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Advanced Professional Practice in Occupational Therapy (MSc)

Course Description

Are you an occupational therapist wishing to develop your skills and knowledge in critical thinking? This pathway offers you the opportunity to study occupation as a focus of contemporary practice and explore cutting-edge theory and research from occupational science and occupational therapy. Learn how to search for, critique and apply research evidence to your practice, and be primed with the skills to be an evidence-based practitioner, ready to lead and to develop others in dynamic settings.

Key features

Take the opportunity to study on a programme with a long, esteemed history and join the many hundreds of successful graduates from all over the world. You’ll learn to apply up-to-date knowledge of research and theory, to enhance your creativity and flexibility, and to develop the academic skills needed to work effectively in modern health and social care settings.

Become an evidence-based practitioner, equipped to manage and lead in busy and constantly changing settings. Take the opportunity to study in an inter-professional setting with inter-professional core and optional modules.

Join an enthusiastic team of occupational therapists, undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students who are pushing forward the boundaries of knowledge on occupational science and occupational therapy.

Choose this occupational therapy pathway and study at least one pathway specific module related to the title of the award, and four core modules (applying evidence to practice, developing self and others, project design for research, research dissertation) shared with the generic MSc Advanced Professional Practice programme.
Shape your learning journey – you can step off the pathway with a postgraduate certificate (three modules) or postgraduate diploma (six modules) if you wish, or you can continue on to a master’s degree.

Learn about research and plan and carry out your own research project as part of the masters degree, with the support of experienced occupational therapy tutors.

Complete the programme in a year, with the introduction of a one year full-time study option.

Alternatively, balance work and caring commitments by studying part time over three years and up to a maximum of five years.

Take advantage of the flexibility our programme offers. You can take much of the programme by distance learning. Modules taught face-to-face are delivered in short, intensive blocks in Plymouth to enable you to complete them with minimum travel and time away from your other commitments.

Tailor your learning in the workplace through module assignments and the supported independent study module.

Benefit from our collaboration with the Faculty of Business in providing both core and optional modules.

Learn within our supportive multi-professional and inter-agency environments. Our programme is delivered by experts in a setting where innovative thinking regarding advanced professional development is put into practice.

Be inspired and learn from the research-active staff at the forefront of knowledge, conducting research in the Centre for Health and Social Care Innovation (CHeSCI). The centre supports several research areas including occupational science and rehabilitation.

Course details

Pathways in this programme will include the following shared modules: applying evidence to practice; developing self and others; project design for research; and the research dissertation. The pathways will all have at least one pathway specific module and two programme optional modules. To gain a postgraduate certificate, you’ll need to earn 60 credits. You’ll study three modules worth 20 credits each: applying evidence to practice; a pathway specific module or a programme option module if no specific pathway is being pursued; and a programme option module.

To gain a postgraduate diploma, you’ll need to earn 120 credits. You’ll study three modules worth 20 credits each: project design for research; developing self and others; and a pathway specific module or programme option. To be awarded the full masters degree, you’ll need to earn a total of 180 credits. You’ll study the same core modules as the postgraduate diploma, with the extra 60 credits coming from your research dissertation.


Make sure you have all your supporting documents. Documents required usually include:

Evidence of qualifications (certificates or transcripts) to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
Evidence of English language ability, if English is not your first language
Two references
Visual evidence for art and design applicants
Two passport photographs
Curriculum Vitae or résumé, if required
Proof of sponsorship, if applicable

You’ll be assessed individually for your ability to study at this level and therefore an interview may be necessary. You’ll normally be required to submit a short piece of writing as part of the admissions process.


Claims for credit for prior learning, whether certificated or experiential are accepted and will be assessed following University regulations and faculty procedures.

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS):

This programme is equivalent to 90 ECTS credits (second cycle) with 30 ECTS credits at postgraduate certificate, 60 credits at postgraduate diploma and 90 credits at masters degree. Each 20 credit module is the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits and assumes a notional student effort of between 200-300 hours.

Successful completion of this pathway does not lead to eligibility to apply for registration as an Occupational Therapist with the Health and Social Care Professions Council.

Visit the Advanced Professional Practice in Occupational Therapy (MSc) page on the Plymouth University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You’ll normally have a first degree (BSc (Hons) at 2:1 or above or European first cycle equivalent) in Occupational Therapy. If you are a non UK candidate you must be recognised as a Occupational Therapist within your own country. You may be a health or social care professional with a first degree or have related academic degrees. If you do not have a degree but have appropriate experience related to the programme you may be eligible to apply. You must also provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English- IELTS minimum of 6.5 in each part.

Course Fees

Full-time: UK/EU: £5,660, International: £13,250, Islands: £13,250; Part-time (per 10 credits): UK/EU: £314, International: £750, Islands: £750

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