Our MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration) programme helps you to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes to enable you to work with clients of all ages who have physical, mental health or learning difficulties. If you already have a degree, and have carried out some relevant experience, then this programme could be your route into occupational therapy.
This pre-registration course is a two-year accelerated programme which enables you to take advantage of interprofessional learning (IPL), encouraging professionals to learn with and from each other – an understanding that helps to ensure you have the expertise to respond adequately and effectively to the complexity of your clients’ needs, and ensures that care is safe, seamless and of a high standard.
Central to the philosophy of our programme is the value attached to ‘occupation’ and ‘activity’ as a means to achieving the health and wellbeing of individuals, which enhances their quality of life, thus enabling them to achieve their desired goals.
In order to prepare you for the work-place and enrich your learning, we organise the practice placement education for you with multi-professional health care teams in a wide range of settings. You will gain experience of working as part of a multidisciplinary team with people who have physical and mental health care needs.
Over a thousand hours will be spent in the practice environment, where you will apply the theory and practice of occupational therapy.
Whilst on placement you will have an educator allocated to you, and contact with a member of the academic team.
Placements encompass a variety of multidisciplinary health and social care settings based within the NHS, the Private Sector, Social Services, Voluntary Organisations and Primary Health Care Services.
Completing our course enables you to become an occupational therapist, and makes you eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and professional membership of the College of Occupational Therapists (COT).
HCPC registration is required to work as an occupational therapist in the UK, and once you are registered you are able to practice in a wide variety of clinical settings.
We are committed to embedding the NHS Constitution Values (which are strongly reflected in our University values) into everything we do. They define the behaviours and expectations of all our staff and students underpinning the work we do in the university, clinical arena and other workplaces.
We understand that not all of our students and staff are employed within the NHS, but these values uphold the underlying principles of excellent care as a standard and as such we expect that anyone who has any aspect of their work which ultimately cares for others will aspire to uphold these values.
For us, involving not only our students but service users, experts by experience, carers and NHS/non NHS professionals in the creation and delivery of all programmes is vital.
Our expert staff
A unique feature of our School is that most of our staff work or have worked within clinical practice. This enhances our grasp of the contemporary links between academic research, the major issues of the day and real-life practice.
Occupational Therapy is taught by registered experienced staff with a variety of different backgrounds. The course is led by Dr Wendy Bryant, who is also the university’s subject lead for occupational therapy. Wendy practised as an occupational therapist in a range of health and social care settings from 1984 until becoming an academic in 2003. She was awarded the UKOTRF Institute of Social Psychiatry Scholarship for research into mental health service-user experiences of occupational therapy facilities in an acute mental health unit in West London.
We also have expertise in the areas of dementia, occupation therapy for children, and the assistance of dogs in treatments. Specialist guest lecturers additionally lend external expertise to our academic staff.
Within our School of Health and Human Sciences, we have a range of specialist clinical laboratories and IT facilities to assist you with the effective learning and acquisition of new skills; for students of our MSc Occupational Therapy, we have a specialist lab at our Colchester Campus which provides you with access to kitchen, bedroom, and wheelchair facilities to help develop your skills in helping people in the home.
We also arrange off-site visits to farms and other specialist external facilities to assist in your learning, and offer excellent physical and online resources in terms of libraries, computer labs, datasets, archives and other research materials.
Our student-run Occupational Therapy Society is also involved in many internal and external events.
Successful completion of our MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration) programme leads to eligibility to apply for registration as an occupational therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which then allows you to practise as an occupational therapist in the UK.
If you are a self-funding international student interested in working outside of the UK we would advise that you check registration procedures with the relevant professional body in that country.
Year 1 -Interprofessional Collaboration and Development -Research in Health Care -Foundations of Occupational Therapy Practice -Occupational Performance in Practice -Learning in Practice 1 -Learning in Practice 2
Year 2 -Research Activity -Transformation Through Occupation -Contexts of Occupational Therapy Practice -The Competent Occupational Therapist -Learning in Practice 3 -Learning in Practice 4
“I decided to study at the University of Essex because of the postgraduate course offered by the School of Health and Human Sciences, and because the University’s location enabled me to stay living at home, which made further study a financially viable option.
I chose to study MSc Speech and Language Therapy because my undergraduate degree in English Language created an interest in language, while my later work experience further fuelled my interest in communication, speech and language therapy.
I particularly enjoy the flexibility of my course content, and staff within the School of Health and Human Sciences are very approachable so that, for example, if we feel we need more study on a particular area for example we can ask for it. The support from all my tutors has been amazing.
After I finish my studies at the University of Essex, I plan to work as a speech and language therapist. My course has an excellent reputation so I am already applying for posts in this area.”
"Studying to be an occupational therapist was, in some ways, the most difficult but easiest decision I ever made! At 42 years of age with a well paid job and a young children, giving up our family security unnecessarily seemed rather risky. However, I knew something had to change if I was to be passionate about my job. I was employed in customer-focused/business roles and knew that working with people was a motivating factor for me. However, as I climbed into managerial responsibilities, I discovered I was getting further from the actual customer and more dissatisfied with each role I took.
Once my children were in full-time school, so money and time were less scarce, I began to research a career change. I saw a life coach, spoke to friends and family, and conducted extensive research through the internet. I knew I needed to work with people and do something purposeful, that made a difference.
I gradually narrowed my search and came up with occupational therapy - it met all my requirements and then some! I have always been 'a do-er', trying out many different life experiences, and I believe passionately in the sense of purpose and zest for life that occupation can bring. Learning that the central philosophy in occupational therapy mirrored this, and that such a career met all my motivating drivers, was an epiphany!
It is early days on my course at Essex but I'm enjoying every minute of it. I thought it would be tough going into the world of academia and on to an accelerated Masters course but I have not doubted my decision for one second. In fact, as I learn more about the profession, it feels that where I am now is a culmination of everything I've done before and I know I have made the right choice."
ESRC Doctoral Training Centre scholarships
For 2011-12, our ESRC Doctoral Training Centre will offer 16-fully funded ESRC studentships, most worth £18,000 per year, across over 20 doctoral pathways. The University of Essex has become one of only 21 Doctoral Training Centres accredited by the UK Economic and Social Research Council following a highly competitive selection process. Our Doctoral Training Centre will fund 16 doctoral students each year across many different social science disciplines. It also offers excellent training opportunities and a highly stimulating research environment to hundreds of postgraduate students, researchers, professionals, practitioners and users.
Value of Scholarship(s)
Up to £18,000
We encourage applications from top students seeking to research over a range of social science areas, including: criminology and socio-legal research; economic and social research; economics and econometrics; environmental governance; finance; health and organisational research; human rights; language and linguistics; management and accounting; politics and international relations; political economy; psychoanalytic studies; sociology and social change.
You should have: An honours degree, the minimum classification: Lower Second (2.2). For students whom English is not your native language, you need to complete the IELTS testing with a score of 7.0 or above, with no element below 6.5. Successful performance at interview. Evidence of recent academic study (acourse or module with an assessable component taken in the last 5 years). You must also have: two satisfactory references (including an academic reference and a work based one), a satisfactory Work Health Assessment/Occupational health check and enhanced DBS check – both of these are organised by the University.
Recipient: University of Essex
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