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What makes Occupational Therapy with Foundation Year at Worcester special?

This four-year programme will equip you with the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to start your journey towards a successful Occupational Therapy career.

At Worcester you will learn to be a compassionate, effective and ethical occupational therapist. As well as gaining the skills and experience you will need to support others to live the life of their choice, you will benefit from our strong focus on leadership, helping you to become a dynamic practitioner throughout your career.

You will be taught alongside other Foundation Year students with an interest in other Allied Health specialisms such as Physiotherapy, Paramedic Science, Nursing, Radiography and Dietetics for the first year of the course before joining the other Occupational Therapy BSc students for the remaining three years.

Subject to approval



Key features

  • A supportive teaching team with expertise in Personal Academic Tutorship
  • Strong emphasis on inter-professional learning and teaching, with healthcare professional staff
  • Strong practice links ensure the course embraces contemporary practice
  • Excellent facilities, including Ability House – our own on-site educational facility, and clinical suites equipped with extensive simulation equipment
  • Strong industry links ensure the programme embraces contemporary practice and provides diverse placement opportunities
  • Your practical skills are developed through placements in the final three years of the course
  • Years 2, 3 and 4 of the course are accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) and the Health and Care Professions Council

What is Occupational Therapy?

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£5,000 support for healthcare students

From September 2020, the Government announced that eligible students on Dietetics, Midwifery, Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health), Occupational Therapy, Paramedic Science, Physiotherapy and Radiography (diagnostic) courses will receive a payment of at least £5,000 a year, which they will not need to pay back.

This payment is not available on the Foundation Year element of courses that include a Foundation Year (year 1).

More details about the payment
Our occupational therapy degree is accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and the Health and Care Professions Council.

Years 2, 3 and 4 of this course is approved by the Health & Care Professions Council and accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

Successful completion of the course gives you eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and membership of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points

Academic entry requirements

32 UCAS tariff points

You should be at least 18 years old and normally have GCSE English at grade c/4 or above, and 1 A Level (or equivalent Level 3 qualification).

However, all applicants will be judged on their individual merits and we may take other skills, qualifications and life experience into account. We welcome mature students without the usual formal qualifications and will consider your application based on your suitability and preparedness to complete the Foundation Year.

The Occupational Therapy BSc with Foundation Year course is aimed at individuals who may have few or no relevant formal qualifications but who can demonstrate a clear commitment to pursuing a career in Occupational Therapy. Personal, professional and educational experiences will be considered to determine motivation and ability to progress onto the degree course.

Applicants are particularly encouraged from:

  • Low participation neighbourhoods
  • People from ethnic minority backgrounds
  • First in family to study Higher Education
  • Care leavers.

Starting with a year's foundation is a way to build your knowledge of health topics, science and research, so that you can then progress onto the degree programme and take your career forward.

All applicants are required to complete:

  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check*
  • Occupational Health Checks*

*All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary.

If you meet the subject requirements for Occupational Therapy BSc without foundation year we are unable to consider you for the course with Foundation Year.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English and who are required to provide a language test certificate as evidence of their proficiency must ensure that it is, or is comparable to, IELTS level 7.0 with no element below 6.5. (HCPC 2017)

Additional information

No offers will be made without Interview. Meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee an interview, or a place on the course. For full details please see the UCAS website.

All offers are subject to satisfactory Health Clearance and Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks.

Students will also be required to sign a Code of Conduct and Fitness to Practice disclosure on commencement of the course.

The University strongly recommends that all students join the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) from the second year of the course. Joining this professional body will enable you to access a wide range of academic material that will enhance your learning. Additional benefits include clinical negligence insurance that may be necessary for practice learning in some non-NHS practice placements. Not becoming a member may affect your opportunities to experience the widest range of placements.

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Course content

Course content

Year 1 (foundation year)


  • Essential skills for learning in healthcare
  • Science for healthcare
  • Health and wellbeing in today’s society
  • Becoming a healthcare professional

Year 2


  • Essential Occupational Therapy Practice 1
  • Art and Science of Occupational Therapy 1
  • Academic Skills for Occupational Therapy
  • Introducing Evidence Informed Occupational Therapy
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Foundations for Professional Practice

Year 3


  • Essential Occupational Therapy Practice 2
  • Art and Science of Occupational Therapy 2
  • Environments of Practice
  • Research Module: Developing the Evidence
  • Teamworking for Professional Practice

Year 4


  • Essential Occupational Therapy Practice 3
  • Generating the Evidence (Dissertation)
  • Innovation in Practice
  • Enhancing Employability
  • Leadership for Professional Practice
Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You will be taught through a combination of interactive workshops, lectures, seminars and e-learning. Throughout the Course, you benefit from an integration of both innovative and traditional teaching methods. Large group lectures and cutting-edge research seminars delivered by academics as well as external speakers will complement your studies. Lectures may contain students from a variety of different courses for which the lecture content is also relevant.

A variety of stimulating, cutting-edge resources are also available to support your learning. Your learning will be supported by the University’s virtual learning environment. You will have individual access to electronic journals, content-rich study guides, and interactive online learning materials covering various science disciplines, formative online assessments and group discussion forums.

In tutor-led seminar groups of 8-12 students you will investigate key concepts and systems that includes case studies. These small group sessions will also develop your critical thinking, problem design and solving, teamwork, presentation and lifelong learning skills which are essential for your career development.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least four occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course. Throughout your degree you will have the opportunity to apply your developing knowledge and build on the depth of your understanding.

Contact time

A typical week in year 1 (level 3) is likely to be a minimum of 12 hours per week. Typically contact time will be structured around:

  • 2 hours of interactive workshops
  • 2 hours of (large group) lectures
  • 6 hours of seminars in groups of around 12 students
  • 2 hours of personal development.

In a typical week at level 4 contact hours will be between 13-14 hours and at level 5 students will have 15-17 hours contact hours of teaching per week. In level 6 students will normally have slightly less contact time (11-13 hours) to facilitate independent study. On average, 90% of teaching will be campus-based face to face teaching with 10% blended online learning.

Typically, class contact time each week is structured around a 1-hour lecture and a two-hour practical, or a 2-hour lecture/seminar.

Students will undertake placement hours at levels 4, 5 and 6. Full-time practice learning placements equate to 34 hours for practice learning in each week of the placement block. All of these learning hours will be formally recorded and signed by an authorised signatory.

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 25 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including The Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.


The course is full time and will be delivered over 4 years. There is a placement requirement in Years 2, 3 and 4 but no placement in year 1.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments.

Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, presentations.

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments.

Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, supervisors report, presentations and a final year independent studies project.

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1 (Foundation Year)

  • 1 learning development plan
  • 2 essays
  • 1 reflective portfolio
  • 1 presentation
  • 1 seen exam

See the Occupational Therapy BSc course page for details of the assessment pattern in the remaining three years of the course.


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Meet the team

Sophie Smith (4)

Dr Sophie Knight

Sophie qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1997 and worked in a variety of settings in practice, predominantly in Adult Social Care. In 2009 Sophie made the move to working in higher education and was a lecturer and Placement Education Tutor at Bournemouth University until October 2018 when she moved to the University of Worcester. She is now a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy and is Admissions Tutor for the degree course. Sophie is working on her PhD part time whilst working full time, the focus of the research is the role and meaning of food for older people. Sophie loves working with students and says that they have taught her a lot over her ten years of university life. Occupational Therapy is one of the most rewarding and exciting professions and being part of the journey for new generations of Occupational Therapists is a privilege.

Alison Double (2)

Alison Double

Alison qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1994 and has worked in all sorts of settings and roles since then; inpatient, community, schools, management and abroad.

Her clinical speciality area is the use of sensory based approaches in assessment and treatment; using Ayres Sensory Integration theory.

Terri Grant

Terri Grant

Terri qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1996, just as the education system adjusted to degree-level education. The vast majority of her career was spent as a specialist Stroke Rehabilitation Occupational Therapist, although she enjoyed roles in acute physical health, rheumatology & hand therapy and as a wheelchair therapist before finding a love of all things neuro.

Before leaving the NHS Terri was one of the founder members of the now well-established and successful Community Stroke Service in Worcestershire, and she really enjoyed working to support the development of students, support workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and nurses as part of her team leadership and management role in the service.

In 2014 Terri worked as an associate lecturer on the BSc Occupational Therapy course here at Worcester, which gave her the confidence to leave the NHS and pursue teaching full-time from 2015. Since then, she spent three years as Practice Education Lead for Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy and is currently the course leader for the MSc (Pre-registration) Occupational Therapy course.

Lotoya Neil (4)

Lotoya Neil

Lotoya has lived, studied and worked in the West Midlands area for over 25 years. She feels very connected to the local community as a result and enjoys working with people to help them live a Well Life. Her diverse work experience and qualifications have led to her current role at the University of Worcester. She has worked in both acute and community settings for Social care, the NHS and private organisations.

Lotoya qualified as a Physiotherapist at the University of Birmingham in 2005. Since then, she has studied Injection therapy at Keele University, and gained a Masters in Health and Social Care at Birmingham City University. Having experienced the atmosphere and course content at various Universities, she believes that the University of Worcester has a supportive community feel and delivers high standards and quality courses. Joining the Practice Placement Team at the University of Worcester in December 2018 compliments her private practice physiotherapy. She believes in keeping her clinical skills up to date in an environment that leads to best practice and involves herself in research and teaching. 

Annabel Heaslop (5)

Annabel Heaslop

Annabel qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2005 after graduating from the University of Queensland, Australia. She worked clinically in paediatric Occupational Therapy both in Australia and the UK within a range of settings including acute, community and schools.

Annabel joined the team at University of Worcester in January 2017 and worked within the practice education team, supporting both students and clinicians within the scope of student placements. She loves working within practice placements and feels that she can use skills developed over her career to work with students and clinicians. In 2022, she moved into the role of Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy.

Emma Clayton

Emma Clayton

Emma qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1997 and since then has predominantly worked in the NHS within the area of Neurology. Emma currently works part time leading an NHS neurology Occupational Therapy outpatient service and has also over the years combined her NHS role with other part time roles including disability assessment, working in a 24 hour care private neurological rehabilitation setting and as a principal investigator for 2 research projects. Emma has been a practice educator for many years and particularly enjoys having students on placement and supporting them to link theory and practice.

Emma started as an associate lecturer with University of Worcester in 2014 and has supported a variety of modules over the years before becoming a permanent member of the team in 2022.

Emma was born, grew up and still lives in St Johns, Worcester and spends a lot of time watching her 2 sons and husband playing football.

Anneka McGee (resized)

Anneka McGee

Anneka has been a qualified Occupational Therapist since graduating in 2005. She initially worked within in a Physical and Mental Health rotation which gave her a great insight into the various roles of an Occupational Therapist. Following this, she spent 13 years working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. During this time, Anneka has held both clinical and leadership roles within the team which allowed her to utilise my Occupational Therapy reasoning and clinical skills.

Whilst working in practice Anneka has completed various qualifications in Play Therapy, Sensory Processing, leadership skills and Coaching and Mentoring which has enabled her to integrate her OT skills and promote the profession in many different environments and within the multidisciplinary team. She is very passionate about Occupational Therapy and the opportunities the profession has to make a difference and encourage dynamic, holistic approaches.

Mary Archer

Mary Archer

Mary has over ten years’ experience working in the NHS. She began her career working in an acute rotational post, which gave her a good foundation for her OT career.

She gained experience of working within stroke rehab, oncology, surgical and general medicine.

In 2014 Mary entered into a specialist Occupational Therapy role, providing assessment and provision of assistive technology for people with severe physical disabilities and/or communication difficulties.

Alexander Smith better

Alexander Smith

Alex qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2011. Since qualifying Alex has had a varied career mixing clinical and research roles along the way.

In keeping with this, Alex continues to work as a Stroke Specialist Occupational Therapist at Wye Valley NHS Trust. This he feels allows him to remain in touch with the everyday needs of patients, to conduct NHS based research and to be able to translate the most up to date research into practice for patient benefit.

Before joining the team at the University of Worcester, Alex completed a Stroke Association funded PhD fellowship, in which he led the APORIAS study as Chief Investigator for 11 NHS sites in England, recruiting over 200 patients. He is currently analysing the study data for publication and presentation at conferences.

Lauren Edwards 2

Lauren Edwards

Lauren is a Specialist Neurological Occupational Therapist supporting clients, families and carers in rehabilitation from neurological injury. When she is not lecturing, she also works within the rehabilitation technology sector as she believes the future of healthcare is not only in adopting technology but in empowering people by giving them the tools they need for rehabilitation.

UOW_1032 (002)

Caroline Nelson

Caroline has been an Occupational Therapist since graduating in 2000, working continuously in clinical practice for over 20 years. She initially worked on a rotation consisting of community learning disabilities, orthopaedics and general medical and then went on to spend most of her career working in paediatrics.

Caroline began her paediatric career by working in the community, in schools, homes and a child development centre, helping children who had difficulties with a variety of activities. She then moved to a Special school for children with physical difficulties and sensory needs to complete a project evidencing “The benefits of having an Occupational Therapist based within the school,” the result of which was funding approval for a full-time post.

Following this, Caroline moved to an acute hospital which specialised in trauma and orthopaedics, for just over 13 years.



Occupational Therapists are employed in a wide range of organisations and specialities. Many work for the National Health Service and Social Care organisations but there is a growing body of therapists employed by Charities, Voluntary Organisation and in Private Practice. Occupational Therapists work with people of all ages from childhood through to the end of life and support people with physical and mental health needs, learning disabilities and those whose opportunities are restricted by circumstance.

Students study a specific module in their final year covering the constantly changing nature of employment as an Occupational Therapist in the modern world. Practical interview and self-development skills are taught and practised and students have opportunities to meet with local employers to develop an understanding of what makes a successful candidate for a specific job role. Opportunities are provided for students to explore the employment possibilities of the NHS, Social Care, Private Sector and Voluntary Organisations.

The variety of placement experiences and, specifically, the contemporary placement experience are developed to enable students to demonstrate their unique selling point as a newly qualified Occupational Therapist. Some examples of placement experiences can be found in our blog.

Graduates will be eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC as an Occupational Therapist and to apply for full membership or RCOT. This will enable you to pursue careers within the NHS and private sector. Opportunities exist in hospitals, community settings, uniformed services and the public or voluntary sectors

Two students are walking next to each other and smiling

Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential

Fees and funding

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £16,200 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Funding for Occupational Therapy students

The Government has announced that, from September 2020, students on Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Paramedic Science courses will receive a payment of at least £5,000 a year, which they will not need to pay back.

This payment is not available on the Foundation Year element of this course (year 1).

Find out more about this payment.

Additional Costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

Essential costs: costs incurred for travelling to, and staying at, placement location. Students who are eligible for Learning Support Fund can reclaim these costs, but they must be paid by the student first.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Chestnut Halls' at £131 per week to 'Oak Halls' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply