Brunel University Uxbridge logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 9.06k / Year
  • Foreign: $ 21.3k / Year
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English


    We are very fortunate to be able to provide this high quality programme as Brunel University London has one of the largest and most highly qualified occupational therapy staff groups in the world; the expertise is there to teach and supervise at Masters and Doctoral levels.

    It has been acknowledged internationally that we need to show the benefits of our special approach to health and everyday living through research. Master's level study is essential if you want to gain the skills to evaluate your interventions, build professional confidence and seek out (and develop) existing theories, which inform your practice.

    Every module assignment can be focussed on a topic you or your manager wants to investigate. The assignments are practically useful; write an evidence based protocol or care pathway for your clients, plan how to improve the effectiveness of your service, evaluate and debate research in order to decide if the evidence is worth incorporating into practice, reflect on how central occupational engagement is for enhancing the health of your clients, or take a topic of interest to you.

    The course does not further clinical skills, nor does it lead to registration from the UK professional governing bodies, but rather focuses on developing the occupational therapists ability to evaluate and enhance professional practice. Up to 60 credits of academic taught module exemptions can be offered for students holding a PG certificate in Occupational Therapy, relevant PG modules from other Universities, or substantial relevant post professional periods of study e.g. AMPS, Sensory Integration.


    This course is aimed at occupational therapists wanting to continue their professional development and develop evidence-based practice.

    This programme is only for those already qualified as occupational therapists
    Special Features

    This Brunel Master's is one of the few in the UK specialising in occupational therapy, and it has been especially designed to meet your needs as a practising therapist, helping you to gain greater mastery in your chosen area of occupational therapy.

    The programme has been praised by the University validating committees as a model Master's degree for professional practitioners, for it brings theory to the workplace.

    Based on a sound approach to adult education, the course invites students to bring issues from practice to analyse in class.

    The programme was rated top out of all postgraduate programmes at Brunel University with regard to its capacity to promote personal development.

    Key Features

    * Encourages a theoretical underpinning of occupation, occupational therapy and research.
    * Nationally recognised for excellence in teaching and research.
    * Meets the needs of occupational therapists who wish to enhance their current practice in their workplace.
    * Provides academic learning experiences in a supportive environment.
    * A modular programme that can be studied full-time, part-time or as an associate student. (Associate enrolment: studying a one off-module this is very appropriate for continuing professional development.)
    * Facilitates reflective practice.
    * Develops research competencies for using and developing evidence-based practice.

    This course will broaden and deepen your knowledge and understanding of the value of occupational therapy in today's changing world. Each modules content is embedded in practice and overall the programme aims to develop your skills in analysing evidence, implementing and evaluating occupational therapy research.

    Typical Modules


    Occupational Science

    Main topics include: occupation defined and classified: theoretical perspectives; occupation as means of promoting and sustaining health and well being; occupational risk factors as barriers to occupational justice; historical perspectives on occupation; the theory base for occupational science: paradigms, frames of reference and models of occupation; occupational science in context.

    Evidence-Based Occupational Therapy

    Main topics include: conducting literature searches; examining the structure of research papers; comparing results and interpreting outcome measures; understanding the purpose and process of meta analyse; examining published outcomes measures

    The Art of Professional Practice

    Main topics include: key models of reflection; modes of clinical reasoning in occupational therapy; judgement, decision making and expertise development; the work of key occupational theorists; historical foundations of occupational therapy.

    Research Design

    Students will work within a current research activity in an area relevant to the students identified field of interest relevant to each MSc programme area. By means of the construction of a research proposal, students will explore the options of the research process by considering the possibility of quantitative projects focusing on the measurement and analysis of data relevant to a question from within the discipline of their major, a qualitative project focussing on an inductive approach relevant to the discipline of their major, or a systematic review of the evidence relevant to a question from within the discipline of their major. This latter approach may itself be either qualitative or quantitative. Refinement of the identified topic will be done by way of a literature search. Topics of study might include: search tools, the parameters of a research literature, research questions, and the ethics of research, timelines and the planning of research, costing research, and the research proposal.

    Research Methods

    Main topics include: philosophical underpinnings of research methodology; proposal design; searching and reviewing the literature; ethical issues in research and research governance; surveys and longitudinal studies; questionnaire design; experimental and quasi-experimental designs; n of 1 studies; statistical analysis and using spss; depth interviews; focus groups; observation; use of documentary sources; qualitative analysis.


    Recent examples of dissertations by students taking this course include:

    * Parent-child play interactions; perceptions and experiences of children with autism

    * Therapists perceptions of the use of outcome measures in stroke rehabilitation

    Elective Modules(two from)

    Occupational Therapy for Children, Young People and their Families

    Main topics include: analysis of aspects in child development and study of common problems and disorders in childhood; review of the research based current evidence on occupational therapy theory and practice for children and adolescents; review the clinical reasoning process in paediatric occupational therapy practice; examine a selection of experimental methods appropriate for assessing and evaluating clinical practice or service delivery in childrens health; exploration of effective ways of incorporating the family into their childs assessment and treatment; exploration of relevant current childrens health policy and legislation.

    Occupational Therapy in Mental Health

    Main topics include: overview of occupational therapy in mental health; review of the research based literature on occupational therapy theory and practice in mental health; detailed exploration of current mental health policy and legislation in relation to occupational therapy practice; exploring contemporary issues; examining current evidence and research related to the contemporary mental health issues; exploring a detailed selection of quantitative and qualitative measures appropriate for assessing and evaluating clinical practice or service delivery in mental health.

    Functional Neuroscience for Rehabilitation

    Main topics include: nervous system development and plasticity; synaptic physiology chemical transmitters; modifable synapses: from development, to learning and recovery of function; autonomic nervous system and hypothalamic function; functional neuroanatomy from pathways to neurological lesions and deficits; cellular mechanisms of neural injury and repair in stroke, injury and brain trauma; genetics of neurodegenerative disorders; brain chemistry, emotions and behaviour; pain and chronic pain management; cortical functioning in sensation and perception; vision and control of gaze; hearing and speech; brain imaging; consciousness: EEG, coma, sleep and epilepsy and cognition; modern neuroscientific tools for the exploration of brain function.

    Communicating and Utilising Evidence in Practice

    Main topics include; government policy, professional initiatives and their implications for evidence-based practice; making evidence available for practice through effective communication; defining evidence; levels and types; searching for research evidence; critically appraising research evidence; grading evidence based recommendations for practice; strategies for integrating evidence into practice whilst also considering the clients values and using clinical judgement and experience; managing change; models; barriers to implementing evidence in practice and strategies for overcoming them; evaluating and monitoring changes to practice.

    Occupational Therapy for Active Ageing

    Main topics include: Occupations, occupational deprivation and occupational justice for older people; current older persons health policy and legislation pertaining to occupational therapy; review of the research based literature on occupational therapy theory and practice for older people; person centred care; quantitative and qualitative measures to assess clinical practice or service delivery for older people; Joint-working across Health and Social care and voluntary contexts; Risk assessment, social inclusion and health promotion.

    Functional Assessment of Challenging Behaviours across the Lifespan

    Main topics include: human development - a natural science approach to development; learning process - habituation, respondent learning, operant learning; applications of operant learning - increasing frequency of appropriate behaviour (prompting, fading, modelling, shaping, chaining, stimulus discrimination etc.) and decreasing frequency of inappropriate behaviour (extinction, DRH, DRL, DRO, DRA, DRI etc.); essential components and methodological issues for conducting functionally-based assessment - behavioural interviews (indirect assessment), direct observation (direct descriptive assessment), functional behavioural analysis (the function matrix), basic intervention methods, teaching the replacement behaviour, improving the environment, testing the intervention, the behaviour intervention plan; essential methodological issues for reporting and analysing data collected from functionally based assessment - methods of data collection, experimental manipulation, measuring systems and recording procedures; supporting behaviour change for individuals with pervasive developmental disorders (autism), attention-deficit and disruptive behaviour disorders, feeding and, eating disorders, acquired brain injury, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and dementia.

    Specialist Practice in Occupational Therapy

    This will primarily be related to the topic chosen by the student and subject advisor. Learning contracts: Needs analysis, goal setting, strategies and resources for learning, reflective practice; delineation between networking activities and research activities.

    Cognitive and Behavioural Issues in Neurorehabilitation

    This module explores psychological processes underpinning perception, attention, memory, and motor planning. The module also investigates how these processes may be disrupted by a variety of neurological conditions. Subjective and behavioural aspects of neurological dysfunction are also discussed, with implications for rehabilitation.

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.


    At the time of application, you must have a completed a UK first or 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification (any discipline) with strong applicants demonstrating a science profile (health and social care experience relevant to OT) and evidence of informed insight into the profession of occupational therapy. Applicants with a 2:2 Honours degree in a subject relevant to Occupational Therapy (for example: biology, psychology, human sciences and sociology) and who have extensive experience of working in a health or social care setting relevant to OT will be considered and assessed on an individual basis.Evidence of academic achievement in the last five years will be required.The application closing date is 19th December 2014 and all applications who meet the initial criteria above will be considered after this date. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview in February and March.Interview Dates* * Tuesday 17th February 2015 * Thursday 26th February 2015 * Thursday 26th March 2015*these may be subject to changeEntry criteria is subject to change.English Language Requirements * IELTS: 7 (min 6.5W, 6.5L, 6.5R, 6.5S) * Pearson: 64 (58 in all subscores) * BrunELT: 70% (65% in all areas)Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a range of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 7 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.
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