Occupational Therapy Programme Degree Apprenticeship

The Occupational Therapy Degree Apprenticeship offers a new way to plan for your future workforce; investing in the training and education of your staff, whilst retaining their talents inhouse.

What is the Occupational Therapy Degree Apprenticeship?

The impact of illness and injury on daily life can be debilitating. For those impacted by mental health conditions, physical impairments or learning disabilities, everyday activities can be challenging.

Occupational therapists play a critical role in providing practical care and supporting recovery for those who struggle performing day-to-day tasks. Their role is powerful in using everyday activities to enable people to live independently, enjoy a good quality of life and reach their potential.

BSc(Hons) Applied Occupational Therapy provides the opportunity for your healthcare, occupational therapy and social care assistants to train as occupational therapists while working at least 30 hours a week, over a four year period. Applicants need to be in regular contact working alongside occupational therapists.

Who is the Occupational Therapy Degree Apprenticeship for?

BSc(Hons) Applied Occupational Therapy benefits health and social care services struggling to employ occupational therapists, enabling them to ‘grow their own’ from their own workforce.

It’s a unique opportunity for healthcare, occupational therapy and social care assistants or equivalent who aspire to become occupational therapists. Your employees will be able to build on their current basic knowledge of occupational science and occupational therapy, both during their studies and in their workplace.

By the end of their apprenticeship, they’ll be eligible to apply for registration by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and then practice as a registered occupational therapist.

How will your business benefit?

The course is designed using an occupational science-underpinned curriculum that gradually builds understanding. Apprentices will build on their foundation of knowledge from day one, gradually feeding into learning strands of occupational therapy in practice.

Successful graduates will be ready to take their next step towards becoming confident, autonomous occupational therapists. They will develop skills critical for success in this career, from professional reasoning and problem solving, to leadership and communication.

Throughout their learning, apprentices will develop a holistic approach to their practice. They’ll gain interpersonal skills such as emotional competency, ethical awareness and quality assurance, ensuring they’ll contribute safe and ethical therapeutic interventions to your workplace.

By the end of the apprenticeship, your employee will be able to apply a deep understanding of occupational science to a range of settings within your organisation. They’ll train as a person-centred practitioner, not only offering strong practical skills, but strong interpersonal skills to match.

Why UWE Bristol?

UWE Bristol has developed this course in line with the core values of the NHS Constitution, embedded from recruitment through to teaching. The university is also seeking accreditation for the programme from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and the Health and Care Professions Council.

Our experienced tutors offer a broad range of expertise across a variety of health and social care settings. These include physical and mental health, learning disability and third sector environments. This breadth ensures your employees will be adaptable to a range of challenges within your workplace.

Depending on the model of delivery your employees with have the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills and experience using a variety of learning platforms both online and face to face. They will also engage in practical skill-building sessions and problem-based learning with others in their cohort. If local to UWE they will have the opportunity to use our state-of-the-art facilities for practical skill building.

Your employees will benefit from student support throughout their apprenticeship. Their learning will be supported through our online learning pods, comprising of virtual problem-based learning groups. They’ll also have 24/7 access to IT support, whether they’re on campus or in their workplace.

Course details

Over the four year apprenticeship, your employee will study a range of subject areas, from the human body to promoting healthy living.

Year one modules focus on understanding occupation as a concept, providing an introduction to occupational science. This includes the relationship between occupation, health and wellbeing, as well as fundamentals of psychology, sociology, anatomy and physiology.

Year two modules build on this foundation by developing understanding of challenges to occupational engagement. This includes professional reasoning and evidence-based practice.

Year three modules develop professional skills further by including, including complex needs, psychosocial challenges and promoting healthy futures.

In the final year, your employee will apply their skills, knowledge and experience to complete a research dissertation, and their evidence-based portfolio in readiness for their end point assessment.


After successfully completing the apprenticeship, your employees will qualify with a BSc(Hons) Applied Occupational Therapy degree (Level 6). They’ll also qualify for professional membership of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT).

Graduates will be eligible to apply for registration by the Health and Care Professions Council. Gaining this registration is required to practice as an occupational therapist.

Duration and delivery

Scheduled learning is delivered through online or face-to-face teaching, which comprises a minimum of 20% off the job training throughout the programme. This includes methods such as lectures, seminars, group work projects, workshops and tutorials.

The rest of the course consists of work-based learning within their workplace. While working full-time, your employee will build a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate their skills and competencies.

Apprentices will also undertake three blocks of placement learning, where they will complete 1000 hours of assessed placement activity, in a clinical setting outside of their workplace.

Assessment takes the form of a mix of module assessments including a written exam, essays, presentations, and oral examinations. Their apprenticeship will then be concluded by an end point assessment supported by their portfolio of evidence collated over the four years.

Typical entry requirements

Applicants will be sponsored by their employer and have experience in health care or social care in addition to the following:

128 UCAS tariff points


Access Diploma (refer to UWE website for requirements)


UWE Bristol / City of Bristol Foundation Programme for Health Professions


European Baccalaureate 74-80 preferably including Science/Social Science


Applicants who do not fit the typical entry requirements will be considered on an individual basis. In this situation evidence of recent study (within 3 years) to A level standard (level 3) alongside a profile of longstanding relevant experience. Applicant with a previous degree will be considered on an individual basis.

All applicants require Maths and English to level 2.

Additional selection criteria:

Health assessment/declaration/vaccinations. Applicants must be in good health and be up-to-date with routine immunisations e.g. tetanus, diphtheria, polio and MMR. Employers are responsible for ensuring this can be evidenced at the start of the course. Applicants will also be required to confirm their status in respect of a number of infectious diseases and immunisations (tuberculosis, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, varicella, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV antibodies) and be prepared to have all required vaccinations funded by the employer. If vaccinations are not up-to-date this will affect ability to continue on the course. Concerns with regards to vaccinations should be raised at the point of application.

Disclosure of Criminal Background - the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not apply and all convictions, including those which are spent, must be disclosed. This is in accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. Employers must ensure that applicants who are offered a place have an up-to-date enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.


Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview.

Prior Certificated Learning

Students wishing to transfer from other institutions will be considered on an individual basis if they meet the course requirements and there is capacity available within the programme.

Applicants whose first language is not English must have a minimum IELTS score of 7 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in any section, (or equivalent)

The core values of the NHS Constitution are embedded throughout the programme and within its recruitment process.

Contact the Degree Apprenticeship Team

To find out more about the BSc (Hons) Applied Occupational Therapy or for more information about the Levy and degree apprenticeships, please email our Degree Apprenticeships Team at degreeapprenticeships@uwe.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)117 32 81043.

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