Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists work with people who have physical, emotional or social problems and use a variety of activities to help them to reach their maximum level of independence and take control of their lives.

The mission of occupational therapy at GCU is to advance an understanding of the specific contribution of occupation in the promotion of health and well-being within individuals and communities. This is achieved through the delivery of high quality teaching, research and knowledge transfer involving clients, students, employers, voluntary agencies and the wider public sector. 

Areas of Excellence

The team have retained a firm focus upon the quality of teaching and learning, and are committed to developing innovative and supportive learning and teaching strategies. 

In the National Student Survey 2014, 96% of our final year students were satisfied overall with their course.  95% of our final year students find work 6 months after graduating.  

The team includes a 0.2 FTE consultant Occupational Therapist, which is an innovative way forward for the profession.

Courses to Consider

BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy
MSc (Pre-registration) Occupational Therapy

The BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy course has specialty exit awards. The programme accepts direct entrants into level 2 and level 4, depending on meeting specific entry qualifications.

BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy and MSc (Pre-registration) Occupational Therapy progranmmes have placements throughout the programmes in a wide variety of traditional, non-traditional and role-emerging placement sites.

Academic Staff

  • Fiona Coupar
  • Audrey Cuthel
  • Carol Duguid
  • Lisa Forrest
  • Emma Green
  • Catriona Khamisha
  • Jamie McDermott
  • Chris McMahon
  • Leona McQuaid
  • Jean McQueen
  • Shirley Morrison-Glancy
  • Mary Rose Mulry
  • Sandra Robertson
  • Katie Thomson



All staff are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and are members of the occupational therapy professional body, the College of Occupational Therapists.

Team members play an active role in the professional body, with individual team members engaging in activities including: representing higher education at Scottish level at committees and boards, maintaining membership of special interest groups, acting as accreditors for the professional body, maintaining membership of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

The team are actively involved in continuing professional development related activities, with the majority of the team currently engaged in further study and some working towards doctoral level awards.

Industry Links

  • NHS placement sites
  • Variety of private and voluntary sector placements
  • Relationship with the Care Commission leading to the development of placements within care homes
  • Partnership with Ayrshire and Arran Health Board (with regards to appointment of consultant Occupational Therapist)
  • Relationships with further education colleges – Langside College, Cardonald College


Placements are an integral part of the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy and the MSc (Pre-registration) Occupational Therapy programmes. A minimum of 1,000 hours of experience is completed throughout the duration of the study, which meets the World Federation of Occupational Therapists’ requirements.

GCU has been using role emerging placements for a number of years and has established relationships with local employers, services and voluntary organisations, providing a breadth of experience for our students.

The programmes are structured in a way which encourages students to develop the skills required for a contemporary workplace, giving graduates the attributes required to compete and thrive within the workforce.

Global Networks

Relationships with colleagues in Armenia, Georgia, Sweden, Holland, Germany, Belgium and France through team member involvement with the European Network for Occupational Therapy in Higher Education.

One of our staff is a member of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.