Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


Occupational therapy (OT) admissions tutors are tasked with ensuring the recruitment of high-quality candidates who can demonstrate both academic and professional skills throughout their education and subsequently into practice. While standardized admissions criteria do not exist, it is widely accepted that both cognitive and non-cognitive characteristics should be assessed to establish academic and professional qualities of applicants. Pre-admission qualifications are generally classed as a reliable assessment of academic (cognitive) ability, with literature supporting positive but variable relationships between academic qualifications and degree classifications. Evidence to support trusted assessments of pre-admission professional (non-cognitive) skills is lacking, with ambiguity surrounding relationships between pre-admission results and graduation data. This paper compares outcomes of cumulative cognitive and non-cognitive assessments for one cohort (n=44) of pre-registration BSc (Hons) OT students at one United Kingdom (UK) university, with final degree outcomes. Quantitative methods were employed to explore potential relationships between numerical pre-admission and graduation data. Correlations were not found between a) pre-entry qualifications and final degree classifications or b) selection assessment scores and final degree classifications. Nine candidates did not meet the university’s minimum cognitive (n=3) or non-cognitive criteria (n=6) but were granted admission. All nine went on to graduate with a range of degree classifications preventing a loss to the university and OT profession. Results demonstrate pre-entry data is not necessarily a predictor of graduation outcomes, indicating further research into the variables which impact a student’s journey between admission and graduation is warranted.


Sarah McGinley, MSc, BSc(Hons) is an Occupational Therapy Lecturer and Admissions Tutor at the University of Southampton, Hampshire, UK.

Declaration of Interest

The author reports no declarations of interest.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.