20 September 2014
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Occupational therapy degree

This degree course will introduce you to the core values, beliefs and theories that underpin occupational therapy practice. It is focused on producing occupational therapists who are professionally competent, efficient and creative in planning and carrying out therapeutic interventions for people of all ages.

Occupational therapy is a challenging field that can involve providing specialist care, education and treatment services to individuals with mental health needs, learning disabilities and other specialist care needs. Degrees are aimed at developing confident and competent graduate therapist’s who can work collaboratively in these changing health and social care environments.

Students will learn how to assess the physical, mental and social needs of patients, and work with them to identify the best way to help them achieve their personal goals and independence. All the academic and research skills they learn will help them to meet the requirements of relevant professional bodies. Upon successful completion of the programme, graduates are eligible for registration with the Health Professions Council, which in the UK is a licence for practise and employment as a graduate Occupational Therapist.
 
This page describes the general structure and content of degree courses in occupational therapy.


Occupational therapy degree course overview

Courses are taught using a variety of teaching methods and practical sessions, including formal lectures, practical skills sessions, group working, problem-solving approaches and on-line technology with a strong emphasis on inter-professional learning.

Occupational therapy degree course combine academic study with integrated placements, which can take place across a range of health and social care settings. Work areas traditionally include physical rehabilitation, mental health, learning disabilities, social services and education. On these placements you will get to work with people of all ages, in an increasing range of health, social care and private care settings. You will be taught how to accurately assess the physical, mental and social needs of individuals, and to put in place bespoke treatment plans to help them achieve their personal goals. Time is split between theory and fieldwork practise, and all modules of study contain aspects of theory and professional practice, to support the development of critical enquiry skills.

The final degree award is achieved on the basis of continuous assessment of course-based work, and fieldwork practice assessments and examinations.

Typical course modules and areas of study on a occupational therapy degree 

  • Foundations of Occupational Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy Practise
  • Occupation, Health & Activity
  • Therapeutic Processes – Physiological
  • Therapeutic Processes - Mental Health
  • Complex Therapeutic Engagements
  • Professional Development
  • Practise placement
  • Biological Foundations of Occupation
  • Inter-professional Working

Students will learn about

  • Developing professional attitudes.
  • Biological and behavioural sciences.
  • Physical rehabilitation.
  • Collaborative practice in the work place.
  • Anxiety management techniques.

Students will learn how to

  • Assist people back to work.
  • Promote, regain or maintain health and well-being.
  • Assess and treat patients.
  • Assess a patients physical, communication, interaction and cognitive skills.
  • Plan and carry out individual or group sessions.
  • Manage heavy work loads, and prioritise work.
  • Become a good listener.
  • Plan treatment and review progress.
  • Work as part of a multi- disciplinary team.
  • Work closely with the hospital, community health services, voluntary sector, and other Adult Social Services teams.
  • Share knowledge and techniques with others.
     

Occupational therapy personal statement

Below is a Occupational Therapy personal statement written by one of our writers. You can use this example to gain an idea of how to structure and put together your own one. You are strongly advised not to copy or plagiarise it, instead use it as a resource to inspire your own creative writing.

Occupational therapy personal statement example

"I have always wanted a job that involved working directly with people, and where I could at first hand see the results of all my efforts. At college whilst looking at various career options I did some research into occupational therapy, and discovered that it was really interesting, and sounded like the sort of thing I wanted to do. 

To me it’s a challenging and dynamic professional, that throws up many exciting work opportunities in fields such as; social care, mental health, education, learning disabilities or physical rehabilitation. It’s a career where I will be able to use all the skills, knowledge and facilities at my disposal to make my patients better, and to help them achieve their goals.

I feel I am suitable for this role because I am a motivated, capable and patient focused individual, who wants to make a positive difference and lasting change to people’s lives. Having always been a firm believer in the role of human activity and occupation in maintaining mental and physical well-being, I feel that this is a career that will give me an opportunity to have an enormous influence on the people who I come into contact with.

I am an independent, intrinsically motivated thinker, who is also self directed and creative. I already posses considerable understanding of the nature of occupational therapy, as well as the interdisciplinary teamwork and skilled communications required to meet the demands of contemporary health and social care. The patient will always be at the centre of what I do, and I have a strong desire to learn more and study occupational therapy at the highest level.

At college I was given enquiry-based, interrogative and problem based learning. The college had an incredibly supportive environment, and what I learnt in the classroom, gave me a real insight into the world of occupational therapy.

To gain practical experience in this field I recently got a part time job as an assistant to a professional Occupational Therapist. In the role, I was part of a team that assisted patients who faced challenges within their lives, we were tasked with assisting them in any way we could to enable them to become more independent adults. We taught patients new skills, and showed them how to do familiar tasks in a different ways. During the course of my duties I got to meet and liaise with a wide variety of other healthcare professionals, such as doctors, physiotherapists, and social workers, as well as patients’ families, carers and employers. I was also involved in undertaking general administrative tasks, for example writing reports, making telephone calls, maintaining records and case notes. I learnt much about how to help people with their decision-making, reasoning, problem-solving, memory and perceptual skills. I left the job with the feeling that I have the experience of being able to provide an effective occupational therapy service that is client centred, evidence based and meets the physical, mental and spiritual needs of clients.

The reputation your Occupational Therapy department was what initially drew me towards your university. Upon further investigation I was pleased to discover that your courses allow students to continually apply theory to practice throughout their education, and that you offer students selective placement opportunities, which will mean I can put into practice what I have learned, in an environment of my choice. I was told that many of your lecturers currently work as occupational therapists, this is great as it will provide me with a direct link to the working environment. They are also regularly involved in research, meaning that they are at the cutting edge of developing the practices and techniques that are relevant to ever-changing social needs. Finally I would like to say that on a walk around your campus I found the lecture rooms to be a reasonable size for the number of students taking the course. Classes themselves appeared to have a relaxed atmosphere, where pupils were comfortable in asking for something to be clarified or repeated, which I feel is very important."


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