Occupational Therapy practice placements

What is a practice placement?

“Occupational Therapy education delivered in a variety of settings that allows learners to apply and practice their newly-acquired knowledge and skills in a safe environment”

Royal College of Occupational Therapists

How does this look at UEA?

Our practice placements give you a minimum of 1,000 hours.

They provide a balance of:

  • acute and community settings
  • mental health and physical health perspective
  • health, social services and private practice
  • role emerging/non traditional settings
  • independent practice.

Each student has a different practice placement profile.

Student experiences of practice placements

"My placement at the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) in Savar, Dhaka was incredible. They have hosted a range of international students from all over the world and have well developed procedures. We took advantage of the CRP’s national links and went on trips around Bangladesh to get a sense of the country and understand the patients we were treating better."

"They have all enabled me to put theory into practice whilst learning lots of new knowledge and skills which are vital for my transition to be a newly qualified occupational therapist."

"Placement gave me a new perspective on occupation and how it can be radically different culture to culture."

"As each placement ended, I returned to University with more confidence in my abilities that by the time I went into a role emergent placement setting, I felt fully able to work autonomously as part of an amazing school to improve mental health and wellbeing in children using theory and evidence to support my interventions."

"I enjoyed every single one of my placements. It enabled me to see the true value of occupation."

How are our placements timetabled across the Occupational Therapy programmes?

BSc Occupational Therapy

Year 1

  • Practice placement 1: a 2-week introduction to practice education
  • Practice placement 2: a 4-week placement using basic skills

Year 2

  • Practice placement 3: a 6-week placement developing core skills
  • Practice placement 4 : an 8-week placement in a different practice area

Year 3

  • Practice placement 5: a 6-week placement developing complex skills
  • Professional development placement 6: an 8-week elective placement in an area guided by the student's placement profile, in a location chosen by them

MSc Occupational Therapy

Year 1

  • Practice placement 1: a 7-week placement using basic skills

Year 2

  • Practice placement 2: a 7-week placement developing core skills
  • Practice placement 3: a 7-week placement enabling students to work with complex patient pathology to develop therapeutic skills
  • Practice placement 4: an 8-week placement organised by the student in a clinical area which does not provide regular placements to the school

Professional development placement

  • Organised by the student with personal advisor guidance
  • In a new practice area to the School
  • Develops skills useful for achieving employment
  • Can be international
  • Can be role emergent
  • A setting where an occupational therapist is not a member of the team
  • Long-arm professional supervision from an occupational therapist in another service (student/apprentice to identify)
  • Support from the School of Health Sciences to ensure learning outcome are achieved
  • Support from the School of Health Sciences to ensure safe and appropriate learning environment

Placement locations

Practice placements are located in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. 

How are our placements individualised to you?

  • Student-led learning goals are created in collaboration with the practice educator
  • You have weekly supervision sessions with the practice educator
  • Midway assessment

How will your learning develop over the placements?

  • Consolidation of theory into practice links
  • Acquisition of developing competence in relation to knowledge, skills and attitudes
  • Building an understanding of the operation and integration of health and social care settings
  • Placement learning outcomes focused on stages of training and practical experience
  • Concluding in a final student/apprentice organised placement

What support will you get on placement?

  • Placement educator
  • Members of your placement multi-disciplinary team
  • Visiting tutor
  • Personal adviser
  • Members of your cohort

Example placements

  • East Coast Community Healthcare - MSK/Rheumatology (Great Yarmouth, Norfolk)
  • Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust - Adult Mental Health Community (Ely, Cambridge) 
  • West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust - Early Intervention Team (Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk) 
  • Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust - Community Rehabilitation (Kings Lynn, Norfolk )
  • Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust - Mental Health/Wellbeing (Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk)
  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust - Older People’s Medicine (Norwich, Norfolk) 
  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust - Surgery (Lincoln, Lincolnshire) 
  • Cambridgeshire Community Service NHS Trust - Paediatrics (St Ives, Cambridgeshire)
  • Partnerships in Care - Inpatient CAMHS (Attleborough, Norfolk)

Want some more placement profile examples?

Head to our Instagram page to see our current and alumni students placement profiles and opinions on their experience of practice placement at UEA.

Any questions?

For more information about our placements please contact the relevant course director: