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BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists work to improve the everyday life skills of people who experience physical, social, and psychological difficulties by helping them to engage in meaningful tasks and occupations.

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Why study BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy at BU?

  • Gain the knowledge and practical skills needed to critically assess a service user’s circumstances in order to help them adapt to their environment and maximise their performance potential. 
  • The course maintains small cohort sizes resulting in excellent lecturer-to-student ratio meaning more support, education and resource availability.
  • Get hands-on practice using our newly-built clinical simulation facilities, which feature a daily living suite and kitchen, plus equipment to tackle a range of situations commonly encountered by occupational therapists.
  • Put your learning into practice with placement experience throughout the course in a variety of settings. 
  • Experiential learning allows you to work on real-life scenarios to gain knowledge and understanding of occupational roles and how health and wellbeing can affect their functioning. 

Find out more about the content of this course.

New funding: Occupational therapy students may be eligible for a non-repayable government training grant of at least £5,000 a year. Find out more information about the funding.

Course accreditation and approval 

The accreditation and approval bodies on our BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy will allow you to work overseas as well as in the UK with your qualification. On successful completion of this course, you can: 

  • Apply to become a registered occupational therapist with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) 
  • Apply for professional membership with the Royal College of Occupational Therapist (RCOT) 

Chat with a student from this course

Key information

Next start date:

September 2021, September 2022


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus


3 years, including mandatory placements


Royal College of Occupational Therapists

Required subjects:

A-level: Biology, Human Biology, Psychology, Sociology, Health and Social Care. Additional subjects accepted for September 2021 - see full entry requirements.

Entry requirements:

For September 2021 entry: 128 - 144 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of two A-levels or equivalent, including 32 points in a required subject. BTEC Extended Diploma grade DDM (128 UCAS tariff points) in a required subject. 

For more information check out our full entry requirements.

International entry requirements:

For September 2021 entry: If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 7.0 with minimum 6.5 in each component or equivalent.

For more information check out our international entry requirements.

Course details

Our course design utilises a range of diverse teaching and learning strategies with a strong emphasis on problem based learning, which involves groups of students working on real life scenarios in order to gain knowledge and understanding of occupational roles and how health and wellbeing can affect their functioning.

On this course you will be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators and technicians. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Contact hours and assessment

Details of the assessment methods and contact hours for each unit of the course can be found in the programme specification.

Download the programme specification (pdf 430 kb)


Over the three years of the course and in order to provide you with the necessary breadth of clinical experience, you will undertake the following placements:

Year 1: A one week orientation placement and a six week placement

Year 2: A ten week placement

Year 3: A twelve week placement.

You will be supported by a practice placement educator throughout your practice placements.

Read about our placement locations

Your application

For occupational therapy, we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have a clear understanding of the profession, including insight into the role of an occupational therapist and the different settings in which an occupational therapist  can work
  • Are motivated and committed to undertaking the course
  • Can demonstrate personal skills and qualities relevant to succeeding on the course, including time management and communication skills

Entry requirements


There are a wide range of roles open to you once you qualify as an occupational therapist, not just in the NHS but also within local authorities, social services, schools and the private sector. Every role is rewarding in its own way and this course will prepare you to work as an OT in a variety of environments, helping people from all walks of life.

You can specialise in paediatrics, mental illness and learning disabilities, among others, or you can go into teaching or research. 

You can find out more about occupational therapy career possibilities on the Royal College of Occupational Therapists website

Costs and fees

All fees are quoted in pounds sterling and are per year. Your tuition fees will be the same for each year of your course. You can find full information about funding your studies and paying your fees in our undergraduate fees and funding section, including NHS finance information. That’s also where you’ll find information about the scholarships and bursaries on offer.

Fees quoted are for tuition only unless stated otherwise, and we’re committed to ensuring there are no hidden extra costs while you’re at university – that’s why we’re clear about what you can expect us to cover, and what your cost of living will be.

Our staff

On this course you will be taught by staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This could include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners and research students, many of whom are actively engaged in research and/or professional practice which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Please note that teaching staff can change.

Course changes

What our students say

Hannah Collis

We learn so much through the lived experience of service users and their carers. Small cohorts and enthusiastic staff from a diverse range of backgrounds also make for great learning opportunities.

Hear from our alumni

Jessie Swinburne

Occupational therapy is a profession that will change your thinking, feelings and actions. BU offers fantastic support and guidance as you start on your career journey - setting you up for the challenges and excitement of qualified life.

What our students say

Hannah Deacon

I have felt very well supported throughout the course. The lecturers are very accommodating to individual needs. This has enabled me as a parent of two children to manage my study and enjoy my university experience.

Statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats and BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.