As an occupational therapist, you will help create solutions to everyday problems experienced by the people who use your services.

Occupational therapy is an exciting, dynamic and varied career that focuses on working with people of all ages across a range of environments to make changes in their lives that help them do the things they want to do and are meaningful to them.

You will work with people of all ages to manage the impact of disability, enabling them to carry out everyday activities (getting dressed, working, shopping, studying, playing sport).

What the apprenticeship covers

Your primary goal as an occupational therapist is to enable people to participate in meaningful occupations and activities of everyday life. Occupations include things people need to, want to and are expected to do such as self-care, leisure or work. Through therapeutic use of ‘occupation’ an understanding of the relationship between the human body and mind, what a person needs/wants to do, their beliefs and the physical and social environment, you will enable people who face disease, disability and/or social challenges to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

You will use skills in clinical reasoning, critical analysis, and research based evidence in your practice. You will use a person-centred approach to support people to carry out everyday occupations and routines such as dressing, eating, catching the bus to work or other activities (such as leisure activities) that are important to them.

Occupational therapists also work with families, carers, employers and organisations that support the person as well as communities where people have become marginalised and require support to build a meaningful life. Once registered you can work in a variety of settings including health, social care, education and other private and voluntary sector organisations.

What will I study?

This course will give you the skills and knowledge to promote active participation in activity to improve quality of life and wellbeing in people who through illness or societal reasons are unable to access, take part in or carry out every day activities. We aim to develop a cohesive, supportive, questioning and inspired learning community.

You will explore areas including:

  • mind and body structure and function
  • the importance of occupation for health and wellbeing
  • the impact of the socio-political environment on enabling participation in society
  • assessment tools and techniques
  • interventions
  • innovation and entrepreneurship.

You will consolidate and utilise your knowledge on practice placements each year where you will (normally) be supervised by an Occupational Therapist and work collaboratively with a range of professionals, service providers and service users.

All about the course

In the first year the Entering Professional Education module will help you develop your academic skills. You will also learn about the professional behaviours and values required of occupational therapists to ensure safe practice. In other modules you will learn about the meaning and power of occupation, that are the fundamentals of occupational therapy practice. You will explore a range of assessment techniques and tools and use these to identify your own and people’s occupational needs.

You will also begin to study the mind and human body including the various body structures and functions, and their impact on engagement in occupation in both the well and unwell person. You will explore the many different barriers and enablers that have an impact on people’s ability to engage in life within physical, social, economic and political environments.

Year 1 modules:

  • Entering Professional Education
  • Occupation in Occupational Therapy
  • Human Mind and Body 1
  • Assessment of Occupational Performance
  • Partnership Working
  • Enablers and Barriers to Participation in Occupation

How you'll learn

At the core of transformative teaching and learning is the development of a supportive and trusting relationship between students, staff, and practice areas. You will be allocated a personal academic tutor who you will meet during the first week of your programme followed by regular timetabled contact and additional tutorials throughout the duration of your studies.

You will be supported to explore your existing skills and identify development needs as an action plan. An Initial Needs Assessment, written narratives and reflection will be used to explore your previous learning experiences and will form the basis of individual and class tutorials to discuss expectations of being a student in higher education. The University peer mentoring scheme provides a support mechanism for helping first year students to settle into to university life.

There is a mix between face-to-face teaching, directed study and self-directed study. For each module you will have 30 hours of either face-to-face teaching or directed study where you complete work in preparation for discussion in the classroom. This allows students to work at their own pace and for us to explore and discuss topics in detail whilst improving the quality of the time spent we spend together

The majority of the academic teaching team are experienced practitioners who are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, are members of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and are Fellows of the Higher Education.

In the past three years many members of the team have been nominated by students for the Golden Apple award that recognises the support given by staff.

Staff have research interests and expertise in; suicide prevention, supporting carers of and people with dementia, the management of children with postural care needs in home and schools, neurological rehabilitation, supporting people with long term conditions, working with people with mental ill-health and supporting occupational justice in communities.


A variety of modes and methods of assessment have been chosen to fit the varied module learning outcomes, module content and students’ differing learning styles. Within the occupational therapy programme these include:

  • Essays, reports and case studies
  • Oral presentations
  • Reflective pieces
  • On-line multiple choice and short answer test
  • Open-book timed report writing
  • Professional portfolios and compendiums
  • Business plan formulation
  • Group co-produced work
  • Demonstration of practice competencies
  • Professional Accreditation

On successful completion of an approved programme, apprentices are eligible to apply to the HCPC for registration as an Occupational Therapist, which is a requirement to practice under the protected title of Occupational Therapist. You will also be eligible to apply for Professional Membership of The Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

More information

Full information on the apprenticeship standard:

Find out more about apprenticeships

If you would like to speak with us, please call 01227 923 625

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Associated partners

The Graham Care Group
The Huntercombe Group
Medway Council
Pilgrims Hospices
The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust
Strode Park Foundation