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Occupational Therapy (Degree Apprenticeship) BSc(Hons)

2023-24 (also available for 2024-25, 2025-26)

Start date

18 September 2023


3 years full-time

Entry requirements

A Level - BBB


See full entry requirements

Places available (subject to change)


About the course

Reasons to study

  1. You’ll develop an in-depth understanding of occupational therapy through alternative practice-based learning placements in different settings, including peoples’ homes, hospitals, local authorities, schools, charities, and prisons.
  2. You’ll hear first-hand experiences and viewpoints from service users and carers, who are part of the Public Partnership Group to enhance your learning.
  3. You’ll participate in interprofessional learning alongside students from other healthcare professions.

This apprenticeship course has been designed to provide the opportunity to study Occupational Therapy BSc(Hons) whilst being employed in a health or social care role. During this apprenticeship you’ll get a strong grounding in the theory exploring what is involved in the various components of occupational therapy practice.

  • This will assist you in developing an in-depth understanding of occupational therapy through alternative practice based learning placements in different settings including people’s homes, hospitals, local authorities, schools, charities and prisons.
  • Our purpose-built occupational therapy skills lab enables you to learn in authentic simulated environments.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to hear the experiences and viewpoints from service users and carers, who are part of the Public Partnership Group.
  • Occupational therapists work inter-professionally alongside other healthcare professionals, therefore you’ll study alongside students from other healthcare professions including physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and podiatrists.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to carry out a research project and develop entrepreneurial and change management skills.

In line with the apprenticeship model, the course is designed to support a training in practice approach. Whilst undertaking the course you’ll remain employed by your host organisation and will spend approximately four days (30 hours) a week in your current workplace and one day (7.5 hours) a week at the University undertaking theory work or alternative practice placements in areas outside of your organisation. At the end of the course there is an End Point Assessment (EPA) which is integrated into the course and verified at the course assessment board. The course is designed to be progressively demanding and once qualified you’ll be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), as well as the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT).

If you’re thinking of studying an apprenticeship course or are an employer looking for an apprenticeship for your employees, you’ll also find useful information on our Degree Apprenticeship webpages.

Course detail

Core modules:

Context of Occupation and Practice

This module examines different contexts in which occupational therapy is practiced. Working in a group, you'll consider the wider socio-political issues affecting the occupation of communities and populations. You'll explore the environmental and cultural influences on occupational performance as well as wider socio-political issues including occupational issues of communities and populations. Drivers and current issues influencing the delivery of occupational therapy will be addressed. You’ll engage with the module material in a reflexive way and will be given opportunities to develop your reflective skills.

Foundations of Occupational Therapy

This module examines the key concepts, foundations and philosophy of occupational therapy practice. You'll consider the application of occupational therapy model to occupational therapy practice. You'll explore the concepts of occupation, as well as the emerging role of occupational science and its influence on practice. You'll also consider models of practice, the occupational therapy process and fundamental to this module, is placing the client at the centre of occupational therapy practice.

Health and Occupational Performance

This module explores health from an occupational perspective, including the relationship between health and occupation. You’ll be introduced to the structure and function of the human body, along with the underlying physiological and psychological processes supporting healthy human behaviour.

Occupational Disruption

This module explores health from an occupational perspective, including the relationship between health and occupation. You’ll examine physiological and psychosocial factors which can affect occupational performance. You'll be introduced to the cause and effect of occupational disruption and deprivation, as well as a range of occupational therapy assessment methods.

Practice Based Learning (1)

You’ll be introduced to a variety of occupational therapy practice settings through completing a practice placement. This will provide the opportunity for you to develop and apply your practical skills, as well as gain an understanding of appropriate professional behaviour and standards, which you’ll demonstrate during the practice experience. You’ll also examine the nature and development of communication strategies in relation to therapeutic relationships and working with other health and social care professionals. Alongside a practice based educator you’ll develop a learning contract to identify learning outcomes for your placement.

Professional Skills Development

This module provides the opportunity for you to develop the fundamental academic skills to understand and report current relevant research, as well as those required to underpin lifelong learning and personal development planning. You’ll be introduced to the concept of reflective practice and be encouraged to utilise experience to develop this throughout the module.

Entry requirements

BBBat A Level preferably in a health-related subject.

Merit at T Level in Health or Healthcare Science.

DDM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care or Applied Science.

  • NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma/Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care at Grade B.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits, 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit.

In addition you will:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Be employed in a Health or Social Care setting and supported by your employer to undertake the course.
  • Be employed in a role relevant to your apprenticeship for more than 30 hours per week in England (or have at least 50% of their working hours in England).
  • Have lived in the EEA for the past 3 years and currently reside in the United Kingdom.
  • Be paid more than the Apprenticeship National Minimal Wage.
  • Have an understanding of the Occupational Therapy profession.
  • Have GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade 4 or above, or grade C or above if awarded under the previous GCSE grading scheme, or equivalent.
  • Be ‘eligible’ as outlined in ESFA’s Funding Rules.

You’ll need to complete a Rehabilitation of Offenders form and have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health clearances. We arrange these as part of the application process. You’ll be required to sign a self-declaration at the start of each year confirming you have no previous fitness to practise concerns or a criminal record. All police contact during the course must be reported to the course leader as a matter of urgency and may lead to suspension or termination. We will request an Overseas Police Check if you have lived in a country outside of the UK for 6 months or more (whether continuously or in total) in the last 10 years before applying to us and whilst aged 18 or over.

You’ll also be required to complete an Initial Needs Assessment.

If you have previously been enrolled in an Occupational Therapy Pre-Registration programme or any other health professional education programme you must submit a self-declaration confirming no previous fitness to practice concerns.

Offers will be subject to an interview and references. Please note all the information provided in support of your application may be checked and must be verifiable as a true record.

You’ll also required to meet the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct at all times. Copies of these documents will be given to learners at the beginning of the course.

You may be eligible to gain accreditation for your prior learning. Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is where you can claim academic credit for your prior learning achieved from an accredited course. Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) involves claiming academic credit for prior learning gained through experience and not from an accredited course. The University only accepts claims for APL, which combined with the chosen course of study will not exceed six years.

The recognition of prior learning will be considered on an individual basis by the Admissions Tutor. The assessment of recognition of prior learning applications will be undertaken through a collaborative process between the education provider and the employer. The maximum amount of prior learning must be less than or equal to one third of the total pre-registration programme, and may include practice-based learning in accordance with Royal College of Occupational Therapists standards for pre-registration education (RCOT, 2019).

You must comply with the regulations of the University regarding conduct.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum of IELTS 7.0 overall with no element lower than 6.5, or equivalent. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

Ofsted Outstanding courses

The University’s apprenticeship provision was awarded an outstanding rating by Ofsted in a recent inspection.

Huddersfield is only the second university to be awarded Ofsted’s outstanding rating for its apprenticeship provision in the last four years.

It is also the only university in the Yorkshire and Humber region and the north-west of England to have both an outstanding Ofsted rating for apprenticeships and to be a TEF Gold-rated university.

The University was awarded outstanding in all five categories:

  • Quality of education
  • Behaviour and attitudes
  • Personal development
  • Leadership and management
  • Apprenticeships

The apprenticeship provision was praised by Ofsted for the positive experiences of the apprentices, the research-informed knowledge of teaching staff, and for the strong relationships between the University’s leaders and employers.


Practice based learning is an important and compulsory part of the course, so practice based learning placements are undertaken throughout the three years.

You're required to successfully complete 1000 hours of assessed professional practice throughout the course in a range of health, social and third sector care settings, outside of your usual employment environment. This will be equivalent to placements of five weeks in Year 1, 12 weeks in Year 2 and 10 weeks in Year 3.

Your practice based learning provides you the opportunity to apply and develop skills under the guidance and supervision of an experienced practitioner.

Your career

Career opportunities after successfully completing this course could include working as an Occupational Therapist in NHS, private and voluntary healthcare services.


Additionally, you may diversify into related areas of work including healthcare management, the educational sector or research.

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

A wide range of resources are also offered within the School of Human and Health Sciences, which provides you with support in a variety of areas. These include:

Student Hub: a one stop shop for students, studying within the School. Their services include offering advice on extenuating circumstances, extension requests, course progression, suspension and welfare support, organising appointments with academic staff and signposting to other support networks.

Academic Skills Development Team: support students to develop their academic skills and build their confidence in order to improve their grades. The team provide support with academic skills including essay writing, being critical, reflective writing, numeracy, research skills, presentations and group work skills; as well as personal development for example time management.

Learning Technology Support Unit: helps students with any problems they experience with the University’s Brightspace Learning System, including logging on or difficulties experienced when accessing and using modules, and with the PebblePad platform, which is used by students when they go out on placements.

Support services will also be available from your employer.

Important information

When you enrol as an apprentice learner of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and our disciplinary procedure. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to them when you join us as an apprentice. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

Although we always try and ensure we deliver our courses as described, sometimes we may have to make changes for the following reasons:

Changes to a course you have applied for but not yet started

If we propose to make a major change to an apprenticeship course that you have applied for, then we will tell you and your employer as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Although we always try and run all the courses we offer, we may occasionally have to withdraw a course you have applied for or delay your course start date if we consider this reasonably necessary, for example if there are not enough applicants to ensure you have a good learning experience. Where this is the case we will notify you and your employer as soon as reasonably possible. In such instances, we will work with you and your employer to agree a deferred start date, or cancel your application and, if appropriate, provide information regarding other local apprenticeship providers.

Changes to your course after you enrol as an apprentice

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change is a change that materially changes the services available to you, or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days, classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the requirements of an updated version of the apprenticeship standard relevant to your course; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you and your employer as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered or claiming an interim award and exiting the University.

If a major change affects your course, we will notify you and your employer as soon as possible and will carry out suitable consultation with affected apprentices. If you and your employer reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment we will work with both of you to try to find an appropriate solution. Where one cannot be found we will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring your remaining apprenticeship learning to another training provider if you and your employer wish to do so.

Termination of employment

As your employer is funding your apprenticeship course, you must remain in relevant employment for the duration of the course until you have completed your end point assessment. Under the apprenticeship rules, if you are made redundant and you have completed 75% of the practical period or have less than 6 months left, then you may complete the course. Otherwise, unless you find alternative relevant employment within 12 weeks of the date you are made redundant, then you will be withdrawn from the course.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University. The ESFA is the principal regulator for your apprenticeship course.

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