An occupational therapist kneeling down as a patient is sat on a sofa doing some foot exercises.

Occupational Therapist Degree Apprenticeship

Occupational Therapist Degree Apprenticeship

DegreeBSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy
Duration48 Months
Entry point(s)Autumn/Spring
CampusHigh Wycombe


As an occupational therapist, you will help people overcome difficulties carrying out day-to-day activities. It is a fulfilling role and a great way to give back to the community, and that’s why our inspirational work placements are close to home in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and the surrounding areas. With insightful teaching, amazing facilities and a friendly student community, there is no limit to where you can go with BNU

Occupational therapy involves enhancing the daily lives of people with a broad range of physical, mental health and social needs. As an occupational therapist you will work with people of all ages, to improve their wellbeing and quality of life.

Our occupational therapy degree will equip you with the skills to practise as a competent occupational therapist, in a wide variety of health and social care environments. Your studies will cover the theory and the practical aspects of this exciting and varied role. 

Working with a range of people who all have different requirements, you will need to understand each client's lifestyle so that you can work with them to create the best treatment plan. We help you take an individual approach to each patient's physical and mental wellbeing and evaluate all their needs - physical, social, psychological and environmental.

You will have the skills to be able to assess, plan, implement and evaluate treatment plans in hospital and community settings and establish realistic goals with the patient, or know when to refer patients to other specialists when needed.

Organising support and rehabilitation groups for carers and clients will be a big part of your role, you will be able to contribute to the analysis, planning, audit, development and evaluation of clinical services, using the skills you gain whilst studying at BNU. 


Programme aims

Produce a graduate who fulfils the requirements to be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as an occupational therapist.

Provide a stimulating, and academically sound education, enabling graduates to practice within a complex environment effectively, flexibly, and responsively as competent occupational therapists.

Develop the skills of critical thinking, professional reasoning and a research informed evidence-based approach to the application of high quality contemporary occupational therapy practice.

Produce graduates who are resilient and have the skills of accountability, leadership, entrepreneurship, enterprise and innovation to drive the profession and healthcare forward.

Enable graduates to reflect on their practice and exercise professional autonomy following legislation, policies, procedures, and best practice.

Why choose BNU?

At Buckinghamshire New University, we are dedicated to equipping our graduates with the skills employers demand. We will work with you using our practice-based learning expertise to support your training needs.

Higher and degree apprenticeships are a partnership between industry and higher education institutions set up to help meet the needs of employers. They also provide a flexible way for employees to take advantage of the life-changing opportunities that higher education can offer them.

At BNU, we change lives through employment-focused teaching which enables our students to achieve their ambitions. As a small and personal university, we offer an agile approach to all apprenticeship training needs. You would also gain access to all our support services including Student Hub, Multi Faith Chaplaincy, Disability and Inclusion, Counselling, Library and Alumni Benefits.

Our Apprenticeship Hub at BNU strives to deliver a supportive environment for the employer and the apprentice. Tripartite reviews are conduced quarterly to aid apprentice through their apprenticeship journey successfully.

Programme details

This programme will provide the key knowledge and skills to achieve what is both required and expected within the contemporary health and care setting and uses a modern and innovative integrated blended learning approaches to teaching and learning, including simulation, lectures, seminars, group activities and learner-centred approaches using technology to support face-to-face teaching requiring university attendance, virtual access and attendance at clinical practice placement.

To further ensure each individual is deemed clinically competent, clinical placements will be undertaken throughout the length of the programme. Apprentices will receive guidance and support throughout their learning journey from the Apprenticeship Hub through regular reviews and contact. As a graduate from the programme, you will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitudes/values commensurate with occupational therapy practice. In addition, you will be a reflective, evidence-based practitioner with potential leadership skills and the ability to promote the unique features of the profession in a modernising health and social care arena.

There is a dedicated space on the Virtual Learning Platform to facilitate communication between the apprentices and the programme team. Blended learning supports digital literacy development, which is essential for working in the current and future health and social care environments.

Professional competence and clinical skills will be addressed during the programme through simulated skills sessions, workshops, problem-based learning and practice-based learning (practice placements) within the local NHS Trusts, independent healthcare providers, social care and education settings. Practice-based learning will provide real experience into the role of the occupational therapist and the range of their scope of professional practice.

An apprentice can be a new or existing member of staff and must not already hold a degree in that area or be receiving funding for other training.

The employer must employ the apprentice in a genuine role with a genuine salary.

The apprentice must have the right to live and work in the UK.

An occupational therapist sat next to an elderly patient.
Occupational Therapist and a patient lifting weights sat in a wheelchair.

Entry Requirements


Apprenticeship Eligibility

To be eligible for an apprenticeship, the apprentice must satisfy the following requirements and ESFA funding rules:

  • An apprentice can be a new or existing member of staff and must not already hold a degree in that area or be receiving funding for other training.
  • The employer must employ the apprentice in a genuine role with a genuine salary.
  • The apprentice must have the right to live and work in the UK.
  • BNU will check to make sure you're eligible before you start your degree apprenticeship, and may ask for proof of your right to work in the UK.
  • An apprentice must be employed in a full time job (minimum of 30 hours per week) or have a signed contract to start a full time job role, which is relevant to the apprenticeship.
  • The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will not fund apprentices who are repeating the same qualification.
  • An apprentice can be a citizen of a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) or have the right to abode in the UK and have been resident in the EEA for at least the previous three years on the first day of your apprenticeship.
  • An apprentice can be a non-EEA citizen with permission from the UK government to live in the UK, (not for educational purposes) and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the previous three years before the start of learning.


Programme Entry Requirements

To be eligible for the Occupational Therapist Degree Apprenticeship apprentices must meet the following requirements:

  • 5 GCSE's including Maths, English and a Science at grade 4 / C or above or equivalent

And one of the following:

  • 120 -136  UCAS tariff points (e.g. 3 A Levels at grades BBB or above)
  • BTEC Level 3 extended diploma (before 2010 known as BTEC national diploma level 3) DMM in a health-related subject
  • International Baccalaureate (26 points)
  • Access to Higher Education course in Science, Health, Social Care or similar (60 credits, of which 45 credits will be at Level 3, including 30 at distinction grade and 30 at merit grade).
  • Practical experience relating to occupational therapy, such as shadowing, work, access to virtual practice-based learning (placements) or healthcare work experience. It is recognised that it may be difficult for the prospective apprentice to gain access to appropriate practice experience.

Register your interest


  1. Contact BNU’s Apprenticeship via email: or call: 01296 744202
  2. Interested employers will be invited to an information session lead by a representative of BNU’s Apprenticeship Hub and the programme lead. Once completed the Apprenticeship Hub will provide a capture form to begin your application process.


Application Process


  1. Email your nominated Apprenticeship team representative with a document detailing names and contact details of your selected candidates.
  2. Candidates will be sent a link to an online application which takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.
  3. Candidates will be required to upload supporting documents such as prior certification (including Level 2 English and maths) and evidence of Right to Work in the United Kingdom.
  4. After submitting the application, the Admissions team will complete all necessary eligibility checks.
  5. Successful candidates will be invited to an interview with a member of the academic team and will be asked to fill in an Individual Needs Assessment (INA) document identifying their existing experiences, skills and knowledge which will be discussed in the interview.



In many instances apprenticeships are fully funded through the government’s Apprenticeship Levy Fund and for those ineligible up to 95% is funded through the government’s Co-Investment Fund.


Occupational Therapist Degree Apprenticeship Cost: £24,000

The apprenticeship levy will be paid by employers in any sector with a pay bill of more than £3 million per year. Those employers will be able to use their apprenticeship levy funds to fund this programme.

Non-levy paying employers will receive up to 95% funding towards the costs of this apprenticeship.

For more information on funding and the Apprenticeship Levy visit our Apprenticeship Funding page in the Find out more section below.

Download the Occupational Therapy Integrated Degree Apprenticeship Programme Specification