The spiral model of education has been used to design a framework to design the curriculum and structure of this master’s degree. Graduate students already practiced in independent learning and with high levels of self-motivation will be able to capitalise their pre-existing study skills will be able to use enquiry based learning approaches to meet the demands of the intense format of this programme.
Year 1 is where you will use the fundamental conceptual models of occupational therapy practice, alongside the therapeutic use of self, in order to develop the procedural and interactive reasoning skills needed to apply the occupational paradigm. You will examine human performance and function within the context of Occupational Therapy and apply your understanding of anatomy and physiology to medical conditions that have an impact on the skills and abilities of clients. You will use their investigation skills to examine the evidence base for occupational therapy in module P40306 (Applied Research Methods) and prepare your ideas for an occupational therapy focused dissertation. Students then take a 6-week practice education module. Over the summer period students are required to take P49413 MSc dissertation and begin their research in a self directed way with remote supervision if not in the UK.
Semester one of Year 2 is the ‘application’ of the curriculum where you will have the opportunity to analyse disruption to occupational performance and use your analytical skills to plan, implement and critically evaluate the evidence underlining occupation-focused interventions to support performance, participation and engagement across the lifespan. In the new programme there is an explicit move away from separating mental health and physical health, to a focus on the whole person in the context of their diverse occupations and environments throughout the lifespan. You will complete a practice education module (2 days a week) to reinforce theoretical learning called ‘Professional Development 2b’.
The final semester of Year 2 provides you with opportunities to consolidate your learning and critically evaluate occupational therapy in different contexts of practice. Considering the provisional nature of your knowledge professional reasoning skills will challenge you to help you develop the skills to analyse and respond to the complexities of practice. There is the opportunity for inter-professional learning in relation occupational therapy leadership and entrepreneurship in ‘Partnerships 3’. This course will end with a 13 week practice education module ‘Professional Development 3’ in Semester 3 where you are expected to demonstrate autonomous practice and manage a case load independently.
Please note: as courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module lists you choose from may vary from those shown here.
Teaching and learning
MSc in Occupational Therapy is taught alongside the well-established and highly-regarded BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy.
Pre-registration master's students will be taught alongside the undergraduate students in all occupational therapy specific modules. These will be identified with different module numbers and names to those of the undergraduate programme. This dual level teaching in classroom will provide you with the opportunity to learn the core skills and specific attributes of occupational therapy alongside the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy students.
However, the pre-registration master's students are provided with an enhanced level 7 learning experience with module specific tutorials to explore a more critical and evidence based approach to the subject matter and thus develop professional competence in academic, research and digital literacy, critical thinking and personal self-awareness.
Our approach will require you to actively engage in these Masters level tutorials and become self-directed, innovative, creative and critical learners. Teaching will assist you to construct knowledge through the analysis, synthesis and conceptualisation of your learning experiences, thus developing a lifelong approach to learning. This supports employability in a marketplace that demands adaptability, continuous development and leadership.
You will have the opportunity for face-to-face and virtual learning activities. Our inter-professional module is taken alongside other health and social care pre-registration master's level students, enabling you to prepare for the interdisciplinary work you will encounter in the health and social care environment.
Working at master’s level, you will focus on developing your knowledge in occupational therapy, which is evidence-based and strongly underpinned by research.
This master's degree will:
- Enable you to be a reflective, proactive, innovative and adaptable occupational therapy practitioner, with the ability to critique research and evaluate the effectiveness of evidence in a wide variety of practice settings.
- Develop a critical understanding of the theory of occupation and teach you to challenge existing models and approaches used in occupational therapy from an informed perspective.
- Provide opportunities to develop your ability to work both independently and as part of a team in the context of social, technological, administrative and policy changes.
Approach to assessment
The MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) uses a variety of assessments so that each student will find one that gives them an opportunity to perform at their best. We retain examinations in the degree but also assess you using coursework. This could be in the form of verbal presentations, posters and/or case reports on clients. Students are provided with an opportunity for practice using formative assessment tasks to enable them to prepare for the final summative module assessment. After each assessment period you receive timely feedback on your performance and advice for future assessments. Many of our assessments are submitted online with one line feedback in a digestive format.
There is an occupational therapy activities of daily living skills suite that has two bathroom areas and two kitchen areas for ambulant and wheelchair level access. A range of small aids for daily living are displayed and used for teaching purposes. Our hand function skills lab is used for the hand therapy clinic and is available as a teaching laboratory for student learning on hand function upper limb assessment and orthotics (splinting).
As a student in Oxford you will be at the heart of the UK's most successful economic region and in a centre for leading industries which provides you with a host of learning opportunities. Because Oxford is one of the world's great academic cities, it is a key centre of debate, with conferences, seminars and forums taking place across education, science, the arts and many other subjects. In addition to our own excellent libraries and resource centres, our postgraduate students have access to the world-renowned Bodleian Library, the Bodleian Law Library and the Radcliffe Science Library at the University of Oxford.
In addition to the tuition fees, there are costs that need to be paid for by students in travelling to and from practice placement and potential accommodation costs.
These could be as much as £3,000 per placement depending on the location and type of placement. However currently the average accommodation cost per month is £550 and average travel cost is £250 per month. Students will spend up to 30 weeks on placement.
- books and electronic resources - approx £100
- deposit for anatomy resources - £10
- shoes for practice to be worn with uniform - approx £50
- suitable clothing for the Labs - approx £30.
All aspects of occupational therapy education are compulsory so 100% attendance is required and a class sign in sheet is used. If you are unable to attend classes you will be asked to email the programme team and undertake make-up classes or coursework in your own time.
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published
on the website. For more information, please visit our
Changes to programmes