance is also assessed. There are four placements in total (placement 1 – full-time 6 weeks, Placement 2 – part-time 17 weeks, placement 3 – part-time 14 weeks, Placement 4 – part-time 17
weeks). There may be additional travel costs for all placements and an accommodation cost for placement 1.

Teaching hours and attendance

Each module which you study on campus will require you to attend classes and carry out independent work. The PgDip academic modules require you to attend from 9.15am – 6.15pm.

You should be aware that services may operate over seven working days. Placement may involve evening and weekend attendance. All students are required to purchase professional indemnity insurance.

Links with industry/professional bodies

You can apply for membership of the College of Occupational Therapists and eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council to work as an occupational therapist.


30 credits: Foundations and Skills for Practice/Analysis and Assessment/ Intervention and Evaluation/ Preparation for Practice in a Changing Context

You will also complete 30 credit undergraduate level professional practice placements 1, 2, 3 & 4 (1000 hours in total) in order to be eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council.

If studying for the MSc, you will also complete Research Methods (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).


Occupational therapists are employed in a diverse range of settings e.g. NHS Education, community based settings, social services centres, general practice surgeries, third sector and in private practice. Outwith the UK, graduates of this course have gone on to work in Hong Kong, Australia, E rope, Canada, the USA and New Zealand.

Quick Facts

Innovative teaching methods appropriate to adult postgraduate learners.

Small cohort of 20-30 students working closely and collaboratively with staff.

The PgDip/MSc qualification is recognised worldwide and will prepare you to work in national contexts. International students may be required to sit an exam to work in their home country.

This is a World Federation of Occupational Therapists recognised course.

Visit the PgDip/ MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) page on the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

An honours degree at 2:2 or above. This course is not suitable for applicants already holding a qualification in occupational therapy. A minimum of six months experience with people within services and a research project or research experience is required.

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Recipient: Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
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