Start date
February

Duration
4 year(s) full-time

Mode
On-campus

Program Code
IHOC

Prerequisites
None

Assumed Knowledge
None

Fees
2022: AUD$ 37,800 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [7.0]
  • IELTS reading [7.0]
  • IELTS writing [7.0]
  • IELTS speaking [7.0]
  • IELTS listening [7.0]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements

CRICOS Code
088336D

Degree overview

  • Experience a rewarding career helping people of all ages maintain and improve day-to-day activities.
  • Study South Australia’s only accredited four-year honour's degree in occupational therapy.
  • Learn from a university with above world-class research in occupational therapy.1
  • Join South Australia’s No.1 university for graduate careers in occupational therapy.2
  • Take part in 1,000 hours of real-world practice placements while you study. 
  • Learn from a university with 50 years' experience in occupational therapy education and research.
  • Benefit from our strong partnerships and alliances with not-for-profit organisations, aged care facilities and community restorative programs, health and disability, and children’s service providers.
  • Learn from award-winning teaching staff, academics, practicing health professionals and researchers in the field.

1Results in Clinical Sciences - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). 2ComparED (QILT) Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018-20, Rehabilitation — Full-time Employment Indicator (Undergraduate). Public SA-founded universities only.

Snapshot

OT4.jpgStart your unstoppable career in occupational therapy, and be at the forefront of helping adults and children alike to actively participate in society, irrespective of limitations.

Occupational Therapists empower people to live full and rewarding lives, every day. With UniSA, you'll learn how to help people overcome constraints caused by injury or illness, as well as emotional, developmental, environmental, societal, age-related and psychological limitations.

What you'll need

Students 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 demonstrate they meet mandatory pre-placement conditional requirements. These include criminal history clearance, a Working with Children Check and immunisation requirements. Please visit the Clinical Placement Unit for information on key requirements, and to access the full student checklists.

All students enrolled in a program leading to professional registration must be registered with the relevant national board. The student registration process is undertaken by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) with the University providing notification to AHPRA following enrolment in the program. On successful completion of the program, full AHPRA registration is undertaken.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

The first year will focus on core health subjects including anatomy, physiology, and an introduction to occupational therapy practice and evidence.

From second and third year, you‘ll focus on the application of your skills in mental health, occupation rehabilitation, chronic conditions, community focus, primary health care and participatory community practice.

In addition to field placements, you‘ll attend workshops in industry settings such as Guide Dogs SA, Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre and equipment providers. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit regional settings on the yearly Country Road Trip.

Throughout your degree you’ll be exposed to many different hands-on activities, such as:

  • Splint making
  • Dressing adaptation for people with self-care impairments
  • Wheelchair measurement tutorials
  • Home modification and assistive technology plans
  • Delivery of groups with children and older adults
  • Adult neurological rehabilitation techniques
  • Completing skill demonstrations to become familiar with real-life occupational therapy scenarios.

Some key areas of activity where Occupational Therapists provide support include:

  • Daily living activities such as showering, dressing, grooming and eating.
  • Activities which involve caring for others such as household management activities, shopping, childcare, budgeting, banking, financial management, home maintenance and driving.
  • Education activities which allow a person to participate in a learning environment.
  • Leisure and play activities.
  • Social participation.
  • Work (paid and voluntary).

Degree 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 Development for Occupational Therapy Practice 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 (Professional Stream)
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
Advanced Evidence Based Practice HLTH 3057 4.5
FOURTH YEAR (Professional Stream)
Note(s): 5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Participatory Community Practice 400 REHB 4045 9
Contemporary Practice and Professional Development 400 REHB 4046 4.5
Occupational Therapy Field Practice 400 REHB 4043 9
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Occupational Therapy Field Practice 401 REHB 4028 9
Contemporary Practice and Professional Development 401 REHB 4047 4.5
THIRD YEAR (Research Stream)
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 (Research Stream)
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Participatory Community Practice 400 REHB 4045 9
Health Science Honours Thesis REHB 4012 9
Occupational Therapy Field Practice 400 REHB 4043 9
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Occupational Therapy Field Practice 401 REHB 4028 9

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, as well as to 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 and individual presentations
  • skill demonstrations
  • essays and assignments 
  • examinations 
  • evidence based practice reviews
  • case studies and industry style reports
  • portfolios
  • research project and thesis.

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

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 either a research stream or a professional stream. You‘ll graduate with industry experience and connections, and advanced skills to prepare you for a career in industry or research. 

The research stream involves an Honours Thesis course, where you’ll undertake a quantitative or qualitative research project. You’ll get to consult, discuss and problem-solve your research project with a group of experienced researchers.

The professional stream includes a range of advanced courses where you‘ll develop skills in evidenced based practice and professional writing for industry, giving you the ability to innovate in your practice as an Occupational Therapist.

Graduates from both streams are eligible to register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Why Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)

Natalie Waterman, OT graduateGraduating 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’ll spend more than 1,000 hours completing practice placements in metropolitan, rural or regional settings, providing you with the opportunity to consolidate and apply your knowledge and skills. You could also have the opportunity to complete a placement overseas.

UniSA’s curriculum is based on innovative, current research, meaning your degree is industry-informed and relevant for work today. You can also use your qualification as a pathway to further learning, including Masters by Research and doctoral studies.

Real-world connections

As an Occupational Therapist, you’ll make a real difference in people’s lives. You’ll help people overcome any barriers they have – whether it be physical, environmental or emotional – to doing any activity big or small, empowering them to live their best lives, every day.

At UniSA, you’ll learn from registered Occupational Therapists and accomplished researchers throughout your degree. In your final year, you‘ll work alongside experienced researchers when you complete a research project and thesis. With industry placements built-in while you study, you’ll get to work on valuable relationships and networks to prepare you for the workforce.

We also host regular University-wide alumni eventsemployee master classes and employment expos in Australia and overseas.

Occupational Therapy Careers Snapshot

Gain insight into the rewarding careers of UniSA occupational therapy graduates, Rochelle Mutton and Jordan Liseno. Rochelle is the Owner and Director at Motivate Kids and employs Jordan as part of her growing team.

UniSA Video

Career outcomes

Your career

A successful Occupational Therapist is professional, an excellent communicator, observant, logical, a critical thinker, and evidence based. You’ll be the type of person who enjoys working with people; and be mentally, emotionally and physically capable. This field of work is immensely rewarding and can offer exciting challenges, assisting people in the everyday occupations of life.

You can gain employment in a range of settings, including:

  • public and private hospitals
  • private practice
  • community mental health services
  • ambulatory and rehabilitation services
  • aged care facilities and community restorative care services
  • local council services
  • government departments
  • schools
  • not-for-profit and non-government sector.

This degree prepares you for working overseas, as the qualification is recognised in most countries. 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.

Professional accreditation and recognition

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

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

This program is approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists

Industry facts

job-listings

Employment for Occupational Therapists in Australia is projected to increase by 17.1% by November 2025.

Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2020

chart-people

To November 2025, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia – an increase of 249,500 jobs.

Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2020

line-graph-growth

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

Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2019

How to apply

How to apply for international students will give you helpful information about the application process at the University of South Australia. When you are ready, apply through our International Application System. If you would like to talk to someone near you about studying at the University of South Australia, we have agents all over the world who can assist you. Find an Education Agent in your country.

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 scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

As a UniSA student, you will have unique access to work placement opportunities, overseas study tours and exchanges, networking events, internships, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments. These are all supported by the latest technologies and a 24/7 online learning platform. We have health services on campus, gymnasiums, technology zones and great student lounges. You will also gainaccess to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, business, law and psychology. 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 lots more.

Adelaide also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets should you need, from dedicated student accommodation to private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages or explore our student accommodation by urbanest 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 international student services provide you with all the support you need at university. We want you to succeed, and if you need help, we're here to assist. You can access a full range of support services, including:

  • career advice and mentoring
  • help with student visas and health cover
  • personal counselling
  • academic counselling
  • fees and finance help
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • accommodation services 
  • as well as services offered through our student association, USASA

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies, and can offer help with the English language too. When you become a UniSA student, you can also contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and more.

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

Your campus

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

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

Student Lounge City East.jpg

As an occupational therapy student, you'll have access to:

  • Occupational therapy teaching rooms
  • Anatomy laboratories
  • Physiology laboratory.

You’ll also get to use a range of on-campus spaces including modern lecture theatres, libraries, collaborative teaching rooms, and relaxed student lounges.

Your program director

I am a graduate of this program and bring more than 30 years of hands on and research experience to my role. I am an active member of the national occupational therapy community with excellent industry networks.

Dr Ben Sellar

Program Director

Enquire
Portrait image for Dr Ben Sellar
Portrait image for Dr Ben Sellar

Dr Ben Sellar

Program Director

Enquire

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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)

By assisting children to play, learn and become independent we are setting them on the path to adulthood. Creating a clinic shaped to the needs of our clients and their families has been an uplifting and exciting adventure. We speak of foundational building blocks in occupational therapy and studying with UniSA was the first building block for my career.

Rochelle Mutton

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
Founder and Director, Motivate Kids

Rochelle Mutton, Founder and Director of Motivate Kids

Rochelle Mutton

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
Founder and Director, Motivate Kids

As the first Aboriginal occupational therapist in South Australia I have a passion to lead and support other Indigenous allied health professionals to follow in my footsteps. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of closing the gap in Aboriginal health inequality but I’m committed to playing my part.

Trevor Ritchie

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

Trevor Ritchie

Trevor Ritchie

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

I’m inspired every day by the courage and persistence of those I work with. It’s really rewarding to see people achieve their goals and, as a result, improve their quality of life.

Natalie Waterman

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
Motivate Kids

Natalie Waterman, OT graduate

Natalie Waterman

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
Motivate Kids