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Start date
February

Duration
4 year(s) full-time

Mode
On-campus

Program Code
IHOC

Prerequisites
None

Assumed Knowledge
None

Fees
2020: 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 the only accredited undergraduate 4-year occupational therapy degree in South Australia.
  • Benefit from over 40 years' experience in occupational therapy education.
  • Take part in real-world practice placements as part of your study.
  • Benefit from our strong partnerships and alliances with not-for-profit organisations, aged care facilities, and disability and children’s service providers.
  • Learn from award-winning teaching staff, academics, practicing health professionals and researchers in the field.
  • Graduate with an honours degree that will set you apart from the crowd, ensuring you have a competitive edge and are well-placed for a career in industry
  • Develop your ability to independently undertake research.
  • Use your qualification as a pathway to further learning, including Masters by Research and doctoral studies.
  • Learn from a University that has above world-class research in Occupational Therapy1.

1Results in Clinical Sciences - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

Snapshot

OT4.jpg

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

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 more than 1,000 hours of field placements in settings such as community agencies, kindergartens and aged care facilities, providing valuable hands-on experience that will enable a seamless transition from study to the workforce.

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 registration process is undertaken by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) with the University providing notification to AHPRA following enrolment in the program.

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
  • group work,

Second and third years focus on application specific courses, including mental health, occupation rehabilitation, chronic conditions, community focus, primary health care and health promotion, as well as participatory community practice.

Practical learning is a strong focus, particularly during your second, third and fourth years when you will practice your skills in a variety of settings during extensive field placements. You will also attend workshops in a variety of industry settings such as Guide Dogs SA, Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre, and Independent Living Centres.

Knowledge and skills in problem solving, communication, lifelong learning, ethical action and valuing difference are emphasised and developed throughout the degree.

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 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 (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
Professional Portfolio 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
Professional Portfolio 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 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 either a research stream or a professional stream. You will 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 will undertake and complete a research project which may be either quantitative or qualitative. Specific training and education within appropriate approaches relevant to your research project will be developed through consultation, discussion, problem-solving and liaison with a group of experienced researchers.

The professional stream includes a range of advanced courses where you will develop skills in 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 graduate

UniSA has close to 50 years' experience in occupational therapy education and is proud of the rich knowledge base we have created.

Occupational therapists understand that health and wellbeing is affected by a person’s environment, the things they do, and their state of health. They work with a wide range of people in a number of settings and manage complex and difficult problems.

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 practice placements in metropolitan, rural or regional settings, providing you with the opportunity to consolidate and apply your knowledge and skills. You could have the opportunity to complete a placement overseas,

The curriculum is based on innovative research, meaning your degree is industry-informed, relevant and up-to-date.

Real-world connections

All of our teachers are registered occupational therapists and accomplished researchers, which means you are not only offered exceptional learning opportunities but also valuable industry contacts. During your practice placements you will develop relationships and networks to prepare you for entering the workforce once you’ve graduated.

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 networking opportunity.

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

Career outcomes

Your career

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 and can offer exciting challenges, assisting people of all ages to overcome physical and mental barriers in their life.

As an occupational therapist you can gain employment in a range of settings across the various health, disability and community sectors, working with people across the lifespan including:

  • hospital and acute services
  • private practice
  • community mental health services
  • ambulatory and rehabilitation services
  • aged care facilities
  • community services
  • home care programs
  • local council services
  • government departments
  • schools
  • not for profit and non-government sector
  • primary health networks

There are also opportunities to work with both children and their families, to assist with the child’s development of functional skills and strategies to build their motor skills, social skills and self-care.

The degree prepares you for working overseas, 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 14.6 per cent by May 2023.1

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2018

chart-people

To May 2023, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia – an increase of 250,300 jobs.1

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2018

line-graph-growth

Healthcare and social assistance has been the primary provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market since the 1990s.1

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2018

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.

Alternative Pathways

Australian

There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including:

UniSA College Foundation Studies
SAIBT Diploma of Health Science

International

There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including:

SAIBT Diploma of Health Science

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 student at the University of South Australia 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, laboratories, and areas 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 have access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, 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 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, a 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

International Student Services will make your life at university easier. We want you to be successful, and if you need help we will be there to assist. Support services include:

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

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers. You can work with them face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies. They also offer help with the English language. 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

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.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

Student Lounge City East.jpg

As an occupational therapy student you will have access to:

  • Occupational therapy teaching rooms
  • Anatomy laboratory
  • Physiology laboratory

Your program director

I am a graduate of this program and bring more than 30 years of experience to my role. I am an active member of the occupational community and am currently the President of the Board of Occupational Therapy Australia.

Dr Angela Berndt

Program Director

Enquire
Portrait image for Dr Angela Berndt
Portrait image for Dr Angela Berndt

Dr Angela Berndt

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
Employment: Founder and Director, Motivate Kids

Rochelle Mutton, Founder and Director of Motivate Kids

Rochelle Mutton

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
<br />Employment: 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
Employment: Motivate Kids

Natalie Waterman, OT graduate

Natalie Waterman

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
<br />Employment: Motivate Kids