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Start Date
February

Duration
4 year(s) full-time

Mode
On-campus

Program Code
IHOC

Study as
Full-time

Entry Requirements
TAFE/RTO (Guaranteed): N/A
View full entry requirements

Prerequisites
None

Assumed Knowledge
None

Key features

  • Benefit from over 40 years' experience in occupational therapy education. 
  • Experience first-hand what it’s like when you take part in real-world clinical placements as part of your study. 
  • UniSA undergraduate rehabilitation students have the highest satisfaction in the state1.
  • Benefit from our strong industry partnerships and alliances.
  • Experience a rewarding career helping people of all ages maintain and improve day-to-day activities.
  • Learn from award-winning teaching staff, academics, practicing health professionals and researchers in the field.
  • Develop your ability to independently undertake research.
  • Use your qualification as a pathway to further learning, including Masters by Research and doctoral studies. 
  • This degree is accredited by the Occupational Therapy Council (Australia & New Zealand) Ltd. This degree is also approved by the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. 

1QILT: Course Experience Questionnaire 2015-2016 Overall Satisfaction Item

Snapshot

Snapshot

This degree is designed to ensure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes needed to become an innovative and competent occupational therapist, with a strong focus on practical skills. 

You will complete clinical field placements during your studies, this real-world experience will constitute a large portion of your learning during your third and fourth years. It is here that you will gain valuable hands-on skills that will enable a seamless transition from study to the workforce. Important industry connections will be made during these clinical placements. 

Patient outcomes are also a focus and therefore communication and relationship skills essential for patient care are key components. You will also further develop your research skills and will complete a research project and thesis in collaboration with experienced researchers during your final year. 

All students enrolled in a program leading to professional registration must be registered with the relevant National Board. The registration process is undertaken by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) with the University providing notification to AHPRA following enrolment in the program.

This honours degree is only available to students studying the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy who have met the grade point average (GPA) requirements and have been made an offer into the degree.

What you'll need

All students in the Division of Health Sciences who undertake activities where interaction with patients/the public is required for their degree, such as field or clinical placements/visits and in University clinics and gyms, must obtain a current National Police Clearance and a Current National Criminal History Record Check (Child-Related Clearance) from the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI). This certificate is valid for the duration of the program. 

Why Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)

Why this Degree

If you want a career in research or would like to complete further study this degree will provide you with the necessary skills, knowledge and research training to do so.

Graduating with an honours degree will set you apart from the crowd, ensuring you have a competitive edge and are well-placed for a career in industry, research or further postgraduate study. 

You will spend over 1,000 hours completing clinical placements in various settings, providing you with the opportunity to consolidate and apply your knowledge and skills.

You will benefit from our research, 97 per cent of which is at or above world class1. The curriculum is based on this innovative research, meaning your degree is industry-informed, relevant and up-to-date. We’ve also been teaching in this field for more than 40 years, and are proud of the rich knowledge base we have created. 

12015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

Real-world connections

Many of our teachers are practicing occupational therapists and accomplished researchers, which means you are not only offered exceptional learning opportunities but also valuable industry contacts. A major focus of your study will be centred on practical learning and you will complete more than 1,000 hours of clinical field placements during your third and fourth years. During this time you will build important industry relationships and valuable networks.

You will also work alongside experienced researchers when you complete a research project and thesis during your final year of study. This affiliation not only provides exceptional learning opportunities, but is also an important network opportunity. We host regular University-wide employee master classes and employment expos, and alumni events in Australia and overseas.

Your career

Occupational therapists assist people in managing physical constraints caused by injury or illness, as well as emotional, developmental, environmental, societal, age-related and psychological limitations, such as autism and dementia. They help people of all ages achieve their goals, optimise their lifestyles and actively participate in society irrespective of personal and environmental limitations.

A successful occupational therapist is practical, logical, attentive and observant. You will enjoy working with people and be mentally and physically capable – this field of work is immensely rewarding, but can also offer challenges, which you need to be ready to manage. If you think you are capable of meeting these challenges, and are ready for a rewarding and stimulating career, then a career in occupational therapy may be for you.

As an occupational therapist you can gain employment in a range of settings, including: 

  • hospitals
  • private practice
  • community mental health services
  • rehabilitation centres
  • aged care facilities
  • community services
  • home care programs
  • local council services
  • government departments
  • schools

Job growth in this sector is looking good, with strong growth expected in Australia through to November 20201.

You may also choose to pursue a career in research – graduates with honours degrees are highly sought after by prospective employers, particularly within academia and research settings. 

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015

Professional accreditation

This program is accredited by the Occupational Therapy Council (Australia & New Zealand) Ltd.

This program is approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists

This program is approved by the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia for the purpose of professional registration as an occupational therapist in Australia.

Industry facts

column-chart-growth

Healthcare and social assistance in Australia is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth (increasing by 250,200) nationwide1.

1Australian Government Department of Employment 2017

job-listings

Healthcare and social assistance has been the primary provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market since the 1990s1.

1Australian Government Department of Employment 2017

line-graph-growth

Employment for occupational therapists in Australia is projected to increase by 4,000 (24 per cent) by November 20201.

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015

What others are saying

Placements provided me with the opportunity to explore different occupational therapy fields such as paediatrics, mental health, and aged care. I also had the opportunity to work with a peer to manage a collaborative, community-oriented project in a local hospital stroke ward.

Lealei Tan

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)

Lealei Tan

Lealei Tan

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)

What you'll learn

What you Learn

During the first two years of this degree you will study the basics needed to gain a clear understanding of the links between human occupations, health, development, illness and disability. The topics covered in these early stages include:

  • human anatomy
  • human physiology
  • human neurosciences
  • growth and lifespan development
  • psychology
  • occupational science
  • sociology

Practical learning is a strong focus, and during your third and fourth years you will practice your skills in real clinical scenarios when you complete more than 1,000 hours of field placements. Placements will take place in a variety of settings. 

Another key focus is the honours research project and thesis, which you will complete in your final year. During this time you will develop skills in research methodologies and gain skills in critical analysis. 

The importance of superior communication skills, ethical action and problem solving are also explored in depth.  

You can gain an extra qualification and broaden your career prospects by completing a Diploma in Languages.

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects and contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12 – 26 hours of study when at university and 14 – 28 hours of independent study per week. 

Assessment

Assessment

Your studies at UniSA will incorporate practical, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • group assignments
  • practical tests
  • quizzes
  • group presentations
  • essays and assignments 
  • examinations 
  • research project and thesis

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. Australian and international students may have the option to do an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas. We have links with universities worldwide. You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

Honours

This is a four-year, professional degree with honours. 

The honours component includes a minimum of one year of advanced studies in research and professional practice. You will receive First Class, Second Class or Third Class Honours, depending on your performance.

During the honours preparation, you will undertake training courses in research methods and ethics. Within the honours thesis course, you will undertake a research project under the supervision of an experienced researcher and report on this project through a thesis and oral presentation. 

You will graduate with industry experience and connections, and a higher level qualification than a bachelor degree. Your honours year will prepare you well for a career in industry or research. 

What courses you'll study

Structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
FIRST YEAR
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Foundations of Health HLTH 1029 4.5
Human Anatomy 100 HLTH 1020 4.5
Physiology Essentials 100 BIOL 1051 4.5
Introduction to Occupational Therapy Practice REHB 1030 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Lifespan Growth and Motor Development HLTH 1043 4.5
Introduction to Evidence Based Practice and Research in Health Sciences HLTH 1049 4.5
Occupational Therapy Practice in Hospital Settings REHB 1031 4.5
Elective 4.5
SECOND YEAR
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Principles of Occupational Therapy Practice REHB 2049 4.5
Applied Psychology BEHL 1005 4.5
Enabling Occupation through Environmental Adaptation REHB 2043 4.5
The Individual in Society 200 BEHL 2002 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Human Neuroscience BIOL 2040 4.5
Occupational Therapy Group Work and Counselling REHB 2044 4.5
Occupational Therapy Practice Education REHB 3063 4.5
Occupational Therapy Practice in Occupational Rehabilitation REHB 2046 4.5
THIRD YEAR
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Occupational Therapy Practice and Mental Health REHB 2045 4.5
Primary Health Care Approaches in Occupational Therapy REHB 3064 4.5
Advanced Occupational Therapy Practice and Neurological Conditions REHB 3061 4.5
Occupational Science REHB 3062 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Participatory Community Practice 301 REHB 3043 9
Advanced Community Occupational Therapy Practice and Chronic Conditions Management REHB 3060 4.5
Health Science Honours Preparation REHB 3010 4.5
FOURTH YEAR
Note(s): 5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Participatory Community Practice 400 REHB 4045 9
Occupational Therapy Field Practice 400 REHB 4043 9
Health Science Honours Thesis REHB 4012 9
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Occupational Therapy Field Practice 401 REHB 4028 9

I have an active interest in play, sensation, assistive technology, research and physical disability; I also have a wide and varied background in teaching, rehabilitation and child healthcare.

Mr Hugh Stewart

Program Director

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Portrait image for Mr Hugh Stewart
Portrait image for Mr Hugh Stewart

Mr Hugh Stewart

Program Director

Enquire

Scholarships

Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarship search page for more.

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.

Adelaide - City East campus

City East boasts impressive facilities such as purpose-built facilities, health clinics and a fitness centre, open to students and the public. It’s right in the heart of the CBD and adjacent to bustling Rundle Street, with some of Adelaide’s best dining and shopping experiences. Explore City East >

Your study spaces

As an occupational therapy student you will have access to:

  • occupational therapy teaching rooms
  • anatomy laboratory
  • physiology laboratory
Your study spaces

Your study experience

Our campuses have fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments. But you’ll also discover that your journey at UniSA is about social experiences, healthy living and getting involved. You’ll find student gyms, community clinics, tech zones and chill-out spaces. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and loads more.

Adelaide has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal perfect location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our student support services will make your life at university easier. We want you to be successful, and if you need help, we're here to assist. We provide a full range of support services, including:

  • academic counselling
  • personal counselling
  • social support services, including family support and nearby childcare
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • Wirringka Student Services, offering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a supportive place to study
  • services offered through our student association, USASA

When you become a UniSA student you can contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

How to apply

This honours degree is only available to students studying the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy who have met the grade point average (GPA) requirements and have been made an offer into the degree.

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