Occupational Therapy without University?Watch
However another way is through an apprenticeship. You could gain experience as a therapy assistant and in some nhs trusts your employer, if they think you have the ability, may put you into an apprenticeship program where you learn the trade of how to be an OT. This programme is mainly practical, but you will need to attend lectures in university, although it may not be as rigorous as a degree. The reason is that you need to learn the OT theory and principles.
The only thing that separates a qualified OT from a therapy assistant is that theoretical knowledge, the ability to think critically, clinical reasoning to support interventions, and the ability to use research to supplement interventions.
These are the things a degree or diploma in OT will equip you.
However, a degree is the faster way in. 3 years of study and you are qualified.
Apprenticeship take longer. But you will be paid more while you learn.
Taking a degree as a student OT, your bank account is always empty.