Occupational Therapy placements

Occupational therapist showing a client how to perform an exercise

Professional practice placements are a rich learning experience for our students. Our MSc Occupational Therapy will provide a learning environment that facilitates the development of your clinical and professional skills. This will begin in an academic setting with skills training and scenario-based learning.

Placement blocks

You’ll spend a minimum of 1,065 hours in the practice environment. You’ll attend five full-time block placements commencing at the start of last trimester of Year 1, each lasting five to six weeks. Placements are generally structured on 37.5 hours per week, however, working patterns may be variable and include shifts, virtual, overnight and weekends.

Occupational Therapy placements are undertaken in both physical and mental health settings. Physical may be in a general hospital working on a ward or in a community setting working in a person's own home. A placement with a local authority working in social care would provide the opportunity to assess and provide specialist equipment to support independent living. There would be the opportunity to see people in their own homes and learn about major adaptions to a house. Mental health may be in a community or clinic setting. There may be specialist areas such as working with children and young people or in a forensic setting.

You would have the opportunity to work with a variety of services users, such as older people in community hospitals, children and young people, and people with learning disabilities. You may also experience a placement in a non-traditional area which could be a not-for-profit organisation.

Formal teaching is nearly always organised around placements; therefore, you won't have classes while on placement.

Placement areas

We work in partnership with a range of community and hospital placement providers across our region. We have carefully selected placement providers in order to ensure that you have optimal opportunities to develop as both a practitioner and a professional.
Placement areas include the following.

Cambridge

  • Addenbrooke's
  • Cambridge Community Services
  • Cambridge and Peterborough Foundation Trust
  • Private practice

Chelmsford

  • Mid and South Essex Hospital
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital
  • Colchester Hospital
  • Provide
  • Private practice

You'll be responsible for funding your travel to all of your placements; however, your placement team will endeavour to arrange placements near to your term-time address. There may be occasions when you have to travel further distances. It’ll be up to you to choose the most suitable transport to punctually attend your placements.

Placements will be supported by a Practice Assessment Document (PAD), completed by the supervising clinician. This assesses you on your practical competence, qualities and professional behaviour.