Pictured with Deputy Vice-Chancellor Tim Thornton are lecturers (l-r) Dr Kiara Lewis, Vikki Barry, Jo Stead, Sarah Fletcher-Shaw and Joanne Donbavand Pictured with Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Thornton are (l-r) Acting Head of Department Dr Kiara Lewis and tutors Vikki Barry, Jo Stead, Sarah Fletcher-Shaw and Joanne Donbavand

The BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy is in the newly-created Department of Allied Health Professions, Sport and Exercise

THE University of Huddersfield’s degree in Occupational Therapy has been ranked number one in the country in the 2019 Complete University Guide league table.

The Complete University Guide is seen as being one of the more influential league tables that prospective students consider when choosing where to study and they can now be assured that the University’s BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy is one of the best in the country.

The course, which has seen its student numbers grow year-on-year, jumped an extraordinary twelve places to be ranked joint first.  Student satisfaction and graduate prospects were ranked top in the country with 100 per cent of its graduates finding employment or going on to further study.

Joanne Donbavand, Course Leader for Occupational Therapy says the course team works in partnership with service providers to ensure that students graduating from the course have the skills and competencies needed for their professional practice.

Situated within the newly-created Department of Allied Health Professions, Sport and Exercise, headed by Dr Kiara Lewis (Acting Head), the University’s Occupational Therapy degree is accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) and regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

The course also boasts a pro-active student society which provides opportunities for students to further develop their professional identity.  Involvement in the society offers student-led peer support, social opportunities as well as additional learning opportunities.

Hosted by the University of Huddersfield the students have been organising the 9th Annual Royal College of Occupational Therapy Northern and Yorkshire Student Occupational Therapy Conference which is due to take place on the 9th June, the theme being 'Occupation Reimagined'.

The conference, along with an opportunity to network with fellow occupational therapy students, will be considering the evolution of occupations and how Occupational Therapy progresses to meet this need by developing innovative and varied interventions whilst remaining focused on the value that occupation has and its impact on health and wellbeing.

Delegates will learn about innovations, changes and opportunities in practice as well as the opportunity to “reimagine” occupation and Occupational Therapy, with the potential of the profession being highlighted and celebrated throughout the theme.

Lauren Haigh is one of the final-year students helping to organise the student conference and says she is pleased the course and teaching staff have received the recognition they deserve.

“All the staff are incredibly knowledgeable and have specialist experience in a variety of areas,” said Lauren.  “They provide us with an array of support to help prepare us for clinical practice and the transition to becoming a qualified Occupational Therapist.

“I feel like I have received an outstanding level of training and I feel prepared to enter the world of work after qualifying,” she added.

The new Department of Allied Health Professions Sport and Exercise, has another reason to celebrate after it achieved success for its Physiotherapy degree.  The course won the Teaching Excellence Prize for Best Course Team for Student Satisfaction in the recent Huddersfield Students Union Thank You Awards.

Acting Head Dr Lewis spoke of her delight in the adjoining of the Departments of Allied Health Professions and Sport and Exercise Sciences.

“As one department we are now recognising the need for health professionals to support the role of the NHS in preventing, as well as treating, health issues and keeping the nation fit and active,” she said.