If you want to deepen your understanding of the value of occupational therapy, this master's course may be for you. It has been acknowledged internationally that we need to be able 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.Entry RequirementsWFOT-approved Diploma or first degree in Occupational Therapy. If coming straight from a BSc Occupational Therapy programme, a first or upper second class degree is required.Course AimsFor occupational therapists wanting to continue their professional development and develop evidence-based practice
If you want to deepen your understanding of the value of occupational therapy, this master's course may be for you. It has been acknowledged internationally that we need to be able 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.Course Content
Cognitive and Behavioural Issues in Neurorehabilitation
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 more '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 FeaturesEncourages 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 ModulesCore ModulesOccupational 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 TherapyMain 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 measuresThe Art of Professional PracticeMain 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 DesignStudents 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 MethodsMain 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.DissertationRecent 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 rehabilitationOptional ModulesTwo modules are chosen from:Occupational Therapy for Children, Young People and their FamiliesMain 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 children’s health; exploration of effective ways of incorporating the family into their child’s assessment and treatment; exploration of relevant current children’s health policy and legislation.Occupational Therapy in Mental HealthMain 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 RehabilitationMain 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 PracticeMain 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 AgeingMain 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 BehavioursMain topics include:- Child development: A natural science approach to development; a behavioural systems approach (sensory-motor, perceptual, cognitive, language, social and emotional development, memory and aspects of motivation); a scientific approach to conducting objective direct observations; essential components and methodological issues for conducting functionally-based assessment/analysis. Causes of challenging behaviour - Functional assessment/analysis and challenging behaviour; supporting behaviour change for children and adolescents; practicals using especially designed multimedia software capturing all aspects applicable to functional assessment/analysis; monitoring and treatment management following the results of functional assessment/analysis.Specialist Practice in Occupational TherapyThis 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 NeurorehabilitationCognitive and Behavioural Issues in Neurorehabilitation; Psychological models of perception, attention, memory and apraxia; Emotional, social and personality changes associated with impaired cognitive function: qualitative research into experiences of individuals and their families; Research methodologies and implications of ‘double dissociations’ in case studies for the development of theories about cognitive processing; Single case studies - strengths and weaknesses of this approach to research in this field; and Critical evaluation of the application of research into cognitive neuropsychology and behavioural dysfunction for formulating rehabilitation strategies.AssessmentA variety of assessments allow students to become proficient in evaluating and questioning their chosen area of practice. Active and adult learning principles are used throughout the course.