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Sensory Integration

This is the first, and only, course of its kind in the world.

Study Sensory Integration at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

This course aims to provide occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists with a career pathway to certification as an Advanced Practitioner of Sensory Integration, equivalent to or greater than the criteria adopted by the University of Southern California and Western Psychological Services in the delivery of their Sensory Integration training pathway, at a postgraduate, post-registration academic level. This is awarded by our partners, Sensory Integration Network.

It aims to provide practitioners with the opportunity to gain further enhanced knowledge and expertise required to apply current theories of sensory integration (SI) to everyday practice.

It aims to provide practitioners with an advanced theoretical basis for the management of people with SI dysfunction and will enable them to further enhance their skills in reviewing evidence to inform practice.

Initial application is through Sensory Integration Network for the first three modules:

For the last three modules, apply online.

Contact the Course Director for further information.


Recent advances in neuroscience support the application of the theory of Sensory Integration (SI) as a treatment approach with children, adolescents, adults and with older adults. Sensory Integration was developed by Dr A Jean Ayres, an Occupational Therapist in the US, in the late 1960s and has now spread world wide as a treatment for many aspects of sensory and motor functioning.

Sensory Integration and related sensory integration based approaches allow therapists to use their understanding of mind, body, brain to facilitate opportunities for clients to actively engage in enhanced opportunities to take in, process and respond to sensory experiences in order to promote both short and long term neurological changes necessary to enhance and promote function..

This course provides a unique opportunity for the practitioner to achieve high quality qualifications integrally linked into current and emerging models of care and also scientific and technological advances. National and internationally recognised experts in their fields ensure that state of the science knowledge is informing tomorrow’s practitioners. The course is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills required to apply current theories of SI to your everyday practice. It will provide you with an advanced theoretical basis for the management of people with SI dysfunction and will enable you to further enhance your skills in reviewing evidence to inform practice. It aims to develop your skills in evaluation and administration, scoring and interpretation of standardised assessments.

Membership of the Sensory Integration Network is given to all students who register on the modules, to ensure access to the community of practitioners.

Entry requirements

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements. For general entrance requirements go to:

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have gained an Honours or non-Honours degree from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from a recognised awarding body or from an institution of another country which is recognised by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, the World Confederation of Physical Therapists, or other international organisations as being of an equivalent standard; or an equivalent standard in a Postgraduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate or an approved alternative qualification; and where applicable be eligible for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and normally, currently in relevant employment or have access to the appropriate patient/client group, as approved by the course committee.

They must provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent) and for non-native English speakers, IELTS 7.0 (with no contributing band at less than 6.5.

In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes) and is registered with the requisite Education, Social Work or Psychology regulator may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.

Studies pursued and examinations passed in respect of other qualifications awarded by the University or by another university or other educational institution, or evidence from the accreditation of prior experiential learning, may be accepted as exempting candidates from part of the programme provided that they shall register as students of the University.

English Language Requirements

The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 7.0 with no band score less than 6.5.

Ulster University recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Exemptions and transferability

Students may be eligible for exemption of modules/credit points within the Postgraduate certificate, Diploma and Master's.

Previous experiential learning taken outside this structure (within or beyond the University) may be considered for accreditation of prior learning through the University system, this allows the student in some cases to bring in professional courses/experiential learning that have level 7 learning and assessment and meets the learning outcomes of the course.

Please seek advice from the Course Director.



The first three modules are undertaken on a part-time basis using a blended approach in a short course format (i.e. block attendance on consecutive days as opposed to weekly throughout the semester). The courses take place at various venues throughout the UK and Ireland. The last three compulsory modules included in the MSc, OTH812, OTH814 and PTH830 have no required attendance at university so the student can choose to take the majority of the second year of the programme and the Project module fully online.

Careers or further progression

Career options

On successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate, you will be able to practise as a Practitioner of Sensory Integration and you will be eligible for progress to PGDip/MSc in Sensory Integration or Advancing Practice. On successful completion of Sensory Integration IV: From Planning to Therapy, you will be able to practice as an Advanced Practitioner of Sensory Integration.

Participation may enhance your options within the health service and beyond and will provide the development opportunities for you to progress to doctoral level activity.

Further enquiries

Course Director:

Dr Greg Kelly
School of Health Sciences

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6365

Sensory Integration Network -

Subjects taught

Year one

Sensory Integration I: Foundations and Neuroscience
Recent advances in neuroscience support the application of the theory of Sensory Integration (SI) as a treatment approach with children, adolescents, adults and with older adults. This module is designed to equip students with the knowledge required to apply current theories to their everyday practice. It will provide therapists with a theoretical basis for the management of people with sensory processing disorders and will enable therapists to further enhance their skills in reviewing evidence to inform practice.

Sensory Integration II/III: From Assessment to Interpretation
Recent advances in neuroscience support the application of the theory of Sensory Integration (SI) as a treatment approach with children, adolescents, adults and with older adults. This module aims to develop the participants? skills in assessment, interpretation and intervention planning with specific client groups based on a sensory integration framework. It enables students to develop critical analytical knowledge in the use of, and interpretation of, standardised and non-standardised sensory integration assessments and clinical observations.

Year two

Research Project Preparation
The aim of the module is to develop research design skills to enable students to produce a working research proposal for the Masters project.

Research Evidence in Health Science
This 15 credit point, online module runs twice per academic year and offers health professionals an opportunity to develop their understanding of a range of research methodologies commonly used within healthcare. With this knowledge of methods of enquiry used to answer clinical questions, they will develop skills in critically appraising and synthesising literature in order to inform and advance the quality of care and service delivery. For those students proceeding to the Masters award, the module will complement the 'Preparation for Project' module and provide a foundation for the Masters project.

Sensory Integration IV: From Planning to Treatment
Recent advances in neuroscience support the application of the theory of Sensory Integration (SI) as a treatment approach with children, adolescents, adults and with older adults. This module aims to develop the student's knowledge to an advanced level and experience of SI theory and practice in order to support critical analysis and evidence of interventions. The use of reflection will be critically explored to enhance application of theory to practice.

Year three

Research Project
The aim of this project module is to engage the student in an independent piece of research activity under the guidance of a supervisor from the School of Health Sciences. It is expected that this research will add to the student?s knowledge and perhaps inform future teaching, clinical practice or further research. The research activity will be allied to that carried out in the Centre for Health and Rehabilitation Technologies (CHaRT) within the Institute for Nursing and Health Research (INHR).

Assessment method

Teaching and learning assessment

Theoretical material is introduced through online and face-to-face lectures, and developed and reinforced through directed reading and online workshops.

Lectures provide an overview of the main topic areas, develop the student’s understanding of the key issues, guide the students on how to find out more about the subject and the reading they need to undertake. Workshops and tutorials involve students in online group discussions. Where required, tutorials will also involve one-to-one online mentoring between tutors and students.

Students are expected to undertake self-study.

Practical exercises give the opportunity for students to work within small groups to consolidate the knowledge learnt within the lectures.

Students are encouraged to use online communication tools such as the discussion board to generate a sense of community, provide mutual support and to seek advice on specific issues from the lecturers.

Formative assessment is provided through the submission of practice online tests and essay plans. Feedback is provided prior to submission of the online test and the essay.

Summative assessment is provided through online tests, case presentations, case studies, test administration and interpretation, poster presentations, a research proposal, a project report and, finally, a research report.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: September 2017

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