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Occupational Therapy (pre-registration mode) PgDip/MSc


This graduate entry programme is designed to enable students to develop the required competences, skills and standards of proficiency to be eligible for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as an occupational therapist with either the PgDip Occupational Therapy or the MSc Occupational Therapy. The latter award is dependent on students meeting certain academic criteria to study the additional dissertation module and opting to change onto the MSc route for the second year.

The accelerated programme allows the full-time professional training to be condensed into two years, rather than the traditional three-year route. The course therefore requires students to draw on a range of self-management skills and this experience acts as good preparation for entering the evolving world of health and social care as a qualified member of the workforce.

Occupational Therapy at LSBU is based at the Southwark campus and has a dedicated team of tutors who utilise their wealth of knowledge, skills and clinical experiences of working in health and social care to inform the teaching programme. The team has a strong commitment to engaging with clinicians and service users in the teaching programme.

To support the teaching programme, the School of Health and Social Care has a dedicated suite of clinical skills labs, including two well-equipped Activities of Daily Living (ADL) suites plus large rooms for art, splinting and group skills sessions.

Employment prospects: No.1 in London for graduate prospects in Occupational Therapy (Complete University Guide league table, 2018).


Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
PGDip Full-time
2 years
Start Date
Southwark Campus

Case studies

  • Jenny Leow, MSc Occupational Therapy

    Jenny Leow, MSc Occupational Therapy

    After working as an audio producer for the last eight years Jenny was ready for a career change to help her achieve her aspirations, as well as one that matched her personal and professional attributes.

  • Nicole Deenmamode, MSc Occupational Therapy

    Nicole Deenmamode, MSc Occupational Therapy

    A career change is never an easy choice to make, but Nicole felt supported by LSBU right from the start of her journey to study Occupational Therapy.


Year 1

  • Introduction to occupational therapy and occupational science
    This module introduces students to the philosophy and theory of occupational therapy and occupational science. The module develops students’ understanding of these concepts and their relevance to the current health and social care environments within which contemporary occupational therapy is practiced. The module includes an introductory practice placement which enables students to begin the development of their professional identity as an occupational therapy student.
  • Human function and occupational performance
    This module develops students’ knowledge of body structures and functions and the link between occupation and health. This knowledge informs activity analysis, contributes to the evidence base for practice, informs students’ professional reasoning and compliments their learning in modules 1 and 3.
  • Promoting health and wellbeing through occupation
    This module explores ways in which occupational therapy uses occupation to promote health and well-being from theoretical, evidence and practice based perspectives. Students begin to develop their knowledge of theories and models influencing Occupational Therapy practice and explore how the evidence base informs practice. This module also includes practice placement 2 (7 weeks) which requires 4 university day’s attendance. The aim of these 4 days is to enable the students to retain the link between theory and practice as they develop their knowledge and skills of application of the occupational therapy process.

Year 2

  • Autonomy, accountability and development of professional identity
    In this module students will gain confidence in their ability to identify their personal potential as an occupational therapist through self-evaluation. Awareness of the need for personal resilience and resourcefulness to meet the requirements for entry into the profession and the delivery of contemporary occupational therapy practice is a strong feature of this module. The module includes Practice Placements 3 and 4.
  • Person, environment and occupation
    This module develops the students’ ability to utilise knowledge, skills and the evidence base to design, implement and evaluate the practice of occupational therapy with individuals and groups with a range of complex health and social needs, with a focus on  how the physical environment can be adapted to enhance occupational performance. Students consolidate their knowledge, skills and professional reasoning in relation to the occupational therapy process, and explore the influence of wider environmental, socio political and economic issues that influence sustainable and productive participation. This module prepares students for occupational therapy Practice Placement 3.
  • Contemporary Issues in occupational therapy
    This module consolidates the students’ knowledge, critical and analytical skills and understanding of contemporary factors (e.g. changes in policy, demographics, and context) and their impact on occupational therapy theory and practice. The module prepares students for the complexities of a dynamic health and social care environment to create and develop innovative and sustainable Occupational Therapy through collaborative working with people within the wider community for example: service users, carers, other professionals.

Students who successfully complete and pass 2 of the 3 first year modules at the first attempt have the option to transfer to the MSc pathway at the end of Year 1. One of these modules passed first time must be Module 3 - Promoting Health and Wellbeing Through Occupation. 

  • School of Health and Social Care Dissertation (MSc pathway only)
    This additional module runs concurrently with the year two modules, and successful completion allows students to graduate with an MSc award. This module provides the student with the opportunity to undertake original enquiry in a chosen area of professional practice. Through the preparatory learning set the students will be able to consolidate and extend their knowledge and understanding of research and evaluation design and associated methods of enquiry. Students will be supported to develop the skills necessary to plan and carry out their chosen project. The preparatory learning set will address ethical and governance issues and processes relevant to their project.

All modules are assessed by a mix of written assignments, case studies, critical review, presentations, examinations, practice placements and a dissertation (MSc students only).


Students who successfully complete the 6 core modules will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Therapy.

Students who successfully complete the 6 core modules and the additional School of Health and Social Care Dissertation module will be awarded an MSc in Occupational Therapy.

Graduates with either award are eligible to register as an Occupational Therapist  with the HCPC. Registration allows you to practice as an Occupational Therapist within the NHS, community services and local authorities, as well as social enterprise and the private sector. Other settings include prisons, residential and nursing homes, schools and Social Services.

For more information on what is involved in working as an occupational therapist, please watch the College of Occupational Therapists video, 'Occupational therapy can help people'. 


Occupational therapists beginning their career as allied health professionals in the NHS typically as a Band 5 with a starting salary of about £22,128. Salaries in local government are at similar levels.

Career development offers opportunities to move to higher grades in team leadership, clinical expert, service management and Consultant Therapist roles. Within the NHS, this can mean salary in the band 7 and 8 range. 

Continuous professional development

For graduates with a Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Therapy from London South Bank University awarded within the last three years, we offer a unique opportunity to 'top up' your qualification to an MSc in Occupational Therapy by completing the School of Health and Social Care dissertation module. This is completed whilst working. 

To find out more about this course and other continuous professional development opportunities please refer to our online CPPD prospectus.


Occupational Therapy LSBU - phase 1b

During the course you are required to successfully complete and pass over 1000 practice placement hours within a broad variety of health and social care settings; meeting the College of Occupational Therapists (2008), the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT, 2002) and the Health and Social Care Professions standards and requirements.

At LSBU, we work closely with a number of healthcare organisations to provide a wide range of suitable practice placements. You will therefore gain experience of working with:

  • People of different ages, diverse backgrounds and life situations
  • Acute and long standing health needs (including physical, mental health and learning disability)
  • Services in a range of settings (hospital and community, urban and rural).

Structure of placement learning

Practice placements are in four blocks and are developmental in nature as you progress through the course. Placements are full time following the working hours of the setting. Student work under the guidance and supervision of a state registered occupational therapist (practice educator).

Placement settings

Placements will predominantly be within the Greater London area in the NHS, local authority, voluntary, social enterprise, charities and private sectors. Placements can be in established or emerging services. Applicants should be aware that they may need to cover travel costs and placements could require them to commute across London and beyond if necessary.


Dr Austin Claffey

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Allied Health Sciences
Job title: Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy

Sarah-Jayne Kennedy

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Allied Health Sciences
Job title: Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy

Sarah-Jayne has clinical experience working with a range of complex acute and chronic medical conditions, acute stroke rehabilitation and neurology.

Anne Marie Langan

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Allied Health Sciences
Job title: Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy

Anne Marie has a diverse range of teaching and research interests. These include problem based learning, professionalism, the public health agenda and the teaching of biomedical sciences in pre-registration occupational therapy courses.

Sarah Maris-Shaw

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Allied Health Sciences
Job title: Senior Lecturer - Occupational Therapy

Sarah Maris-Shaw is a Senior Lecturer in occupational therapy with interests in perinatal mental health. She has worked in education since 2000 joining London South Bank University in 2003. She became Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2016.

Janet Parker

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Allied Health Sciences
Job title: Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy

Janet is a qualified Occupational Therapist and Access Consultant and has worked predominantly in the areas of health and social care. She has a particular interest in housing and the impact of our environment on occupational performance.

Dr Paul Sugarhood

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Allied Health Sciences
Job title: Senior Lecturer

Dr Sugarhood is an occupational therapist and has worked as a clinician, manager and researcher in the UK and Brazil. He is Course Director for the MSc Advancing Practice in Occupational Therapy.

Dr Lynn Sumerfield-Mann

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Allied Health Sciences
Job title: Associate Professor

Dr Lynn Summerfield-Mann is a Principal Lecturer and Pre-Registration Lead in the Department of Allied Health Sciences, with particular interest in the use of models of practice and Problem-based Learning in the education, practice and research of occupational therapy.

Sandie Woods

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Allied Health Sciences
Job title: Senior Lecturer, Programme Leader

Sandie worked as an Occupational Therapist with individuals with physical disabilities and mental health needs in hospital and community settings over many years. She is undertaking a Doctorate in Education linked to living well with Dementia and has a special interest in qualitative research. She works full-time.


Teaching and learning

The course uses a range of teaching and learning methods including lectures, small group sessions, practical skills sessions, online and self-directed learning activities.

Key features of this programme is the use of problem-based (PBL) and inquiry-based approaches to learning. These educational approaches involve students working together in small groups and sharing responsibility for meeting learning outcomes.

Structure of the course

The course runs over 2 years with 2 practice placement in each year.

All occupational therapy courses are required by the World federation of OT ( WFOT) to provide a minimum of 90 weeks of study; this includes a minimum of 1000 practice placement hours.

When at university the core structure of the programme consists of taught and small group session on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In addition to this the overall number of sessions will vary at different times with practical skills and workshop sessions usually occurring on Mondays and Friday as required.

In the second year the dissertation module runs for a set number of weeks on a Wednesday. 

The above structure may be liable to change.

Entry requirements

  • Bachelors degree of 2:2 or above in any subject or recognised equivalent
  • Values and attributes that are comparable to the NHS constitution
  • OT visit and 1000 word report: Completion of at least one visit to an occupational therapist in a health or social care setting followed by a 1000 word written report
  • Students for whom English is not their first language must achieve a minimum score of 7 overall or equivalent with not less than 7.5 in listening/ speaking and not less than 6.5 in writing and reading for the International English Language Test Score (IELTS) or a TOEFL score of 570 including 55 in the Test of Spoken English (TSE) and at least 5 in the Test of Written English (TWE), at the time of application.

Selection Criteria

Applicants will need to demonstrate the following abilities, skills and attributes within the application, OT visit report  and interview activities.

  • Communicate effectively both verbally and in writing
  • Commitment to the values and principles that underpin the occupational therapy profession
  • Articulate their understanding of the role of the occupational therapist including the value base of the profession
  • Demonstrate reasons for interest in the chosen field of occupational therapy
  • Reflect upon their life skills and the relevance of these to occupational therapy and the demands of the course.
  • Uphold the values and attributes required to work in health and social care as stated in the NHS constitution.
  • Personal resilience and adaptability to respond to and manage the demands of working in the evolving health and social care sectors
  • Demonstrate due regard for dignity, respect for persons, confidentiality and equal opportunities
  • Willingness to learn and engage in lifelong learning and support the development and achievement of high quality care in occupational therapy

To be accepted on the course you must have a successful outcome from an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and occupational health clearance, as well as an up-to –date immunisation record including Hepatitis B.

Assessment and Interview 

If you are shortlisted you will be invited to complete an interview. The interview panel consists of LSBU staff, lecturers, service users and clinicians.

English language 

Those whom English is not their first language must achieve a minimum score of 7.0 overall or equivalent with not less than 7.0 in the listening and reading sections and not less than 7.0 in the writing and speaking sections for the International English Language Test Score (IELTS) at the time of application.

How to apply

Instructions for Home/EU applicants
Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
PGDip Full-time
2 years
Start date
Application code
Application method

Interviews – from mid February until course is full

International applicants

International applicants should also apply through UKPASS. Please allow sufficient time for the admissions decision-making process and any visa application to be successfully completed. 

All applicants for 2018

Please ensure copies of GSCE certificates or equivalent qualifications are included with your application to UKPASS.

Personal statement

Please provide a concise personal statement that provides evidence of  the specific skills, qualities, values and attributes that you believe demonstrate your; 

  1. Motivation to become an occupational therapist.
  2. Specific personal skills, qualities and attributes that you bring to the courses and the profession.
  3. Ability to work independently and in small groups within an accelerated professional programme at master’s level.

Visit and report guidance

As part of the application process you are required to complete at least one visit to an occupational therapist working in a health or social care setting and then write a 1000 word report. If you currently work in or have previous work experience in health and social care, the visit should be to an unrelated service/ speciality.

The 1000 word report should discuss; 

1.       Your understanding of occupational therapy as a profession

2.       The unique contribution of occupational therapy within the setting you visited

The Report should be written in an academic style and use literature or appropriate sources of information to support the report. Please use a recognised referencing format. Maximum file size 5Mb.

Confidentially must be maintained throughout.  Trust, hospital, services, departments and individuals, staff or patient/service users must not be named.

Failure to maintain confidentiality or submit the report via UKPASS with your application form (question 4) will result in your application being rejected.

Organising a visit

Occupational therapists work with a range of health needs and ages e.g. mental health, physical, learning disabilities.  Services may be managed by different organisations and will have different websites and contact information. Try contacting a range of services and ask to speak to the occupational therapist. Some settings may only be able to offer an informal conversation; if this is the case you may wish to visit a range of settings to broaden your experience.


Two professional/academic references. Referees will be approached by LSBU if you are offered a place.

For further information please contact the postgraduate course enquiry team: or call 0800 923 88 88. 


If you are successful at the application stage you will be invited to attend an interview. The interview is a combination of a one-to-one interview, group and written activities. The interview panel consists of LSBU lecturers, clinicians and service users. Offers will be made after the interview cycle has been completed.

Skype/Facetime interviews

We are able to consider Skype interviews for international applicants only. This does not include EU applicants or UK applicants who are travelling or on short-term employment abroad.

Fees and funding

Funding for pre-registration postgraduate programmes 2017/18 intake

The funding of health education is currently going through a transition period from student bursaries to student loans. We are subsequently awaiting an announcement from the UK Government regarding the funding arrangements for pre-registration postgraduate courses commencing in the 2018/19 academic year.

For more information please visit The Funding Clinic or have a look at the Government’s published response to consultation on funding reforms.

Postgraduate Advice Service

You are invited to book a one-to-one appointment with one of our Postgraduate Advisors. They offer a 30 minute face-to-face session where you can get tailored advice on fees and funding. Book a 1-2-1 Advice Session.


We offer students considerable financial help through scholarships, bursaries, charitable funds, loans and other financial support. Many of our scholarships are given as direct Tuition Fee discounts.

Overview of scholarships and fee discounts for postgraduate students. Key scholarships and discounts below.

Vice-Chancellor Scholarships

Students holding an offer of a place on a postgraduate course will be invited to apply for a Vice-Chancellor Scholarships.

LSBU Graduate Loyalty Scheme

This scheme gives eligible undergraduate students and alumni a discount of their taught postgraduate tuition fees when they enrol on one of our postgraduate taught courses starting this year. Read more about the Graduate Loyalty Scheme.

International Students

Find out more about your funding options here

Case studies

Select a case study and read about practical project work, students' placement experiences, research projects, alumni career achievements and what it’s really like to study here from the student perspective.

  • Jenny Leow, MSc Occupational Therapy

    Jenny Leow, MSc Occupational Therapy

    After working as an audio producer for the last eight years Jenny was ready for a career change to help her achieve her aspirations, as well as one that matched her personal and professional attributes.

  • Nicole Deenmamode, MSc Occupational Therapy

    Nicole Deenmamode, MSc Occupational Therapy

    A career change is never an easy choice to make, but Nicole felt supported by LSBU right from the start of her journey to study Occupational Therapy.

Prepare to start

The following information is for applicants once you have been successful at interview and have been offered a place on your chosen course.

Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) and Declaration of character and conduct form

You are required to complete a declaration at your interview and declare any previous convictions, cautions, warnings or reprimands. After the interview you will also be asked to complete a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) (formerly known as the Criminal Records Bureau or CRB). Have a look at our DBS process for applicants and Declaration of Character and Conduct information (PDF File 202 KB) to find out more.

To check the categories as identified by the DBS as being filtered and will therefore not be included in any criminal record certificate issued by the DBS look at the filtering rules for the criminal record check certificates.For more information please read our DBS FAQs. If you have further questions you can email us at

Occupational health

You need to complete an occupational health assessment once you have been given an offer on a health and social care course.

Download and print the following documents on vaccination guidelines and carefully read the guidance on the occupational health process:

You must take the GP vaccination and screening history form to your GP for them to complete, sign and stamp. This must be done prior to enrolment. This form also needs to be taken to the meeting with the occupational health nurse following enrolment in which the nurse can check immunisation status and confirm this for your placement. You should be aware that if you do not complete the occupational health process you will not be permitted on placement and this may jeopardise your continuation on your course.

Applicants who have met the conditions of an offer need to complete an online medical questionnaire. This will go to our current occupational health provider. Any delays in completing the medical questionnaire will delay enrolment. For further information please read our Occupational Health FAQs.

If you have any more questions you can email us at


Students should apply for accommodation at London South Bank University (LSBU) as soon as possible, once we have made an offer of a place on one of our academic courses.

Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.

Enrolment and Induction

Enrolment takes place before you start your course. On completing the process, new students formally join the University. Enrolment consists of two stages: online, and your face-to-face enrolment meeting. The online process is an online data gathering exercise that you will complete yourself, then you will be invited to your face-to-face enrolment meeting.

At LSBU, you will be required to provide:

  • Original proof of all of your existing qualifications related to your course offer at LSBU. For example, original A-Level certificates or original Degree certificate.
  • Details of how you will pay your tuition fees if you are funded via Student Finance England or another sponsor, or payment if you are self-funded.
  • Two original forms of ID which show your full name and date of birth and immigration status. For example your passport or birth certificate. Please note some applicants will be required to show additional evidence to verify your immigration status.

In September, applicants who have accepted an unconditional offer to study at LSBU will be sent details of induction, which is when they are welcomed to the University and their School. Induction helps you get the best out of your university experience, and makes sure you have all the tools to succeed in your studies.

Read more about Enrolment and Induction on MyLSBU, our student portal.


You will receive fixed holiday periods, which will not follow the normal University timetable. Further details will be available upon commencement of the course.

Practice placements

Practice placements are provided under our contract with NHS Trusts and other organisations. On some health and social care courses you may find local arrangements require you to attend practice placements outside the normal work hours (evening, nights, weekends and bank holiday).


If you are required to wear a uniform on placement and during some practical sessions in the skills laboratories then this will be provided along with a formal name badge. ODP students will receive one set of scrubs. No further items will be issued, and you'll have to pay for any additional uniform.


If you wish to change your address, change your personal details or withdraw your application, you must put this in writing to the Admissions Office who you can email at

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