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Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration)

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What you'll need

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Related courses

There are twenty-one courses related to Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) that you might be interested in.

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Master of Science

A Master of Science (MSc) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate programme in the sciences.

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Course overview

This is a stimulating pre-registration MSc programme that will equip you with the advanced skills and knowledge necessary to thrive as an occupational therapist in modern healthcare.


This course will provide you with an enriching, dynamic educational experience that combines traditional teaching with the advancement of key clinical skills to produce professionals that are equally adept in the practical and theoretic aspects of occupational therapy.

Our traditional classroom teaching will expand your awareness of the sector’s principle themes and challenges, and allow you to develop general professional abilities like report writing, research techniques and critical thinking skills.

Our teaching incorporates the excellent grounding in biological and social sciences that our undergraduate programme is renowned for and we will encourage you to undertake research to develop the evidence base of the profession whilst providing you with opportunities to learn alongside master’s students from our other Allied Healthcare programmes.

You will also be offered a variety of practice placement opportunities which include extended part-time and elective roles that will feature in your first and second year of studies. This will help you develop your clinical skills, and stimulate your leadership, communication and patient care abilities which will all be vital to your career in the future.

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for graduates from across a range of disciplines, such as biological sciences, social sciences and health sciences, who have gained a 2:1 classification in their degree.

We will also consider those with a 2:2 classification in their degree who are able to provide wider contextual information of recent relevant experience or further study.

What you'll learn

  • Clinical skills imperative to modern occupational therapists
  • Research and report writing skills
  • An understanding of different physical and mental health issues
  • Critical thinking abilities
  • An appreciation of other healthcare professionals and their roles
  • Teamwork and communication skills.


Graduates are eligible for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council, the UK’s prominent regulator of health and care professions.

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Year one

In Year one, you will be introduced to the fundamentals of professional practice, with particular emphasis placed on the science that underpins the industry. You will develop an appreciation for the nuances of occupational therapy provision and begin to understand the research methods which are used to expand the professional knowledge base.

Compulsory modules

Applied Sciences in Occupational Therapy 1: Biological sciences (OCCU470)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This 15 credit module delivered in semester 1 will introduce you to foundation sciences relevant to occupational therapy practice. This will include physiology, musculoskeletal anatomy and neuroanatomy. You will develop skills in the analysis of movement and activity, physiology and dysfunction, health and well-being to aid analysis of human occupation as part of the occupational therapy process. You will learn by attending key-note lectures, participating in small peer group seminars and practical teaching sessions and through self-directed study. You will also attend teaching sessions at the Human Anatomy Resource Centre (HARC), on campus, use online teaching platforms to access resources and participate in group teaching sessions . Service users will be involved with you as part of the learning process of this module.

Introduction to Occupational Therapy Professional Practice (OCCU474)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This year 1 15 credit module will introduce you to occupational therapy professional practice. You will learn about what it means to be an occupational therapist, including the statutory and professional requirements and frameworks, the history and philosophy of the occupational therapy profession, in order to help you establish your professional identity. You will develop occupational therapy specific and generic knowledge and skills required of healthcare practitioners.

You will begin to generate and collate evidence of personal and professional development for inclusion within a personal continual professional development (CPD) e-portfolio. This will use the guidance provided within the RCOT career development framework (2017b) and the HCPC audit process.

Development of your professional identity and the required knowledge and skills will be achieved through a mixed style of learning and teaching strategies including keynote lectures, tutor facilitated seminars, on-line learning, participating in simulated learning activities, directed study and through undertaking a part-time placement of 12 weeks within an occupational therapy practice setting. This module also includes a personal development tutorial with the student’s allocated academic advisor.

Learning is assessed via three components. These include:-
1. A practical exam (OSPE)
2. Assessment of competencies within the practice placement
3. A critical written reflection

All three components of assessment must be passed. Components 1 & 3 must be passed at 50%. The placement element is pass/fail.

Reasoning in Occupational Therapy 1 (OCCU471)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This year 1 15 credit module introduces you to the occupational therapy process. You will begin to develop clinical reasoning skills when working with people with a range of medical conditions, pathologies, social and cultural challenges. You will learn about occupational therapy models of practice, assessment strategies and develop skills in goal-setting.

The module involves keynote lectures, problem-based learning seminar groups where you will develop the required knowledge and skills, particularly in assessment and goal-setting in occupational therapy.

The module is assessed via submission of a 3,000 word written assessment. You will be provided with a choice of case studies, and are expected to develop a fully justified intervention plan, that shows clinical reasoning based on critical application of occupational therapy theory and critical analysis of evidence.

Applied Sciences in Occupational Therapy 2: Social Sciences (OCCU473)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This year 1 15 credit module will introduce you to the underpinning social sciences relevant to occupational therapy practice. This will include psychology and sociology. You will develop an appreciation of society and well-being through the lens of the social sciences to aid your analysis of human occupation as part of the occupational therapy process. You will learn by attending key-note lectures, participating in small peer group seminars and fieldwork visits to local partner organisations and through self-directed and team work.
There are two assessments for the module. The first will be a written case profile for a person with lived experience of barriers to occupational participation. The second assessment will be a written Advocacy Access Audit for a person with occupational participation challenges within their local community.

You will attend teaching sessions and access resources both on campus and using online learning platforms. Local partner organisations and service users will work collaboratively with you to ensure that you develop a real-world perspective about the lives of people experiencing barriers to occupational participation and how society and public health practice can impact upon personal and community health and well-being and present this as a written case profile.You will then apply your knowledge of society, well-being and health as you undertake an assessment and critically analyse the accessibility of selected local community organisations, to produce an access audit.

Reasoning in Occupational Therapy 2 (OCCU472)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This year 1 15 credit module will enable you to develop your clinical reasoning in order to make evidence-based, theoretically informed and professionally sound decisions. The academic learning builds on the occupational therapy process knowledge that you developed in OCCU471. Within this module you will further enhance your knowledge and skills in goal setting and intervention planning, and will learn about evaluating therapy outcomes.

You will have an opportunity to apply your learning and further develop your knowledge and skills through undertaking a practice placement in a typical occupational therapy practice environment. This is a full-time eight-week placement, in which you will be supervised by a nominated occupational therapy practice educator from within the placement setting.

The module involves keynote lectures, problem-based learning seminar groups, self-directed learning, and experiential learning within the eight-week practice placement. This variety of teaching and learning approaches will allow you to develop knowledge and skills central to occupational therapy with a particular focus on goal-setting and intervention planning and evaluation.

This module is assessed by means of:
1. A presentation related to a case study of the students choice.
2. An eight-week practice placement in an occupational therapy practice setting

Research Methods in Healthcare Practice (HEAL417)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module will enable students to develop a research proposal for either a review of evidence, empirical project, clinical audit or service evaluation that will contribute to the development of evidence-based healthcare practice.

The module is aimed at graduates from a range of different disciplines/subjects who have a range of knowledge and experience of research methods at undergraduate level and are looking to develop their research knowledge and skills further and prepare for a masters level research project in their own area of clinical practice e.g. diagnostic radiography, mental health nursing, occupational therapy or physiotherapy. The likely range of research skills in students from different undergraduate programmes is recognised and this module is designed to raise them all to the appropriate master level in the subject.
At the end of this module, students will be able to understand and appropriately critique the elements of ‘the research journey’ from conception of research question, through development of a proposal. They will be both consumers and producers of research who will meet the requirements of the standard of proficiency, for each profession, as laid down by the Health and Care Professions Council and the requirements of each professional body for evidence based practice.
The proposal produced in this module will then be undertaken as the students’ dissertation in the final year of their pre-registration master programme.

The syllabus for this module is aligned to the Curriculum 2021 Hallmarks and demonstrates active learning and authentic assessment, designed to create students with greater confidence to understand research evidence, contribute to that evidence and be able to develop research in their own area of professional practice.

The module delivery will use a blended approach with face to face and online delivery supported with synchronous and asynchronous lectures, quizzes and profession specific interactive discussion boards and tutorials.

The assessments for this module will be a Research Proposal. The assessments can be tailored to focus on the student’s area of interest and area of speciality and will include consideration of the ethical requirements of the selected project.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Placement opportunity

This course offers a placement opportunity so you can combine your studies with practical experience with industry professionals. It is a great way to develop key employability skills and get a head start in your career with key industry partners. View more information on the course page.

Explore more about Careers and Employability at Liverpool.

Your experience

Occupational therapy students can benefit from the School of Allied Health Professions and Nursing experience of being at the forefront of healthcare education for over 100 years. We place particular emphasis on cross-School education, and the diversity of disciplines we specialise in has created a stimulating environment which enriches our student’s academic experience.

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Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

An exciting place to study

  • Major centre for education and research in health sciences
  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • Opportunities for in-depth study and development of advanced clinical skills
  • Flexible programmes for postgraduate study
  • Active research environment
  • Provides specialist training with taught and clinical placement components.

Careers and employability

Graduates in Occupational Therapy are a vital part of modern health care and employment opportunities are available in the UK and abroad. This is a vocational programme and aims to fill a skill shortage area within the National Health Service.

Career planning

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Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

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We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

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You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

Graduates from the University of Liverpool have an excellent employment rate and are highly regarded by local employers and successfully achieve employment nationally entering a wide variety of roles and services.

99% of Allied Health Professions and Nursing students find their main activity after graduation to be meaningful.

Graduate Outcomes Survey, 2018-19.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £9,250
International fees
Full-time place, per year £27,200
Tuition fees are for January 2025.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.

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Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re an international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of up to £5,000 off your master’s tuition fees, if you haven’t studied with us before.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students

If you’re a University of Liverpool graduate starting this master’s degree with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off your master’s tuition fees.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

If you’re a Chilean student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with an ANID Chile Scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re an international student from an eligible country, joining a one-year master’s course, you could apply to have your master’s fees paid, up to a maximum of £18,000, and receive additional help with living costs.


  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 30% discount on your tuition fees with a CONACYT Award.


  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FIDERH graduate loan, you could benefit from a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a FIDERH Award.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining a master’s degree, you can apply to be considered for a tuition fee discount of £20,000 with a Fulright Scholarship. One Fulbright Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FUNED loan, you can apply to be considered for a 20% tuition fee discount. A total of up to ten awards will be available to master’s and PhD students per academic year.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

If you’re a master’s student from Hong Kong or the People’s Republic of China who can demonstrate academic excellence, you may be eligible to apply for a scholarship worth up to £10,000 in partnership with the Tung Foundation.

HRH Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

If you’re a student from Thailand joining a one-year master’s degree, you might be eligible to apply to have your tuition fees paid in full and receive help with living costs. One award is available and only students who are new to the University will be considered.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a resident of the state of Guanajuato in Mexico joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible for a 10% discount on your tuition fees with a JuventudEsGto Scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining an eligible master’s with us, you could apply to be considered for a Marshall Scholarship. If your application is successful, your master’s tuition fees will be paid in full. One Marshall Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

If you’re a Turkish student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship.

Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

Do you have recognised status as a refugee or person with humanitarian protection outside the UK? Or are you a Ukrainian who’s sought temporary protection in the EU? You could be eligible to apply for the full payment of your master’s fees and additional financial support.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

Completed a Pre-Master’s at University of Liverpool International College (UoLIC)? We’re offering a £5,000 fee discount off the first year of master’s study to some of the highest achieving students joining one of our non-clinical master’s courses from UoLIC.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re a University of Liverpool International College student awarded a Kaplan Impact Scholarship, we’ll also consider you for an Impact Progression Scholarship. If selected, you’ll receive a fee discount worth £3,000 off the first year of your master’s course.

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for Mainland China

  • International students
  • China

Are you a high-achieving graduate from the People’s Republic of China with a degree from a Chinese university? You could be eligible to apply for a £5,000 fee discount if you’re joining an eligible master’s course. Up to 15 eligible students will receive this scholarship.

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

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Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

You should include a personal statement of no more than 700 words in support of your application. This should reflect on your understanding of the profession and relevant qualities valuable to a healthcare professional.

You will normally need a 2:1 honours degree, or above, or equivalent. This degree should be in a relevant subject across a range of disciplines, for example biological sciences, social sciences or health sciences.

Applicants with a 2:2 honours degree will be considered with supporting information outlining relevant recent experience or further study. Non-health related degrees and professional qualifications may also be accepted. Each application will be assessed on its own merits.

Five GCSEs at grades A*-C or 5-9, are required, including English Language (at least grade 4 or C) and Mathematics (at least grade 4 or C). Equivalents may be accepted.

You must demonstrate a good understanding of the occupational therapist profession, including an awareness of the procedures undertaken. You are encouraged to arrange a shadowing visit with a registered occupational therapist in their area of practice in support of your application.

An interview forms part of the selection process. The interview follows the values-based recruitment (VBR) process and you will be expected to demonstrate the relevance of the NHS’ values and pertinent skills required within the occupational therapy role.

Please note: meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee a place on the programme as competition is high. You are encouraged to present with the strongest possible application.

Declaration of Criminal Background

You will understand that as an allied health professions and nursing student, and when you qualify, you will be asked to treat children and other vulnerable people. We therefore need information about any criminal offences of which you may have been convicted, or with which you have been charged. The information you provide may later be checked with the police.

If selected for interview you will be provided with the appropriate form to complete.

Health Screening

The University and the School of Allied Health Professions and Nursing has an obligation to undertake health screening on all prospective healthcare students. Any offer of a place to study is conditional on completion of a health questionnaire and a satisfactory assessment of fitness to train from the University’s Occupational Health Service. This will include some obligatory immunisations and blood tests. Please visit the Higher Education Occupational Practitioners website for further information.

International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, a Pre-Master’s can help you gain a place. This specialist preparation course for postgraduate study is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. Although there’s no direct Pre-Master’s route to this MSc, completing a Pre-Master’s pathway can guarantee you a place on many other postgraduate courses at The University of Liverpool.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 7.0 overall, with no component below 6.5. Please note, your IELTS test must have been sat and completed in person and not online.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new application cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

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Liverpool bursts with diversity and creativity which makes it ideal for you to undertake your postgraduate studies and access various opportunities for you and your family.

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Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) MSc

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.

18 April 2023: International qualifications update

English language requirements have been updated – IELTS.