Occupational Therapist Degree Apprenticeship

About the course

Apprenticeship Standard: Occupational Therapist

Final Award: BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

This Degree Apprentice programme is to prepare learners for their future careers as Occupational Therapists.  It recognises the diversity of occupational therapy practice and embraces a commitment to produce practitioners who are cognisant of health and social disparities and promotes an inclusive and participatory society. A Degree Apprenticeship is a job which provides work-based learning alongside studying to a BSc (Hons) level, promoting the growth of the employers’ existing and future workforces. The programme affords learners the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies for eligibility to apply for registration as Occupational Therapists with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and to become members of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT).  The programme aligns to all required benchmarks and standards including those related to the degree apprenticeship (ST0517).

The programme integrates academic study with practice-based learning across all three years of study. Drawing on an enquiry-based approach, learning is designed around scenarios involving individuals, carers, families, groups and communities from birth to end of life. These are used as triggers for discussion of the learning and to plan self-directed study. By delivering curricula using adult learning theories, critical thinking, reflection, problem-solving and decision-making skills that are key to risk assessment and autonomous Occupational Therapy practice, are enhanced. This enables a graduate to be adaptable, resourceful and responsive to changes in health and social care provision.  Active learning methods foster deep learning and encourage professional and personal development enabling the graduate to form a clear identity as an Occupational Therapist. It also recognises learners’ past and current experiences and their value and contribution to the learning process. 

This integrated approach embeds knowledge of occupational science and best evidence, thereby leading to the learners’ ability to become autonomous, enterprising and innovative practitioners who are active research consumers and evidence-based practitioners. It also fosters leadership skills and enables graduates to work as part of a multidisciplinary team. The acquisition of the core Occupational Therapy knowledge and skills is facilitated through empowering the learner to be responsible for their learning and to be able to apply this learning to practice. It also encourages, from the outset, a commitment to lifelong learning and continuing professional development. Practice placements are introduced in year 1 and continue throughout the programme. These placements provide a range of experiences in different settings and sectors enabling a broad understanding of the value and contribution of Occupational Therapy.

Why choose this course?

  • The BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy (Degree Apprenticeship) programme offers a dynamic approach to the study of Occupational Therapy and provides you with the problem-solving abilities to become a competent professional integrating ‘on’ and ‘off the job’ learning.
  • Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT).
  • You will gain a solid knowledge base and placement experiences to provide you with the skills and knowledge for contemporary Occupational Therapy practice.
  • Excellent career prospects in your own place of work, NHS or Social Care, private sector, independent and charity sectors.
  • Work closely with other health care professionals in our interprofessional education sessions.
  • Access to a range of simulation facilities at the University to support your learning.
  • A wide variety of practice placement experiences across physical and psychosocial settings.

What will I study?

The occupational therapy degree apprenticeship combines learning at university, ‘on-the-job’ learning and practice placements. Apprentices spend one day a week at university gaining theoretical knowledge and practical skills and 4 days a week in their workplace. There are 5 full time practice placements over the 3 year course. Teaching integrates academic study with practice-based learning. Occupational science and human occupation are core concepts throughout the programme. An enquiry-based approach is used with teaching being designed around case scenarios to use as triggers for discussion of the learning and to plan self-directed study.

Professional Accreditations

Eligibility to apply for professional membership of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists https://www.rcot.co.uk/ and registration as an Occupational Therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

HCPC logo


Upon graduation, you'll be eligible to register as an Occupational Therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council and join the Royal College of Occupational Therapists as a full member. Graduates of this programme will have the opportunity to enjoy a range of professional career opportunities that may be within your own place of work, the NHS, Social Care, charities, voluntary and private sectors in the UK or overseas. For more information you can visit the Royal College of Occupational Therapists website https://www.rcot.co.uk/

What job can I get?

Occupational Therapists work in the NHS and other statutory services, charities and independent practice. Occupational therapists are qualified to work in physical health and psychosocial settings working holistically with a focus on occupation in all of these settings. Occupational therapists work with individuals, carers, families, groups and communities from birth to end of life.