Seán Scott, aged 24, from Kilkenny in Ireland, is studying MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) full-time over two years at QMU.

Before arriving at QMU, Seán completed a three year BA Social Science at University College Cork in Ireland.

On completing his undergraduate studies, Seán worked as a Pharmacy Assistant in his hometown in order to save enough money to spend a year travelling throughout Asia, including volunteering, working and exploring in Cambodia, Vietnam, Borneo, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar. He learned a lot about different cultures, people and life in general. He returned home with a commitment to pursue a career which would be of benefit to those less fortunate and society in general.

In Cambodia, Seán volunteered in an NGO which provides educational and therapeutic activities for children and adults with disabilities. He worked in the vocational training and job placement programme. Unfortunately, people with disabilities are often discriminated against in Cambodia, so Seán was glad to be able to help them access employment and gain their rightful place in society.

Seán was fortunate to volunteer at the Thabarwa Hospice in Myanmar, which helps people with disabilities, the ill and the elderly. He helped people with their daily activities and began to see the importance and positive impact these activities can have on people’s wellbeing, no matter how small or big the task. He learned the value of human contact in simple things like walking with patients and how developing meaningful relationships can bring out the best in people and improve their quality of life.

Seán believes that people should be able to live independent and dignified lives, as individuals and as part of the wider community. Throughout his experiences while travelling, he found that the most fulfilling work is helping others in ways that can facilitate and empower them in their everyday lives. He wants to be able to assist people to live their lives and reach their full potential, both physically and mentally.

Before moving to Edinburgh, Seán returned to work in his local pharmacy. In this role, he became more aware of different health conditions and saw how some of these conditions progress overtime. This steered him even more in the direction of occupational therapy.

Seán’s hope is that by pursuing a career that enables people to be a part of their community and live independently, he can facilitate an improvement in people's quality of life and help them regain or maintain their place in society.

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh/Scotland?

“Having come from a small city in Ireland, I’m conscious of the tremendous heritage, culture and vibrancy of Edinburgh. Edinburgh presents an exciting adventure for me. Its bustling city centre creates an exciting and friendly atmosphere.

“Since moving to Edinburgh for my studies, I’ve really enjoyed exploring the city and what it has to offer. There is always something happening, with concerts and festivals all year round. The people are pleasant, friendly and the Celtic link is helpful. Edinburgh is a great place to have fun and take a break away from all the study!”

Why did you decide to study MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) at QMU?

“What particularly attracted me to QMU is its excellent reputation, both academically and environmentally. This was clear to me on my first visit to QMU where I was welcomed and shown around by both the staff and student volunteers, who were all very supportive.

“There are also good sports facilities and different sports clubs for anyone to join. I like to keep fit so it's great for me that that the gym is on campus. There are fitness classes on throughout the week and I really enjoy going to new fitness classes which I haven’t tried before.

“The practical elements of the course also excited me as I believe this is an essential and important element of a Masters’ degree. The first practice placement is early on in the course and is a great way to learn and further develop understanding of the role of occupational therapy.

“There are four practice placements which I feel are very beneficial to students as there are many different areas of occupational therapy which offer different services to many diverse client groups. This allows students to experience and learn about the role and importance of occupational therapy in areas they may not have experienced before.”

 How do you think the course is preparing you for your chosen career?

“I hope that the course will help me gain the knowledge and expertise necessary to become a capable and confident occupational therapist. Having come from a social science background, I believe that everybody has the right to contribute to society and I want to give people the support to achieve this. I think that this programme will prepare me to help individuals reach their maximum potential which, in turn, is of major benefit to society in general.”

How do you find the workload?

“As this is an accelerated programme, there is an intensive workload. However, I find this manageable because of the abundance of support made available to students at QMU.

“I believe one of the greatest strengths of QMU is the positive relationships between both staff and students. I feel that since beginning my study here at QMU, I’ve received a warm welcome and that there is mutual respect and support between staff and students.

“The support available at QMU includes the Learning Resource Centre, Effective Learning Services and a Personal Academic Tutor. This support has helped me with any query or problem I’ve had while integrating back into student life. I’d have been lost without them and I’m grateful that they are available for the students here.”

What are your top tips for future MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Registration) students based on your own personal experience?

“Enjoy it! Although the programme requires lots of work and dedication, it’s a fun and interactive course, so get involved and have fun.

“It’s important to take exercise and engage in team activities if possible.

“Be sure to meet people from all countries and walks of life.”

What are your plans after graduating from QMU?

“I’ll be excited to work and gain experience in the field of occupational therapy on completing the course.

“I believe the course will equip me to develop a career in occupational therapy and allow me to both work and volunteer in whatever part of the world I wish to explore.

“I’m excited about this journey and where it will lead. I’ve yet to decide on the field of occupational therapy I will pursue, but I’ll gain the knowledge and experience to make such choices over the next two years.

“I’m so grateful to have found a career that I’m passionate about and I hope this passion will allow me to help people to live happy and purposeful lifestyles.”

Postgraduate funding:

Story Published 2017 -2018

Occupational Therapy and Arts Therapies

Want to study here? Find out more about this course…

Course Information