First-year Occupational Therapy student, Sharon Hepburn discusses how the course is taught and what it’s like studying in London.

Sharon Herpburn

Why did you choose St George’s?

I chose St George’s because of the opportunity to train within a hospital. It means student and professional medics, physiotherapists, radiographers and many others train and learn side-by-side.

How is the Occupational Therapy course taught at St Georges? How has this helped you develop?

Occupational Therapy (OT) students learn alongside students from all the interdisciplinary professions including Medicine, Physiotherapy, Radiography and Healthcare Science. You will participate in problem-based learning activities to solve medical cases, examine real-life anatomy in St George’s incredible dissection room and complete various work-placements to practice and train as an OT in a real-life environment.

Lectures are stimulating and exciting and include talks from doctors, lecturers and even real-life patients.

What was the most surprising element of your course or St George’s?

On my second day of Induction Week, we were taken to the Dissection Room to study (and handle) a cadaver as part of our anatomy lecture. This was the most amazing experience I have ever encountered on a course.  I felt honoured to have the opportunity to study anatomy in this way. It doesn’t get better than this.

What have you most enjoyed or found useful about studying at St George’s?

The staff here are incredibly supportive and encouraging throughout your learning experience, from the second you walk through the door!

Tell us about your placements studying Occupational Therapy.

We will complete 1,000 hours of work placements during the course. The placements are towards the end of each academic year so lecturers have plenty of time to train you with the essential knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare you for the professional environment. 

Work placements are fundamental to your learning and training. I feel there is no better way to prepare for the future than to gain hands-on experience with patients and co-workers.

I will start my first placement at the end of this academic year.

What is the best thing about your course?

The best thing is my class. We have bonded really well and have so much fun together. Most importantly, we support each other.

What is the highlight of being a student in London?

The tube network, because you can get anywhere at any time.

If you had to sum up studying at St George’s in three words, what would they be and why?

Warm, inspiring and exciting. The atmosphere is great and the lecturers are inspirational and motivating. It’s so exciting to be learning right in the centre of a hospital that we may, one day, be working in! You feel like you are already a professional healthcare provider.

What’s it like studying in Tooting and London?

Tooting is on the doorstep London’s city centre. You could be in a lecture in the morning, shop in the centre of London during lunch and return to a lecture in the afternoon!

How does our focus on the health and medical sciences impact your studies, studying with only other health focused students?

Although we study alongside healthcare students only, we are in very close proximity to our partnering Kingston University, which hosts a number of courses. The interaction between the two universities means that you have access to both facilities and will have the opportunity to meet students from a vast range of courses.

Are you a member of any societies? If so, which and what do you do?

As the first cohort of OTs at the university, my classmates and I are looking forward to building St George’s first ever OT Society! I have joined the Physiotherapy Society to get some ideas, but mainly, because I have made some good friends from the Physiotherapy degree.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 December 2017 12:02